Friday, July 15, 2011

Are there Any Adults In The Room?

Enough already!  Stop!  Grow up!
These are just some of the random thoughts that go through our mind as we watch our elected “leaders” negotiate the debt ceiling limit.  It is as if the seriousness of this issue has been lost on them.
House Minority Leader Cantor rudely interrupts the President three times during negotiations.  The President bites his head off.  Cantor responds by publically throwing the President under the bus.  Senate Majority Leader Reid makes a speech in the well of the Senate publically criticizing Cantor, questioning why Cantor is even in the negotiations.  “Eric is all about Eric” he quotes a fellow Senator as saying.
What is this, romper room?  “You’re a dirty rotten so so”…”Am not”…”Are too”.  Watching this makes one wonder if these folks have any concept of the serious problem we are facing if they don’t do their job.
And this situation IS really, really serious.
Yesterday, Standard and Poors joined Moody’s in issuing a warning about the very real possibility that the US credit rating will be downgraded if our guys don’t raise the debt ceiling…now.  S&P placed the US credit rating on “Credit Watch with negative implications.”   The rating bureau said that there is a one in two likelihood that the S&P will lower the US credit rating in the next 90 days.  This follows a move in April where S&P changed its outlook on the country’s credit rating to “negative”.  Our politicians may be playing an ideological game of chicken in hopes of crafting a favorable deal, but these rating bureaus are not fooling around.
The thing that seems lost on these guys is that the debt ceiling must be raised; not so that we can take on new spending programs but rather to pay for the very commitments that these clowns already approved.  Our credit card has been maxed out to buy a whole host of things that Congress committed to.  Like the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and the prescription drug program for seniors.  You don’t get to vote to go to war in Afghanistan and then decide that you don’t want to pay the guys fighting there.  The financial commitment was made when you swiped your credit card.  You’re in…no do overs. 
Millions of homeowners have unfortunately found themselves in this same position.  “I bought the house…signed the mortgage…now due to unforeseen circumstances I don’t have the money to pay for it.”  The banks don’t care.  They want their money.  The term they use is foreclosure.  This sad set of circumstances is playing itself out all over the country…and it is about to include the government of the United States of America.
Uninformed politicians like Michelle Bachman say we’ll just pay the interest on the debt to avoid default.  “No worries”.  But if we pay the interest and cannot pay our other meager obligations like Social Security, Medicare, Military pay, veteran’s benefits and federal employee’s wages, our lowered credit limit will be the least of our worries.
Everyone agrees that we need to cut spending.  The $56 trillion that we have committed to pay over the next decade must be addressed.  But holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage for political gain is reckless and irresponsible.
So, c’mon guys, raise the debt ceiling so that we can pay our bills.  Then you can go back to your silly food fight.

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