Friday, July 15, 2011

The Debt Ceiling in the United States.

So,

I am deeply concerned about the general goings on in Washington, D.C.  Many of my fellow Canadians are oblivious to a truly troubling situation.  It seems that the national debt of the U.S. has reached a legal "ceiling", an upper limit prescribed by lawmakers of years past.  My understanding is that legally, the debt may not surpass this limit, and the United States would default on their debts.  Should this ceiling be reached, the government may no longer spend money.  I cannot fathom the ramifications of such an event.  It is also my understanding that while President Obama has tried to pass legislation to avoid such a catastrophe, the Republican who leads the House of Representatives has blocked any such action.

It is truly upsetting that the political situation has come to this.  The Republicans refuse to take ownership of a failing economy, because their primary objective is to stop Obama from winning a second term.  While I realised that the GOP (colloquial name for the Republican party, short for "Grand Ol' Party", I believe) was needlessly partisan, I had no idea that it would come to this.  I had even seen the results of the GOP's attitudes in Canadian politics.  The Conservative Party of Canada (a.k.a. "Tories") took notes while watching the success of the GOP.  They too have become needlessly partisan in their legislation and public dealings.  Even where legislation would be beneficial and for the greater good, they refuse to play nicely with the other political parties.  However, I never thought that partisan conservatism would come to this.  Where the global economy hangs in the balance, the GOP will refuse compromise if it means that Obama might receive a second term.  On that note, I do not think I am being overzealous in stating that a failure of the United States would lead to a global economic downturn.  Trading and financial relationships such as they are make for a truly spectacular domino effect.  I also feel that I am not being needlessly sensationalist (a behaviour I find irksome).  Obama has publicly admitted that social security cheques may not go out for August if a solution is not found.

It is my opinion that this behaviour could be foreseen, as well.  The GOP has been spouting partisan rhetoric for quite some time, now.  I have also heard of the conservative strategy known as "Bleeding the Beast", which I find quite disturbing.  It is a conservative strategy whereby a conservative executive appoints like-minded and arguably incompetent heads of bureaucratic organisations.  Once in a while, the executive will swing by, give a pat on the back and note what a wonderful job is being done.  The natural course of action, of course, is to cut funding to the organization and watch as it fails spectacularly in attempting to do its job.  The conservative executive may then point to this event as clear, un-refutable evidence that the public service is bloated, wasteful and inefficent, and that the private sector should be more heavily relied upon.  While I am not sure that this is actually happening, it seems entirely plausible and is rather disconcerting.  That a political organisation would sabotage a government to further its political objectives is sickening.

I believe the saddest thing about this is that it could have been avoided.  We have all seen the evolution of needless partisan politics.  While I as an individual have attempted to vote against this trend, the vast majority of us did not.  We as North Americans stood by and let it happen.  We did not observe what was happening around us, we did not think critically about it, and I, we, did nothing to stop it.

I sincerely hope that Reason will rule the day, and that this mess may be averted.  I also hope that I live to see an end to such ruthless politics.  It is only by this, Reason, perhaps the grace of God, and maybe even the Noodly Appendage that we may live to see our cups [of tomato sauce] runneth over again.

NM
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