Debt ceiling blues
Ok people, we are now, what, like 2 weeks away from Armageddon? Pretty impressive.
I thought I'd offer some thoughts.
First off, there shouldn't be a debt ceiling. Looking at US debt experience in WWI and WWII should be enough to convince one of that. Maybe some kind of conditional ceiling, like 70% of GDP with a suspension for declared wars and a provision to get back to 70% within 5 years of the cessation of hostilities.
Second, I am actually with the Republicans here on the no taxes part of the negotiations. Look, we already have substantial tax increases baked into the next few years. Expiration of the Bush tax cuts and a host of new taxes and fees to finance Obamacare. Absent a Republican sweep in 2012, taxes are already going up a lot in the near future. If anything, I would cut taxes now.
Third, I believe that we need to cut spending soon. I am not a fan of Federal spending being at 25% of GDP and rising, but there are better places to start than social security. How about starting with the ridiculous subsidies we give farmers and big business that distort and cause harm around the world. Stop the Ethanol madness, the sugar subsidies, the cotton subsidies, the "green jobs" subsidies. Then turn to the Pentagon. People, defense is a public good. My consumption of it does not reduce the quantity available for your consumption. Thus, there is no reason for defense spending to rise continually with population/GDP. Get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Get out of Germany and Japan. WWII ended more that 50 years ago. Oh, and get out of Greece too (yes we have soldiers in Greece!). Cut defense spending by 25% at a minimum. Oh and let's eliminate NASA too while we are at it.
Fourth, I really admire Obama's spin job on the negotiations. First he wants a "clean" raising of the debt ceiling, then he demands that taxes have to rise in order to raise the debt ceiling, and he is getting a lot of buying that it's the Republicans who are recklessly killing the debt ceiling increase