Now that the Dow has fallen thousands of points, our credit rating is on the brink and unemployment isn’t going anywhere good, it’s time to blame someone. Should we blame our highest elected official? You’d think so, but that’s not the media’s preference. Should we blame the Senate that’s been in Democratic hands since the Bush administration? Maybe we could blame the Bush administration. Better yet, we could blame the Republican House, people who have been in office for all of seven months out of the last 30.
Unemployment has gone down almost 1% since the elections of 2010. The credit decline is based on the national debt, which has in three years surpassed the total debt of all 8 years of the Bush administration. That debt, and the inability of the government to address that debt led to a downgrade.
Who’s responsible? There’s S&P. They have a spotty history with the whole mortgage derivative thing. If that’s the case, we should just ignore them. What about the Republican House? They did refuse to pass a debt limit increase until the last second. All the Democrats wanted were a few tax increases on the rich. What’s so wrong with that?
First of all, the Democrats had many chances to raise taxes for two years. In fact, all they had to do was nothing and trillions of dollars of tax cuts would have expired. They like tax increases, but they don’t want to increase taxes. Instead, it’s better to either make the Republicans sign off on tax increases or blame them for not being fiscally responsible.
Then again, Obama offered $3 trillion in spending cuts for just a trillion dollars in tax increases. It sounds like a good trade unless you understand how budgeting works. In the land of Washington, tax hikes are instant. $1 trillion in taxes mean $100 billion in revenue every year. On the other hand, budget cuts are a dish best served cold. The current $1 trillion in cuts will come mostly at the end of the next ten years. This year it will be $10 billion, which will translate to $100 billion over the next decade. Year two will be less. The bulk of the “cuts” are scheduled for the last years, when a new Congress will throw that spending plan in the trash.
One thing is clear. The people working in the government are not working. The blame needs to start at the top. The supporters who blame Obama for not being tough enough are still supporting him. They look at the Republicans for blocking him and making him negotiate. That’s their job. They are the opposition. It would be better for those people if this were a dictatorship, but damned if it wouldn’t be even worse for the country.