U.S. debt limit 'catastrophe'

U.S. debt limit 'catastrophe'

February 15th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

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?