Sunday, July 31, 2011

Calling It Like It Is

I found exactly what I wanted in the first few seconds of my visit to Watching America. The overwhelming majority of the articles dealt with the debt ceiling crisis, which certainly came as no surprise, but one spelled out the source of the crisis in no uncertain terms.

From France's Le Monde:

...In less than a week, if Democrat Barack Obama and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives do not come to an agreement, the U.S. Treasury will be in default of payment, which will cause economic and financial catastrophe, just like an implosion of the eurozone would have done.

It is as if the American system of government is no longer working or working less and less effectively, particularly in relation to this central issue: how to get out of debt. ...

Each day that passes, the Washington psychodrama is making the markets a little more feverish and resulting in a difficult economic climate. The Republicans are responsible for this deadlock. Although they are the party that eroded public finances in recent years, they rejected a courageous compromise proposed by Obama to substantially reduce the deficit by cutting public spending and by increasing taxes on the wealthiest segment of the population.

It was a centrist proposal. But the problem is that the second major American party has become an extremist organization. The Republicans are refusing any tax increases due to ideological fanaticism.
[Emphasis added]

Whether or not one agrees with the proposition that to reduce the deficit spending right now, in this recession, should be cut to the bone, it is clear that revenues also need to be increased. Tax cuts need to be rolled back and tax increases need to be imposed on those who can afford it. Corporations need to pay their fair share. The wealthy need to have their shelters cut, not their taxes. The Republicans, however, are having none of it. NONE of it.

And so we have the impasse. If Michele Bachman is wrong and August 2, 2011 is the outermost date to avoid a financial catastrophe, it is hard to imagine that the problem can be solved in time. For the first time in history, the US will default on its debt.

The conclusion of the editorial points to the least of our troubles at that point:

...the irresponsibility of the Republicans is striking a blow to America's image.


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