Let The Nation Default
Or Calling Their Bluff
You wouldn’t know it by the news reports, but the number one concern of Americans isn’t the debt ceiling showdown going on in the Washington Swamplands, it is employment. Those who are unemployed would like to go back to work, and those who are employed are worried about losing their job. When it comes to whether the government can borrow more money, most people really don’t care. The issue is a distant second to them.
That isn’t to say that not raising the debt ceiling isn’t a big deal — it is. It is actually a really big deal, and by not raising it could cause the loss of even more jobs and severely damage the fragile gains in the economic recovery we’ve been having.
The problem is, Rebublicans have been allowed to frame this entire debate in order to hold the country hostage until all of their demands are met. Democrats, including the president stupidly take the bait and attempt to reason with them because they want to avoid an economic disaster at all costs — even if it means giving in to the hostage-taker’s demands.
It is time to call the Republicans exactly what they are — terrorists. They threaten to kill the economy and create havoc and disaster unless we give into their demands. Even then, there is no guarantee they won’t kill the economy anyways.
The US has long had the policy that you don’t negotiate with terrorists, yet the Democrats have been doing it ever since they regained power in both houses and the White House. Each time the Democrats and/or the president gives ground on things like health care, Bush tax cuts, etc, it emboldens the Republican terrorists to come back next time with even bigger demands, promising even more havoc and ruin if they aren’t met.
By engaging with the terrorists this way, Democrats end up sharing part of the responsibility that comes out of any kind of deal made between the two parties. So when the effects of such deals begin to be felt, guess who gets at least half of the blame?
Since the artifial limit known as the “debt ceiling” was started in 1962, it has been raised 74 times without any conditions. The alternative was not acceptable. Raising the ceiling isn’t about incurring new debt, it is to pay off debt already owed. By not raising the debt ceiling, we are essentially telling those to whom we owe money to, that we aren’t going to pay them.
That means people who have put their money into Treasury Bonds, it means that when previous administrations went to balance their budgets by borrowing against Social Security, that money will not be paid back. It means that the money you have in the bank can no longer be guaranteed under the “full faith and credit” of the FDIC if that bank were to shut its doors and go out of business.
The best way to deal with the Republican terrorists is to not deal with them at all. The Senate should pass a clean bill that raises the debt ceiling and nothing more. Or in the alternative, the Senate should pass a bill that repeals the debt ceiling. Democrats should remain united in NOT attaching any conditions to the raising of the debt ceiling. Period. Then stop talking about it. No negotiations, no compromising, just offer the bill and be done with it.
If the Republicans still want to vote against raising the debt ceiling — let them. If they want to continue to hold it hostage — let them. It will be all on them.
The Democrats and the President should spend their time pushing JOBS and raising the marginal tax rates on the rich back up to 39 percent and close all loopholes. That includes the capital gains tax, which also should be raised up to 39 percent. The Democrats should also be pushing for tarrifs on goods manufactured outside of the US, and should penalize US companies who outsource their jobs or hire foreign workers under H1B Visa permits.
The President should be all over the television and radio on a daily basis explaining what he is doing and why it needs to be done. The people need to see his face daily, keeping us abreast on everything. He needs to take the Republicans to task by calling them out on everything. The time for being nice is over, and that strategy has failed. You cannot be nice to people whose stated goal is to destroy you.
So let the Republicans fail to raise the debt ceiling. The president already has the authority granted under the Constitution to bypass that artificial ceiling.