This and That

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The first blog I did on the debt ceiling was mainly just my ranting about our politicians¬†inability to find a compromise and make a deal. This second part will focus on the current facts of the debate, my thoughts, and the plan I would impose if I had a say. Be aware I’m not just a pretty face. I have an economics degree so I am qualified to make these statements.

Here are the facts:

-Our current debt ceiling is at $14.294 trillion

-Our country hit this debt ceiling on May 16th,

-Aug 2 is the last day to make a deal and get it passed through Congress so America doesn’t default on our loans

-The debt ceiling needs to be raised around $2 trillion through 2012

-Defaulting on our loans would result in the following: rising interest rates, a decline in the dollar, increased instablility in financial markets, and a loss of confidence in America’s credit and promises.

-Republicans believe the debt ceiling is too high already and raising it more would only increase our problems. Republicans want to cut spending in Social Security, Medicare, and other government programs. They do not want to raise taxes on any Americans to earn extra money to offset our spending.

– Democrats believe the debt ceiling needs to be raised in order to avoid all the consequences of defaulting -it’s a must do. They do not believe in cutting money from Social Security, Medicare, etc. They want to raise taxes on the wealthiest of Americans to increase our country’s income.

Here’s the current situation:

Last week, negotiations seemed to be making progress. Our politicians were talking, there was some give and take, and there was hope that a deal was going to be made. Yes it wasn’t a perfect deal, but a deal none the less. But then the Democrats wanted more taxes and then the Republicans walked away from the table….seriously?!?

This week, Obama addressed the American people calling for our help to push through the Democratic plan.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s wisely commented “you don’t want politics messing around with America’s faith and credit.” Geithner acknowledged the debate issue saying, “They have taken this a little too far, frankly.”

“We are now getting to a point where markets around the world will question whether the political system in Washington can come together and compromise for the greater good of the country,” White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Here’s my thoughts:

There is a two step plan on the table (well… that’s being revised) that I generally think is a good idea but I would add one additional step. The two step plan calls to raise the debt ceiling in stages but have it be tied to spending cuts through 2012 and the over the next 10 years. I would raise the debt ceiling in stages, cut spending, AND increase our country’s income with some taxes. That would be my plan…a three step plan.

It is amazing to me that someone would think that our spending isn’t out of control. We can’t keep spending money we don’t have! That is not how a government prospers, that’s not how a company prospers, and that is not how a household prospers. I manage the budget for my family. I know how much money we have coming in and how much is going out. If I spent more money than I have, I would have the bank and creditors knocking down my door demanding their money. Running from creditors, accumulating more debt is not the way to live, and it’s not the way for our government to run our country.

Spending needs to be cut, but I don’t believe that all or even the majority of spending cuts should come from Social Security and Medicare. So many Americans rely on these services and they would be greatly hurt in losing them. I think spending should be cut evenly throughout all our government programs. Then hopefully there won’t be too much pain on the Americans who rely on them.

Now on to step three. It’s not just about cutting spending. There does need to be an increase of income and some of that can come from raising taxes. I don’t think it is an outlandish idea to tax the wealthiest of Americans. Being the richest I think they could afford it.

So as you can see my thoughts are a little Republican and a little Democratic. You know, like a compromise. A word that doesn’t seem to resonate with our politicians.

What do you think? What would your debt ceiling plan look like?

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Seriously….seriously…..I can’t believe this can not get resolved. That a compromise can not be found. Really? Are our politicians so one sided that they can’t see the other party’s point of view? And are they all so prideful that they can’t find some middle ground? Sure, not all of the Republican wants will be met but not all of the Democrats wishes will be fulfilled either. That’s called a compromise people. Letting some things go in order to do what needs to be done – -like avoid an economic crisis like defaulting on our loans!

Another alarming fact about this whole debate is that raising the debt ceiling has never been a huge problem for either side in years, decades. Every year the debt ceiling is raised and most people are none the wiser. Sure there is grumbling here and there, usually from the Republican side, but it’s never been made out into this huge issue. Why has it become such a big deal this time you may ask? Well for starters it’s a big election season and I think everyone on capital hill is more interested in sticking to their ideological agendas and platforms than actually helping our country and the American people. Also, there has been an alarming trend over the last 8+ years of none bi-partisan cooperation. My three year old son knows how to share and compromise better than our politicians.

I freely admit that I am not a politically driven person. Most days I feel like a Republican with Democrat sympathies and other days I am a Democrat with an underlining Republican wishes. But I think that this loose description would apply to a lot of Americans – dare I say the majority of us?? We can understand both sides in a lot of issues…not every issue but many. So why does that not work for our politicians? If someone can please tell me their thoughts or opinions on this I would greatly appreciate it. Let’s hear what you think. Correct me if you think I am wrong. Let’s see if we can find a compromise.

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