published Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Debt decision drawing near

Today is June 25. Within a very few weeks — by Aug. 2 — members of Congress are expected to have to make a huge financial decision: whether to raise our so-called “debt limit.”

• Democrats generally want a higher debt limit — accompanied by tax increases and some small spending cuts. They say that will begin to get a handle on our $14.3 trillion national debt.

• Republicans mostly want big spending cuts and no tax increases as the path toward getting control of the debt. They are unwilling to boost the misnamed “debt limit” without necessary, corresponding cuts in federal spending.

The issue is becoming more heated by the day, because at the current rate of congressional spending, even the Treasury’s “creative accounting” won’t let it avoid the debt limit beyond Aug. 2, just a little more than a month from now.

What do you want Congress to do?

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner, R-Ohio, has made his choice: “Let me be clear: Tax hikes are off the table.”

Yet Democrats are maintaining their insistence on tax hikes, so the budget talks, as of this writing, are at an impasse. But it should be obvious that we cannot keep spending more than what our already too-high tax rates are bringing in. That created our unsustainable debt in the first place.

Neither tax hikes nor spending cuts would be easy.

But at least spending cuts would be responsible.

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charivara said...

Readers must keep in mind that this writer is coming from an ideological viewpoint, not a factual one. Taxes in relation to our gross domestic product are near an all time low. They are significantly lower than than in most developed countries.

Republicans don’t really care about a deficit or debt. Remember, they got us into two wars as well as a drug prescription plan without making provisions to pay for them, and actually lowered taxes, which mostly benefited the richest Americans. These are the taxes that are “off the table.”

Republicans will do away with a society in which all share equitably in the riches we produce. Most of that wealth has gone to the upper 1%, mainly through tax policy. The “responsible” spending cuts this writer supports affect largely those in the lower income brackets who benefit from policies and programs Republicans have always been against. That is not economics, it is ideology.

June 25, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Debt accumulation through all sectors has been the primary tool for the massive wealth tranfer from the middle class to an extreme wealth class. The wealthy now have that wealth safe and sound, but the holders of the debt, the government and the middle class, are drowning in that debt and killing the America we knew. The tax changes that began thirty years ago have re-directed money to the few and built this debt mountain.

And what is the prescription by the wealthy for a cure? strip away the social safety net constructed over six decades that offered small protection for average people. There you have it... jets and yachts for the few...mean streets for the rest.

June 25, 2011 at 11:52 a.m.
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