Debt ceiling battle…the national soap operaby Hugh Holub on Jul. 14, 2011, under politics
Who needs soap opera when we have the gigantic fight going on in Washington over whether or not to raise the national debt ceiling.
Republicans will only agree to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion if an equal amount of budget cuts are agreed to.
Democrats have proposed budget cuts of something like $1.5 trillion, but want revenue increases to make up the difference.
Republicans say no tax increases.
Democrats suggest getting rid of a lot of the loopholes in the tax code such as the deduction for corporate jets.
Republicans think eliminating loopholes for their corporate buddies is a tax increase because Grover Norquist says so.
Democrats even put reducing future Social Security benefits on the table…providing the Republican would agree to get rid of the tax loopholes.
Liberal Democrats immediately went ballistic that “their” president would be willing to throw old people under the bus.
Conservative Republicans started a fight within the GOP over how close to the edge would they be willing to push the country to get the maximum budget cuts with no “tax increases”.
House Majority leader Eric Cantor pushed so hard at a meeting at the White House that President Obama abruptly got up and left the meeting.
The deadline to approval an increase in the debt ceiling is August 2nd.
Tea party favorite Michelle Bachmann thinks the crisis about failing to increase the debt limit is overstated and seems to want to drive the country off the cliff just to see what happens.
Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell offered a deal to extend the debt limit and then dump the decisions about what spending to cut squarely in Obama’s lap so he’d get the blame for whomever’s ox was gored.
House Speaker John Boehner seems to have been eclipsed by Cantor’s hard line position against Obama. Then again, Boehner, and old Washington hand, may be just giving Cantor enough rope, a tree and a horse to hang himself with.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi is off somewhere whining about staying true to Democratic Party principles, whatever those are.
Moody’s issues a dire warning about downgrading US Treasury debt ratings.
China begins to think holding US debt is sort of like how we see owning a Chinese-made toy.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans are watching all of this wondering things like….
….if the Republicans succeed in not increasing the debt limit will I get my government check after August 3rd?
…why should we get hit with reductions in our pet government programs if big business keeps getting tax breaks that we don’t get?
…but if we give the feds more money in tax revenues is that not like giving a junkie more crack?
…and since a lot of people had their credit wrecked in the financial collapse, job losses, reduction in home equity values and all the other fallout from Wall Street’s orgy of greed why should we care about the national credit rating?
My guess is most people don’t adhere to a strictly “Republican” or “Democrat” view of the problem or the menu of solutions.
We’ve got to cut spending, no question.
But lets not make the decision on whose ideology wins the fight….lets cut everything.
We’ve got to fix the tax code and stop giving away potential tax revenues because some special interests were successful in getting tax code loopholes they obviously do not want to give up.
If we’re going to feel some pain…everyone should.
Why should I give up my mortgage interest deduction so some corporate fat cat can write off his jet?
Maybe getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction for mortgage amounts over $1 million could work if the corporate fat cats could only get airplane deductions for propeller driven aircraft.
Who makes propeller driven airplanes? Do we?
But, as the show goes on in Washington, it seems like everyone is playing for air time on the network news and cable talk shows.
Meanwhile, millions of us have got to get dressed and go to work or look for work. Tonight we will see act 42 in the DC “showdown at the debt ceiling corral”.
A friend described the process of negotiating the debt limit increase as “you put a Republican and a Democrat in a sinking boat and they argue about whose fault it was the boat is sinking and then realize neither of them know how to swim.”