Yesterday, I rather dryly covered what I believe are the fundamentals of the current debt ceiling “crisis.” I use crisis in quotes because the rhetoric, hyperbole, and deceit were avoidable some time ago. In fact,for some years legislation raising the debt ceiling was routinely included with the budget authorization legislation. That is not to say the deficit and debt do not portend our doom, only that the raising of the debt ceiling was and is an avoidable crisis.
Each of us who are affected by the possibility of the US’ defaulting on its securities, (the population of the world) have every right to be upset and disappointed by the elected leadership of the US. As I see the situation, the US must and now:
- Raise the debt ceiling by an amount that will support treasury obligations to May 2013, several months past the presidential election. In the interim, let’s force our elected officials to complete legislation that would require a ratio of debt reduction and deficit reduction to be tied to the Gross Domestic Product.
- Cut spending and raise taxes. The proposals to cut spending are all over the place but we do need to provide for those who have been hit hardest by the recession. Those without voice cannot weather all of the necessary cuts. The raise in taxes can easily begin with the restoration of the taxes reduced by the Bush Tax Cuts (even President Bush agreed to the implementation of those taxes after 10 years). Ending overseas wars and engagements should save quite a bit but let’s go slow on the reductions in forces so as not to aggravate unemployment. The US’ armed forces could use the time to train for civilian opportunities, conduct civil affairs exercises in the US, and patrol the southern border.
- Get people back to work and the economy moving. Many jobs aren’t coming back from overseas, so let’s get new ones going. We cannot and probably do not want to stop global trade but if we can buy locally, why not?
- Let’s all get to work on what is urgent and important – the survival of the US. Stop the distractions – stop being distracted by the contrived and deceitful.
Yes, these are simplistic ideas to complex problems but we have to start somewhere. Please note your feelings about this contrived crisis. Remember and read them over before you vote in November 2012.
Please listen to the President this evening. Are you being distracted from things you should be concerned with (Gulf oil pollution, the famine in Somalia, or human trafficking)? Or, are you being given a plan for a future you can look forward to?