Economics has dominated the Joplin Globe blogs and other media lately, especially since the debt-ceiling crisis. The debt crisis is not over, of course. The Congressional SuperCommittee consists of partisan hardliners for the most part and is unlikely to come to agreement by Thanksgiving, at which time “draconian” budget cuts are called for. What does that mean? I found this information:
However, if the Committee cannot reach an agreement on how to cut an additional $1.5 trillion from the debt or if their recommended cuts fail to be adopted by Congress, an enforcement mechanism (sequestration) will trigger automatic, draconian spending reductions starting in 2013. The cuts would be split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending (defense spending cuts would be about $50 billion per year).
I hadn’t known the draconian cuts would be delayed until 2013, did you? What a chicken solution the debt ceiling agreement was! All it accomplished was to kick the can past the 2012 election. Man, that’s depressing. Sequestration? What a laugh. What Congress does, Congress can undo.
But Tuesday I read a mostly sensible USA Today editorial about what should be done. It urges the President to take the lead by making specific proposals. Many Republicans have criticized Obama, and even some in his own party, for not “leading” and being more specifically assertive. While recognizing the very real political danger in this, I think there is validity in such criticism. He is the President after all.
But conservatives are even more chicken. The appeal from the right is almost all a simplistic bleat: “No job-killing tax increases” (on the wealthy). They appear to have no ideas at all for how to keep the economy from slipping back into recession because “no tax increases” equate to zero action for the short term. Conservatives are apparently willing to sacrifice the economy for the expedient of political victory.
Neo-candidate Perry has gone so far as to call the Chairman of the Federal Reserve “treasonous” for wanting to further stimulate the economy to prevent a double dip recession and has questioned the President’s patriotism. This is demagoguery at its vilest, in my opinion.
So, what does the editorial want the President to do? It outlines a commonsense approach to the problem, in my opinion. Except for healthcare, that is. Even though the editors recognize healthcare as the “single biggest threat to America’s economic future”, they address that by simply calling for more payment from seniors and military retirees. That’s no solution at all to a healthcare system that costs double what Sweden pays for the same results.
The editorial can be found at this LINK. Try it – it’s an easy read.