…this Debt Ceiling Situation…

(As it has taken me about 5 days to produce this post, it is possible that some of the information contained within may have changed by now…)

Throughout the three+ years that I’ve been writing on this site, much of the time my focus has been on the war in the Middle East and our national security. When much of America was crying out “the Economy!”, I maintained the belief that, (and I still do) without strong counter-terrorism efforts (in whatever form they take shape), returning economic health wouldn’t matter for long. As a result, I never felt a call, or a desire, to turn my attention to the financial aspects of our nation. Except for a post or two, economics was lost to me.

Well, that’s changed!!!

When the ramifications of a national debt default began to sink in…a door opened in my thinking. A big one! I’ve spent much of the last few days pulling up articles & clicking on links of a whole other sort than the kind I usually do! Today I found myself pricing books by Thomas Sowell, F.A. Hayek, Henry Hazlitt – authors whose names I’d never even heard of before but now want their books! and am barely able to wait ’til my next paycheck to order at least one.   (Really, I had to talk myself out of ordering it today…amazed that disciplined thinking prevailed!)

As someone who knows next to nothing about this topic, my thoughts & observations may be naive and/or obvious.  It’s a huge picture, and I’m only seeing specific pieces, I know, and at the last-ditch moment, too…

~~~


President Ronald Reagan made this statement in a September 26, 1987
radio address:

“Congress consistently brings the Government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility.” He called it ‘brinksmanship’, and he called it right, I’d say. At that time, according to Reagan, the United States had a strong reputation for ‘reliability and credibility’. Those are priceless commodities, ones the United States of America does not want to risk losing. As I’ve continued reading, I’ve realized that the whole world needs America to be that same country, with that same standing. I’ve realized that America has not only been graced and favored with the honor of being that Shining Light on a Hill, a beacon promising the possibility of liberty for all – but also of being a grounding pillar in the world’s economy, and as such providing an inherent stability & a sense of safety. There is a “…nearly universal conviction that those who lend to us will always be repaid, on time and in full,” according to Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania (link)  Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, says, “…people really view the U.S. as the AAA, the gold standard…” but believes that such an aura has now been tarnished. Seconding that opinion is White House chief-of-staff William Daley. “There’s been enormous damage done to our creditworthiness around the world, the perception of America as a country that is…solid…”  (Meet the Press)

As I see it, that AAA standard reflects much more than credit when it comes to the United States of America. Our responsibility is great, and to many.  Yes, it is about us, but it is not only about us.

~~~

My questions now are about default, about this debt ceiling. My pursuit of answers has led me to some detailed ‘information’, and left me at times simply confused. But the one conclusion I never would’ve expected to draw from this pursuit is – a certain amount of the situation being presented to the public is perhaps either false, or a scare tactic. Turns out ‘the Donald’ agrees. “Trump said the president is trying to scare people when he talks about a possible default if a deal is not reached by then (August 2, my entry). The administration doesn’t want this dialogue to go on much longer because it hurts Obama.”   Scaring people seems to be part of the modus operandi here, especially regarding the Social Security checks situation.  In “Disentangling Social Security from the Debt Ceiling” , authors Altman & Scarberry suggest that Social Security issues are being used as a ‘key bargaining chip’, to ‘scare the American people.’ I suppose the idea in doing that is to make us more manageable? To rush or push through (sound familiar? Healthcare reform, anyone?) a plan/decision using the pressure of fear?

(A brief but excellent, easily understood explanation of the actual Social Security set-up: “Obama’s Debt-Ceiling Scare Tactics” by a former trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.)

~~~

At a very general level, I’m questioning exactly how did we get here? I’m getting the impression that perhaps Washington just doesn’t want to, and has not wanted to, give up its toys? I know that, all along & all the time, people are always trumpeting our government’s overspending, but today is the first time I’m coming across facts & details that seem to show that to me…and I am getting more than a little bit teed-off.

~~~
Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

 (George Washington, Quotes from the Founding Fathers)

~~~

I’m still not clear on how our country found itself in this recession we’ve been struggling through – that whole mortgage/banking industry thing.  Add to that this debt issue, and it’s way too big for me – at least right now. What does seem clear to me, however, is that inexcusable overspending has taken place. Senate Finance Committee member Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma bluntly states that our government has grown by 30% since the start of President Obama’s term, and that Washington is “…spending way too much money…” He speaks of waste, duplication and fraud being part of this spending, citing as an example a $1,000 @ ticket airport transportation situation, irresponsible & unnecessary, paid for by, guess who, you & I.


Both Senator Coburn and former Bush advisor & Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove have recently reported essentially the same thing,  that “nobody in America has actually seen a plan…put on paper…”, in order to know specifically what’s what. Rove says that even those who have participated in the deficit negotiating sessions don’t know what Obama’s proposal really is, and believes that the President has shown no real intention of curbing the ‘upward trajectory of government spending.’

