Friday, July 29, 2011

Andrew McCarthy: Our Debt Is Already a Catastophe; Disruption Can't Be Avoided

In a long, precise, well thought out piece Andrew C. McCarthy explains our real options. Just a bit from his must read piece:
"The pass we are at is not an avoidable disruption. It is a disaster that has already begun to unfold, reversal of which cries out for bold action. The Boehner plan, or any other scheme that balks at forthrightly dealing with our financial straits, merely makes it more likely that our nation cannot survive as we have known it. In the shorter term, the Boehner plan ensures that, when serious steps are finally taken, the metastasizing debt disease will be trillions worse, if not terminal.

"Equally wrongheaded as imagining that an existential threat can be allowed to fester untreated is the insistence on seeing the threat in political rather than substantive terms."
One fact (of the many McCarthy presents) is somewhat well known, and it's easy to see looming consequences:
"The government now spends so much more than it takes in that 40 cents of every expended federal dollar is borrowed."
If your family was borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar it spends, would raising your debt limit help? Would there be any possible action to become solvent that would not turn out to require a massive change in lifestyle?

What is the responsibility of House representatives?
". . . First, the Republicans actually control the House. Second, the debt problem they confront is not just by dimensions more significant than the ideology of judicial nominees; it is precisely the matter they were elected to address.

"No, Republicans can’t govern from the House — if President Obama decided to pull out of Afghanistan tomorrow, there’s not much House Republicans could do about it except cavil. But just as the Constitution makes the president supreme in foreign affairs, it makes the Congress preeminent when it comes to federal borrowing and spending — and, in fact, reposes in the House of Representatives primary control over the raising of revenue. The Framers quite consciously structured things that way so that the spending of public dollars and incurring of public debt would be most closely overseen by the political officials most directly accountable to the people — the members of the House, who have to face the voters every two years."
[emphasis added]
Sign up for McCarthy's RSS feed. He's one of the most insightful commentators writing.

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