Politics as usual over the debt ceiling

As usual, Congress and the President are waging another juvenile political war over the need to raise the debt ceiling.  And, as usual, it’s all about republicans versus democrats with absolutely no room for rationality.   To the two main parties, it’s all about them.  It’s all about claims of superiority and denial of defeat.  It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to include themselves as part of either faction.

Obama is correct when he says that Congress has already authorized the spending, but that’s about the only thing he’s right about.

“These are bills that have already been racked up, and we need to pay them.”

It sounds like he stands on the side of ethical responsibility.  And the media, almost without exception, paints the debate in exactly the same terms:  America should pay its bills!

Except that the Americans that are going to end up paying those bills aren’t old enough to vote yet.

Obama and Congress aren’t “paying “America’s bills”.  They are going to borrow more money so that they don’t have to pay the bills.  Why is that fact lost on people?

The republican resistance to raising the ceiling is just as fake as their posturing about how fiscally responsible they are.  Lies that obvious in reputable professions usually land people in prison or at least get them fired.

Contrary to the wailing of conservative idiots like Grover Norquist, the moral issue isn’t about how much spending there is.  And, despite the childish public debate between Congressional leaders, it’s not about how low or high taxes are.  The moral issue is that the U.S. government is spending money it doesn’t have and passing the bill to future generations who have no voice to complain about it. And that is the only point the media and the public should be focused on.

To review:  High spending?  Not a moral issue. High taxes?  Not a moral issue.  Enslaving future generations by loading them up with debt they played no role in creating?  That is a moral issue.

It can be fixed by reducing spending or by raising taxes or some combination of both.  Unfortunately, Congress has no incentive to behave morally because they can count on the  American public to do one thing:  keep reelecting the same immoral assholes to Congress.

Hopefully, our kids won’t rise up and kill us all when they find out how badly we fucked them over.


2 thoughts on “Politics as usual over the debt ceiling

  1. BoogaFrito

    It can be fixed by reducing spending or by raising taxes or some combination of both.

    The problem can’t be solved by raising taxes alone. I don’t think there would be enough money to maintain a balanced budget, even if you took 100% of everyone’s income. Spending cuts would have to be part of the plan.

    In this respect, while excessive spending itself wouldn’t be immoral, a case can be made that spending at such a rate where the only solution is pinning the bill on future generations, that could be a moral issue.

  2. Dave Krueger

    Taxes right now are (and have been) actually quite low because of the Bush tax cuts. I think they could increase taxes to cover the deficit, but the consequences would be a huge reduction in growth and the wealthiest and most powerful people would find ways of avoiding the taxes.

    But, the real effect of a dramatic tax increase would be to finally get the public to demand spending cuts. As it is, voters elect politicians who promise them the most. They don’t care if government borrows the money to pay for it because they don’t feel that.

    Of course, the government has lots of ways to hide the pain of higher taxes by making it look as if other people are paying for it. While maybe not immoral, that certainly is unethical.

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