~~~

On an encouraging note:   I have seen repeated mention, coming from many directions, of long-term solutions and dealing with the root causes. Though it seems there is a stubborn but disguised attempt to hold onto the option of spreading money around at will, there is also an opposing camp that truly desires a workable, enduring solution. And I have to insert here my own personal belief in not believing the evil report (as evidenced by Joshua & Caleb of Old Testament fame, when spying out the land of Canaan, the Promised Land, for Moses.)  We get that instruction from the Highest Level – which would be God – but I’d also like to make mention once again of Mr. Trump’s opinion, that “…long-running talks will not necessarily lead to a massive stock market sell-off as has been claimed. “Nothing is inevitable,” he said. “If the right deal is made, you’ll have a big uptick on Wall Street.”

~~~

I want to end this post with a comment made by Libertyship 46, on a Pajamas Media piece. Yes, I am all about hope springing eternal, and going forward in faith, but I do believe that losing our AAA standing, losing our credibility with the world community, is a very serious turn of events, and one we do not want to see happen.

 

“This is a battle for the soul of the nation. What is it we want to become? Do we want to become just another bankrupt European-style welfare state, like Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, and Spain, or do we want to get back on the road to fiscal solvency? If you choose the latter, then this is a fight we need to embrace. This is where we make our stand and this is where we draw the line.” 

~~~~~~ 
God be with America & her citizens, guide us, and make His face to shine upon us. Show us the way, and the Way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 responses to “…this Debt Ceiling Situation…

  1. Wow, there is a lot to comment on here.First, as one who has read all of the authors you listed there, start with Hazlitt. A lot of the other books draw on him.Second, I think we have gotten here because previous politicians and previous voters were content to kick the can down the road. Now its time to solve this problem. If we keep kicking the can and we are not serious about solving our spending problems, we are going to lose our Triple A rating.

  2. Whoops! I already ordered "Basic Economics: a Citizens Guide to the Economy" by Thomas Sowell. (It was recommended in one of the comment threads I'd read…)Funny, I was thinking about emailing you & asking your opinion on books about economics!In the end, this threat of default may turn out to have been a great blessing, as it's forcing Washington to DO something about it.

    • Hi, Tim…long time! Thanks for these links, I love finding/getting good, relevant links…

      I was just checking out the Big Gov’t blog, noticed the quote the blog author has on the side, @ her profile, is the same GW quote in this article, and many of her fave books/interests mirror mine. I almost just bought one of the books, in fact…

      As you may know, I believe the wisdom of our Founding Fathers is unparalleled, It is vital & alive. I recently saw that last Jefferson quote somewhere, and it really pulls at one’s heart, and causes weeping almost.

      I’ll be tackling the Milton article later! The author’s name rings a bell…?

      Thanks again!

      • Christina:

        One advantage that the WordPress has is that you can put links on the comments; you don’t have to copy and paste the links before you can use them.

        We know that Jesus Christ is Lord over the United States. All of our Founding Fathers were born at a certain place and time in history, so that they could come together and fight in the Revolutionary War and/or draft the U.S. Constitution.

        Constituting America:

        http://constitutingamerica.org/index.php

        About John Milton. He was a radical Christian (Puritan) writer and poet who lived in the 1600s in England. I believe he had a great influence in the United States’ breaking away from England.

  3. Here are some quotes from Milton Friedman that you might like to read:

    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

    “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

    “The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.”

    “The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.”

    “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”

    “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

    “We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.”

    Milton Friedman, Economist (1912-2006)

    “The Next President of the United States”

    http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2010/10/next-president-of-united-states.html

    • You almost have to laugh at some of these, esp. the Sahara Desert quote! As Karen Walker used to say on Will & Grace, “It’s funny b/c it’s true.” She also said, “It’s sad b/c it’s true”.

  4. PRAY FOR OBAMA

    Today I received an email from a friend. Here is the email:

    Psalm 109:8

    My wife and I were in slow-moving traffic the other day and we were stopped behind a car that had an unusual Obama bumper sticker on it. It read: “Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8”.

    When we got home my wife got out the Bible and opened it up to the scripture. She started laughing & laughing. Then she read it to me. I couldn’t believe what it said. I had a good laugh, too.

    Psalm 109:8: “Let his days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace him.”

    At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray.

    Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN ?

    • The KJV reads “…let another take his office.” Even more appropriate…it is sobering to me, to feel this way. Praying for our leaders in government probably never meant this! But it DOES hit the nail on the head.

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