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Senior Contributor

Debt Ceiling

So,  is anyone else tired of our politicians acting like a bunch bucks in rut season?   I will win,  me,  but, but, but,   our survey says,   threatening the SS dependent people,  no, no we won't,  my way or the highway,    I have pretty much quit paying any attention to the news.   So since they can't get anything done.... Let's set them all down in front of Sesame Street  with lots of the letter C  for Cooperation and the letter L  listen to what everyone is saying.   And then maybe we can really think about a serious Compromise. 

 

I have two more rather uncommon suggestions.   The men have been unable to come up with a plan or compromise.   So, lets put all the Congresswomen in a room  and see if they can get 'er done!   Pelosi and Bachman in the same room could get a kind of hissy.... I'd put my bets on Bachman.  (And not because I feel she is that much better).    Or since I haven't had to casterate any pigs since April 23rd.   Lets fix some of these guys... once we get the testosterone  out of the room maybe something can get down. 

Unfortunately,  I believe that my Congressman is not part of the solution.   He is pushing the Speaker to only accept one solution only.   It is time to compromise and for our President to lead for a compromise.  I'd like to see his  proposal/s.     And I wish I had satelite so I could maybe get more than a 5 sec sound byte.   

 

I'll throw out my spending cut.   Take away our direct payments.  But,  leave us a safety net.    Close down the Dept. of Education.   They only provide 2% of the local school districts budget and they provide so many hoops and red tape to get it.  No child left behind is not realistic.     And lets not forget more unfunded mandates.   Then cut the EPA's budget by 20%.  The pickiness is getting out of hand. 

 

Okay I got that out of my system. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Debt Ceiling

Here is the problem....they are rich (for the most part) and power drunk and they forget that they are sent there to represent their constituents.  They forget that it is not THEIR money they are spending, but ours, the taxpayer's! 

 

They forget that they have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and place the needs of the country ahead of their political ambitions. 

 

They forget that, unless they work a solution, we may not have a free country in which to live and work....not that we are that free under all this debt to China. 

 

I about laugh my butt off (cynically) when they say we have to "do something" or it is going to derail the "recovery"!  What recovery?  Tell that to the hundreds of thousands who have given up looking for work and are no longer counted in the unemployment statistics.  Tell that to the thousands who have watched their jobs go overseas, never to return.  Tell that to the thousands whose homes are in foreclosure or default.  Recovery?  Ha!  What a joke!

 

What is an average citizen to do?  I went from being a Cable News junkie to watching no more than half hour a night.  It was just too frustrating. 

 

I agree.  The women representatives might be able to get us past the stupid posturing and get something done. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Debt Ceiling

I had a chance to listen to a pretty lengthy discussion of the economy and this issue on the way home from Rocky Mount yesterday afternoon. The normal hour - long drive turned to closer to two, due to heavy rain, winds, and standing water much of the way home.
There was a " countdown to default" at each break in the storyline. This is sort of how I have felt about the newscasts for the past few days. Like Soilbabe, I have been minimizing my exposure to broadcast news,due to the constant reminders and the reaction of my BP rising. ( Let ' s be honest: the only GOOD thing about the Casey Anthony trial was that it gave the media something else to
obsess about for a while this summer.)

My greatest concern is that our nation has already blown its AAA credit rating. Commentators on the radio all agreed that this present inability of our government, to resolve something as rudimentary and normally routine as deciding to go to more debt, erodes confidence of the rating agencies. I see this as a significant indication that we are in deeper trouble than previously admitted. It is the equivalent of missing minimum monthly credit card payment, and sufferIng the penalty of higher interest from that point on.

Figures show that the US is borrowing 43 cents of every dollar it spends, at present terms of interest. That indebtedness can only spiral upwards with elevation of interest rates on future borrowing. If you have ever watched someone decline into this kind of unsecured debt, you know it doesn't take long for things to snowball. Higher interest rates will trickle down to all borrowers, and have a further dampening effect on this pseudo- recovery. ( I want to laugh so I don't cry every time hear some political hack calling it a " recovery", too!)

Every state and local budget will start to feel this squeeze. " Feedstuffs" warned of eroding farmland values in an interests rate rise, font and center of its news this week, too. If values decline, and costs of repaying loans on land drop, it will not take much for farmers to go upside- down, like so many homeowners did in the mortgage bubble.

