We’ve been here before, back in the late ’20s and throughout the ’30s. But this time, we’re going to do it on purpose.
There’s blame to go around, in the long view. The Democrats did their bit leading us up to this point, but they’ve been offering compromises lately, and occasionally even making sense. Here in the home stretch, most of the “credit” for a crash will belong to the Republicans and their Kool-Aid-drinking — I mean Tea-drinking — friends.
Yesterday, the five Republican members of South Carolina’s congressional delegation “distinguished” themselves by being the most obstinate state bloc in the GOP caucus. Not that the Boehner plan was anything to write home about, or anything likely to get us toward a resolution. Today, I see that Boehner’s doing better among his caucus, but for all I know, our guys are still firing on Fort Sumter. (Anybody see an update on the SC part? I haven’t yet.)
But after all the tears and folderol in the House, whatever they pass will be DOA in the Senate, where Reid has a plan of his own. I fail to see how these two plans lead us to an actual solution before Tuesday.
And here’s the thing, folks — it’s not good enough to raise the debt limit. The ratings agencies will still probably downgrade the nation’s (AND South Carolina’s) credit rating, which will likely take our already staggering economy (did I mention that the newspaper company that laid me off two years ago just posted a 2nd-quarter loss of 32 percent?), and knock it right down onto the mat. UNLESS we take serious steps toward getting the deficits under control. And that’s WAY harder than just raising the ceiling.
You’d think — what with the fact that about the only thing our state’s leaders have had to brag about for the last 20 years has been our vaunted AAA rating — that the SC delegation would want to do something positive toward averting this disaster, wouldn’t you? Well, so far, you’d be wrong.
You know what happened in the U.K. after the Conservatives — the real conservatives, not these ruffians over here who take pride in throwing the Tories’ tea into the harbor — took over the government? They cut spending, and raised taxes. I was there when the taxes went up (see, “The terrible, awful, horrible day that the VAT went up,” Jan. 4) Far as I know, England is still there. Scotland, too. Maybe even Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Nobody wants to raise taxes at a time like this. It can have a cooling effect. Nor does a sensible person want to see drastic spending cuts, which can do the same. But the alternative to doing both looks considerably worse at the moment. And wanting to do one without the other — no, insisting upon doing one without the other, no matter what — is a form of madness.
Just something to think about, guys. Here at the last minute.