published Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

No 'debt deal' with higher taxes

President Barack Obama is right in calling for a deal within 10 days to address our $14.3 trillion national debt — but his “deal” is not the right one if it means raising taxes and not massively cutting the spending that created the debt.

The debt didn’t accumulate overnight, and it cannot all be blamed on the cost of wars and recessions. A great part of it is a result of irresponsible spending by us — through our representative federal government — over many years, for politically popular but unaffordable programs.

Now, even some big-spending members of Congress are admitting that the debt must be addressed.

We are on course to hit the latest so-called “debt limit” on Aug. 2 — just three weeks away. Unless Congress and the president do something, the United States will default on some of its obligations after that point. The most important obligations — such as paying our troops and sending out Social Security checks — could still be funded. But it is perilous to our nation’s economic standing and to how we are perceived worldwide if we default on any part of the debt.

It would be equally irresponsible, however, once again to raise the debt limit — and allow massive new borrowing — without commensurate cuts in spending.

And with unemployment at 9.2 percent and rising, the “right thing” plainly is not to raise taxes and worsen the economic crisis.

Reducing unnecessary, unwise and unconstitutional spending now — and then more, year by year — would be a slow process, but it would be financially responsible.

Doing anything to reduce our debt will be painful. Doing nothing would be outrageous. This is a time for Democrats and Republicans, as well as the president, to face reality.

The president and too many of our lawmakers in Washington have not done so thus far.

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charivara said...

Some of those “politically popular but unaffordable programs” referred to in this editorial included cutting taxes for the very richest and for corporations. It was certainly popular with them but unaffordable for the rest of us. Why does this writer continue to insist that they should be immune from responsibility for lowering the debt, especially since the jobs that were supposed to have been created as a result of those cuts did not materialize. Conservative morality: we got ours and you’ve got to pay so we can keep it.

July 12, 2011 at 7:23 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

hey, charivara....liberal moral morality as displayed by teachers unions and state workers in wisconsin: "we got ours and you've got to pay so we can keept it"......

or in other words....you in the private sector, keep paying for our security and benefits even' though you've lost your job and you're making less money..screw you.

you libs' class envy card is getting old and worn.....sorry..you don't raise taxes in a recession. you libs' definition of the rich is a joke. here's a great idea..how about the 70% of the people in this country who don't pay any taxes all send in $20.....

July 12, 2011 at 7:44 a.m.
EaTn said...

All you right wing retirees, or soon to be, send a note to your GOP legislation telling them to drop your your social security and medicare benefits because you can do without them and really would like to help all those planning to buy another vacation home with the current wealthy tax cuts. By doing this you will do your honorable duty in cutting the debt, and I can keep my needed benefits that I've paid into all my working life.

July 12, 2011 at 8:28 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

all you left wing retirees, or soon to be, send a note to your dem legislatures telling them to drop your social security and medicare benefits because you can do without them and really would like to help all those planning to buy another vactition home with the current wealthy tax cuts. drive around the suburbs and towns around washington d.c., eatn, and you'll see they're oozing money....and i guarantee you they're 99% all democrats.

July 12, 2011 at 9:22 a.m.
charivara said...

SeaMonkey: my comments are not directed at millionaires like yourself. They are intended to alert working Americans to the economic calamity that conservatives, mostly Republicans, are inflicting on them.

I agree that everyone should share in paying taxes. $20 doesn’t seem like too much to ask. How about $50? Did Fox News forget to mention that the Wisconsin public sector unions agreed to take cuts in benefits but the governor rejected their offer? I don’t understand your “in other words” paragraph, however. Also, the people who are being asked to pay more in taxes are not in a recession. They are the ones who benefitted most from Bush tax cuts and are doing very well, thank you. This has nothing to do with class envy. It has to do with equitable sharing of the wealth that we all produce. But you millionaires wouldn’t want that.

July 12, 2011 at 9:34 a.m.
hambone said...

Millionaires like FrancisTrollMonkey need more tax cuts so they can create jobs.

As soon as Obama is put of office.

July 12, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.
limric said...

Really, folks, this Washington theater isn’t about the deficit.

If it were, the minor detail of multiple wars and pentagon deployments to umpteen countries bankrupting the government would have been mentioned by now. Ya think?

