Tuesday, 02 August 2011 19:40

U.S. Debt Default Was Not Our Cup Of Tea

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Stephen SabludowskyPut me in the family with McConnell, Reid, Boehner and Pelosi.

Include with Louisiana’s Republican Congressmen Alexander, Boustany, Cassidy and Democrats Congressman Richmond and US Senator Mary Landrieu.

 And, I do approve of the Great President Obama Compromise.

I am pleased they were wise enough to put their differences aside; something they failed to do when the economy was accelerating into a wall when Obama took office.

I am thankful that they ignored the pressures of the extremes on the right and left who would have preferred the powerful United States to default on its debt.

The thought of the stock market caving, the credit ratings falling, the economy collapsing was too much to bear for now.

For certain, the world needed certainty.

Businesses will not invest if the future is too bleak. Families will save their precious dollars instead of spending.

There are some out there, including some members of the Tea Party, who believe that doing business with President Obama would be approving the plague. They wanted drastic and immediate cuts, at all costs—even at the risk of our world economy falling off the proverbial cliff.

Despite the criticisms, they are not bad people for considering their road the better. However, they were wrong.

There are also those who cannot understand that the Great Society might have been great in the sixties and seventies, but now we are facing a “Great Rocky U.S. Debt Horror Picture Show” ripping our society at the seams. According to Truth In Accounting, the U.S. debt is over 75 trillion and the cost per family is over 500,000. It’s not just the feds. Louisiana is close to 21 billion dollars in debt at a cost of over 16,000 dollars per family, the worst in the South. If our state and our nation want to compete with new economic powerhouses such as the growing China and India, we must stop importing our jobs. More importantly, we must live within our means and show the world we mean it.

The only way we can get out of this deep economic abyss where we are burdening our kids with a giant-size credit card is to cut government and to raise revenues.  sPerhaps, the very best way to do this is by passing a real "balanced budget amendment" so our government truly lives within our mean. 

There are some who want to cut government only and immediately. Super, but where do we start? Doing it radically and unwisely would send shockwaves of confusion across the globe. In the short and perhaps even in the long run, we would have spent more in cleaning up that worldwide mess.

After all, we want our safe roads, our modern schools. We want to be safe from terrorists. We want our cities to be free from drugs, which require a better equipped police force. We also want clean water, fresh air and a first-class healthcare system.

Unfortunately, less federal spending in these areas meant that the many states—that were in a panic over losing the U.S. government money if the ceiling would not have been raised--would have defaulted on their obligations. We would have seen wholesale credit rating drops causing economic chaos to us all. Interest rates would have soared making it more difficult to do business. It would have been much more difficult to provide those services we all want. And, you know that we would all complain that the state and local governments simply are not doing enough to fix our critical problems.

So, there was no other choice but for us to have cut dramatically but prudently, not carelessly.

Regrettably, in the near future, there is also no other alternative but to raise revenues. This sadly means we must withdraw billions we give special interest groups which includes ourselves.

We want our farmers to compete with South America and the Far East. We want our oil companies to stay in the Gulf instead of drilling off Brazil. We want our real estate industry to continue building and selling. Locally, we want our Saints to stay in Louisiana and our sports teams to showcase New Orleans.

The harsh reality is we are sending our dollars in the forms of subsidies, tax deductions, exemptions and other budgeting devices hoping those industries create jobs and make our standard of life so much better.

If we were to cut away these “investments” or take away the mortgage deductions on our properties, we would have more revenues. Yet, those receiving these government benefits, which in some cases amounts to corporate welfare, would scream bloody murder. They would accuse us invoking that “T” word—“taxes” to prevent losing what some have been receiving before our society became so “great and beneficent”.

If we were to ask those who do not pay taxes and those who do to engage in more shared sacrifice, the grounds would swell and the skies would fall with revolt. The screams would be—“take from his pocket, not mine”!

Although our youth are bravely fighting foreign wars to preserve our securities and our interests, the reality is our country is not as disrupted as it was during the Great World Wars. Back then, our ancestors sacrificed their own futures by the millions to ensure that our paths would be safe and bright. Those “greatest generations” asked not for themselves, as we do now. They were not the “me” generation as we are today. They were the “US” generation dedicated to make certain the U.S. of America and our friends survived another generation.

Today, we are fighting our own war and it is against ourselves. The sorry truth is we cannot afford or win this fight unless we all go together into that financial foxhole.

We must all willingly, in some meaningful way, absorb the present shock today so we all can control our future shocks of tomorrows. 


Tea Party Members Not Terrorists Nor Hobbits, But Patriots

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Stephen Sabludowsky



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