Natural disasters generally come out of nowhere and catch us off guard. That’s particularly true of earthquakes, tsunamis, the deadly slew of tornadoes that laid waste to the south recently, and major hurricanes like Katrina. There is little that can be done to avert the destructive fury of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake or a Cat 5 hurricane.
We are witnessing today the making of a cataclysmic crisis that will have unthinkable consequences to every American when it comes. Unlike the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan that were dished out strictly on God’s terms, the major crisis we are facing now is 100% man made
I’m talking, of course, about the looming debt crisis.
New Orleans had about 48 hours warning before Katrina blew ashore – but the warning time for the coming fiscal calamity can be measured in years.
Just the mere existence of a $14 trillion debt alone should be plenty enough to scare Washington politicians into action. But no. That the U.S. is borrowing $4 billion every day to pay its bills should be more than enough to motivate our nation’s “leaders” into a bipartisan call to action in order to save our homeland from certain destruction. But no again. The falling U.S. Dollar, rising food and energy costs, and exploding oil and gasoline prices is sending up red flags and sounding alarm bells – the kinds of warning signals that surely will prompt Washington to take the looming crisis seriously. But still no.
One doesn’t need a PhD in Economics to know the current trajectory of spending and debt accumulation cannot possibly be sustained. Hell, my 9-year-old granddaughter knows that. It doesn’t take a genius to know major cultural changes in Washington have to be made – regardless of how painful – if we are to avert financial Armageddon.
So what is Washington waiting for?
It’s becoming painfully clear where Obama and the Democrats stand on the fight to avoid disaster: they see this as an opportunity to score political points by projecting themselves as the savior of humanity in America against evil Republicans hell bent on murdering women, starving old people, and abolishing Medicare. And for good measure, Obama has ratcheted it up to accusing the GOP of wanting to kill children.
The party that promised us civility and bipartisanship has turned into a hyper-partisan attack machine that has taken ugly, sleazy demagoguery to a new level. After all, blaming George W. Bush is a lot easier than taking responsibility for fixing the problem.
It will be up to Republicans to preserve what’s left of our future. But GOP leadership has advised us they only control one-half of one-third of Government. Maybe they didn’t read that part of the U.S. Constitution that requires approval by the U.S. House of Representatives for any Government spending measure. Maybe they don’t yet understand that Harry Reid has no control over how House Congressmen vote.
The Republican leadership has given us lots of tough talk about getting serious toward getting the deficit under control – including Boehner’s “read my lips” moment. But words aren’t enough to solve the problem. This one will require real action. FY 2011’s deficit will be somewhere around $1.6 trillion.
But it will be a one-year record deficit only because John Boehner and his House membership agreed to it.
There is no excuse whatsoever for Congress to put this off any longer. Every one of the 535 members who make up the Legislative body of Government know what’s coming. If Boehner can’t impose the necessary changes with the help of Democrats, then he will have to do it with a battering ram.
This is not only the most predictable crisis in history; it is the most preventable as well.