The main thing I learned from the UNC debt crisis roundtable this Monday was perception is everything when it comes to the domestic and international financial markets. What the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are telling the world is we as a nation cannot handle our debt problem and we cannot be trusted to pay our debt back. In essence we are telling the world we are no longer a super power.
We as Americans should be very angry at these legislators for tying the debt ceiling to the debt crisis. The debt ceiling should have been voted on by itself. Yes the national debt trajectory has to be changed through both revenue and cuts but it cannot be solved in a few hours.
The stakes have never been higher. The president can use the fourteenth amendment at the last moment to keep us from defaulting but the harm has been done. I am not sure what the politicians will have accomplished other than showing the American people who totally out of touch they are with the average person.
Legislators like to use the analogy of the family budget. First off when I am in financial trouble I do not march down to my bank and say ” I have not managed my money well, I am millions of dollars in debt, and I am a terrible risk. Will you please lend me more money?” Two things will happen. Most likely they will cut off my existing line of credit, not lend me any more money, foreclose on my house, repose my car and down grade my credit score. If by some miracle they would extend me credit but at a very high interest rate, more like a payday lender.
Secondly with a family budget health care costs come first and if you do not have the money you simply have to go into debt. It is reasonable for Americans to be bankrupted by health care. Why should health care of Americans in Medicaid and Medicare not come first? I know what it is like to try to keep debt down. I do with out a lot of health care. My husband and Doctor sit by helplessly as I have these attacks from MS which make my diaphragm go into spasm for hours. Both wish I could go to the ER. The pain is unbelievable, the last attack took five tranquilizers to stop it. Instead I endure them to keep health costs down. Are we really going to balance our budget by putting people on Medicare and Medicaid in the same position?
I have heard all week the term “Political Theater”. This is not theater for the everyday American. To me it feels more like the Cuban Missile Crisis, deadly serious. As the hubris of the politicians, I will not call them leaders, drives us to the edge of the cliff I only hope Obama will be the deux ex machina using the fourteenth amendment. Then I hope most Americans let their leaders know they work for us not the corporations. It is time for accountability.