Republicans go on about how we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Really? Income tax revenues as a percentage of GDP in 2010 were 9.58%, the last time it was that low was 1950. The highest point was 2000, you know the Clinton era, when the tax revenues as a percentage of GDP hit 14.67%. As for Business tax revenues as a percentage of GDP, during the Clinton era, this measure ranged from 3.21% to 5.19% while averaging over 4% for his entire administration. Meanwhile from 2001 through 2010, the Bush years and the post great recession years, the same metric hasn’t exceeded 4% in 7 of 10 years. In other words, supply side economics doesn’t work.
Republicans like to say that they will do whatever it takes to defend the “Full Faith and Credit” of the United States, but that doesn’t jive with The Tea Party wing of their caucus who think not raising the debt ceiling is no big deal because the government can still pay its creditors, soldiers, and seniors. That may be true, but global investors and bankers will not have faith in the US Government if we start that kind of gamesmanship. Simply, a dollar is worth a dollar because you faith in the credit worthiness of the United States. Perception is reality.
Boehner and the rest of the Grand Obstructionist Party (GOP) are complaining that there isn’t enough time to make a deal and that the only way around the August 2nd debt ceiling deadline is a short term deal that brings us back here in three short months. Not enough time? We’ve known about this date since March when the government shutdown was threatened the Dick that Whined Eric Cantor. Not enough time? How many of your caucus members are doing their Christmas shopping on December 24th? Not enough time? It’s math, not cancer research.
While the economy is sputtering and the unemployment rate is still too high, the Obstructionists should not be overplaying their hand thinking the debt ceiling is their best chance to damage Obama’s reelection chances. Recent CBS News poll indicated that 43% of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the debt ceiling negotiations, 21% for the Republicans, and 66% say that the final deal should include a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.
Did you know that Ronald Reagan, the 5th face on Mount Rushmore in the minds of Conservatives, raised the debt limit 17 times during his eight years? I know I was much younger, but I don’t remember such a hullabaloo and tumult about raising the debt ceiling then.
Finally, the House GOP Cut, Cap, and Balance plan was as stupid as it was its likelihood to fail. Changing the Constitution to put in an annual balanced budget amendment will be simply a big harbinger of short term actions that will cripple us over the long term. Imagine having to suddenly cut $100Billion in defense spending due to some unplanned and unbudgeted event? If that doesn’t make Boehner Cantor his pants, nothing will. Remember little minds, budgets are annual, most Constitutional Amendments are forever.