Government By Crisis

16 Oct

We are fast approaching the debt limit and are already in a government shutdown.  This is not the first time we have approached either.  Our debt for that matter isn’t a new phenomenon either.  The U.S. debt has been piling up for some time.  The last time we had no debt was 1835.  The debt ceiling was created in the early 1900’s.  It was created with the thought that raising it would be routine.  It has become anything but that since the last time we raised it.

In 2011 we faced a similar crisis that we face now.  We are quickly approaching our country’s borrowing limit.  This doesn’t reflect whether or not our debt gets paid, but rather if we as a country will pay our bills.  If someone has to make car payments and decides not to, their car will get repossessed.  If we don’t raise the debt ceiling it will create chaos for markets in the U.S. and around the world.  The U.S. debt will not disappear if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, so what are the Tea Party Republicans arguing about?

A deal is in the works and could pass as I am about to post this.  We still need to deal with the deficit, and I believe this gives us a chance to deal with our long-term fiscal problems.  Many Democrats don’t like to talk about entitlement reform and many Republicans refuse to raise taxes to cover our expenses, both of which need to be done in the future.  President Obama has taken heat for even suggesting that we need to make changes to our entitlement programs.  He made the suggestion in exchange for the Republicans raising revenue as part of a long-term plan.  The Republicans called it a non-starter because they refused to raise taxes.

There’s been a lot of talk by the media that both sides are to blame equally for this manufactured crisis.  If the Republicans refused to compromise on Obama’s proposal, how is it that Obama is being stubborn?  The Health Care Bill is a law.  If the Republicans want to repeal it so badly they need to win back the White House and control of both houses of congress.  They also need to get 60 votes in the Senate, the standard they set when Obama became president.  Until the Republicans get 60 votes in the senate and win the presidency, they don’t get to shut everything down and default until they get there way.

We have been through several of these crises since the Republicans won control of the house in 2010.  They have been creating government by crisis because they want to get concessions from President Obama and other Democrats by threatening the U.S. economy.  The economic uncertainty that Republicans constantly complain about is partly caused by these short-term budget deals.  (i.e. Continuing Resolutions)  I honestly think Speaker Boehner wants to make a deal, but he is so afraid of losing his speakership that he hasn’t.  It’s time for Speaker Boehner to put our country above politics, and get the country working again.

As for the Tea Party members who are in Congress, they need to decide what’s more important to them, their party or their country.  I remember the Bush years when Democrats were called traitors for questioning the Iraq war strategy.  I don’t question someone’s patriotism over their beliefs, I question it if they are willing to destroy the U.S. economy unless they get everything they want.  The Affordable Care Act is a law, not a bill.  If you can’t accept that then you don’t know how democracy works.  If you want to bring everything down because of something that is already law, don’t bother calling yourself a patriot.

There was recently a Tea Party rally that featured Sarah Palin and someone in the crowd holding a Confederate flag and another person holding a U.S. flag.  Choose one flag, Tea Party, because you can’t choose both.

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