No Solution, only a Reprieve

Last week the Republicans decided to bend, just a little. They would grant the country a new debt ceiling until April 15th, with the proviso that thereafter spending cuts would tell a story of continued cooperation or not.  Someone finally understood that as a party, the Republicans “had to make nice” if they wanted to continue being relevant to our nation’s history.

Is this enough to take the bitter taste from our mouths as we understood The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012?

That little exercise was how we did not go over, temporarily at least, the feared fiscal cliff.

When we learned that this new bill contained earmarks for industries and causes that had little or nothing to do with the fiscal cliff but in fact, with these earmarks included, increased our peril, I was very close to being actually physically sick.

What astonishingly selfish yet uninformed Tea Partier, or denizen of the Senate, or brilliantly connected lobbyist, would take advantage of slipping these things into a bill designed to help our citizens continue the economic recovery we may or may not be having?

How could politicians not understand that these earmarks were a slap in our faces, a way of telling us that while we may hope for the best, the future contains no changes in how Congress operates. At all. Probably worse is the secondary information offered: the next three months are going to be intolerably partisan since some unknowns are determined to “get theirs” and the rest of us be damned.

To pass this bill was necessary, I agree.

What wasn’t necessary were the earmarks that amounted to more than 100 million dollars, and probably a good deal more, that went to NASCAR racing facilities; extended tax credits to green-energy vehicles; more tax credits for the biodiesel industry; not to mention asparagus growers, Hollywood film-makers, and rum producers in Puerto Rico.

By granting these earmarks, and others through the ages, the US is guaranteeing payment to those generally less than needy recipients by using our tax dollars. The simple but clearly misunderstood lesson of all this is that by handing out unnecessary money to undeserving industries (see the oil industry tax breaks), we are simply making the national debt worse. Which is to say that the national debt increases annually by the amount of money we (or Congress) agree to spend.

The government’s money is what we give it. There may be other sources: industrial settlements or fines for fraudulent behavior or paybacks for TARP’s generosity. But by and large, what we pay in taxes provides the government with walking around money.

So that when we decide, via our representatives in Congress, to assist a nation, an industry, a school system, the oil lobby, the farm lobby, the money that “government” allots for these purposes should be exactly what it has brought in from us in the forms of taxes, penalties, and fees.

It isn’t, and hasn’t been, for years.

It’s important to include the idea that often the money given others by our government has gone to worthy causes, for world health, for world peace or its prospect, for solutions to vexing international problems.

But to all those fool-hardy newcomers on the Hill who think of debt in the future instead of having been racked up by their own institution in the past, here’s a bulletin. The debt ceiling works exactly as your credit cards do.

You order something online, pay via a credit card or Paypal, and you promise to pay that amount to your card-holder. This now becomes a debt, from the past, for which you are on the line. Generationally, if you can’t pay or you die, your heirs are on the hook for your spending.

Our representatives vote to spend. We as voters agree. The bill, whether now or in April, is coming due.

In cause and effect, the debt ceiling idea is simple. Do we as a nation pay our bills for high-living in the past, or do we walk away with a shrug: in the minds of too many, a country too big to fail?



  1. I much like the priceless information you provide you with as part of your content.I’ll bookmark your blog website and test once more here on a regular basis.I’m fairly sure I will know lots of latest things correct the following! Decent luck for that following!

  2. I like the priceless facts you deliver as part of your articles or blog posts.I will bookmark your site and check out once more here recurrently.I am really definitely sure I’ll study lots of latest stuff suitable right here! Superior luck for that up coming!

  3. I just want to mention I am new to blogs and really loved this blog site. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You amazingly have beneficial well written articles. Cheers for sharing your web site.

  4. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  5. This is very interesting, You’re a very professional blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to searching for more of your
    fantastic post. Additionally, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

  6. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to say that I get actually enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way Ill be subscribing on your augment or even I fulfillment you access constantly quickly.

  7. whoah this blog is fantastic i love studying your articles. Stay up the good work! You understand, a lot of persons are searching around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

  8. Its such as you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something. I feel that you simply can do with some percent to force the message home a little bit, however other than that, that is excellent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  9. Thank you a lot for giving everyone remarkably wonderful opportunity to read from this website. It really is very fantastic and as well , full of a good time for me personally and my office friends to search your web site at minimum thrice in a week to study the latest guidance you will have. And lastly, I am just always satisfied considering the very good knowledge you give. Certain 3 areas in this article are essentially the most effective we’ve ever had.

  10. Heya excellent website! Does running a blog like this take a lot of work?
    I’ve virtually no understanding of programming however I
    had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways,
    if you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off topic however I simply needed to ask.
    Appreciate it!

  11. Thanks a lot for sharing this information, I just wish I had found you sooner! The way this article has been written is just superb! Not only is is very informative, it is also extremely easy to understand. Excellent job! Thanks once again, I have discovered something new today, which I like to try and do everyday. As my old mother used to say “a day gone without learning is a day wasted!”. I learned plenty from reading this article, thank you. I hope you don’t mind, but I have added a link to this article from my Facebook page.

  12. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to create a very good article but what can I say I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

  13. I blog often and I seriously appreciate your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  14. Hello there, I found your blog via Google even as looking for a related matter, your web site came up, it seems to be great.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, simply become alert to your blog via Google, and located that
    it is really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate should you proceed this in future. Many other people will probably be benefited from your
    writing. Cheers!

  15. I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s