Thursday, July 07, 2011

Honoring Our Obligations

Senator Chris Coons took to the Senate floor yesterday to warn of America becoming a bad investment if the U.S. government refused to pay its bills:
And I am gravely concerned that we are on the verge of the most predictable financial crisis in modern American history as we slowly grind toward the predicted deficit – excuse me, the predicted default on America’s mortgage on August 2nd.
His slip of the tongue illustrates the point that the debt ceiling has nothing to do with controlling the deficit, but whether Congress will refuse to meet our obligations. Some countries like Greece are facing default because they are having trouble paying their bills. The U.S. is risking default because one political party thinks we should refuse to pay our bills. Coons yesterday pointed out that the debt ceiling is about meeting obligations already incurred:
This is not about cutting up the credit cards or ending the blank check for our current president. This is about whether we will continue to meet the commitments America has already made.
I honestly can't understand what threatening to default has to do with fiscal responsibility. I grew up learning that bills were obligations, and that those who refused to honor their obligations—whether family, business or government—were untrustworthy.

In a much discussed column in the New York Times, David Brooks had these scathing words for the Tea Party Republicans:
The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.
I don't see how anyone entrusted with responsibility for governing our country could imagine, even for a moment, that casting doubt on the trustworthiness of our government is somehow useful. Brooks said that if Republicans push the government into default, that voters will "conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern." I couldn't agree more.


Anonymous kavips said...

When the Vandals invaded Rome, they too had no respect for the years of civilization which had been built up over the previous 1000 years.... However, the reaction of the Tea Partiers is not surprising in the greater context, especially when one considers one of their leaders dabbled in witchcraft at a young age..... :)

3:10 PM, July 08, 2011  

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