The President is still not happy. In the recent fiscal cliff deal he got, taxes went up versus cuts 41 to 1. Now he’s warning Congress about not raising the debt limit. “We are not a deadbeat nation.” he says. We are however a nation with spending habits which appear to be of a clinical level of concern.
But as we all know, the best thing to do with someone (or a nation) with a severe spending problem, someone with an obsession, an addiction, is to give them yet another credit card. This “solves” the problem until the limit on that card is reached, which is nearly instantaneous.
Obama is of the opinion that since we are not yet burning furniture from the Lincoln bedroom to heat the White House, that everything is OK. Just extend the credit limit. Who’s going to close the card anyway? We issue the card. We can work this for a few more years (at least 4) before people start leaving en masse for Canada. Interest rates will never go up. We will never see inflation.
The truth is I don’t think the president really understands the fire he’s playing with here. If he does then it’s even worse. Given his penchant for executive power maybe it really is the latter. Check out this quote from today’s conference;
“If the House and the Senate wants to give me the authority so they don’t have to take these tough votes… I’m happy to take it,” he said. But, Obama added: “There are no magic tricks here, no loopholes. There’s no easy way out.”
I’ll bet he would be happy to take it. Take it. Even if it was in jest (and I don’t think it was) I think the quote above offers a great window into Obama’s thinking. Power, always more power.
I suggest that we allow a government shutdown. All the people who freaked out in 1994 when the House forced a shutdown but now see why we should have started cutting government back then, I say settle in and ride out any storm. Call the President on this. It is only when the American people say that they have had enough, and that they are ready to endure some pain, that we are ever going to get this thing under control. The politicians wouldn’t know what to do if the American people just said, “Do it.”
They’d get their act together pretty damn quick I’ll bet.
Are a majority of the American people willing to do this? I have my doubts, but I think it is the only way Washington is ever going to realize that we are serious. That means our bond rating gets hit. That means social security checks are delayed (I promise they will make sure this happens so as to inflict maximum pain). National Parks will close, and so on. Every high profile government service which enjoys a large constituency will be hit first.
The president and the those who want to raise the debt limit (and there are many Republicans who are also in this camp) are the ones taking the country hostage, not those who wan’t to address the addiction.
Hopefully we won’t have to shut everything down. (I guess.) But after the President got all that he wanted earlier this month, after the president got a fiscal cliff deal which gave more in subsidies to favored companies than it raised in revenue, he has no business lecturing about being a “deadbeat nation.”
So we should just commit fiscal suicide instead then Mr. President? You hooked up your corporate buddies to the tune of $68 billion a year, and the people who don’t want to raise the debt limit are the irresponsible ones? I don’t think so.
Many people have called for years, for decades, for this country to get its fiscal act together. For it not to spend the way it has. We wouldn’t be talking about any kind of default at all had the powers that be not always and unceasingly expanded the footprint of the state.
You have plenty of money Mr. President. Start cutting.