I have a question for all those who say we have to let the government default because that is the only way to keep it from spending more than it takes in.
Where were all these people all these years?
Did they vote? Who did they vote for?
There are very few in Washington with clean hands in the dirty deficit spending scandal — I don’t know, maybe Ron Paul, the libertarian.
I suspect that a lot of the so-called conservatives were content to run up the yearly deficits and the overall debt (what is it? $14 trillion), such as was done under George W. Bush, as long as they could hold onto their tax deductions (tax shifts to someone else) and their tax avoidance schemes. But now that the revenues have dropped so dramatically because of the Great Recession (and didn’t the economists tell us not long ago that it was over? What happened?) the so-called conservatives are born again on fiscal responsibility.
But yes, something drastic needs to take place. The government should not even think about spending more than it takes in, except that right now what reasonable choice is there without wreaking havoc on an entrenched but vital system, our economy and that of the world?
The story in the news today is that if no agreement is raised on the debt ceiling and if the president himself does not take unilateral action to raise it, the government will have to go into triage and decide who gets paid and who does not. There will not be nearly enough money to pay all of its day to day, month to month obligations. The thinking is that Social Security checks will continue to be issued, because that is politically sensitive to the extreme. Even before them the bondholders will be paid, because if they were not the government could never issue bonds again (or at least interest rates would have to be sky high due to risk) to borrow the money it borrows to pay the bills.
After that, who knows?
I think the president should make an executive order to raise the ceiling for now to avoid making Uncle Sam‘s promise to pay worthless, which would seem to destroy our whole economic system.
But really, hard decisions on spending must be made and made soon and nothing should be off the table.
Nothing is really free in this life.
But the strategy of the far right for a long time now has been to starve the beast. If you can’t get the votes or support of the American people to get rid of various things such as social programs and environmental regulations, just cut off the funding somehow. Never vote for new taxes.
We have reached the ultimate starve-the-beast moment or almost, it seems.
The ultra conservatives are wrong when they suppose a government can be run and civilization preserved without sufficient taxation and the liberals are wrong, wrong, wrong, when they just say: “let the rich pay”
All have to pay and we all have to make tough decisions.