The U.S. economy felt the first tremor of what life may be like if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, with Standard and Poor downgrading the country’s debt outlook from “stable” to “negative.”
The House GOP has been all over the media stating that they will not allow the debt ceiling to be raised without significant and meaningful cuts in the budget, despite all signs pointing to the Republicans being as desperate for the ceiling to be raised as the Democrats, the administration, Wall Street and pretty much every financial adviser in the country.
The ceiling will be raised, and it will be raised on time. The Republican threat to hold it hostage for additional spending cuts, such as the ones proposed in the draconian Ryan budget, are all bluster.
But still, the Republicans are demanding the credit card days be ended. So, let’s give them what they ask for.
Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh was on This Week on Sunday, using the traditional Republican talking point that the government needs to stop relying on debt. “I wish they got as excited and animated about all this debt we’re placing at the feet and on the backs of our kids and our grandkids,” Walsh said. “If you’re going to ask this Congress to support a raise in the debt limit, there got to be something structural on the spending side because we’ve got to cut up this credit card.”
Republicans love to use the credit card metaphor, or talk about tightening the belt like the families at the kitchen table. Families have to live within their budgets, they say.
It’s true. And when families sit and look at their budgets, and realize they have a huge, looming bill that is due, someone has to go bring in some more money.
The Republicans pushed through $42 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy last year. That’s more money than it just “cut” from the 2011 budget last week.
If you had a massive bill due, and someone was going to repossess the family car if you didn’t catch up in payments, would you force your son to leave college to use his tuition money to pay for it? Maybe if that were the only option available. But you certainly wouldn’t do it while you were giving away a thousand dollars a month to your wealthy Great Uncle Mark, who is living off the interest of his stock options.
Republicans want to hold the debt ceiling vote hostage to push for cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and programs for the low income earners. Maybe now is the time for Democrats to threaten to hold it hostage to force multi-millionaires to pay their fair share in taxes.
After all, the GOP wants the debt ceiling raised just as badly.
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