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And the debate continues

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“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. 

Leadership means that, “the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

The above statement made by a speaker whose name I’ll tell you in a little while, is exactly on point. As the world watches our so-called leaders in Washington dither about whether or not to raise the nation’s debt limit. Republicans, rightly so, want to reduce spending thereby reducing our dependence on foreign currency (read credit) as a condition of raising it. 

We are all concerned about our dependence on foreign oil so why not about our dependence on foreigners accepting our debt? 

Democrats are insistent not upon tax increases rather upon increasing “revenue.” 

Last time I heard any “revenue” going into government’s coffers usually came from taxes. Of course I’m old-fashioned that way.

Barack Obama plays the empty threat to withhold Grandma’s Social Security check which, by the way, did not send millions of Grannies into the streets. 

Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, warns of “a huge financial calamity” if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit. Moody’s, the financial service, passes along the dire threat that U.S. bonds could be downgraded. 

It smells to me a little like a contrived campaign designed to put pressure on Republicans to cave, as they are wont to do, just when they have the undivided attention of Obama and his frightened Democrats.

So, everyone in Washington is nervous about the resolution of the “crisis.” 

There are seven days to go before the Aug. 2 deadline, a whole week for the politicians to string out this soap opera. The consequences for the winners and losers are enormous, with the winner rewriting the rules of the game for the next generation, or at least until the next election. Neither side can afford to be the first to blink.

One positive thing did happen recently. John Boehner, speaker of the House and current leader of the Republicans in Congress, gave a lesson in fundamental civics to Obama. 

This is something once taught in junior-high school before the curriculum got watered down by courses in self-esteem, feminist war heroes and gay, lesbian and transgender studies. 

It’s simply as Mr. Boehner said to Obama: “As I read the Constitution, the Congress gets to write the laws and you get to decide what you want to sign.” I’ll bet that got steam coming out of Obama’s collar. 

Plain speech like that gives Washington the heebie-jeebies, especially considering Obama’s reaction to Rep. Eric Cantor who ignited his ire. 

His highness told Mr. Cantor he did not much appreciate such a lack of respect, for royalty, of course.

Another thing lost in the feel-good curriculum of today’s schooling is the fact that what we are seeing in Washington now is exactly how our political system is meant to work. Argument, debate and contention are exactly what our Founding Fathers agreed was the means of reaching consensus and decision. 

They weren’t concerned with bipartisanship, civility or being nice, rather courtesy was reserved for elsewhere. 

So, the racket that’s frightening the likes of Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and their ilk who imagine themselves as the fount of all knowledge is simply the noisy sound of our republic at work as envisioned by the Founders.

Oh, the speaker who spoke the words at the beginning of this column? 

It was none other than then-Senator Barack H. Obama in a speech in the Senate of the United States in March 2006, in opposition to raising the debt limit.


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