Thursday, July 14, 2011
Debt Versus Deficit
Blame is owned by both. The Democrats for not having passed a budget for two years. To use their term, continuing resolutions are no more than 'kicking the can down the road.'
The Republicans, on the other hand, are trying to tie two different problems together. Let's look at debt first. We all carry debt. Credit cards, car payments, mortgages, etc. Anything you owe on is debt. The same holds true for government. It isn't just social security and medicare and military salaries. It's everything from Boeing to the companies who make bullets for the troops. The debt ceiling is how much we can afford to charge.
Deficit then is obviously when we spend more money than we've budgeted. Of course actually having a budget helps. But how many of us do and what happens when the bank sends you an insufficient funds notice? Pay up. What if you can't? Default? Bankruptcy?
So as I see the issues, Congress ought to raise the debt limit the absolute minimum amount needed to run the government for a year. Then write a budget cutting what is feasible from the morass of programs out there and/or the programs themselves. But in an orderly manner.
They keep talking about a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget. That isn't likely to happen. They should, however, make passing an annual budget mandatory. Before spending dime one!
Both sides have muddied the water so much it's hard to sort it all out. There have been cries for there to be adults in the room. Don't be fooled by exasperated sighs and head shaking. They are all acting like spoiled children. My way or the highway. The President has not put forward concrete ideas. The Republicans, lead by the tea party caucus, are being bull headed over the tax part of the issues. Closing loopholes should not be considered tax hikes. It's an exploitation of poorly written laws and should be eliminated. Laws, by the way, written by Congress.
Congress can point fingers at the President all they want, but it shouldn't be forgotten they are the ones who voted to spend beyond our limits in the first place. Both parties. Over years.
What goes around comes around. Now they've been hoisted on their own petard - of greed.
Is there anyone out there who will really put country first? Oh, yes. The young men and women who are still being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. They understand the concept. They have no lobbyists nor unions to bloat their salaries or benefits. They just love their country - enough to be willing to sacrifice their lives for it.
Politicians - take note.