Blinders On and Heading Off a Cliff

Economist

This cartoon from this week’s Economist magazine summarizes how I feel about the debt limit debacle going on in Washington right now.  While I think there is blame to be shared by all sides, the obstinacy of the Tea Party Republicans to not accept any revenue increases, even if they are only in the form of closing tax loopholes, shows a fiscal illiteracy that is reckless.  The deficit cannot be tackled through spending cuts alone.

I was discussing this over lunch this afternoon with a mixed crowd of Thais, Australians, and a Canadian.  They all would like to know why American politicians are behaving like this.  I’d like to know, too.

 

0 thoughts on “Blinders On and Heading Off a Cliff

  1. There is no excuse for stupidity and I fear that is where the Tea Party stands. I watched one of them on a talk show last night and he had simplistic answers and views on any world problem. Actually we are letting the minority lead the majority. I am frustrated and getting angry on these people.

  2. *sigh* I am so saddened by it all. Living in a sea of red, well, the lunch conversation turned to current events and a coworker said that all the debt was Obama’s fault. I about fainted. She went on to say that raising taxes will kill the economy and that the only way out is to cut EVERYTHING. She doesn’t get it. I asked her if her MIL was doing OK. Answer – yes, but her medicare and social security were barely covering her expenses. I then asked if she was willing to have her MIL live move in when her benefits were cut (say in half). She looked like I’d stabbed her in the chest. I followed up with the simple – everything means everything and be careful what you wish for… you just might get it! The folks advocating the slash in programs are the ones that don’t need the programs and they are also against the tax increases because that would come out of their pockets! The rest are being bamboozled.

  3. They had a few economist on last night on the nightly news. With an hour these economist reached a consensus on how to raise the debt ceiling with all the other details attached to it. Why were they able to come to an agreement so quickly and not our leaders ? Its simple, they do not answer to the special interest groups and they don’t have underlying motives of power in mind.

  4. I watched the same news that Rodolfo is talking about. Really, such a shame that if some ordinary citizens can sit together and come to a decision in ONE HOUR, then something is so seriously wrong with the way the so called ” special interest” politicians say they have for the country!

  5. …because american politicians have become petty, narrow-minded, self-serving, and silver-tongued. then again, americans in general are more and more under-educated, and more and more over-confident. recipe for disaster.

  6. Once people, in general, make up their mind that they are right, they stop listening to anyone else. Americans do not listen to each other anymore. This is not just politics.

  7. Sigh… it’s sad watching a country decline. And to top it off, the folks that voted in representatives that don’t have a clue how to govern don’t even know they had a hand in all of this. They think they have done well.

  8. There’s an interesting article in this month’s Atlantic magazine titled “How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans” that seems very timely to this discussion. The long and the short of the article is that the increased emphasis on political parties rather than governance is at the root of many of America’s political problems.@amygwen – You are right that in many ways this transcends politics. With a ready availability of media that reinforce pre-held beliefs, it is easy for us to hear only what we want to believe is true.@ElusiveWords – @Inciteful – What I find interesting is that there is a disconnect between the policies that the general public support and the politicians they are voting for. When asked about individual issues, most Americans are generally more supportive of positions taken by the Democratic party. But when they go to the polls, they have been voting Republican.@ClimbUpTreesToLookForFish – While the world can certainly survive an American decline, everyone would be better off if America gets its financial house in order.@kunhuo42 – As American braggadocio supplants rational discussion and analysis, is there anything else that we could expect? We have debates about whether our President was born in the US. We forward emails about how the President has redecorated the White House in fabrics with “middle eastern patterns” and has forgone using the US flag. We have people demanding the government stay out of healthcare while, in the same breath, they say not to change anything with their Medicare. On all levels, there seems to be a blatant unwillingness to actually engage with reality. Sigh…@The_Eyes_Of_A_Painter – @ZSA_MD – Of course, none of those experts have to run in the next primary election, where the extremists in their party would eviscerate them. The sign on both major parties’ front door reads “Reasonable Minds Need Not Apply!”@Dezinerdreams – Isn’t it neat how sometimes a cartoonist can capture something so elegantly, so simply, and with such humor?@ThePrince – I totally agree with you that large measures are needed. It would be lovely if the politicians would start talking about those measures instead of having temper-tantrums when asked to agree to compromises.@murisopsis – The NY Times had an interesting interactive feature a few months ago that let you come up with your own deficit reduction plan by choosing from a long menu of options. When going through that, it became much clearer just how much sacrifice will be needed if we truly want to close the projected budget shortfall. Tough choices will have to be made.@Fatcat723 – I know, right? Since when did a single house of the legislative branch get to make all the decisions?

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