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Your Opinion: Playing "chicken' with debt ceiling

Your Opinion: Playing "chicken' with debt ceiling

July 17th, 2011 by Tony Smith, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Is Mr. Sampson really so misinformed? When you read nonsense in America's most prestigious news organizations, it is not hard to see how citizens like Mr. Samson become totally confused.

A July 14th page one cover story in the New York Times alleges that the current budget battle is " ... a war over government." That is opinion and belongs on the OP Ed pages in any newspaper. The writer alleges the battle is over the size and scope of government. Not really. It is President Obama who unfortunately put Social Security and Medicare cuts on the table.

All polls show that the base of both parties does not want their Medicare or Social Security benefits cut. To cut these benefits, the president wants tax increases for other political goals. The Republican line in the sand is NO tax increases in any form. This is extreme as the US now has the lowest tax revenues since the 1950s in relationship to an already lower GDP.

Our national news media often imply reasons to what politicians say. At other times they report political statements at face value. This helps no one really understand the underlying issues because politicians seldom say what the mean or mean what they say. Our president says he wants to strengthen SSA by reducing our benefits. Do not believe that at face value.

A game of "chicken" is being played over the debt ceiling. When the administration says SSA checks might not go out if the debt ceiling is not raised, that is really a move to arouse citizens from their apathy. The $2.4 trillion in the SSA trust fund is not the issue Mr. Sampson. Almost all SSA payments today are coming from payroll taxes. What the politicians are saying is that they would prioritize the debt and pay other bills first.

The biggest problem from not raising the debt ceiling which is a bogus non-event is that bond creditors expect payment. That includes SSA bond creditors. Not paying that debt first wrecks the international credit of the USA. That is the loaded gun Republican radicals hold. They will crash the economy and it will be the Democrats fault if Republicans do not get what they want.

These political radicals are supported by the same rich class that drove the economy off the cliff. They are trying to steal additional money from us with more tax cuts.