Are politicians choosing to have a debt ceiling fight more for political gain rather than to solve the enormously serious fiscal problems at hand? More pointedly, are today’s politicians willing to sacrifice the country’s credit rating by electing to wait until the last minute and engage in a bitter political fight with the opposition, rather than coming together and solving the problem in advance of the deadline?
A great majority of the politicians previous actions in last years debt ceiling fight and their public statements and posturing since, can only cause one to come to the conclusion that many politicians are willing to sacrifice the country’s credit rating by having a viscous “blame the other side” fight rather than solving the issues at hand.
The problem with this approach is that any decline in the country’s credit rating will cost the government hundreds of billions of dollars over ensuing years due to higher borrowing costs. Since a large part of the issue is trying to figure out a way to get to a sustainable fiscal path, such an outcome seems completely at odds with the ultimate goal of the negotiations.
Both sides would be best advised to compromise based on the simple fact that no one side is even close to having majority control of the three main branches of government at this time. Many, or a majority of Democrats have offered to negotiate both revenues and spending, while only a few Republicans have offered to negotiate on revenues.
While Republicans have not included revenues in the negotiations based on their principles, the last two bi-partisan government commissions have made it clear that the budget deficit and national debt cannot come close to being reduced or solved without reductions in both spending and increases in revenues.
Maybe there will be some politicians with courage to show the way, thought the last two decades are not a basis for believing such hope will come to pass.
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