The Great Debt Debacle

Anyone who doesn’t live in a cave (and maybe some that do) knows the United States is engaged in a tumultuous inner dialogue over how much debt is too much debt.

Leaders from Congress are meeting daily with the President to discuss what measures should be taken when — not if — we raise the debt ceiling. Simply, Obama wants more taxes and, the GOP wants less government spending. However, there are other proposals aplenty on the table.

Congressman Ron Paul has suggested we get the Fed to forgive 1.7 trillion in “fake debt.” This would allow the Republicans and Democrats to wash their hands of the debt talks for the next year.

Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also has a proposal that would give the President power to raise the debt ceiling without Congressional authority. This perhaps the most egregious of proposals since Congress cannot abdicate its constitutional power over the national purse strings.

Many conservatives have signed on to the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge” from Senator Jim DeMint. It calls for deep spending cuts, a cap on the amount of money the government can spend, and, lastly, a Balanced Budget Amendment. Where will these spending cuts come from? What does the country do during the years it will take to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution?

What the country needs is some more radical thinking. Sure, in world of the status quo, we need to reform entitlements, but if not done carefully this will rob the younger taxpayers of the money we were forced to pay into the system in the first place.  Likewise, before we can begin to debate entitlements, the “your check isn’t in the mail” rhetoric has to end.

Meanwhile, the wars and foreign policy must be debated. If there is any truth to Obama’s middle way approach, then certainly American can downsize the military and close some foreign bases in stable countries like Germany and Japan. We can also immediately leave Iraq and Afghanistan.  

The faux debate and false choices must end. There are savings to be had. Government can significantly shrink, even without harming the dependent class. However, to do this we must be vigilant against tales of senior-hating politicians and foreign boogey men. 

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