Various circumstances underlie the debt-ceiling fiasco. As the two parties continue to squabble endlessly, it’s important to understand a few pertinent facts.
Tossing out numbers ranging from $1.2 to $3.7 trillion is too mind-boggling for the average American. It actually misses the bigger picture altogether. The bottom line is the staggering reality that the national debt will hover around $20 trillion in 2020 at today’s yearly increases.
Even to pass a proposal cutting $3.7 trillion means $16 trillion of debt in ten years. Using straight talk, the proposed numbers at the most radical level are chicken feed within the bigger picture national debt. Not even close to what’s necessary on any road to solvency today or ever.
Only one lengthy debt-ceiling plan has actually been approved by one of three major players in these endless negotiations. The Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 passed the House in a bipartisan vote last week. It raises the debt-ceiling $2.7 trillion, calls for $6 trillion in spending cuts while advocating (demanding) a balance budget amendment to the Constitution.
Pigs will fly before the Democratic majority in the Senate, much less far-left controlled Barack Obama pass that proposal into law. But whether one is for or against it, CCB would avoid default with federal spending under some semblance of control. That means a road map to permanent spending, tax and debt reduction.
Nothing else, including the president’s own budget proposal in February, has seen the light of day.
Obama and the Democratic majority in the Senate are committed (they won’t admit it publicly) to keeping the federal spending spree wide open to appease their constituency. It is the only hope the president has for re-election next year. Agreeing to any major budget reduction plan will result in the loss of millions of his 2008 votes. To many Obama loyalists, an agreement is a “sellout.”
To absolutely no one’s surprise, Obama added an additional $400 billion in tax increases on individuals at the last minute to kill the deal with Speaker Boehner last week. Behind closed doors and off the record, seasoned Democrats admit it emanated from pressure on the far-left where the campign money strings exisit.
That became the last vestige for any semblance of a budget deal this week.
All that now realistically remains is a short-term band-aid measure to encourage a cooling off period. A a proposal prolonging the next fight past the 2012 elections, would be ideal, but it more likely will be short-term and one to six months. The sum of $1.2 trillion is the figure bantered about on both sides.
This will allow fhe Senate and the president to approve the Cut, Cap and Balance Act before Labor Day next year. A time when the political atmosphere of a presidential election may loosen the objections of those fighting for their political lives.
By September 2012, a thoroughly disgusted electorate will demand an explanation for any further delay to formulate an intellligent plan from both sides of the aisle and the anxious incumbant president.
That should fix the problem in a matter of days and not endless months.
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