Shame On Us – Kicking the Can Down the Road Again

The debt ceiling crisis is now over.  We got no real cuts in spending.  It is all smoke and mirrors as it always is.  I have been saying for quite sometime that we, as Americans, are not ready to make the tough choices.

I understand why the GOP did what they did.  The country doesn’t understand that not raising the debt ceiling means that we immediately go into default.  It just means we have to pay as we go.  An interesting concept that only the government in this country doesn’t understand.  The vast majority of Americans already live that way.  I rarely use credit to buy anything.  If I can’t afford it, I don’t buy it.  I have only one credit card that I pay off every month.  I live this way, so I have a difficult time understanding why our government can’t even make an honest attempt at it.   Maybe I am unusual and that is part of the problem.  Maybe many Americans live the same way the government does; on credit. 

It seems everyone has something to hate in this deal.  The far left doesn’t get to soak the “rich”, and the far right is angry that no real spending cuts have been made.  In many cases I have found that when both sides are unhappy it is good for Americans.  Not so in this case. 

The Tea Party is upset.  They feel betrayed by at least one member of congress, Allen West.  He voted with Boehner for the increase.  I have said before I understand his position.  I may have done the same thing in his shoes.  There are some realities to consider here.  Obama would never have signed onto large cuts (unless of course they were to defense) even if it had passed the Senate.  Which it wouldn’t have. 

The party is worried about keeping the house, regaining the senate and winning the White House next year.  Politics always comes first.  But when do we actually solve the problem? 

I see the Tea Party’s argument about not raising the ceiling.  I in some ways even agree with it.  The money coming into the treasury every month would more than cover Medicare and Social Security.  Social Security wouldn’t be affected anyway, as it is not bound by the debt ceiling, that was all shameful political posturing on the part of the president.  A disgusting display really.  I had to talk my mother off the ceiling one afternoon.  She was terrified she wouldn’t get her check.  My parents didn’t have 401(k)’s when they were younger.  They actually had to save for themselves.  Another interesting concept. 

But I also see the other side of the coin as well.  I live just outside of DC, the economy where I live is very dependent on the Federal Government.  Even if you don’t work for the government many work for government contractors.  Virginia and Maryland were both told by Moody’s they would get a downgrade if the debt ceiling was not raised.  Both are planning on selling bonds in the next few weeks so it would have greatly reduced the amount they would have gotten and hurt the population of both states. 

The real problem lies with the American people.  We are still not ready to accept the reality of what we are facing.  We cannot continue the spending.  We just can’t.  We are cheating our children and our grandchildren.  We are putting them in the position that they are in so much debt they may never get out from under it.  We have these idiots in congress saying that the republicans are manufacturing the crisis.  How exactly one manufactures trillions in debt is beyond my comprehension levels, but that is what she said.  Sadly, many in this country believed her.  Or at least want to believe her.  We are still playing this finger-pointing game about who did what and whose fault it is.  Both parties are to blame.  But so are the American people for not paying enough attention and we keep electing these fools are who are mortgaging our children’s futures.   

Shame on us.  I hope that we finally start to get it before it is too late.  We need to make the tough choices.  We need to elect people who are willing to make those choices even when it won’t make them popular.