If what you have is paid for, then you should be fine. If not, then this one could make the eighties look like a picnic.

So, all the folks I have talked to that have ties to DC say that the deal will get done, but the damage may already be beyond an easy fix. I say stop paying Congress or Obama, until they get the job done. That may or may not concern the independently wealthy among them, but it would make the American people feel that some of the pain is shared, at least.

The one thing I haven't seen explained yet is the sequence of events that would follow default. I am having a flashback to the warnings before Y2 K....
I posted all of our mailed monthly bills yesterday, just to be sure they get to their destinations before postal service could possibly be impacted, for example.
Will federal courts, such as the bankruptcy ones, still open their doors on August 3rd? Will our troops have to stand down?
What happens to state and local services that are dependent upon federal funding?
I am thinking this could create some havoc in school systems, where some special teachers, like reading resource teachers, are funded under direction of specific federal title programs. School starts here in just a few weeks...and this has to be a concern for administrators.
What about hospitals that are almost solely dependent upon federal programs to indigent clients and refugees ( Medicare and Medicaid)? How will they pay their nurses and other internal staff ? This would decimate most healthcare facilities above your local doctor's office in our region, and I would think ,any of them would become insolvent.

In my mind, this is the end game of the " government can be all things to all people" trail we have been marching down for as long as I can remember. The survivalist community is probably feeling pretty smug right about now...and Bin Ladin and his 72 virgins must be having one heck of a good laugh, at our expense. We have bankrupted ourselves in the name of homeland security and in unnecessary war against Islam. Meanwhile, our " former" enemies hold hostage by virtue of our indebtedness to them.

Debt is slavery. As long as you owe someone, they in essence own you. We are in a heap of trouble, and I have to keep myself occupied with a lot of busy work, to avoid dwelling on this fact.

Meanwhile, I think we have enough TP and Tide to last us a year or so....

Another item in yesterday's news that greatly troubled me was that two or three massive layoffs in large companies completely wiped out the entire nation's pitiful 18,000 jobs that it " grew" in June. In effect, we need to admit that this is a full-blown depression now, and stop playing semantics in DC and the state capitals, too.
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Honored Advisor

Refugees/ retirees..

...please forgive me for not editing my rant this morning. iPad has its own idea of what I meant to type, and getting to one or two words to change them on this screen is too tiresome to contemplate.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Debt Ceiling

I am sorry to disagree with you, but those two women to me represent the worst extremes of the lunatic fringe in Congress. I think Pelosi's term as Speaker of the House is at least partly contributory to the Republican backlash. Bachman is just plain scary in her cluelessness to me.

The loss of moderates in both parties is what is crippling us now, I think. Too ma y extremist from both sides sit and hold their votes hostage, or beholden to such narrow definitions of what is in the nation's best interest.
I read a story in Newsweek a few months ago, which basically said that this is largely due to us having a " commuter Congress" now. Our elected representatives and senators used to pretty much have to relocate to DC during session, at least. While that could create one set of problems in relating to the hoke folk, it did at least require them to deal with each other on a social basis more consistently. The position of the reporter was that this created more of a cooperative, cohesive spirit.

Now, people are so afraid of " alienating their base" , they fail to see the bigger picture...the one that is our nation as a whole collection of groups with their own interests, but an overwhelming goal to advance America. So, if we default, maybe air traffic control will shut down and trap them in the Capital.

They will either have to figure put how to fix things, or eat each other alive...hmmm, congressional cannibalism. Maybe this thing could work out pretty well, after all!
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Honored Advisor

Then again,

...perhaps iPad knows something I don't know. Maybe our retirees will become refugees!?!?!
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Senior Contributor

Re: Debt Ceiling

I think the finances are just a part of the picture.  As terrible as all those ramifications may be, and they could be far reaching, complicated and fairly devastating for many people.

 

I think the larger picture is global.  I think the worst thing that may come out of this mess, is the rest of the world realizing we do not have a functioning government.  

 

The ongoing disrespect that the House and Senate and especially the news media have and are   showing the office of Presidency of the United States of America is very alarming.  It goes beyond party politics. 

