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A Savage Debate over Debt

July 27, 2011

“the Boehner plan would essentially force policymakers to choose among cutting the incomes and health benefits of ordinary retirees, repealing the guts of health reform and leaving an estimated 34 million more Americans uninsured, and savaging the safety net for the poor — or letting the nation default early next year.” – CBPP

During the current Debt Ceiling debate the President has been reasonable. I’m sorry, the truth is, the President has been capitulatory. He has offered House Republicans and their Tea Party constituency $4 trillion dollars in cuts to the programs that make up what has been known as the Social Safety Net, but they refused him. He conceded to having talks with them at the White House, where from all sources present the general concensus was that he offered them an 80/20 deal to their advantage. They refused him. Now Speaker Boehner has offered a plan that has been forecasted to “savage the safety net for the poor and indigent.

Welcome to the America of the 21st Century. The unemployed spread across the land. Optimism in scarce supply, and a governing body that can’t get out of its own way to do what is right for any segment of the country. Exactly when do the grown ups show up. The debt ceiling is a manufactured debate, caused by a political faction that is intransagent and uncompromising. A faction that is fine with the wealth gap of the country being the highest it’s been in 25 years. A faction that is fine with letting the house burn inorder to gut the social programs that ensure the country provides a living future for its elderly and poor. A faction that has decided to adhere to arbitrary committments like “pledges to not increase taxes”, or to produce a “cut-cap and balance” bill connected to the debt ceiling. 

I usually try to commentate and not prescribe, but this debate has gone on long enough. The debt ceiling needs to be raised apart from any talk of the deficit. There should be no controversy regarding the debt limit, the republicans raised the debt limit under Bush constantly. The real crisis in this country is an unemployment crisis. But as long as we keep dealing with the debt, before we address the dwindling revenue source, i.e. employed tax payers, the bullet keeps missing the mark.

I don’t care at this point if the President wins the adult battle of being the most reasonable. I don’t care that he’s winning on the substance of the issues – at this point he, and yes I mean President Obama directly, needs to lead the way. Lay out the plan, give the country something to rally behind and lead. Even if it means going the 14th amendment route.

No more arguing with the petulant. When I was young, children were regulated to the kids table – they didn’t get seats at the big one.

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