Thursday, July 28, 2011
Debt Ceiling Referendum
Well, I did my part.
Yesterday I called my senators and congressman and informed them of my desires as a voter in regards to the debt ceiling hike and deficit reduction plans being debated in Congress. At heart, I am worried about a government default and the loss of our AAA-rating - which is probably a lost cause at this point. Thus, like a majority of Americans I simply want a deal done, and I expect that it include a plan for long-term spending cuts. At the same time I am not opposed to revenue increases - though I would prefer them to come through the end of some deductions and subsidies, rather than any rate increases. In fact, the 2001/03 tax cuts will expire next year anyway, so there is no need to do anything with rates right now. The one thing that needs to be done is the debt ceiling needs to be raised - and it should be raised by at least $2 trillion to prevent another crisis just around the corner.
One idea that I proposed to my representatives is that a deal should simply be made to increase the debt ceiling devoid of any other plan. This plan would be intended to simply alleviate the immediate fiscal crisis and then set up the debt ceiling issue as a referendum in 2012. Make next year's election a referendum on the debt ceiling. I am sure President Obama and the Democrats would be willing to accept this deal. And many pragmatic Republicans probably would, too. The problem is GOP members who fear such a compromise in their next primaries. That is really sad. They believe that absolute rigidity on taxes is the only way they can survive challenges from their own party and their own voting base. Reagan would be saddened by such intransigence.
The reality is that the debt ceiling absolutely and unequivocally must be raised, now. And any sort of crisis is being created by people who refuse to accept that reality.