Apparently, Republicans are so hell bent on returning to power that they are willing to push the economy back into a recession to do so. Let’s hope the American people come to understand just how misguided and dangerous the Republican and Tea Party debt ceiling threats are. And let’s hope that happens soon.
With housing prices trending further downward, this month’s jobs and unemployment report signals just how close to the edge and fragile the American economy is. Only 54,000 new jobs created in May, and a rise in the unemployment rate to 9.1 percent, signals big trouble for Americans still out of work, and for the economy as a whole. Moody’s is now warning that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised soon, it will downgrade the U.S. government’s credit rating, which could set off a new global financial crisis.
The truth of the matter is that no one is doubting the American economy’s capacity to carry the debt burden. We’ve taking on high levels of debt and successfully worked ourselves into fiscal health before. What creditors are beginning to wonder about is whether the Republicans and Tea Party fanatics are just crazy, or stupid, enough to actually force our government into default.
What’s needed is a long-term budget agreement to put our financial house in order. An agreement that will restore consumer, business, and financial market confidence. Long-term, no one in either political party believes that the government can continue to borrow 40 cents out of every dollar it spends. No one is arguing that we need to keep spending and incurring debt at current levels. A compromise on a long-term debt reduction plan needs to happen soon so that it can be implemented beginning with the government’s fiscal year 2012 budget.
However, the time to raise the debt ceiling is NOW! The May housing and jobs reports are already beginning to reflect a growing unease about whether Washington is too broken to even realize or care that we are once again moving toward the edge of a financial cliff. The Republican tactic of holding the nation’s credit rating hostage is already beginning to hurt our economy. It should never have even been allowed to go this far. It’s time to call the crazies out. What they are doing essentially is threatening to force the government to stop paying it’s bills and default on its obligations. It’s time for President Obama and Democratic Party leaders to start pinning the blame for economic conditions squarely on the outrageous debt ceiling tactics of the Republicans.