It’s a mantra of fiscal conservatives across the country, but one that can never be repeated enough. The tax system, broken as it might be, does not have a problem with generating enough money to operate the US government. The debt ceiling is not too low; many would argue that it’s way too high. No, the problem that this country has at its most fundamental financial level is that we simply spend way too much. Any arguments to the contrary are moot.
This isn’t even debated by most of the liberals in Congress. They readily admit that the underlying problem is spending. Basic math tells them that. Their argument, whether they want to admit it or not, is that spending cuts need to happen on the next person’s watch. If given a healthy dose of sodium pentothal, politicians on both side would admit it. They don’t want to tackle the cuts necessary to save the country because it would mean cutting off blocks of voters. If you pull it from the military, soldiers will remember. If you pull it from Medicare, seniors will remember. Whoever tackles the problem will be labeled heartless. They will not be remembered fondly. They will not be re-elected.
That’s the beauty of being fiscally liberal. You don’t make anyone today, the voters, upset. You hurt the children and grandchildren of the voters dramatically. You might even hurt the voters themselves if the actions result in a cataclysm, something that’s not as far fetched today as it used to be. But, as the President and many members of congress proved in the last election, fiscal irresponsibility wins votes.
Cutting spending dramatically is the only path towards a prosperous future of the country. It’s the only way to make sure the country can even survive when looking on the scale of decades. That’s the key to the internal arguments in congress – decades. They see the problem with crystal clarity but are unwilling to be the bad guys who pull the plug on non-essential spending. It’s the frivolous spending that has gotten us to where we are today, but it’s also the type of spending that buys votes.
Our problem is with this spending. It must stop. It must be fixed immediately or we’re going to be facing complete destruction of the way of life that has been built over the past two centuries. It doesn’t take an economist like Paul Krugman to understand this. Unfortunately, even Krugman is unwilling to admit the failures of the current economic direction publicly. It doesn’t fit his agenda.
- White House, GOP draw red lines in debt debate (news.yahoo.com)
- Krugman joins the $1 trillion coin brigade – MarketWatch (blog) (blogs.marketwatch.com)
- McConnell Takes Taxes Off Table in Debt Limit Negotiations (bloomberg.com)
- No movement: Lawmakers dig in heels on debt crisis (news.yahoo.com)
- This is what would happen if we breach the debt ceiling (washingtonpost.com)