The Great Debt Debacle (2.0)

Anyone who doesn’t live in a cave (and maybe some that do) knows the United States is engaged in a tumultuous dialogue with itself over how much debt is too much debt.

Leaders from Congress are meeting daily with the President to discuss what measures should be taken when, not if, we raise the debt ceiling. Simply, Obama wants more taxes and, the GOP wants less government spending. However, there are other proposals aplenty on the table.

Congressman Ron Paul has suggested we get the Fed to forgive 1.7 trillion in “fake debt.” This would allow the Republicans and Democrats to wash their hands of the debt talks for the next year. One would think this would excite the cowardly nature of the politician. Sadly, like most of Congressman Paul’s ideas, it will not get the attention it deserves.

Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also has a proposal that would give the President power to raise the debt ceiling without Congressional authority. This perhaps the most egregious of proposals since Congress cannot abdicate its Constitutional power over the national purse strings. It , like the Paul plan,  gives the career politicians an out. Congress could just point to Obama like a school yard tattletale and yell, “He did it!” when angry voters come calling.

Many conservatives have signed on to the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge” from Senator Jim DeMint. It calls for deep spending cuts, a cap on the amount of money the government can spend, and, lastly, a Balanced Budget Amendment. Where will these spending cuts come from? What does the country do during the years it will take to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution?

What the country needs is some more radical thinking. Sure, in world of the status quo, we need to reform entitlements. However, reducing or means testing benefits is going to rob the younger taxpayers of the money we were forced to pay into the system in the first place. However, before we can begin to debate entitlements, the “your check isn’t in the mail” rhetoric has to end.

The wars and foreign policy must be debated as well. If there is any truth to Obama’s middle way approach, then certainly American can downsize the military and close some foreign bases in stable countries like Germany and Japan. We can also immediately leave Iraq and Afghanistan. Make no mistake, foreign policy is the one area immediate savings can come from.

The faux debate and false choices must end. There are savings to be had. Government can significantly shrink without harming the dependent class. However, to do this we must be vigilant against tales of senior hating politicians and foreign boogey men or the political class will continue to mortgage our future for the sake of political expediency. The longer we wait to make hard choices, the worse our options to fix the system get.


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