Raising the debt ceiling

The solution that Democrats seek is more money and more spending. They want to tax individuals and coporations more, so that they can continue spending more to a degree. Take away the tax cuts and Washington bureaucrats will not only be able to spend less, they will be in line to take 100% of the blame if the proposed restructuring somehow fixes the current downslide. If taxes are increased not only will it harm the economy more, but Washington bureaucrats will be able to say that with spending cuts and increased taxes we’ve taken a greater step towards solvency.

The very idea that we should raise the debt ceiling and allow them to spend even more of our money (in the event that tax increases pass) is equivalent to an employee going to their boss and saying, “$1,000.00 a week is not cutting it anymore. I can’t pay my bills.” We, as our representatives’ employers, should have little sympathy to this plea. We’ve placed these legislative representatives in charge of our money, and they cannot manage it properly. We do value these employees though. If we hadn’t, we would not have elected them to do the job. The first thing a responsible employer, who wants to keep an employee asking for a raise, is going to do is go to their employee evaluation sheets. In these numbers, we see 9.2% unemployment, $3.50 a gallon gas, and 14 trillion in debt over the last five years. We basically say, I’m responsible for my end of the business, and looking at your numbers I cannot, in good conscience, give you a raise. I’m sorry, you managed your money so poorly, but my hands are tied here. You’re just going to have to manage your money better. I realize that we’re going to raise the debt ceiling, based on current economic straits, but the question must be asked how did we get to this place in history? It has little to nothing to do with the fact that we’ve been taxed too little.

The spending of Obama and the 111th session of Congress is what got us to this place in history, combined with the Bush administrations spending and the 110th session of Congress. We faced a “crisis” during those terms, after the 9/08 disaster, and they told us that the spending was required to avert greater disasters. The question is was it all necessary?

What would happen if we did nothing, Thomas Sowell asks. Would the numbers really be that different in the end? It’s an impossible question for the current lot of politicians to answer, because it goes against their very nature to do nothing. It would be like asking a bear not to hibernate. The various politicians, political appointees, and the talking heads that backed Bush’s stimulus and Obama’s stimulus point to various jobs created and “saved” as evidence of the fact that their stimulus packages were necessary.  Sowell asks the question what if we hadn’t passed these stimulus packages?  Would the same number of jobs be created and “saved”?  Would we still have 9.2% unemployment, $3.50 a gallon gas, and 14 trillion in debt if we hadn’t passed the stimulus packages?  It would’ve and could’ve been worse Obama and Bush supporters would say. 

Obama and his crew found a way around Sowell’s question by saying that their stimulus package “saved” two to three million jobs. The sneaky thing about “saving” a job is that it’s not quantifiable. Statisticians cannot say that XYZ Corporation would’ve laid off 2,000 employees if it weren’t for the stimulus package. Statisticians can only say that there were ‘X’ number of people unemployed before the stimulus package was passed, and there are ‘X’ number of unemployed after the fact. This allows the wiggle room statement, “but there would’ve been 2-3 million more unemployed citizens were it not for these stimulus packages.” As Thomas Sowell states, it’s impossible to know if that’s a fact in a macroeconomic light. The only concrete thing Obama said to promote his stimulus package was that unemployment would not surpass 8%. We’re now at 9.2%.

With that in mind, what’s the worst thing that could happen if we don’t raise the debt ceiling? I’m sure many have answers. The answer is not that we’d default on our debt. That myth has been debunked. We’ve come to a point in America where if the government doesn’t micro manage and macro manage our lives we feel lost. Government has so infiltrated our lives that if they’re limited in anyway, we fear our own subsequent limitations as a result. Watching movies that depict old Europe, I am sickened by scenes where an individual must remove their hat and approach the king for permission to send their child to college. It was the age of servitude and fealty to an individual born into a certain bloodline. How many citizens must now seek the approval of some bureaucrat to send their kid to a certain school? How many will need to seek government approval for health care in 2014? How much government infiltration must occur before we’re removing our hats to serfs and overlords of the system? Some say that could never happen here. Others say it already is.

Many Democrat arguments rely on the idea that America is the richest country in the world. “As the richest country in the world, we should not have any citizens without health care.” Or, “It’s a shame that any man should go homeless in this, the richest country in the world.” Can we still lay a claim to that idea? I know we have for most of our lives, but is it still the case? When Republicans are in the white house, Republicans maintain that we can withstand some debt. When Democrats are in the white house, Democrats maintain that we can withstand some debt. They say that economic down times will result in some lower tax receipts, and we just need to wait it out. The eventual upswing in the economy will bring money back to Washington, and all this fear mongering will seem silly in hindsight. As open-minded citizens, we must accept this as a possibility, but we’ve never run up a 14 trillion dollar debt before. The consequences of such a debt can only be imagined by those who want to avoid the fear mongering label, but can we still consider ourselves the richest country on earth when it appears as if it’s all built on a house of cards.

Does this “richest country on earth” label constitute that we continue spending the way we have been, or will a decrease in spending prevent us from perpetuating the myth that we are still the richest country in the world? Will restructuring our spending habits harm the myth in ways that leads to an eventual downfall? Obama, and the many presidents before him, speak about the need to instill confidence in the market whenever “crisis” legislation sits before Congress. What is confidence from the market? Is it based on sound fiscal policy, or are they simply asking for government officials to continue perpetuating the myth? Most don’t believe it’s a myth that America is the richest country in the world, but market insiders, and the Asian countries funding our debt, cannot look at the fiscal numbers of the last few generations and believe that they’re all based on sound fiscal policies. A debt like the current debt, and an economic downturn such as the one we’re currently in, doesn’t happen overnight, so what is their confidence and faith based on?

Is the whole “America is the richest country on earth” a house of cards based on market confidence and Chinese and Japanese faith? The other, scarier question is what happens when that confidence and that faith diminish…if it hasn’t already? What happens to the world if the U.S. no longer has the financial power necessary to keep terrorists and other bad guys from flexing their muscles on their locale? Some have said that the reason Japan and China have been willing to finance our debt is because the U.S. sends funds out to various countries to promote what we believe to be stability in that country. It has also been said that the U.S. has an “invisible hand” in world affairs that keeps nefarious dreams of destruction in caves. What happens when that is no longer the case? Do Japan and China begin to see that they’re no longer getting their money’s worth, and does this whole house of cards that we’ve existed on for generations get a couple cards pulled from its foundation?


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