Want to read a little bit on the national debt? I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it here before. Have I ever mentioned the Federal debt? The overwhelming, crushing burden of Federal debt that we’re dropping in our grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s laps?
Well, maybe I have, once or twice.
The sky is falling! Quick! Run hide under your made-in-China umbrella before it’s too late!
As talks over raising the national debt limit falter, a four trillion dollar reduction deficit reduction deal appears to be off the table and a two to two and one-half trillion dollar deal may be the best to be hoped for in time to save the world:
Democrats want to shield popular domestic programs from huge cuts and say that any deal must include increases in tax revenue, including an expiration of Bush-era tax cuts on wealthier Americans.
Republicans — under pressure from Tea Party conservatives — reject any increased taxes and want curbs on popular benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
This is apparently because (a) President Barack Obama continues to insist on another trillion dollars in new taxes and (b) according to Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, August 2 is the drop-dead date for a deal and if one isn’t struck by then there will be a catastrophe. Obama says that a deal must be struck within ten days from July 10 — rather like ObamaCare had to be passed quickly so we could see what it said. We the peons still do not know what spending cuts the Obama administration has on the table; why should we? We don’t need to know, we just need to acquiesce and reelect him next year. The new head of the International Monetary Fund says that if we don’t shape up very bad things will happen. Preventing those bad things will make it necessary to
Greece grease — right now — the palms of those who want to keep our welfare state perpetually afloat by taxing the “rich” more than we already do, resulting in lower tax revenues by decreasing incentives to invest in productive (non-governmental) sectors of society. But don’t worry! There is method to this madness:
Last November Republicans won the House and landslide gains in many states in large part because of the deep unpopularity of the stimulus and ObamaCare. Mr. Boehner has a mandate for spending cuts and repealing the Affordable Care Act. If Republicans instead agree to raise taxes in return for future spending cuts that may or may not happen, they will simply be the tax collectors for Mr. Obama’s much expanded entitlement society.
I think that last is an important point; the GOP tends to do rather well in elections where they leave social issues off the table and focus on fiscal issues – at least in election cycles where they aren’t dealing with a recent track record of fiscal irresponsibility by a prominent officeholder (see: 2008.)
Will they remember this in 2012? Will their Presidential nominee remember this in 2012?
We’ll see. The GOP does have a habit of picking the worst possible candidate in the field (see: 1996.)