THE WISDOM OF INCREASING THE DEBT LIMIT

It looks as if for the eighth time in the past thirty some years, Congress and the White House to make the decision to increase the amount allowed of the national debt. In nearly every time the debt limit was increased, many members of Congress voted against it. This has always been a vote to make themselves appear to be fiscally responsible to the voters at home. In reality, they make the negative vote only after they are assured the legislation will pass. Heck, even President Obama in 2006 voted against it while serving in the Senate. He will also tell you he did it only after knowing it was going to pass. He cast his negative vote to “show how serious he is” to cut the debt and deficits.

This time around, there are many new members of Congress elected under the Tea-Bagger banner. These people campaigned on 30 second sound bytes and bumper sticker politics. I would say not even one of these new conservative members has any clue at all of what it takes to responsibly govern the country. Governance is not as simple as throwing out 30 second attacks or obstructing the business of the government. When Speaker Boehner takes these empty-headed idiots under his wing to try to teach them the ways of governance, hopefully, some of them will see the light.

The new members not withstanding, are also a part of a little larger group of legislators who believe taking care of this problem is as simple as their campaign sound bytes, “no taxes and smaller government”. In a brief look at contemporary American history, you will find the size of the federal government always grows under republican leadership. You will also find that in two of the three most recent republican White Houses, taxes were cut and the economy went into free-fall tanking mode. Under both Reagan and W, the middle class shrunk, unemployment sky rocketed, and the deficit exploded! The GNP shrunk precipitously under both administrations. So, as the current bunch of republican members of Congress pine for those days to return, they are in for a rude awakening!

If this bunch in Congress today wants to vote down the debt limit increase, they will not only bear the wrath of the American citizens, but they will also be responsible to the entire globe for the collapse of the world’s economy. It’s just this simple, if the debt limit is not raised, and we are about 400 billion dollars from that limit, we default on our debt, and full faith and credit in the United States will be destroyed. As the global economic leader, if our credit his ruined and our economy tanks, so does the world’s economy. This is what these members of Congress don’t understand. They can’t look past their own “nationalistic rhetoric” and see what the consequences will be. They are, in effect, “unpatriotic”. They intend to put their own agenda, once again, ahead of the health and well-being of their own country!

Most members of Congress understand the country’s economy is in a serious mess. It is, in fact so serious, that these short-sighted “quick-fixes” won’t work. The fact of the matter is, in the eight weeks or so until Congress has to vote on increasing the debt limit, there simply is not time to implement programs to address the rising debt. We all know that the top priority for long-term repair is a complete overhaul and re-write of the tax codes. Simply stated, in my opinion, a shorter and easier book of tax codes needs to be done. I believe lower taxes for Americans can be achieved by simply writing a graduated tax scale, lower for those in the lower and middle class, then ratchet up the rate as the income levels increase. This will still result in lower taxes for the wealthy because all loop holes need to be closed, and enforcement of tax payment needs to happen. Business and corporate tax rates can also be reduced simply by closing all money and income hiding loop holes and severely penalizing entities and/or individuals who try hiding earned income in off shore banks. If a person or business earns money in this country, they must pay taxes on every cent of it! Pretty simple, right? It’s time to eliminate blanket “tax cuts” for businesses and individuals earning over a certain dollar amount of annual income or profit. It’s already been proven for many years tax cuts to spur business doesn’t work. The only result has been a few individuals adding those tax saved dollars to their own bottom line nets. They don’t expand their businesses nor do they hire additional staff. It’s joke and a sham what K Street, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Fox News, and the republican party have done to flim-flam the American public. The real incentive for businesses to help make them competitive in the global market place is tax credits for performance. In other words, do the job, and earn the tax breaks. Completely transparent and 100% accountable!

Now this group of conservatives in Congress wants to repeal the health care reform bill passed last year. Another indication that they have no regard for even their own constituency. Americans like the health care reform and do not wish to have it repealed. Try telling a cancer patient they can’t switch insurance coverage because of their “pre-existing condition”. Secondly, the Congressional Budget Office(CBO) scored the health care reform bill as a deficit reducer to the tune of 100 billion dollars the first decade and over a trillion dollars in the second decade. So, tell me again the republicans are serious about tackling the deficit!

Another indication the Congress is not serious about tackling the deficit. They just black-mailed the President into extending the Bush tax cuts. Here are the consequences of this move, the rich get richer, the middle class gets squeezed more, and almost a trillion more dollars gets added to the deficit. So, tell me again the republicans are serious about tackling the deficit!

Until the executive and legislative branches decide the idea to cut spending needs to be focussed first on the biggest most fraudulent abuser of American tax dollars, the Pentagon, serious spending cuts can’t be accomplished. The Pentagon flushes over 700 billion dollars annually for what. There is no accounting. When was the last time the Defense budget was subject to audit? I can’t remember. Don’t forget what President Eisenhower said on his leave from office; “be wary of the military-industrial complex”. What he meant was this, do not give the Pentagon a blank check, which Congress and the White House do every year, and be mindful and account for all defense ties to the private sector, i.e. the continuing non-compete contracts Haliburton gets from DOD. Because there is no accounting or auditing going on in Pentagon matters, the DOD is jammed full of fraudulent expenditures. Why not start here? Because the “flag waving” by politicians blinds them from reality.

No, it’s easier for them, particularly the conservatives, to attack the entitlement programs. Social Security, Medicare, and aid to states such as Medicaid programs are easier marks. With the conservative mood in the country today, it’s so easy for the republicans to vilify Social Security and Medicare as being “fraud-filled welfare programs”, that only serve to keep people out of the work force and pay for their own medical insurance. Social Security is a promise to Americans from Americans to take care of the aged and ailing who have no other means. It’s a social contract. Medicare was started as way to help Americans deal with rising medical care costs and the inability to afford private health insurance coverage. Ony the right-wing can vilify such noble and humane programs. Is there waste in Medicare? Certainly. Let’s got after the medical industry and insurance industry, the root cause of all of the short-coming of Medicare.

Okay, so I’ve laid out the wisdom and reason for raising the debt limit. Hopefully it makes sense to even the most conservative of my readers. I have also laid out the common sense ways to start turning the economy around while pointing out the problems with the other side of the issue. This is not going to be easy, the pressures from special interest groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street, K Street, labor, and even the SCOTUS will throw out road blocks as quickly as they can. It is, a “me first” society, and therefore the portions of the society which have made huge gains will stop at nothing to prevent anything from impeding their progress to more personal power and wealth. It’s going to take a great deal of courage and intestinal fortitude for this new Congress and White House to avoid these pressures and get on with the business of governing and moving the country ahead for all, not just the few. Thanks for today’s read and I look forward to your comments.
Cam Obert

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One Response to “THE WISDOM OF INCREASING THE DEBT LIMIT”

  1. tomobert63 Says:

    Correct again, me boy!

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