Saturday, July 16, 2011

Republicans Need To Compromise In Debt Ceiling Showdown

Take a look at today's weekly address by President Obama:

The President is quite correct when he says that solving the budget crisis will require both spending cuts and tax increases. He is also quite correct when he points out the necessity of Republicans and Democrats to compromise with one another in order to put our nation's fiscal house in order and that neither side is going to get everything they want. That's how public policy is supposed to get done in a country like ours.

In the negotiations that have been undertaken between the two sides, President Obama has been willing to put a lot on the table, including big reductions in Medicare and Social Security that have some members of his own party screaming for his head. In exchange, he has asked for the Republicans to agree to closing certain tax loopholes that benefit wealthy Americans. Rather than agree to what any rational and logical person would quickly recognize as a great deal, the Republican leadership has remain fixated on their ideological obsessions and refused the President's offer.

Because of this Republican obstinacy, the specter of a default by the federal government is hanging over our heads. Such an event could very well plunge the global economy into a more severe credit crisis than the one we experienced in 2007-09. If the Republicans insist upon remaining on their current path, they could well be responsible for a complete economic catastrophe not only for America, but for the entire world. The American voter will certainly remember that when November of 2012 rolls around.

In the long run, the Republicans are correct in wishing for a smaller government and lower taxes, secured by a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. But to meet the immediate crisis, a deal must be hammered out between the two sides. President Obama is offering the Republicans a good deal; their failure to accept it remains not only utterly inexplicable, but frightening in the extreme.

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