The battle rages.
Tomorrow the President meets with eight members of Congress, four from each party, to “discuss” solutions to the standoff that exists between the two sides on whether or not to raise the debt ceiling.
Presently that ceiling is $14 trillion and it is predicted that it will have to be raised by about $2 trillion dollars to avoid a possible catastrophic default.
The Republicans, being pushed by the recent successful candidacies of members of the Tea Party, are looking for cuts in spending. The Democrats, having already acceded to some spending cuts, are looking for new taxes to raise revenues. Both sides have dug in their heels on their positions and the outcome remains tenuous.
This stalemate is of monumental importance because it directly reflects on the financial viability and reputation of the United States.
Since 1940 Congress has increased the debt ceiling 95 times and each time we fail to pay back the debts we have already accumulated since the last time we raised the debt ceiling.
George W. Bush engaged the country in two wars, one forced upon us, the other not. At the same time the Part D Prescription Bill was passed which only added to the already growing deficit problem.
Then the “perfect storm” of the subprime housing bubble burst and the fiscal crisis was at hand. This debacle can be blamed on both parties and the Federal Reserve as well (the Community Redevelopment Program, Wall Street derivatives and the lowest interest rates in history)
Bush tried to help by passing a mini-TARP but that only added to the debt.
And then along came Obama.
He passed a maxi-TARP followed by a trillion dollar stimulus bill which was supposed to get us out of our crisis but did not, followed by the nail-in-the-coffin called Obamacare.
This is the failure that has given rise to the Tea Party that is trying to pull the country in a more fiscally responsible direction.
Unemployment has soared. “Shovel-ready was not as … uh … shovel-ready as we expected,” the President tittered with a wide smirk. Revenues stalled so the President extended the hated Bush tax cuts to help keep the economy from slipping into a double-dip recession.
And yet, according to the Congressional Budget Office by the end of this year, our national debt will overtake the size of the entire U.S. economy for the first time in history.
Now the partisan squawkers have taken to their microphones strutting about with their wings and mouth both flapping.
“It’s all Bush’s fault! Look at the deficit he left.”
“You must be kidding. Bush was a piker compared to Obama. Look at the mess we’re in now.”
“Oh yeah, well Bill Clinton balanced the budget.”
“Did not. That was the Republicans’ ‘Contract with America.'”
Stop the blame game.
There is enough blame to go around and around and around. The time for blame is over. It is now time for action.
It is time for bipartisan action – and it will happen. Both parties have the best interest in our country at heart but have a basic philosophical difference as to how to achieve that goal.
First of all the debt ceiling must be raised – and it will be. Massive spending cuts must be enacted including entitlement programs. Tax “loopholes” can be closed to raise revenue without threatening our recovery.
And a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution needs to be included in this bill.
Such an amendment has been in consideration for years. It would require Congress to balance the budget every year. It would limit federal spending to no more than 18% of the GDP and would require a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate to increase taxes.
Whoops! Is that a “god” thing? Sorry. No place for that in modern-day America
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