Debt decision drawing near

Debt decision drawing near

June 25th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

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.