The Republican Debt Clock
The recent downgrade of the U.S. debt rating, and the massive market sell-off that it triggered, serve as a reminder that there is no substitute for thoughtful and responsible representatives in Congress. We need members who understand the real nature of the problems we face, and act the long-term best interests of the people they serve - rather than out of rigid ideology or partisan self-interest.
Digging ourselves out from underneath this massive debt first requires an understanding how we got there. While both parties share some responsibility for our federal debt, the situation is far from symmetric:
THE WAY FORWARD ON OUR NATIONAL DEBT
The loss of the United States' AAA credit rating - and the trillion-dollar market sell-off that resulted - would have been avoided if agreement had been reached on a "grand bargain" to reduce our deficits. President Obama's Bipartisan Deficit Commission produced such a plan. At its heart was a compromise that reduced debt by $4T using a mixture of 75% spending cuts and 25% tax increases. A similar compromise by President Reagan relied on 75% Tax increases and 25% spending cuts.
This compromise approach was supported by the majority of Americans. So why did it not happen?
The short answer is that ideological anti-tax pledges signed by a majority of Republicans - including Judy Biggert and every member of the Illinois delegation - meant they had pledged to refuse to negotiate or compromise. In a situation where 85% of our national debt is due to Republican policies, this will lead to disaster.
The Republican Debt clock is ticking.