A one-month deadline

A one-month deadline

July 2nd, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Today is July 2.

That means Congress has one month to resolve its current impasse on spending and debt. We are already up against our $14.3 trillion so-called "debt limit." But with some "creative accounting," Washington can put off the consequences of reaching that limit until Aug. 2. After that, we won't have the money to meet all our obligations.

What would seem obvious is that enactment by Congress of yet another increased debt limit without corresponding, huge cuts in wasteful spending is no solution. There have been scores of previous debt limits since 1960, and they didn't work. Why would a new one halt our country's reckless spending?

What would your solution be if you were in Congress? Raising taxes, as the president and Democrats want to do, won't work. Not only would that harm the chances of economic recovery, but Congress would simply use the new revenue for more spending. That got us in the predicament we are in today.

The answer is to cut spending immediately and substantially. Any increase in the debt limit should be matched with spending cuts. We fear, however, that the much more likely scenario is that Congress will raise the "debt limit" again, with at most some small spending cuts in the short term and vague promises of more cuts in the future.

There are many ways to describe that, but "responsible" isn't one of them.