Chicken Little Is Alive and Well
The last few weeks, we’ve been bombarded with dire threats that the sky will fall if we don’t raise the debt ceiling. The president’s Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner claims a financial crisis more severe than the one from which we are now recovering will occur if the ceiling isn’t raised.
The president also insists that eighty percent of the American public wants the ceiling raised. If it isn’t raised, Armageddon is upon us.
He says, if we don’t, perhaps no social security checks, mortgage rates will rise, housing sales will plunge, panic on the world market, destruction of the value of the dollar, and no more kid meals at McDonalds.
Now, I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree, but there’s enough incandescence remaining to realize I’ve just been subjected to a prime example of Chicago politics, 2011 style.
Bully and frighten the people with unverifiable consequences that threaten that which they hold most dear.
Armageddon? Not quite. Despicable politics? You bet!
Did you know that in December, 1973; March, 1979; November, 1983; December, 1985; August, 1987; November, 1995; December, 1995; January, 1996; and September, 2007 that debt ceilings were not raised by the deadline, and the sky didn’t fall? Yep, there was no default.
How can the president and his staff claim such when the 14th amendment to the constitution explicitly says debt payments must be made before any other spending?
If I’m not mistaken, the president is a constitutional lawyer, so he has to be aware of that law.
In late ‘95 and early ‘96, during a government shutdown, President Clinton used incoming revenues to pay interest on the debt to ward off default.
Many of us who haven’t the good fortune to be born with a silver spoon have been forced at one time or another to pay interest on a bill. You might not have thought of it as interest on your loan, but simply as a gesture to your creditor of you intention to maintain your credit.
That’s all the whiz kids in Washington have to do, pay the interest, a mere 20 billion a month.
Let’s talk more about the social security checks. He said he didn’t know if there would be enough money to pay them. He is either prevaricating or ignorant, and no way could you convince me he is ignorant. If he is the “professional politician” he claims, he knows very well over two hundred billion a month flows into the government coffers.
That is enough to cover all social security, Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance, defense, federal law enforcement and immigration, all veterans’ benefits and interest on the debt, according to John Lott, economist and author of “More Guns, Less Crime” from University of Chicago Press, 2010.
The present administration claims mortgage interest will rise if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. That doesn’t make sense. If there is less money available, there will be less spending. Lending institutions would be foolish to raise rates, making those reluctant to spend even more disinclined.
I find it hard to believe in policies that have yet to cut the deficit, lower unemployment, or create 200,000 jobs a month.
Now, what about the dollar losing value?
Look at it this way. If the government doesn’t borrow more money, it won’t need the taxes to pay additional debt. If it doesn’t need the taxes, rates could drop eventually, and lower taxes would make the United States more attractive for businesses from other countries.
Pie in the sky? No more than the misrepresentations designed to frighten those on social security and other entitlements.
Oh, yeah, he mentioned that eighty percent of the public supported raising the debt limit, yet CBS News and New York Times poll showed Americans against raising it by 69-24 percent.
Our president dismissed the poll with the condescending response that American citizens do not have the comprehension of the debt ceiling like “professional politicians.”
You know what the definition of “professional politicians” is, don’t you? Professional crooks.
You and I have to share some of the blame for this mess. After all, we, the citizens who voted and the citizens who did not vote, are the ones who put those guys up there.
The hubbub reminds me of the spoiled kid whose parents finally got tough and refused to give in. The kid falls down on the floor, kicks his heels, bangs his head, and says he hates you.
The sky is still there, and it will be there long after you and I are gone from here.