The Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling – Take Two

Economics politics

The Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling – Take Two

Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling – Take Two

As always, it is painful to write in such terms as “Us vs. Them” however when one considers the mark of a man or women as the measure of their actions, the actions of this self identified group of “Tea Party Republicans” are evidence of a general contempt for those tired, hungry, and poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free that we have so hubby accepted as citizens of this, the United States of America. It is with that in mind that I do call out “they” and “them” as an internal enemy to the ideals and principals, a cancer to our great nation.

Once more we are witness to the effects of a clique of ideologues who’ve conned a gullible electorate into handing them the power to literally wreck the economy, not only of the United States, but potentially of the whole world. This, even though the substance of the Republican campaign in the last election, that is to say, the promises they’d made about all the things they were determined to take away from the American people if elected, cost them the Presidency and seats in both houses of the Congress. That very cabal of Tea Party Republicans now threatens to raise the taxes on every class of American if they can’t prevent the tax cuts for the richest 2% of this country. That very same 2% who’s income and worth had risen by 300% during the Bush era, while the rest of Americans saw their incomes lay stagnant.

If that’s not bad enough, that same clique has now voiced their determination not to allow the nation’s debt ceiling to rise, unless they’re permitted to take huge chunks out of the entitlement benefits now allowed to the middle class and poorest of our people.

Let it be clear as to what they’re actually saying. By their willingness to obstruct the raising of our government’s debt ceiling, they are actually threatening to stop the United States from paying for the commitments that congress has already made! In short, they are threatening to stop making payments on the debt of the country! This was the same threat that was made a year ago, when it was by that threat alone, that for the first time in our history, the United States lost its triple-“A” rating. Now it must be understood, that through that loss, it has since cost the American people billions of dollar in higher interest payments – billions of dollars which have actually been added to our federal debt. That is, billions of debt which was created literally out of the mouths of the tea party ideologues, and which bought this country and its people absolutely nothing! And so it is that the Federal Debt, which has been their screaming point for years, is even now continuing to be bloated by the Tea Party’s own obstructionism!

Worse still, they are threatening to play that game once more, but now against a President who has determined that we will not yield to such blackmail (this time). The President, taking note of the current polls which show that more than 2/3 of the electorate agree with dropping the tax benefits for people making over $250,000 per year, has now told that obstructionist clique (in regard to the fiscal cliff) to effectively… “take a long walk on a short pier”. Neither will he tolerate the gutting of Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, under the threat of failure to pay this nation’s just debts, and pay them on time.

Yet throughout this outrageous debate, neither the President nor the Democrats in general have voiced the single most powerful argument against gouging our long-standing social benefit programs. As a result the vast majority of Americans have failed to realize the true consequences of what would be if the Tea Party actually get their way. At this moment, as I write these words, there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of honorable Americans who’ve labored throughout their entire lives at honest jobs, who through age, illness or other circumstance are actually having to choose between food and medicine. Not only is this circumstance outrageous in this the richest most powerful country in the world, but more outrageous still is the complacency that allows the existence of such a mindless clique in the Congress of the United States, who would willingly threaten monumental damage to the entire U.S. economy unless they are allowed to literally kick the pins out from under the most vulnerable members of our society. In short, what most people fail to realize in this debate is that if the Tea Party gets its way – thousands of needy Americans will most likely suffer and die tragically, prematurely, and needlessly.

Then too, it is strange that this clique, who so openly espouse a claim to be “God- fearing Americans”, wouldn’t consider (in their quieter moments), the possibility that there might be a special place in Hell, for people who would commit mass murder – by proxy, for no other reason than a personal ideology.

In the event that this irresponsible cadre should actually succeed in obstructing the raising of our debt ceiling and by that action causing the United States to default on its contractual obligations, we must face the consequences of what such a default would actually mean. Aside from everything else, we would be telling the rest of the world that our inability to properly govern ourselves actually means that we – the largest debtor nation in the world – should perhaps never again be trusted to pay our debts. As a result the cost of borrowing would immediately start costing hundreds of billions or even more. The immediate effect could well be a drop in the value of the dollar (against other world currencies) on a monumental scale. A scale that could double, triple the cost of all of our imports. Aside from electronics that now cost hundreds, instantly rising to thousands – recognize that this country has been running world trade deficits at the rate of 50-60 billions per month, for decades. Those deficits would instantly rise to hundreds of billions per month. Or worse yet – having demonstrated ourselves to be a national “dead-beat”, other countries may no longer be willing to allow us credit, of any kind.

Then what?

It was once said that “If the United States sneezes – the world catches cold.” That quip was no fantasy. Even a partial collapse of the U.S. economy could easily plunge the whole world into a global financial dark-ages! And all at the hands (and through the arrogant stupidity) of an ideological clique, who haven’t a clue as to the true forces and intricacies of the economic/political engines, with which they’ve been permitted to tinker, by a whimsical, ill informed, and pliant electorate.

Wake up Americans. Remember that we, the American electorate, put them there. Moving forward, consider a candidate that challenges our personal or religious views, or makes us feel uneasy because we may not understand all of what they may speak about. Consider those who tell us what we want to hear, what makes us comfortable, are lying to us. The world has a history of being be a tough and brutal place. The formation of our country was to be broad enough to prevent the persecution of its own citizens by its government, yet enable equality and evolution in its process. Even at the time of the framing, the influence of money was such that early attempts at formation articles specified that “only white male land owners” (aka the wealthy) could vote or have any effective say in the running of the government. Well my friends, those influences are still present, and they are working form the inside to undo the good that has been done in 237 years of this great american experiment.

When it comes to whom we vote for and the basis on which we make our judgements, remember that our votes (or lack there of) matter and that the result of elections can have generational consequences…

And that we all must start using our heads for something besides hat-racks.

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