It is revealing to note, when reading the opinion pages, the comments made by writers of various political stripes regarding the U.S. debt, and the foregone conclusion that the limit will be raised each time it is about to be exceeded. Conservatives, generally Republicans, threatened a functional shutdown of government unless concessions on spending reductions are made. Liberals, generally Democrats, refused to negotiate.
Polls show that the voting public hates government shutdowns more than big debts, and tend to favor the spenders over the would-be cutters, and the major media follow suit. Neither party wants such a massive financial burden hanging over its head, but both know that the public has been inured to the entitlements that are driving these spending levels. The Republicans at least feigned an attempt to reduce spending, thereby positioning themselves as targets of blame, whereas the Democrats wouldn’t even discuss entitlement reduction and then rubbed it in as Republicans showed popularity dips in the polls.
In an Oct. 17 letter to the editor, Victor Reilly (“Put the limit in perspective”) labels attempts at cutting spending “a particularly nasty recent practice.” What? He cites “Bush’s trillion-dollar wars” as the sole cause of the deficit and debt, and gives President Obama credit for “a start on universal health care” without mentioning the fact that Obama’s policies (not even including Obamacare) have increased the debt by $8 trillion during his time in office – more than all other presidents before him added together.
Wars are costly, but spending is spending regardless of where it’s going. Military spending and entitlements are going to take hits if we are to bring the deficit under control. With the current crop of tenured, incompetent politicians whose prime concern is keeping their jobs – and the entitlement-mentality electorate waiting out there to cast their next votes for more freebie sponsors – it is not immediately apparent that we will suddenly become fiscally-responsible and balance our budget.
Americans should be collectively ashamed for the fiscal debacle we are leaving to our generations that follow. Most of you people know who you are; I only hope you know what you’re doing – and care!