I read this post the other day, and it really got me thinking. I like to think that I am less biased and right-wing than a lot of other bloggers out there, even the ones I sometimes agree with. This particular post reinforces those thoughts. Although I think this is a little bit too far on the anti-Communist scale for the 21st century, the overall message is one I agree with.
Let's be honest. The President and Democrats acted as if the debt crisis was a must-be-avoided situation. As if, on August 2nd, if the debt ceiling was not raised, our entire country would collapse. Obviously, social security and medicare recipients, as well as veterans, might not get their checks if the debt ceiling wasn't raised.
Instead of refuting these scare tactics, the Republicans we elected to office agreed. Their point was not that any of these "inevitable" tragedies were not really inevitable. Their argument was that they were, in fact, inevitable, and that the Republican-majority House would block any efforts to avoid them that did not include significant spending cuts.
Now let's look at the reality. There is, in fact, an alternative to the "inevitable" tragedies quoted by the Obama administration. 4 out of every 10 dollars we spend are borrowed. Which means that the government could continue to operate with 60% of its funding. Do we really think that social security, medicare, and active duty and veteran pay and benefits add up to more than 60% of government spending?
What if, instead, extended unemployment benefits were cut off, retired Congressional pension payments were suspended, or Congressmen got paid 10% less or temporarily worked without pay? What if federal bureaucrats were laid off or asked to work temporarily without pay? Unfathomable? FAA inspectors and air traffic controllers are already doing it! If the people responsible for the safety of every person to fly in American airspace can work without pay, surely the people we elected to make tough choices, who have caused the enormous deficit which causes this problem, could do the same? After all, can anyone argue that FAA inspectors and controllers caused the debt crisis? How about Congressmen? Can anyone argue that retirees, who faithfully paid into social security out of every paycheck for the last 40+ years of their adult life caused our bankruptcy? How about the legislators who have resisted social security reform, even though we have known for decades that the system would eventually run out of money?
Democrats threatened inevitable tragedies to the most vulnerable and/or deserving people in our country. Republicans agreed and used this as leverage. In the end, we have just extended our credit limit without cutting back our spending. In reality, neither side grew a pair large enough to make the tough choices necessary to fix the long term problems of our debt and deficit economy.
Were the veterans, the retired, and the disabled really saved? Or were the elected representatives, making their livings and receiving health and retirement packages most of us could only dream of at our expense, saved? Maybe it's time for a bigger change and more hope than Obama, or the Republicans, ever asked or hoped for.