Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling, begin to cut spending, and attempt to address the nation’s fiscal problems. It was voted down in the Senate in less than two hours, with no serious debate.
Meanwhile, Our Fearless Leader, true to form, has left the details of the Democratic plan to Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is working on such a plan, but the details aren’t there yet, and the House Republicans have already resolved to vote it down.
The headline on today’s Daily News reads ‘Bam: Call Your Reps.’ I would call my reps if I thought it would do any good. Alas, they’re all solid Democrats, and won’t care. Or my position will be swamped by many of my fellow constituents.
We’re in trouble now because our government made promises in the past that it now cannot keep. This happened because the productive capacity of the country was left to rot. We’ve been working around it for a couple of decades now, telling ourselves lies about ‘the service economy’ and blowing bubbles, but we’ve burned through our savings and our credit and now find ourselves no better off.
A limited government like ours cannot simply will productive capacity into being. It can’t construct productive enterprises for itself, and it can’t force the private sector to create jobs. Under the circumstances, the only alternative is to cut spending and find a way to back away from its promises while causing the least damage.
The Republican plan is an effort to do that. I disagree with the Republican orthodoxy in that I believe that new, higher taxes will be necessary. The Republicans will say that higher taxes merely encourage higher spending, but one of the lessons of the Reagan administration is that politicians will spend anyway.
If we can’t expect some adult leadership from our government, then we’re really done for.
Moreover, if you want to ask where our productive capacity went, part of it got crystallized into the wealth of the very. very rich. If the government can return some of that through taxation into the circulating economy, that can only help the rest of us.
So while I don’t completely agree with the Republicans, at least they’re trying.