It’s Not Rocket Surgery
Government spending is out of control in the United States. It has been for decades. Everyone knows this, but no one wants to do the hard work of trying to solve the problem. Faced with the need to raise the debt ceiling, some Republicans, despairing of ever seeing Senate Democrats fulfill their constitutional requirements to put forth a budget, saw this as an opportunity to enforce fiscal sanity on the pigs and curs who masquerade as public servants in Washington.
Unfortunately, virtually every Democrat, from President Hosni Mubarack Obama (D-Chi) on down, saw this as an opportunity to game the system, to foment class warfare, and to so terrify seniors and the ignorant and unreasoning who constitute their base as to possibly retain the White House and win back the Nancy Pelosi’s job. Ironic, really, that Obama should demonize those who use private jets as a ploy to get Madame Speaker back into her own government issued one.
Aided as they are by a compliant media, the Democrats seem to be winning the war of words. The American people, of course, are losing the battle, but that’s our role in the greater scheme of things. We were put here on earth to serve those who work for the government. By clinging to their opposition to any tax increases Republicans are allowing themselves to be variously painted as extremists, handmaidens to rapacious millionaires and billionaires, and plutocrats content to watch children and seniors starve to death.
This broad-stroked slander is effective to a population of cretinous Nancy Grace viewers, of pop culture devotees so desperate to consume their third-rate entertainments that they have to stream them directly to their pads, pods, tablets and phones. It doesn’t matter that there are sound reasons why the debt issue shouldn’t be resolved through tax increases. This isn’t a revenue problem, it is a spending problem. Federal spending is running at 24% of GDP and above, which is historically high. What is needed are common sense cutbacks in spending, and reasonable and rational entitlement reforms.
This is why Republicans refuse to consider raising taxes. Of course, they are wrong. Taxes will have to be raised eventually, because the problem isn’t the deficit, the problem is the debt. The debt must be reduced, and that can only be done by raising taxes, not just on “millionaires and billionaires,” but on everybody. It is time for everyone who has a job to start helping to draw down the mountain of debt brought on by our national profligacy. When Obama gives lip service to the idea that the crisis requires shared sacrifice, he means only the rich should pay more. In fact, we all should, for the sake of national honor, and for the sake of our children and our children’s children. But we can’t start paying more until our elected leaders start acting like adults.
Thus Republicans are unable to give on the tax front, because Democrats can never be trusted when they speak about spending cuts. In this case, led by their mendicant in chief they are even more egregious than usual. When Obama announced his willingness to consider entitlement reform, he expected Republicans to respond by agreeing to draconian new tax increases. They refused to budge. Essentially they told the President they didn’t believe him. And rightfully so. If Obama had been serious about entitlement reform, he could have brought a concrete proposal to the table. Instead, he expected his adversaries to trust him. This, of course after a month of highly partisan, disturbingly personal Presidential attacks against them.
If the President and his hacks are unwilling to seriously negotiate spending reductions, Republicans have no choice but to let the debt deadline expire. The idea that this would result in default is ludicrous. It would only result in default if the Treasury Department stopped paying interest on the debt. Federal revenues are more than sufficient to meet those costs. The problem is that spending would have to be curtailed by 40%, immediately and irrevocably. Perhaps this is the best solution. Perhaps the House should pass a resolution instructing Treasury not to default, but to live within its means.
It would, of course, be better for both parties to start acting like grownups and come up with the sort of reforms and spending cuts necessary to bring spending under control. Will there be problems? Yes, there will. Many people will face hardships, especially the hundreds of thousands of government employees who will have to be let go. They will wake up to the harsh truth that in the real world there is no need for their particular skill sets; no one needs someone able to coordinate an exploratory meeting to discuss setting a budget for a series of public hearings concerned with setting the budget for a commission on reducing the deficit. In the real world the typical government employee is on a par with the typical inner city denizen, but without the street smarts.
But as our President so nobly exhorts, we need to pull off the band aid, and to eat our peas. Let’s do him the honor of believing he really means it.