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.

 

Senators Call for Bipartisan Budget Decisions

I read an interesting NY Times article yesterday about the efforts by Senators Mark Warner of Virginia and Saxy Chambliss of Georgia to create a bipartisan conversation about the nation’s budget deficit.  This as Congress makes a grand show of nipping at the budget’s heels by cutting things like Head Start early education for children.

budget-deficit-us

While I may be a cock-eyed optimist and a tad naive, I think most Americans can handle straight talk.  They are willing to make sacrifices if things are explained to them clearly and without a lot of added fright.  I’d like my Senators to join in this bipartisan approach, so took the time to send them the following email:

Dear Senator:

I’d like to encourage you to join with Senators Chambliss and Warner in their effort to hold an honest, bipartisan dialogue about our national deficit. 

The current talk in Congress focuses on cutting discretionary spending, which only makes up 12% of our budget.  Much of it goes to important programs, but even if we cut it all, we still would have a long way to go to fix the deficit.

I’d like you to be a part of an honest discussion that acknowledges that cuts in spending will have to include defense, healthcare, and social security costs.  I’d also like you to acknowledge that revenue increases will also be a necessary part of the solution.

Please stop playing politics with our nation’s future.  Join Senators Chambliss and Warner and others who will rise above politics and find a bipartisan solution to repair our nation’s finances.

Thank you.

That’s the action I’m taking.  What action will you take?  How do you think the deficit should be approached? 

In other news, I’m heading out this morning on an overnight border run to Singapore (previous entry).  Figured that the flight is the same price if I stay overnight, I’ll have time for dinner with friends, and I don’t have to get up so early to catch my flight.  Except that I went to bed early and managed to have the garbage collectors wake me up at 4:30 as they rattled the bins on the street.  Thankfully, this trip will include lunch at Din Tai Fung with two other Xangans.