Zakaria is right about the debt ceiling

This morning on his “Global Public Square” program, Fareed Zakaria zeroed in on the debt ceiling debate. And he nailed it. If only Washington would listen to him!

You can read his entire commentary, “The damage is already done,” or watch the full video, or both, on the CNN website. The following is just a small sergment:



Categories: CNN, Money, Politics

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13 replies

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Even after we allowed the Wall Street “wiz kids” to play “tip the dominoes” with the world’s economy,” the world was still willing to give us the benefit of the doubt. Hell, they were probably afraid NOT to trust us. But now, I think, they’re afraid that the “infants” have taken control completely!!

  2. I’ve long been an admirer of Fareed Zakaria. I’ve read his books that I know of. We usually agree. But not this time. The crooks are still in charge. On August third, my grandchildren (and yours) will still be on the hook for our credit card debt even after we’ve successfully convinced the voting stock holders of Corp. USA into raising the limit again.

    All this is happening in spite of the fact that receivables are ten times more than debt payments and in spite of the fact that congress has passed legislation (as yet unsigned by the president) directing him to first pay obligated debt and then the major entitlements along with active and veteran military paychecks and then, finally all subsequent paychecks afterwards.

    What this is about is our sovereignty. Our CEO & BOD (President & Legislators) are willing to surrender it. It’s really that simple.

    The fact that Ron Paul has written books describing this outcome is nothing but an unpopular footnote to a text written by people wearing rose colored glasses. Maybe that’s why the pundits say he’s unelectable.

    • We, this generation, cannot possibly pay off a debt that has been accruing for many decades, but we can start moving in the right direction to reduce the debt. I disagree with the Tea Party and other freshmen lawmakers who stand stubbornly and self-righteously on their “principles” while they bring Washington to a standstill and tank the worldwide credit rating of the U.S. We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and we’re not going to get out of it this week. Raise the debt ceiling, preserve our credit rating, honor our obligations — this is not negotiable. Then start figuring out how to reduce our spending and increase our revenue. The greenhorns need to realize Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  3. Ms Pied… I don’t understand why you think that refusing to increase the debt ceiling is equivalent to defaulting on our debt. Monthly FDIC income, by itself, is almost equal to the outlays it is obligated to pay. Monthly IRS and other tax and fee income is equal to TEN TIMES our foreign debtor obligations. Unless he consciously chooses to do otherwise, the president will sign into law a mandate to pay the above and military expenses before paying… for instance… UN dues, IMF contributions, Foreign Aid, Agriculture subsidies, Petroleum company subsidies, State DOT reimbursements (State DOT’s spendusing state money and then seek partial federal reimbursement) and a host of other subsidies more numerous than I need mention. Added to that, government has the ability to sell assets to raise revenues. Assets like mining and drilling and exploration rights to energy developers, BLM land to farmers and ranchers and private environment protection groups – this is also an almost endless list. To correct our over spending, I can’t understand how increasing it is a move in the right direction. Help me understand.

    • They call it default for a reason.

      • The “debt ceiling” is an artificial, self-imposed construct… no other G20 country has one, and it has been raised more than 100 times since it was created by the American government. There are some American states and Canadian provinces which, as political strategy, passed legislation making deficit spending illegal. In Ontario it was a right of centre party which passed a law to run deficits, and then proceeded to run up a $5B deficit it claimed did not exist. Most (if not all) of these jurisdictions figured out very quickly that putting in place such a hard cap, like the one in place in Washington, cannot work. Because it’s a purely political construct, and has no economic value, it’s subject to the bizarre and asinine type of political theatre we’ve seen over the past two weeks.

        The reason the debt and deficit are so high at the moment are two decade long wars, a bizarre drug plan, tax cuts that served no purpose and a bunch of other crap… like the near collapse of the banking system, and the near total eradication of the housing market. Country’s cannot legislate deficit and debt away by passing laws that say we can’t have deficits or debts. Taxes need to be increased slightly, spending needs to be cut rationally, and a time machine needs to be invented so the United States can go back and not invade Iraq, and then take the bastard who invented credit default swaps (who I believe was Canadian) deep into a swamp and leave him there.

        So I, mostly, agree with Zakaria. I’d totally agree with him but I don’t know where he stands on time travel.

        You might be interested in this… it’s kind of a comparison of Canadian and American economic strategies over the past 15 years.

        http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/08/01/lorne-gunter-canada-shows-u-s-the-way-on-govt-spending-taxes/

  4. I like your system, the model anyway. The problem with creating ideology out of policy, like the Tea Party did with the debt ceiling, is afterwards they can never allow the policy to change. It’s like the gun laws, where each one is sacred no matter how insane. There are substantial changes needed, as there are here and elsewhere, but the power in the hands of ideologues in your country is totally out of proportion… personally the first thing I’d change is the three-year long election cycle. As soon as your President wins, and finds the TV remote, he’s back out the door raising money.

    Anyway… I do go on.

    • Ideology’s great, until it runs into reality. After all, the real world is … well … real. When it comes to government, I’ll take realists every time. You’re so right about the election cycle. We’ve gotten to the point now where it virtually never ends, and I’m sick of it. Term limits might help, but that would require a constitutional amendment, proposed by our current lawmakers, of course. I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would do with a mess like this?

"It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races." ~ Mark Twain

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