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Story Archives: Political solution for a political issue
|Political solution for a political issue|
In a televised speech to the nation Tuesday night, President Obama called out conservative Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He blamed them for the Congress being unable to reach an agreement on raising the federal government's debt limit.
In exchange for supposedly cutting trillions of dollars in government spending over the next 10 years and raising taxes on so-called wealthy Americans and large corporations, Obama's plan calls for the Congress to raise the government's debt limit before it hits a statutory limit next week. The government's accumulated indebtedness stands at about $14 trillion. Obama wants the Congress to raise the debt limit by another $2 trillion-plus.
Some government officials including Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as well as experts in the financial community say the government could default on its debt if the Congress fails to raise the debt limit in the very near future. Obama said Tuesday night that Social Security payments and interest payments on the debt could be at risk if the debt limit isn't raised.
The presidency is above making veil threats, but that's exactly what Obama did when he made those irresponsible statements Tuesday night, including calling out members of the Congress who believe he's wrong to pursue burying the nation deeper in debt.
It is important to remember, though, that raising the debt limit would simply allow the government to make payments on indebtedness the government has already incurred. Raising the debt limit does not mean the government could continue to borrow money forever.
Yet, the political debate over raising the debt limit is simply that – it's political and has very little to do with dealing in reality.
The reality of it all is the U.S. government cannot continue to operate as it has since the mid 1960s when President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the Great Society to America. Make no mistake, the Great Society laid the groundwork for the government to evolve into the nanny state that it is today, or a cure-all for the people's ills.
And we cannot afford it unless the American people – the middle class, too – are willing to embrace far higher taxes to sustain government spending at it exists today.
It has become painfully obvious to us that the Congress and the Obama administration are incapable of finding some middle ground to allow the debt limit to be raised to meet the government's obligations in the short-term while a plan is put in place to rein in government spending over the long haul. Raising taxes is the deal breaker for those members of the House who were elected from congressional districts where the Tea Party plays a significant role in the political process. They refuse to entertain any increase in taxes.
The government's financial obligations, though, or expenditures the government has already embraced, must be met whether we like it or not. Not paying the bills isn't an option unless the nation is willing to signal to the world that the United States' word is no good.
That should not be interpreted as endorsement for raising taxes to aid the government's position in dealing with the debt crisis. Instead, we would like to see the Congress approve a minor increase in the debt limit, or one that would allow the government to pay its bills for the time being.
Meanwhile, let's push forward and put the issue to rest once and for all and let the American people decide in the 2012 elections what they want from their government. Let's have an open and honest discussion about the direction the nation should take in the future.
It's a simple choice.
We can embrace higher taxes and an out-of-control federal government or we can choose a different path to pursue.
After all, the debt crisis is a political issue. Let's decide it politically.