Are Republicans bluffing? Or are they okay with allowing our nation to default on our debt by not reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling? Is this the message politicians want to give to the country and the rest of the world? You don't have to be financially responsible, as long as you think you're right?
Admittedly, this is not a simple problem and there is no simple solution. However, great progress has occurred. Democrats have made many concessions to meet their Republican counterparts more than half way: agreeing to tie budget cuts to the debt ceiling bill, agreeing not to raise taxes and, importantly, agreeing to a 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases. These concessions seem reasonable for the country to bear and will reduce the deficit. This is an opportunity for politics to actually work at fixing a problem both sides have not been willing to address for decades.
Both parties have been great at spending on both proverbial guns and butter. Although it's politically popular, it's not possible to spend wildly while cutting revenues through lower tax rates. It's come to this -- we're in a giant game of musical chairs and the chairs are getting pulled fast. What party will be left standing? What chairs won't get pulled out? Will there be a truce called before the music stops?
Since both parties created the problem, both parties have a fiduciary responsibility to work it out. It's not acceptable to risk a reevaluation of our country's debt in the global financial markets. There is no belief that trumps this issue.
Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and a host of economic experts agree.
If politics are about the art of the possible, both sides need to come together to finish the painting. The time for bluffing is over, this is the time for a resolution. The Democrats have come a long way, Republicans are being asked to simply close tax loopholes. Objecting on this issue makes their beliefs seem fanatical and certainly outside the realm of governmental reality. The stakes are too high.
Americans don't need the added burden and costs arising from a default on our debt. We need to put the needs of our country above the needs of politicians. Now is the time for compromise. We are watching.