 

I think it shows just how broken our democracy is.  Elected officials can not and/or will not do what they have been elected to do because they do not like who is the elected leader of our country.   Rancor is out of control. I believe it more than just Obama's leadership style.   I don't really want to say it but I do believe it is racial and it does not speak well of this country.

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Re: Debt Ceiling

Well, I am a white Southerner, raised in the era of Jim Crow, and educated up to tenth grade in the age of " separate but equal" school systems...and I do NOT think this is racial. The last thing I look at is a man's color, even though the formative phases of my life were quite racially divided. A lot of my classmates scratched KKK on their desktops, and their fathers burned crosses. I didn't vote for Obama, but it was not because he is " black".

I wish, in a way, that it was that simple. I honestly feel that we are, as a nation, more evolved socially than that...but, I fear we are
broken on other accounts, which are hampering our economic welfare as a people. I also fear that other nations have enslaved us to the debt that they hold over us.

Maybe it wasn't too smart to tell Congress to " pull of the bandaid, eat our peas.". I think that infantilized the issue, and did not advance the administration's position at that juncture.

One thing we all might agree upon: issuing an ultimatum really doesn't work very well. Response or lac of response following a " do this or else" statement is almost always a pure power play...and the ultimatum issuer ends up with mud on his face. We are in that " we'll show him" phase right now.

This is one giant game of " chicken", rushing headlong towards a brick wall at top speed.
Everyone is posturing to be the Savior.
I just hope that someone blinks soon, before we all end up losers....
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Re: Debt Ceiling

I think you are mistaken.  The Republicans and tea baggers have been in the "I'll show him" phase since the party change in the White House.

Washington has forgotten they are suppose to be governing the country not just running for reelection.

 

I think in the end the republican party was/is so embarrassed by whom they have put at the forefront (GW, Palin, Bachmann and the silly last NRC chairman whom I can't think of his name) that they think they have to play hardball to try and prove that there is a brain some where within that party.

 

I think a lot of people used to believe it was the lobbyists that caused stupid wasteful things to happen in Washington.  Now we know it is the desire of these people, who are not qualified to do any real work, to keep the dollars coming in so they can keep this "cushy job" they've  managed to get.   Politicians realize they don't have to do a good job, they just have to have the funds to spin a story for the gullible masses at election time and they are set for life.  Thus the reluctance to garner more revenue for the government to keep running.  I do not and cannot have respect for anyone in Washington during this manufactured crisis.

 

I sound very anti republican and I am.  I think they are working very hard to really really hurt a lot of people in this country.  But I also don't hold the democratic party blameless.  Over spending, over regulation, too much foreign involvement.

 

But remember nothing happens just because of one party.  Supposedly anything takes a consensus of both sides.

 

Plus I think the country is full of people like me who have gone our merry way, not really involved or informed believing that the elected officials always had the good of the American people as their goal.  What sad time for us Americans to find out that isn't true. I do not feel safe and secure as an American citizen.  I feel like my government representatives are ready to sell me out for their own benefit and their own agenda.

 

I tried to email my state senator.  Quess what you cannot get through.  At least I couldn't on the IP server I have.  Have to wonder if Washington is doing something to keep the public from being able to contact them, that is how suspicious I am of the government right now.

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Re: Debt Ceiling

I saw a blurb crawl on MSNBC an hour or so ago, that referred to the servers or site for congressional emails crashing.  So, evidently, a lot of constituents are taking similar action. 

 

I am neither Democrat nor Republican.  Mike and I are the only two registered Independents in our precinct.  Probably only a handful of us in the entire county. 

 

I vote on principle, not party lines.  Leaves me looking for somewhere to park my vote, a lot of elections; but, allows me to dislike all of them pretty equally. 

 

Given that I have had a good a chance as anyone to become a rabid racist, and am surrounded by many of them, of all colors -  racism is not a one-way street, you know - I really resent it when the "race card" is played.  I do not like it when a white person acts like I am part of his or her "race team."  I do not like it when a person of color acts like I am automatically prejudiced towards them either.  A bigot is a bigot. 

 

Either you stand on your merits or fall on them...color doesn't count.  I have sat and heard an African-American man accuse our county commissioners of living in "slave times," because they would not give him a road sign for his private lane (everyone else had to pay $40 for theirs, including us). Four out of five of the commissioners are African`American, so that one was hard to figure.

 

 

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