As we creep ever closer to August 2, 2011, the supposed “drop-dead date” for the ever-shifting day we will finally reach our debt ceiling limit, word out of Washington, D.C. is becoming increasingly hysterical. We are told that if we fail to raise the debt ceiling by that date we will face untold destruction as a result of defaulting on our debt payments. The issues may change but the actors in our state-sponsored duopoly remain the same. Lets flashback to 2006/2007 for a moment. George W. Bush is in the White House and Barack Obama is in the U.S. Senate (I know, this is a scary flashback). At that time, Bush and his fellow Republican party members in Congress are presiding over the largest debt in U.S. history and are looking to increase the debt ceiling as the never-ending spending has pushed the back of the nation against a wall. During the Bush years, the Republicans provided, on average, 39 of the 50 votes that were generally needed to raise the debt ceiling. Barack Obama, Senator from IL, states,
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
Flash forward back to the present day. Contrast the realities of 06/07 to today where Now-President Obama has pushed hard for an increase in the debt ceiling and recently has been touting the typical democratic class warfare game plan. Today the President was quoted as follows:
“If we do not have revenues, that means there are a bunch of kids out there who do not have college scholarships,” Obama said. ”[It] might compromise the National Weather Services. It means we might not be funding critical medical research. It means food inspection might be compromised. I’ve said to Republican leaders, ‘You go talk to your constituents and ask them, “Are you willing to compromise your kids’ safety so some corporate-jet owner can get a tax break?”
Wow, never mind that the country would not default on its debts even if we do not raise the debt ceiling but the President would have us believe that if we don’t raise the debt limit apparently we no longer will be able to get accurate (?) weather forecasts and kids will be starving in the streets while fat-cat CEOs will be flying around in their private jets. The Republicans on the other hand are presenting themselves as a bulwark against Obama’s spending machine as beacons of fiscal responsibility and budget cutting! Under the Obama administration, the Republicans have provided only 1 vote on average each of the three times the Senate has voted on increasing the debt limit. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that,
“The Democrats’ spending spree has brought us to the brink of an economic calamity and now they’re telling taxpayers they won’t do anything to prevent it unless the taxpayers hand over more money in the form of tax hikes.”
The sad fact of the matter is that this complete turnabout by the leaders and the rank and file of both parties barely registers with voters. We are now living in a “bizarro world” where up is down, left is right, war is not war it is “kinetic military action“, and principled positions no longer exist because they simply depend on whether or not your party is in power or not. If Obama is replaced in 2012 and Republican X takes his place, would you really be surprised to hear Republican X argue for a debt ceiling increase and Democrat Y in the Senate argue against him? Would you be surprised when the parties talking points completely flip-flop once again? Two wings of the same statist big government party currently operate in the Congress and the White House and voters feel they are resigned to a Morton’s Fork. None of that matters to the power elite as they continue to borrow and spend (and raise the debt ceiling, eventually) and the Federal Reserve continues to manufacture interest rates, manipulate the stock market, and grant sweetheart deals to Wall Street and foreign banks. With the financial crisis raging you would think that perhaps the Fed reigned itself in but during that time the Fed continued to issue .01% loans to the well-connected.
TIME posted an article earlier today on government issued $1 coins that are currently sitting in a vault waiting to be purchased by collectors or banks but there is a big problem: no one wants them… and who would? Especially when you get further down in the article and it states that the face value of the coins is one billion dollars but they only cost the government $300 million to make, i.e. every one of those dollar coins you purchase you are automatically losing 70 cents based on the cost to manufacture. Take a look at the graphic to the right, that illustrates the value of the U.S. dollar since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. We are in trouble, folks. Even the International Monetary Fund is getting in the mix at this point urging the U.S. to increase the debt limit. What about your hard-earned savings that you had planned to retire on? Every day that goes by your savings purchasing power decreases more and more. Every time the Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air your money purchases less and less. The quantitative easing programs are nothing more than the Federal Reserve printing money and creating inflation. Our deficits are huge and we have come to depend on monetizing the debt in order to survive just a little longer. Republicans and Democrats, equally responsible for this state of affairs, have failed us. It is time to look past party labels.