Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Free the Hostages Already

It wasn't pretty last night, but it needed to be done.

Speaking from the East Room of the White House, President Obama gave his official endorsement to Sen. Harry Reid’s debt limit plan, channeling his signature compassionate academic style in a speech that was much a helpful primer to the nation on debt ceilings, financial markets and congressional budgets as it was a chance for him to frame the debate as a battle between right and wrong.

“The debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices ... the debate is about how it should be done,” Obama said. “Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get.

Why? What, this isn't enough for you?

Maybe that's why Americans seem to be increasingly angry at everyone in Washington these days?

And in a bizarre twist of fate, the IMF is now lecturing America on how to handle its wallet (after decades of the US joining the IMF in doing it to developing nations)!

Tick tock. With a week to go until Uncle Sam runs out of cash, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that enough was enough yesterday, calling on politicians to stop bickering and act urgently to stave off global financial meltdown by raising their country's debt ceiling.

The government of the United States will move more than $14.3 trillion (£8.7trn) into the red next Tuesday, surpassing an upper limit on the national debt and therefore preventing the Treasury from being able to pay its bills. That would leave the US unable to service its debt, leading to economic chaos.

The IMF published a harshly worded review of the US economy yesterday, calling for an immediate increase in borrowing limits followed by a "comprehensive solution" which will allow the US to reduce its public borrowing in the medium term by cutting spending and increasing the government's revenues.

But first, they must avoid what would be an unnecessary default. "Directors [of the IMF] highlighted the urgency of raising the federal debt ceiling and agreeing on the specifics of a comprehensive medium-term consolidation programme," said

Again, why are we even here? What is the point of this? This is nothing more than a political crisis. If Congress were to just raise the debt ceiling now and take care of progressive tax reform soon, we wouldn't have this problem. But since that is anathema to teabaggers, we're at this zenith of stupid.

So why can't Congress just raise the debt ceiling already? This hostage crisis may be fun and games to them, but everyone else is sick and tired of it.

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