The clock is ticking. Furiously. Mercilessly.
If by August 2nd 2011 the American Congress and President Obama haven’t reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling,
America the world is going to face a financial storm from the likes rarely seen before. And it’s not as if the world economic health is topnotch right now. That this whole matter has evolved into a crisis is an understatement.
To summarize the whole debate: the Republicans will only raise the debt ceiling if spending is cut furiously (living up to their motto “less government spending”), while Democrats push for more taxes on the rich (or more accurately: put an end to some tax cuts granted to the (super)rich under the Bush area).
I don’t claim to have the whole picture and I’m the first one to realise that opinions and articles found on the web are often biased, yet I have the very clear impression that Republicans are the ones playing the most dangerous and unfair game:
- the debt ceiling has been raised numerous times in the past since its creation back in 1917, some 74 times since 1962 (source);
- it has been raised many times between 2002 & 2010, when a certain G.W. Bush – Republican last time I checked – was mostly President (see a/o this page);
- US tax rates are now, to a great extent, lower than under Reagan and even under Eisenhouwer (source);
- tax rates for the rich have dwindled from some 30 % to 18 %;
- the Bush tax cuts and wars (Irak, Afghanistan) are the principle reasons for the recent surge in US debt (source);
- some Republican leaders acknowledge they’re playing with fire and that defaulting on America’s debt would lead to a financial catastrophe;
Why are the Republicans taking such risks? Has the Tea Party taken over? Have they still not overcome the fact that their President has a more tanned skin than his 43 predecessors? Have they all become fan of “après moi le déluge”? Or are they raising the stakes in a game of bluf poker to a level not seen before?
But the one question that I keep asking myself all the time: why isn’t the average Joe not responding to this ? How come the American public is watching this catastrophy in the making without reacting to it?
If anyone can provide a sound explanation : I’m all ears!