Our wars are wars of choice right now. I know, it wasn't your choice but the fact that all this defense (expansion of empire) spending is the main factor in our country's headlong rush to a police state and bankruptcy is kinda sorta pertinent to a national budget discussion and FAILS to be put on the table is a massive "deficit talk is BS" flag.

Yes, we have a deficit problem. No, the politicians are not dealing with it. All they want to do is double cross us out of Social Security and Medicare - and let Wall Street have at it. It is small consolation to me that this set of corporate lackeys currently in politics will probably see the end of the USA as a world power. I'm not exactly pleased to see federal pensions, social Security and Medicare in jeopardy. None of us do.

But our politicians are performing a deceptive pantomime to make it seem they are addressing the issue.

In 1917, Vladimir Lenin offered a few predictions for the century ahead:

1)Germany will militarize herself out of existence,

2)England will expand herself out of existence,

3)America will spend herself out of existence."

Had he known the inherent shortcomings of his own political ideology, he should also have added, "And Russia...she will plan herself out of existence."

As for the United States, it seems she is not content with simply spending more than she produces, foisting the unfunded obligations onto future generations; instead, she militarizes, expands, spends AND plans toward her own demise...as all once great empires eventually do.

Lenin may have been a tyrant but, as long as he wasn't talking about Russia, he was right.

July 12, 2011 at 12:53 p.m.
fairmon said...

Lenin was bad but Stalin was worse. Kruschev apparently agreed with Lenin when he said America would be destroyed from within. Seems we have a congress intent on doing so.

July 12, 2011 at 4:59 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

SeaMonkey says.."sorry..you don't raise taxes in a recession."

I wonder if you have ever heard the saying that you don't lower taxes in the middle of a war? Did that deter Bush who passed tax cuts skewed to the rich while on a war footing and without paying for them?

The massive tax cuts contributed a huge amount to our deficit and created a miniscule amount of jobs. What is so unreasonable about addressing taxes in the budget talks when it is proven that these were a huge cause of our deficit. Republicans, in typical hypocritical fashion, beat the drum that runaway spending has caused our deficit without admitting those tax cuts are also to blame. Both should be on the table. Is that so unreasonable.

Oh, I forgot, reasonable is not in the conservatives vocabulary.

July 12, 2011 at 9:48 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Yeah, don't get rid of tax cuts...the wealthy are suffering! They only own 70% of America's wealth when they could own 90%. See this report:

http://www.alternet.org/economy/145705/the_richest_1%25_have_captured_america%27s_wealth_--_what%27s_it_going_to_take_to_get_it_back?page=entire

"The Richest 1% Have Captured America's Wealth -- What's It Going to Take to Get It Back? The U.S. already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis -- and it's gotten even worse. February 17, 2010 |

This is Part II of David DeGraw's report, "The Economic Elite vs. People of the USA." Click here for Part I.

"The war against working people should be understood to be a real war.... Specifically in the U.S., which happens to have a highly class-conscious business class.... And they have long seen themselves as fighting a bitter class war, except they don't want anybody else to know about it." -- Noam Chomsky

Paul Buchheit, from DePaul University, revealed, "From 1980 to 2006 the richest 1% of America tripled their after-tax percentage of our nation's total income, while the bottom 90% have seen their share drop over 20%." Robert Freeman added, "Between 2002 and 2006, it was even worse: an astounding three-quarters of all the economy's growth was captured by the top 1%."

Due to this, the United States already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis. Since the crisis, which has hit the average worker much harder than CEOs, the gap between the top one percent and the remaining 99% of the US population has grown to a record high. The economic top one percent of the population now owns over 70% of all financial assets, an all time record."

And that was a year ago.

July 12, 2011 at 11:22 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Let me translate that for you, Seamonk, giving them tax breaks won't create jobs...it will just make the rich richer. Why would they "create" jobs when they can just invest in some foreign market and make more money instead of spending it?

And I'll explain something else, the CEOs that run this country realize that 95% of all consumers are outside of the US. Why would they try to make the lives of the poor and the middle class any better? THEY DON'T HAVE TO!

Some people on this board have bought it hook, line, and sinker. And that is what the 1% want.

July 12, 2011 at 11:44 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

BTW, if the government defaults on August 2, does that mean that all of us get to default, too?

July 12, 2011 at 11:45 p.m.
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