1. Because for generations now we have lived well beyond our means (all administrations, all congresses, both parties) and whether it's this year, next year or next decade, it has to happen some time, so why not now?
It doesn't have to happen in the long or short term. If the debt ceiling is raised in the short term and the debt is brought down to reasonable levels over the next 10 to 20 years then there is no problem.
Re: In Regards to the Flickering Flame of Optimism ()
Optimism's is a fickle finch Taq.
So is defeatism.
For the national debt, what matters is how the debt compares as a percentage of the gross domestic product. The reason the debt is a problem is not simply because it’s encroaching $14.3 trillion dollars, but because that happens to be about 100 percent of the nation’s GDP. And granted - while it’s not unheard of, its perdy bad and especially so ..
I agree that percentage of GDP is the best way to judge the size of the national debt. Using this figure, there have been instances where the national debt has gone down in recent times:
The recent upsurge in debt was a government attempt to stabilize the economy. While this a dangerous ploy, it was better than letting the economy tank. What it did was buy time, time in which the economy can hopefully improve to pay off the debt.
Re: In Regards to the Flickering Flame of Optimism
Minor detail - the debt expressed as a percentage of the GDP has experienced temporary decrease.
Dam smoke ..
In this scenario, it seems temporary increases in GDP attempt to give way to the illusion of a decrease in debt.
Dam mirrors ..
No smoke and mirrors. A 1 million dollar debt for Bill Gates is a lot different than the same debt for Joe the Plumber. If we keep the current debt for 30 years and GDP catches up to it, then the debt has been effectively lowered. This is a very, very bad way to lower the debt, but it is a way to do it nonetheless.
As an aside, we may do well to review numbers. When we allow a dollar to represent a second, 1 million dollars is roughly equivalent to 12 days. Proportionately, 1 billion dollars/seconds is equivalent to roughly 32 years.
I am a microbiologist so I have a firm grasp on what large numbers of something look like.
Now many people when you explain this to them, will then guess that 1 trillion seconds is equivalent to roughly 64 years or so, which effectively demonstrates how we can - at times, perceive numbers from an arbitrary view point.
Strangely enough, 1 trillion bacteria is the number of bacteria in about 1 ml of culture media.
So, you think a deployed soldiers wife and children should not receive a paycheck?
Should federal employees lose their job and/or paycheck? Should my grandfather, who worked hard every day of his life, not get his social security check? Should my grandma not get a life saving surgery because Medicare refuses to pay? Should Joe Blow, a father of 3, not get his unemployment check after being laid off from the factory?
The answer to all of those is no, in my opinion. We all know that none of those programs are where the problem lies, though. None of those programs are where there is the most waste. Those programs help people, not pad pockets.
I agree. However, there are going to be some tough choices if the debt ceiling is not raised. Someone is going to decide who gets laid off, who doesn't get their social security, etc. The Republicans did the same thing during the Clinton presidency, and it cost them seats. All the Democrats had to do is say, "Anyone want to know why they aren't getting their Social Security checks? Well, the Republicans are to blame." And they were right.
There seems to be a real disconnect within the base of the Republican party. Not long ago, you could have attended a Republican rally where someone would have a sign that said "No Socialized Medicine, and Keep Your Hands Off Of My Medicare". I remember watching a political talk show where a Republican representative refused to consider that Medicare was socialized medicine.
On top of all of this, non-security discretionary spending is not the problem:
quote:Discretionary spending in FY 2010 was $1.3 trillion, or 38% of total spending. More than half ($815 billion) was security spending, which includes the Department of Defense, overseas contingency programs and Homeland Security.
Non-security spending was $491 billion. The largest departments were: Health and Human Services ($84 billion), Education ($64.3 billion), Housing and Urban Development ($42.8 billion) Justice ($27.6 billion), and Agriculture ($25 billion). http://useconomy.about.com/...eralbudget/p/Discretionary.htm
I am absolutely appalled at how average republican voting people can be so hypocritical. Bush expanded the executive power. During his time, they raised the debt ceiling 7 times. And all of that was done without a single voice raising in dissention.
Just read an article in a local rag about this. During the Bush years, Cantor et. al voted in a total of 3.7 trillion dollars of increased debt ceiling. Of all the irony, Obama voted against such measures during his tenure in the Senate.
I am still convinced the tea party and other conservatives are racist at heart.
Their fear of "Socialism" is color blind. I don't think it would matter if it were Obama or Kerry. The Tea Party and related movements were built from the hyperpartisanship used during the Bush administration. They are are a product of Fox News, not a racist group, IMHO.
There have been plenty of democratic (communist) presidents in the past.
Just to put this aside to bed, I think it has to do with the hyperpartisanship during the Bush years (a la Fox News). That is the difference between the current movement and past movements. We should probably stop this aside here, or start another thread if you are interested in continuing the discussion.