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Action, not antics, needed on debt ceiling

Posted: July 29, 2011 - 9:04am

Right now our country seems to be at an impasse — Congress must act on the debt ceiling issue before Aug. 2, but solutions are few and progress slow.

We have no one but ourselves to blame. It’s a problem that we have seen coming for some time now, yet our politicians didn’t want to touch it as evidenced by the fact that the debt limit has been increased 10 times since 2001.

Last year, we ran a $1.29 trillion deficit and now sit with total national debt of $14.3 trillion, a ceiling that was set in 2010. As a nation, we now borrow more than 40 cents of each dollar we spend.

If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, the federal government would need to start choosing what to fund and what not to fund and might also delay interest payments on Treasury bonds.

A federal default could put us on the path to financial panic, leading to a weakening of the nation’s credit rating, slashing the value of the dollar and stymie the already crawling national economy.

Although some on both sides of the partisan divide will argue different points to the consequences of not raising the ceiling, there are obviously going to be consequences, the extent of which no one is really certain.

Yet, legislators seem to want to keep playing politics in Washington D.C. despite this fact. Frankly it’s nothing new and that’s what makes it so disgusting.

Both sides are holding out for a deal that best meets their ideals, what they promised voters or what best accommodates their egos. They seem to be missing the big picture.

We need less bickering and more compromise. We need less delayed voting sessions and more action. Something must be done. It hasn’t been done yet and perhaps it will never be, but our representatives need to wake up, break down the walls that have existed in politics for decades that have landed us in this situation and fix the problem.

Certainly we can’t speak to the minor details of what’s been proposed, but it’s clear we should only raise the debt if we also make certain we start living within our means. We can’t keep borrowing, especially at the rate of 40 cents of each dollar.

There is, however, a silver lining to the issue — it has brought to light an issue many would rather turn a blind eye to.

It shows just how irresponsible our legislators have been in managing our nation’s finances. We share part of the blame, too, because we elected them into office.

Also, what is the point of having a debt ceiling if we keep raising it only to promise that next year will be when we finally live within our means?

It is time for all Americans to bite the bullet now instead of letting the ballooning continue. Our shoulders can only carry so much and the load is already burdensome.

The solution is complex, but it certainly will involve both tax increases and cuts to the federal government. But the details can’t be ironed out until our politicians quit playing games.

In short: Our legislators need to start thinking past the next election cycle, stifle the partisan antics, compromise and find a reasonable solution to the debt ceiling issue keeping in mind the way we have lived for some time — borrowing without fear of consequences — can no longer continue.

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EstherM 04/16/12 - 01:29 pm
The government needs to stop

The government needs to stop wasting 700 billion a year on "defense" which really means "offense" because of all the wars we've started in the last twenty years. We spend 7 times more than the #2 spender on defense, China, which spends a meager 100 million. Cut the military budget and you cut the deficit, which in turn would allow us to start working our way out of our 15 trillion dollar debt.

akal 04/16/12 - 03:45 pm

they can't, that would stop the welfare for the military industrial complex. as most of our politicians are invested there it might hurt their bottom line. they will print more fiat currency and take it out of OUR pockets instead.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 04/16/12 - 09:40 pm
What a wonderful world it would be

What a wonderful world it would be, if america really was at a measley $14.3 Trillion Total national debt. Actually, ARE True National debt is over $100 Trillion, it's just a numbers hide and seek thingy so WE THE PEOPLE don't revolt and hang every politician nation wide if we knew the truth.
We are at an any moment level Red for a Global economic crash, which is exactly whats gonna happen when America is called out about OUR worthless dollar and OUR national debt that could never be paid in thousands of years. When the deflated dollar is no longer the Global currency of choice and a New currency is chosen America will be just as Obama desires us to be another 3rd world country that belongs to a United world order.
We will all be just as he claims he is a global citizen of the world, not American.

We are in so much trouble with this chosen one hearlded as the messiah that would lead us into that OWO, and has almost got the job done with the total destruction of EVERYTHING.
The Obamanation of desolation chosen one is getting-r-done. Hope ya like this new hope and change thingy to believe in which is him and his Dream act of global citizenry for all.

Jeremiah 6:17

kenai_kid 04/16/12 - 09:46 pm
Defense spending

Your facts are a bit off (as a result of a typo I am sure). China spends far more than $100 million. The United States spends 4.7% of it GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and China spends under half that at 2.0%.
In 2011, the US spent $711B and China doled out $143B. Reflected in per capta terms, this would amount to roughly $2100 and $74 per person respectively.
The number that stands out is the total expenditures for the world in terms of defense. Collectively, the US accounts for 43% of the total WORLD defense expenditures (percentage of all monies spent on defense by all countries) and China accounts for 7.3%. We are truly the worlds war chest!
In regards to cutting the deficit by cutting defense spending. This is somewhat true. However, one must consider this; not all the $$$ are spent on tanks, ships and jets. Air conditioners, water pumps, bed linens etc are all expenditures of the military budget. You cut military spending, you cut jobs. If you cut jobs, you cut tax revenue. If you cut tax revenue the deficit grows. Of the $711B spent in 2011, about 60% ($412B) was spent on what are essentially non military goods most of which are ironically manufactured in the US. In essence, akal's post holds some merit.
We have woven what has become a tangled web.

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