Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Our Debt Crisis

The current debt debacle in the United States has been characterized several ways. The House of Representatives and the Senate are acting like children not simply resolving the debt crisis. There really is no crisis, just some laggards—mostly the Tea Party—holding the country to ransom. What’s the problem? Raising the debt limit is pure formality; it’s been done scores of time before!

All this with a background chorus of angry Americans wanting the problem resolved so they can get on with life, and protests of dire consequences to America’s financial rating and prestige around the world if America can’t pay its bills.

It seems to me that this entire hullabaloo is a death wish of Americans wanting business as usual rather than face the mounting and potentially disastrous debt. The crisis is not caused by the Tea Party; the problem is the enormous debt the US has mounted through several decades.

The Tea Party came to power based on bringing financial accountability to government. They are not the problem; the debt is the problem. They have highlighted a problem that must be solved; the crisis is going to occur at some point anyway—and the later, the greater!

Let’s look at the figures. America owes fourteen trillion dollars. Let me write this out for you: $14,000,000,000,000 and change—I could live quite happily on the change; in fact, the several billion-dollar change could cancel most of Canada’s debt!

The latest plan is to raise the debt ceiling another couple of trillion—plus change. And the pitiful attempt at reducing the debt is about the same amount! Furthermore, the angst at downgrading America’s financial rating is empty rhetoric; either way, America’s financial prestige is already in jeopardy. A downgrade will simply tell the truth about America’s financially folly.

But after berating the States for living beyond its means, a sizable percentage of westerners do the same, maxing out their credit cards and raising their debt limit—apparently, the “richest” countries on earth are mired in the greatest debts!

The debt emergency is a plague that keeps on giving—crisis after crisis throughout the world, and felt most keenly by the poorest on the planet. We, who force our democratic governments to provide us entitlements to cover our financial irresponsibility and greed, are part of building government debt, and thus part of the inability to provide aid to millions in need.

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