Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Got to stop out-of-control spending to keep U.S. AAA rating

Bigger picture, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, THE ECONOMY, United States

We are told that the U.S. Government will come to a screeching halt when it hits the $14.3 Trillion Debt Ceiling on Tuesday, Aug. 2nd*. In my mind's eye, I envisioned the U.S. Government as a Monster Truck rumbling down the highway on bloated tires, coming up to a bridge with too low of a clearance for a truck of that height.

To keep our government (and economy) rolling, either the bridge clearance (Debt Ceiling) has to be raised, or the size of the tires (deficit spending) could be reduced.

President Obama is threatening those balking at raising the Debt Ceiling in the House and Senate, that a delay could trigger a U.S. Credit rating downgrade to AA. But I have heard for months now that our AAA credit rating is already at risk: our present $14.3 Trillion in debt is viewed as unsustainable.

Reuters confirmed this in Republican rebels force new delay in US debt crisis, "Even if a deal is reached to lift the debt ceiling, a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating is likely unless a big dent is made in the deficit. A downgrade would raise borrowing costs, hurt an already weak economy and rattle global markets." (My emphasis)

Right now, the House is stalling on the latest Boehner Debt Ceiling bill. Though the spending cuts are laughable--$900 billion over 10 years, which is nothing--at least it doesn't include tax increases. The bill's strength is that the debt ceiling increase is split into 2 parts: $1T now and the remainder 6 months from now--well into 2012 campaign season territory. Too bad it wasn't in smaller increments.

I realize even this generous Debt Ceiling increase is very unlikely to pass the Senate, but at least is better than anything Senator Reid is suggesting. Possibly, Boehner adding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the House Bill would be enough to get it through the House.

It is becoming crystal clear that President Obama and the liberals in Congress do not understand that government spending MUST be reduced--not just the level of future growth in spending, but actual cuts here and now if our AAA credit rating is to continue. We must elect more fiscally conservative leaders in November 2012. Until then, we have to work with what we have in Washington.

Obama just urged Americans to contact their Senators and Representatives to resolve the debt crisis. Of course, his concept of resolution would be raising the Debt Ceiling with enough spending cushion to carry him through November of 2012! And he certainly doesn't want a Balanced Budget Amendment to pass. But, I can agree with the President that contacting our representatives is imperative. Here are their numbers:

Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653

Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111
House Speaker John Boehner phone line (513) 779-5400

Past Post: Tell Congress to tell Mr. Obama, No new taxes! Cut, Cap & Balance!

More Reading: Republican rebels force new delay in US debt crisis
What's Wrong With Government Spending?
WSJ The Road to a Downgrade

*Not a hard, fast deadline. Remember, we do have enough income every month to pay essential bills.


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