One More Thought On The Debt Ceiling

Few have the credibility that Professor Robert Reich has on the economy (3 minutes):

We need to add some thoughts about what has gotten us into this media frenzied Republican exploited so called “debt crisis.” No matter how anyone looks at it, Republicans are almost full responsible for the debt situation we now have. But they have no real responsible proposals to address the situation. All they want to do is exploit the situation as leverage to force through some of their most odious proposals that would do major damage to the most vulnerable in our society. Instead of bargaining in good faith through the budget process, they create a crisis situation to force their half baked ideas.

The proposals they are bringing to the table include cuts to Medicaid, forced work for Medicaid, cuts to hunger programs, cuts to preschool and child care, cuts to rental assistance, cuts to assistance for the disabled, cuts to schools, cuts to veteran’s. Medical care, cuts to Meals on Wheels. 

The list goes on and on. If there is a program that helps the poor, the elderly, the disabled, in short anyone who is not in their eyes ‘human’ enough, radical Republicans a re there with a scalpel ready to cut that program drastically.

You know what isn’t in there? I mean if these far right radical Republicans were truly worried about the debt? What’s not in there are tax raises. Not tax raises for the poor and middle class who are barely scraping by these days, but tax raises for the wealthy, for the well off and the well connected. These folks have gotten huge cuts in taxes over the past 50 years. 

Well, guess what, well off citizens. Your country needs you to step up and start paying what is truly your fair share. But the far right radical Republicans will not even entertain the idea. They take huge bribes to keep taxes low, low, low for the rich.

So here we are. Since Richard Nixon the far right has been spending like drunken frat boys on Daddy’s credit card. Wars – Vietnam, Granada, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan – Republicans were there to blow big bucks for very poor reasons.

At the same time they cut taxes for the rich – Regan, Bush 1, Bush 2 but especially Trump. Trump himself added well over a 25% to the debt. 

So the wealthy, well to do and well connected have been been making out like fat rats. Want to know another secret? Who do you think is making big bucks off America’s debt? The wealthy who have money to buy the Treasury bills that are paying interest to finance the debt that the radical Republicans have driven up with their wars and tax cuts for the rich. Paraphrasing Smedley Butler – it’s a racket.

When we look at the Democratic presidents over that period we see that Clinton, Obama and now Biden have made significant cuts in the deficits they were handed by Republican presidents. Clinton even had a plan to pay off the debt. Had Bush 2 not been selected by SCOTUS and we had let the vote counting play out, a President Gore would have executed the debt paydown. 

But SCOTUS selected Bush 2 and he was able to turn things way around and drive us hugely into debt. Iraq, Afghanistan and huge tax breaks for the rich were his tools.

It fogs my mind why anyone would ever think a Republican is more fiscally responsible. At this juncture we have radical far right Republicans threatening our country and every one of its citizens with perhaps the worst depression ever if they force to country to default on its debt. Their handling of their own created debt crisis also threatens international relations and stability.

We also have a Republican at the head of the Federal Reserve acting almost without brakes as he raises interest rates in a manner that is almost certain to cause a recession and major job losses.

So you look at recent history and the results are glaring: Democrats are good for the economy; Republicans leave the economy in a shambles. Remember in 2008 when Bush 2 basically checked out and everybody looked to Obama to drag the country and the world back from the brink of yet another Republican depression? 

If Republicans are serious they would cancel their tax cuts and raise taxes on the wealthy. But they aren’t serious. And they certainly do not care if anyone below their rich friends are crushed in their economic disasters. That includes their religious adherents who vote for the unholiest of people in some delusion that these people really care about them. What a delusion.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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