As the Republicans drive us closer to the cliff of financial ruin, the fact is that the debt ceiling needs to be raised to pay for what has already been budgeted. Remember the government shut down crisis in December? Not only is this crisis a Tea Party wet dream, but the Democrats don’t get off the hook. Who’s bright idea came up with the need to cut the deficit while the economy wobbles after the gut punch in 2008 that led to 9%+ unemployment, tanked the housing market, and the largest income gap since 1928. What we are seeing isn’t just a GOP vs. Democrat battle, it’s the tyranny of the money majority.
The debt ceiling has to be raised to pay for the budget that was passed in December. This is similar to paying your credit car bill a month after using it to buy something. If you don’t pay your credit card bill on time or at all you get socked with a massive interest rate increase. That will happen for a start if the ceiling isn’t raised. It could also lead to grandma not getting her social security check and the weak recovery we have been under will bottom out. Then 9% unemployment would be seen as the good old days.
The other issue is both parties are intent on cutting the budget to reduce the deficit even when history has shown doing that when the economy is weak leads to more misery. Why do they want to cut the social safety net when that isn’t the problem with the deficit?
Here is graph that was in the New York Times this past week:
As you can see the main component of the deficit is the Bush tax cuts and fighting two wars. As the story accompanying the graph says:
A few lessons can be drawn from the numbers. First, the Bush tax cuts have had a huge damaging effect. If all of them expired as scheduled at the end of 2012, future deficits would be cut by about half, to sustainable levels. Second, a healthy budget requires a healthy economy; recessions wreak havoc by reducing tax revenue. Government has to spur demand and create jobs in a deep downturn, even though doing so worsens the deficit in the short run. Third, spending cuts alone will not close the gap. The chronic revenue shortfalls from serial tax cuts are simply too deep to fill with spending cuts alone. Taxes have to go up.
I can only think we are seeing the tyranny of the money majority. The politicians in Washington know they won’t personally be hurt if the economy tanks again. I doubt they have ever been unemployed or dependent on the social safety net. Millionaires are like that. Biased toward poor people because they lack experience with them or about them.
How else can you imagine the ease they seem to be wanting to put grandma and the poor in danger of economic ruin?
In 2004, then Vice President Cheney, when told of the coming economic crisis due to the massive tax cuts, said “…Reagan proved deficits don’t matter…”.
It seems to be all a game to them depending on what the corporate interests are at the time and it makes me sick. DC is using the debit ceiling debate to hurt the middle class, the elderly, and those less able to afford the spending cuts.