Tuesday, July 26, 2011
A PTU Perspective on the Debt Ceiling Crisis
By now there is no way you've escaped the dire warnings about the world ending on August 2nd if the U.S. debt ceiling isn't raised. This is a complicated issue, and I certainly don't have the answer because if I did I'd be doing something much more valuable for humanity then pasting Scrooge McDuck into my PTU blog post. That being said, I'm getting a bit fed up with the ass clowns that aren't doing their job in DC.
Let's take a look at the two competing plans out there right now. Pretend you are drunk and playing Megatouch at the local dive...what is different between these two pictures (graphic is from the WSJ)
In my opinion, NOTHING worthwhile. To begin with I learned recently that one congress cannot bind another. This means that whatever kind of caps and crap they put in place, real fiscal reductions are only guaranteed for '12 and '13. Both plans leave a lot of room for imagination....what the hell is "at least 1.8 trillion to be named later". Is this a baseball trade? For the most part both these plans seem to kick the real hard choices down the road, which isn't surprising given the way our politicians like to operate.
While there is certainly a benefit to balancing the budget, certain schools of economic thought would alos question the wisdom of doing this now. The economy is barely sputtering along and the employment and housing markets aren't looking so great. While at some point we are going to have to get our house in order, doing it right now runs the risk of some really negative impacts on the economy which might take some time to clear up. I'm not sure all the Tea Party fanatics out there really have a firm grasp on these risks.
The real problem is that both parties are mixing ideology with economics. The Democrats want to ensure that NOTHING gets touched in Social Security or Medicare. The Republicans want to make sure that little Suzy doesn't have her taxes raised too much so that she can still fly to summer camp on a private jet. Long term if we really want to correct things, everyone is going to have to give something up. Poor people are going to have to expect cuts in their entitlements, and the rich are going to have to pay more in taxes. We may have to decide we can't help every backward ass country that has some dickhead dictator ruining everything. The point is that we will all have to accept some sacrifices, and our representatives in D.C. need to stop being a bunch of 5 year old babies and get this done. While I don't believe the global economy will collapse due to a partial U.S. default on debt, it will certainly do a good deal of damage to our global reputation as well as the value of the dollar.
Maybe the people involved in the NFL labor negotiations should stop down and D.C. since somehow they managed to find a way to compromise. Oh well, at least this fall when the economy is collapsing I can still watch football.