The fate of the United States rests in the people. We, as the people, have placed 535 people into Congress that are shirking their responsibility to the American people at every turn. With congressional polarization thicker than nuclear shelter cement, hopes of reaching any sort of agreement--let alone the right one--seems far-fetched.
I--generally frustratedly--call myself a republican.
Republicans seem hell-bent to refuse any increase in the debt ceiling because it's "what the public" (mainly the party's primary constituents) want. There is little doubt that the government will default or shut down on August 2nd if the cap isn't raised. While America might be walking into a lesson-teaching wake-up call, it's one that should never happen. Parents that see their children moving towards a hot burner don't let them put their hand on it even though it would teach them a valuable lesson. Parents do everything they can to keep the hand away! Without a cap increase, America will burn its hand--and maybe much more. It's not an injury we couldn't heal from, but it's much worse than an open-handed swat on the bottom to get them out of the kitchen!
I think Mitch McConnell's new proposal might be onto something, but it's going to require more. Cap increases are immediately necessary, but so are spending cuts. We need to tackle the problem on a multitude of fronts. McConnell wishes that each increase in the cap must be offset by an equal decrease in spending. Simple enough. It's at least a temporary solution to a much greater problem. After a degree in Economics, I know that even the most prominent economic scholars have less of a handle on the American economy than the weatherman on a thunderstorm. I/They don't know if taxes should go up or down to create more jobs, taxes, etc. However, the other two: temporary spending cap increases and longstanding spending cuts, are necessary to protect the reliability of the American dollar.
What may be more important is the long-term solution to the problems at hand--selfishness and pride. Banks bore the brunt of the expenses (until bailed out) and the mockery/humiliation after the housing market collapsed because they lent money to people that had no ability to pay it back. Although the banks were partially to blame, the individuals were the real source of the problem. Irresponsibility and personal finance indiscretion by millions of Americans were the cause. It seems the government didn't listen then, even as it was bailing out doomed banks and automakers. The underlying problem of the entire financial crisis is selfishness and pride.
America, it is time to realize you can't afford everything you want. As great as America is, we have fallen into a state of pride. We can't fix every problem in the world. We can't bring every individual--inside and outside of the US--out of poverty by handing out money, at least not yet. The dream that has driven millions of people to migrate to America is not that the government would make them rich, but that the laws of the land enabled them to break the chains of poverty with hard word and sometimes luck.
Some of you may be shouting, "But the US has a responsibility to the poor."
That responsibility should always take the future into consideration. Consideration of the unborn requires that we secure the blessings for our posterity. Those blessings are in serious danger when we adopt only Keynesian principles, "In the long run we are all dead." Although we might be dead, our children and posterity live on. It's time to remember the children and take responsibility for our actions. The debt, when divided among each American, is about equal to a brand new Mustang Shelby GT500 per American. That means the average American household currently has 4 of those in their garage to pay off. Can you imagine Joe the plumber shouldering a debt like that--along with house payments, actual car payments, school loans, and raising children?
We've got to get our debt under control. The result of irresponsibility for millions of Americans was the loss of their home. The result of Congressional irresponsibility will be much more widespread: first, the faith of foreign creditors in the government; then the faith of our own people; and before we know it, our pride and selfishness have subverted every ideal we stand for because they no longer carry any weight.
God Bless America, and may He lead our politicians to decisions that escape our materialistic society. And then, may their leadership provide inspiration to us all.