Your Opinion: No simple solutions to complex issues
Friday, July 29, 2011
It looks increasingly likely that the radical right-wing Republicans in the House of Representatives will force the country into a financial disaster next Tuesday. They will do this by blocking any rational attempt to raise the debt ceiling. If the ceiling is not raised the U.S. Treasury can’t borrow the money needed to pay outstanding bills.
It is ironic that the Republicans rail against government spending when it was largely their actions that brought about the current financial crisis. The Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 will cost the country $1.7 trillion in lost tax revenue. (Bloomberg.com, 7/26/11) The Bush war on Iraq will cost close to another trillion dollars.
The Bush recession brought on by deregulation of the housing and banking industries cost trillions more — at least $1.5 trillion in remedial costs (TARP, $700 billion, and the stimulus program, $800 billion) plus a huge amount in lost taxes when the economy crashed.
Having brought the country to its knees the Republican party, under the virtual control of its radical right wing, now wants to make matters even worse. They threaten to push the country into default on its debts unless the budget deficit is reduced solely through spending cuts with no additional tax revenue whatsoever.
They even oppose closing the corporate tax loopholes that allowed General Electric to earn over $3 billion in profits and pay no taxes.
Massive spending cuts will of course throw many more people out of work and further damage the economy. Additionally, Republican actions will very likely result in a down-grade of the United States’ credit rating. That will result in higher interest rates and further damage to the economy.
The trouble with the right-wing Republicans is that they want simple solutions (cut spending, cut taxes) to complicated problems (e.g., retirement planning and medical care in a mass society).
Perhaps things were simpler when the Constitution was written in 1787.
Then we were a country of 13 states and about four million people.
Today we have 50 states and over 300 million people. The country has changed and one-sentence solutions just don’t suffice for today’s problems. Right-wing Republicans need to realize this and think past their ideological blinders.
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