Tuesday, August 02, 2011

No Champagne Government on a Beer Budget: U.S. Debt Ceiling Raised on 269-161 House and 74-26 Senate Vote As President Obama Signs Bill Into Law

The NPR headline reads: Obama Signs Bill To Raise Debt Ceiling (see also here with a different photograph - it just depends on what you want to emphasize, and that is a political choice in newscasting).

Read there a detailed article by NPR staff and wires on the debt agreement reached between President Obama and Congress.

We think that as a result of the debt agreement that the President of the United States in coming months must seek to implement measures to re-educate Congress and the public that the major problem in American federal government finance is NOT excessive spending but RATHER, as compared to all the other industrialized nations of the world, grossly INEQUITABLE income distribution and comparatively low TAXATION that is simply TOO LOW to pay for what America wants to do, i.e.:
  • to properly take care of its elderly,
  • to keep its population healthy,
  • to educate its children, students AND adults competitively,
  • to renew the nation's infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.),
  • to preserve its status as a role model for emerging democracies, 
  • to keep pace with other countries in technology and other fields,
  • to retain its role as the world's policeman,
  • to keep its status as the world's most powerful nation militarily, and
  • to keep being the "good guys" on the block, rather than a nation led by a group of selfish wealthy bullies benefiting from the economic advantages of the American system and way of life without contributing proportionately to keep that system intact and prospering.
People in American politics will have to come to the realization that the world is not going to give the United States the elite status that it wants for free.  America will have to pay its way. We are always surprised that particularly Republicans do not seem to grasp this elementary budget principle. You can't run a champagne government on a beer budget. Those who want to cut taxes, reduce the federal budget and exacerbate a rich-poor class structure should not be surprised down the road if America becomes more and more like the countries that generations of American immigrants tried to leave -- at all cost.

Large amounts of foreign investment in America are in fact made only because of America's status as the world's most powerful nation and as such, as the guarantor of some semblance of law and order on this planet, a law and order which benefits "haves" in other countries who thus more readily can keep what they have -- in a world of peace.

A vacuum in world power left by a financially defaulted USA would have opened a Pandora's box of problems with unforeseeable results for everyone, not just in the United States. Responsible and prudent people do not want that Pandora's box opened because nothing good would come of it. Congressmen who voted against the debt agreement thus voted for the greater possibility of destruction and for harder times for all.

American voters should examine carefully the person of each and every Senator and House of Representatives member -- regardless of political party -- who voted against the debt agreement and consider seriously whether more responsible and prudent people for Congress might be found in their State in the next election.

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