The Debt Ceiling Debate

January/19/2011 16:51PM
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A decision must be made soon whether to raise the debt ceiling. Republicans are trying to formulate a position on this. Last time they voted against this, they shut down the government, and Newt Gingrich lost his job as the Speaker of the House. This is causing a great deal of angst in the party.

It seems like courage and common sense are totally lacking in the pre-debate debate.

If you are a corporation and you are facing sure bankruptcy, stern measures are taken. Expenses are slashed, parts of the business are sold off, unprofitable lines are dropped. Goals are set to balance cash flow with expenses so the company can survive. It’s no fun to eliminate jobs, squeeze long-time suppliers, shrink the business, raise prices to good customers, sell assets, eliminate dividends, etc. But, it’s done.

If you are a household facing financial calamity you take severe measures. You drop cable and all expenses you can avoid. Millions of Americans have dropped their cable in the past three years. All frills are eliminated. Dining out, no more. Movies and entertainment, done. Coupons are used at the grocery. Every step you can take to keep the ship of family business afloat get taken.

If you are the US Government, and you know you are going to hit a debt ceiling in March of 2011, you increase spending to record levels. You know you can just raise the ceiling and it’s business as usual. What it if it weren’t? The voters in November told Washington, that’s what they wanted. What would you do it you had to live within a budget?

Goolsby, the former economic whiz for Obama(economic whiz and Obama may be an oxymoron) says we can’t keep the debt ceiling. Did we elect Goolsby? He says it would cause global chaos. Aren’t we causing global chaos with our spending. The Chinese have already lectured us about cutting spending. They are our primary banker. Is global chaos worse than domestic chaos? We can still pay our creditors their interest if we stay within the debt ceiling. There is enough cash to do that. There would be enough cash to do most things. We might have to let some government workers take a little time off. Since most of them seldom come to work anyway(the absentee rate is unreal, look it up), who cares?

Why isn’t this debate happening now? Now, when measures can be taken to cut expenses and live within the current debt ceiling. Because there is no intent by the Republicans to stop raising the ceiling. If there were, that debate would be front and center giving the government time to start cutting. Slashing would be more like it.

In the words of Rahm Emanuel, never let a good crisis go to waste. This is a good crisis. If the Republicans go on record to vote against the raise and the Democrats block slashing costs, they are clearly on record as the party that shuts down the government. If Obama wants to demonstrate he is moving to the center, let him jump on this bandwagon. Let him be a part of the solution. He ran up the tab with his reckless spending, let him roll it back in response to the November election. Let him make the compromise this time.

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