The United States government owes too much money. Standard & Poor’s (the same folks who told us the mortgage backed securities were A-OK) has downgraded the US to AA+. This is a proud moment, isn’t it? And, is the amount of the debt the reason S&P downgraded us? Not really. It’s political dysfunction. It’s the apparent inability of the Congress to deal with the debt. It’s partially because a chunk of our elected officials were dumb enough to sign a pledge saying they would NEVER raise taxes, under any circumstance. Stupid. Problem-solving 101 says you don’t block potential solutions right off the bat. And, it gets worse. According to this morning’s Marketwatch.com: “Mitch McConnell is already sabotaging the new Congressional “Debt Super-Committee,” vowing to appoint only Republicans who have signed Grover Norquist’s ‘no new taxes’ pledge”. So, by Republican tea-party design, that committee is doomed to stalemate and ultimate failure. Why not temporary tax increases? The Bush tax cuts were enacted with an expiration date. Why not do the same thing with tax hikes? Make them effective long enough to get us out of the hole (with substantial spending cuts, of course). For those of you who say they’ll end up being permanent: hogwash. Taxes go up; taxes go down. Reagan reduced them. Bush reduced them too.
I’d also like to remind Congress that their actions have consequences. My retirement funds are sinking as I write this. Their dysfunctional, pig-headed, obstinate stupidity is costing the populace dearly. Of course they don’t care. They’re already wealthy and have a great taxpayer-funded pension program. Little of this affects them.