A settlement of differences by mutual concessions.
So, the road to avoiding a national debt default has hit yet another obstruction, as the House rejected the Senate bill to raise the debt ceiling, continuing the ongoing volley of opposition that leads us closer to higher interest rates, lowered value of the US dollar, and other such consequences if such a default were to occur.
While I don’t claim to be an expert on current affairs or US history (relevance later), I want to say that I’m tired of the bi-partisan bickering that is preventing a solution from being reached and ratified. Both parties hold a pride over politics attitude, and for good reason since the over turn in the House reflected support for a ‘never compromise’ attitude (CNN). The left criticizes the right as favoring the rich too heavily, and the right criticizes the left as being out of touch with American principles of a free economy, and neither side it seems, until very recent, and in the face of the reality of a default, has made steps to bridge the gap between the two views.
Adamancy is a respectable quality, but it doesn’t fly in politics (which, coincidentally, is the art of compromise). This country was built on compromise. The three institutions responsible for composing and approving the budget are the direct results of compromise during the formation of our Constitution:
The Great Compromise – at the Constitutional Convention, a concession was made between the Virginia plan (representation based on population) and the New Jersey plan (equal state representation) to form the bickering bicameral legislative body we see today.
Presidential Compromise – The original Articles of Confederation didn’t provide for a chief executive, and the process by which we elect the President today is a compromise between popular election and informed election. So, today, we vote for electors (who, in actuality tend to just roll with the popular vote by state) who then vote for the Presidential nominees.
In the American political system, policy can only be made if concessions are made by those who form it. The right is correct (I think) in saying that too high of taxes or too much government involvement can cripple economic development. The left is correct in saying that raising the debt ceiling is necessary for avoiding default, but that just gives room for more spending that has been characterized by growing government in the past decade. Every time the debt ceiling has been raised, it’s had to have been raised again.
So? We need to compromise. President Obama calls for this, but at the same time piggybacks on Reid’s plan and says he will not pass Boehner’s (which includes a short-term debt ceiling increase), and doesn’t exactly have a proposition of his own other than critical rhetoric and appeals from an ‘American just like you’ (Address).
The Republicans need to agree to raise the debt ceiling (and they have) and also raise taxes a bit. The thing is, taxes are low, but they may be too low. We tax 13% of the GDP, but spend nearly a quarter of it (David Stockman). So, the left needs to agree to cut more of spending, through entitlement reform perhaps. And we need to let them. Sure, the benefits may be a great aspiration, but they cost much more than they’re worth at the moment, and our fiscal plans can’t handle them at the moment. OH, spending. It has been a bi-partisan problem.
So, when this is all over with, whether by a passed resolution or a default, work on passing the balanced budget amendment. It’s obvious that one can’t be held for long without some higher power, like the Constitution, demanding it. Maybe we could take Warren Buffet’s advice.
That concludes my little rant, however you may see it.
Quit whining about not getting your own way. In a nation with 300 million people, and over 500 governing individuals, the best way for everybody is for everybody to give a little. Find the middle road.
Cut spending drastically, increase revenue moderately, raise the debt ceiling temporarily, and work on long-term solutions to what has been a long-term problem.
It’s always nice to have a third point.