This weekend was a “road trip” weekend for me and my lovely wife. A trip back to my hometown, which also included a detour to Hershey Park so that Mrs. Weapon could experience the wonderful world of chocolate for the first time. What Mecca is to Muslims, Hershey is to 52% of the US population. On the ride north, I listened to a minimal amount of news, instead opting for some music that the USWeapon clan could sing along with on the drive. But I did listen to about an hour of talk radio coverage of the debt ceiling discussions happening in Washington DC. As a result, SUFA gets this article because I am tired of hearing all the bull dookey around the topic.
Allow me to get my position on raising the national debt ceiling out of the way up front. I am opposed to raising the debt ceiling at this time with one exception: I am willing to agree with raising the debt ceiling only if it is accompanied by a piece of legislation that requires the federal government operate with a balanced budget, and ensures that there is not a clause that will allow that legislation to be ignored whenever politically expedient to do so.
In short, I am done with listening to the bullshit excuses from both sides. I am also done with listening to the bullshit fear mongering. It appears that the entirety of the established DC politician’s strategy for persuading the American public to accept raising the debt ceiling is raising flags of fear and scaring them into accepting it. Well, I am not buying it. And if you have any sense, you won’t be either.
And I guess in fairness, I should mention that there is one person in DC who has a different strategy than the fear mongering that everyone else is using: President Obama. He uses the fear mongering but adds in another factor. The President of the United States has resorted to outright lying to make a case for what he wants to do. In his appeal to the American people, he attempted to claim that 80% of Americans are in favor of raising taxes to fix the problem. “The American people are sold. The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically.” What a complete load of horse manure. Of course he did couple his lies with more fear mongering, claiming that time is running out for us to avoid “financial armageddon.”
The reality is that the American public is against raising the debt ceiling, against raising taxes to deal with the deficit (although I will touch on that a bit more), and in favor of cutting spending in Washington. I give the caveat to the raising of taxes only because there is a vocal minority in favor of raising taxes only on the wealthy and a vocal minority in favor of only raising taxes on the 47% of Americans who pay no income taxes. The President, along with the rest of the dolts in DC on both sides of the aisle, have deluded themselves into believing that anything they are doing has overwhelming support from Americans. The reality is that Congress has a dismal approval rating, and the President’s isn’t much better at this point.
Adding to the noise are the pronouncements from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s that the United States is in danger of losing its triple A credit rating. To this I say, I don’t really care. That the United States HAS a triple A credit rating is a firm testament to how irrelevant those two agencies are to reality in the first place. What is good for the goose apparently isn’t good for the gander.
While the average US citizen operates at the complete mercy of a credit rating system that is rigged to do little more than provide justification for increases in interest rates, the federal government apparently has for far too long been allowed to maintain a glowing credit rating while performing more like someone who doesn’t qualify for a debit card. If you or I operated under the same tactics that the federal government operates under, we wouldn’t be able to secure a loan for a vending machine purchase.
The credit agencies in America, who are a completely created entity made to favor the banking industry and corporations, will drop your credit rating for having too much credit extended to you. You don’t have to even be irresponsible and use that credit, you merely have to have been given too much ability to use credit. They will drop your credit rating if people inquire too much into your credit history. You know how crooked the system is when you can actually be penalized for closing credit cards rather than continuing to use them. And you are penalized for having a debt to income ratio that doesn’t equal whatever random figure they come up with at the moment, despite whether you have paid your bills on time or not.
Yet somehow, a federal government that consistently spends far more than they bring in has a triple A credit rating. The federal government operates with a debt to income ratio that, by most measures, doesn’t have the ability to change anytime in the next several decades. We have a national debt above 14 Trillion dollars. We have a budget that spends 1.7 Trillion more than we bring in annually (and that is just the “planned” shortfall, we all know how adept the federal government is at operating within the budget they are allocated). And despite all of this, those two organizations have the audacity to pretend that the United States is worthy of a triple A credit rating? If the federal government were a US citizen they would have a credit rating in the low 100’s and wouldn’t be able to borrow at all.
Top off this discussion with the ridiculous proposal by GOP Senator Mitch McConnell. True to politician form, he offers up a compromise that is the exact opposite of what anyone in the United States should be willing to accept. Under McConnell’s “Plan B”, Congress would give up its power to determine whether the debt ceiling should be raised and give it to the President! Obama would get to determine whether the debt ceiling could be raised and the only way Congress would be able to stop him from doing so would be to have the votes to veto in both houses! How is that somehow an acceptable alternative? It is the most ridiculous idea I have heard to date. Is it any wonder that the country is in such dire straights?
With GOP leadership like Mitch McConnell, ridiculous spending from the previous administration, and out of control spending from the Democrats, the flailing US economy never had a chance.
The bottom line is that neither the Republicans or the Democrats have any intention of doing anything that is going to truly begin to address the serious systemic problems with the US economy and the federal government’s budgets. Both are playing political games with these issues and neither has any clue what to do that would be acceptable to other politicians. But don’t for a second think that they don’t have any clue at all. The crooks on both sides of the aisle know exactly what to do to begin the process of healing what ails this country, but they are aware that the real solutions lie in shrinking government power and scope. That is something that neither side is willing to consider.
As I have said before, and I will repeat here, the battle in America isn’t Democrats versus Republicans. Not at all. Democrats and Republicans are on the same team, despite their gamesmanship. They attempt to define the battle lines in that way. But the reality is that the real battle is between Washington DC politicians and the American people. These two parties, who are both on the same side against us, are playing a high stakes poker game with the our futures. They are not gaming each other. They are gaming you. And the time has come to call their bluff.
No debt ceiling raises. No more increases in federal spending or federal control over our lives. We need to risk our tournament life and push all in. We are going to find that the federal government has been holding 2-7 off-suit the entire time, they were just exceptionally good at making us believe they had pocket Aces.