Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Debt Ceiling... The Next Political Crisis?

The debt ceiling is quickly approaching as the next major hurdle in Washington D.C. The Republicans just gave the President almost what he wanted as they once again kicked the can down the road. He didn't get his military spending cuts but he got most of the revenue (translated: taxes) he wanted with the promise of seeking more in the future.

Recently, within the last few months, the President made his ambitions known that he would like to have complete freedom when it comes to spending and borrowing - a blank check that he could write whenever without worrying about the debt ceiling. There are actually some people in this country who believe that would be a good idea even though we are currently nearly $17 trillion in debt. I have trouble understanding it.

When you spend money you don't have and "borrow" money you know you cannot pay back the legal term is larceny. If you max out your credit cards and can't make your payments the credit card company doesn't normally say "We're going to extend your credit again because we know you really need to keep buying things." They say "Your credit is suspended until such time as you reduce your deficit." So why is it our government (Democrats mostly but both parties are somewhat addicted to spending) think the spending isn't really a problem other than an inconvenience?

The Republicans signed a financial deal that raised everyone's taxes and did absolutely nothing to cut spending. President Obama denies we have a spending problem and chastized Speaker Boehner for even saying it out loud. What kind of leadership is that? What planet does the President live on most days?

There are liberal economists, Charles Krugman for one, who truly believe we can spend our way out of debt and into prosperity so long as we rob as much money from the people as possible. And there are some others who actually agree with that notion, even though it's been proved that the tax increases the President wanted would fund the government for a whopping eight days. As we used to say in my neighborhood when I was a kid... "There's something bad wrong with that!"

The Obama administration has accumulated just over $1 trillion in new debt every year since he took office. If that spending continues, in the next 10 years our debt will increase by at least $10 trillion but more likely by $11 trillion. The tax increases the President got in last week's deal will yield an estimated $600 billion in the next 10 years. And just the other day the Social Security Administration reported they are projecting an $800 billion shortage in 10 years. Makes you feel all warm, fuzzy and confident, doesn't it?

Increasing taxes in this country without meaningful spending cuts will do nothing but slightly slow the increasing debt. We cannot sustain the massive entitlement programs in this country even with the tax increases. The sooner the President and the Democrats figure that out the sooner we can, maybe, pull ourselves back from the brink of econmic disaster. The way we're headed now - economic failure is not too far in the future.

In the words of Dennis Miller... "Of course that's just my opinion - I could be wrong."

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