published Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

U.S. debt limit 'catastrophe'

You know, of course, that the United States government has a huge debt — and it's rising.

But did you know that your "per-person" share of the national debt already amounts to $45,300?

Congress has a "legal debt limit" of $14.29 trillion. But since the non-limiting limit is expected to be reached in March — or, certainly, no later than May — what is Congress planning to do?

Will it cut spending — or keep on spending and just vote to raise the meaningless debt limit once again?

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said failure to raise the debt limit would be "catastrophic" and would mean default by the United States. He says default would create in effect a "long-lasting tax on all Americans and all American businesses," killing millions of jobs.

But won't increasing the debt risk catastrophe? We haven't created jobs with deficit spending of the past few years. Why would more of the same help?

In the debate on what path is more apt to avert disaster, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner sensibly came down on the side of budget cuts. He said, "The American people will not stand for such an increase [in the national debt] unless it is accompanied by meaningful action by the president and Congress to cut spending and end the job-killing spending binge in Washington."

But perhaps you see "the handwriting on the wall" — in more red ink: The debt limit almost certainly will be raised, and Republicans will try to force Democrats to agree on some future — but probably inadequate — spending cuts.

Well, what do you, as an American taxpayer, think of all this?

Do you believe Democrats in Congress and President Barack Obama are responsibly facing their responsibilities? Do you think Republicans in Congress are boxed in by the threat that if they don't go along with raising the national debt limit, they will be blamed for harming the economy?

Our leaders have us in a terrible mess. There is no quick cure. But don't you believe it is time — really past time — for the president and both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to begin to face financial facts and cut our excessive spending?

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nucanuck said...

Military spending and Medicare/Medicaid are the two biggest out-of-control spending areas that must be part of any real effort to control spending. Until those two items are up for consideration,Congress is not serious about curbing spending.

February 15, 2011 at 12:44 a.m.
hambone said...

One can only imagine what the TFP editorials would say about the same subjects if a republican were in the Whitehouse!

February 15, 2011 at 5:14 a.m.
carlB said...

What condition do the people really want for this Republic? Since the elected "leaders" of the Republican Party along with other elected and other "leaders" want everybody to be unhappy with the policies of President Obama, they are using every tactic to cause distrust of this administration.
Are we in a power struggle while forgetting the good of this Republic? It would appear that what we need for this country is a “comprehensive plan” attempted by any new administration to build onto what the last administration in office had done for the good of this Nation and the people, if it is possible to do so. The facts are that in many instances, some new administrations destroy any good that other administrations have done, all in the name of politics for getting and keeping of the power. The good part is at this particular time in history, we as a Republic are still standing. Whither we are "standing strong," with our weakened economy and financial problems is debatable. There are not any easy explanations of why these divisions have occurred and what the people opposing Obama would do to get the country out of this deep recession.
The stimulus recovery plan is supposed to be only a plan to stop the free fall of people losing their jobs and to act as another FDR "New Deal" for rebuilding and building new infrastructure. Therefore, since the Nation's condition was in much worse condition than first thought, it is taking more money and a longer time. The trillions of dollars being spent now is being done just for leveling off at a point before this recession turns into a full blown depression. Even if there is a need for another stimulus recovery package, which would be worse for the country, "doing nothing" or spending the borrowed money? President Obama was "set up" to receive criticism from his opponents regardless of what decisions he made.

The total National Debt was already at $12.0 trillion dollars at the end of Bush’s FY and this is where the confusion of untruths and misinformation has been entering the picture. The crisis conditions we are in did not happen just at the time President Obama took office. However, the anti Obama people would like the voters to forget the eight years of the last administration and want us to believe that every crisis started at the time President Obama took office.

At this time, most of what we hear is where are all of the jobs that President Obama was going to create? I ask, where are the private enterprise sectors who should be stepping up to help our country with creating jobs here without having to be subsidized by the tax payers’ money? What are the consumers doing to help create manufacturing jobs here, when we continue to have nearly a $40.0 billion dollar trade deficit per month with the global corporate monopolies.

February 15, 2011 at 3:59 p.m.
jpo3136 said...

We saw the writing on the wall when President Bush gave away our hard-earned tax surplus so that he could buy votes from his wealthy friends.

Reject the Republican Congress' forced renewal of the Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy. It's just disgusting that Senator Corker and Alexander have put their political ad budgets ahead of our survival concerns by supporting those Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy.

Vote them out of office as soon as possible, in response to their endorsement of the Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy.

We're suffering, and Senators Corker and Alexander are paying off their rich friends. For shame!

We have no illusions that our economic troubles of today rest squarely and incontrovertibly with the total failure of the Republican party to do anything that looked remotely like responsible and ethical business and budgeting practices.

Feel free to have all area Republicans apologize for electing such nincompoops to the White House during the Bush administration. The embarrassment and shame will continue until we pay off these disgusting and enormous bills caused by a Republican Congress' and President Bush's financial incompetence.

Please, elect people who can read, write, add and subtract!

Stop harassing us all with these illiterate and bumbling losers like Sarah Palin and President George W. Bush.

The private sector jobs you are looking for were shipped to China by the selfish Republicans in our city who fired our people to cash in on illegal stock market deals on Wall Street.

It's just shocking to think that your editorial staff would fail to recognize such obvious and pervasive faults and direct harm caused to our own local people by Republican Payoff Politics.

No more Republican Voodoo Economics. While we're fixing this, feel free to take a bookkeeping class so that the Republican party can learn to balance a checkbook. Thanks.

February 15, 2011 at 6:21 p.m.
carlB said...

Username: jpo3136 | On: February 15, 2011 at 6:21 p.m.

REply to jpo3136: Has anybody questioned Why Senator Corker sticks his nose into the the private sectors negotiations between the workers and VW in "suggesting" against Unionization of the workers?
Remember when he was negoiating on the bailout of GM when he was insisting on the UAW had to take concessions? Look at how nuch negative information has been put out against all people/workers who have any means of representation for any type of negotiation. Even now, look at what is being said about the Teachers and the misinformation being put out. The negative PR was designed the make the consumers dislike union people. Therefore in the process when the American companies, with the help of elected leaders could shutdown their plants here and move to the lowest cost countries causing the Unions to decrease in numbers.
As it stands now, we do not know which companies are owned by whom or whom are in joint ownership with eachother forming "global corporate monopolies." Has anyone cslulated the amount the subsidies and enticements have cost the tax payers of Hamilton County, Chattannooga, the State and the Federal Government?
What about the plants being located in all of the other areas of highest "givers"? The US needs jobs to produce the goods here and it cannot be only the high cost automobiles. We need to start producing everything that is now being imported.

February 15, 2011 at 8:24 p.m.
Mila78 said...

Well, the debt is already over the limit and it's a fact. And it's a disaster - there's no time for making plans and discussions, there should be actions and cuting expenses, there should be something which would allow to reduce the debt. I think that Obama and Congress should finally start take actions. It seems no one could guess that the US will be so in debt. Hopefully that Democrats and Obama understand al the responsiblity, but today there no positive news, all we can see is that debt continues to rise. And it makes huge impact on the American economy, it's hard to recover in so complicated economic situation.

September 17, 2012 at 4:47 a.m.
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