Normally, inter-party one-upmanship in the halls of Congress is, like polo, a spectator sport that appeals to only a slim cohort of the general public. It shouldn’t be this way, but what with the demands on the average citizen’s time of making a living, raising a family, and other mundane tasks, most of us (unless we watch this stuff for a living) only have the luxury of tuning in for a couple of months right before a big election.
Unfortunately, the latest “crisis,” which could result in the nation’s default, is much more serious that usual and warrants our full attention. If we stop paying our bills on time, we will lose our worldwide financial credibility. For starters, we’ll have to pay more to borrow money from our Chinese bankers, for example, and everything we want or need is going to cost us more. Are we ready for a permanent recession?
I’m no economist, but I’ve been listening to experts who do know something, and they’re preaching dire consequences if we don’t raise the ceiling. There are a lot of people on the right who discount what they say, and they could be correct, but I don’t want to find out they’re wrong the hard way. It just isn’t worth the risk.
It’s ironic that it was intransigence about taxes on the part of the British crown that sparked the first tea party. Today, a group that styles itself after those original rebels is being equally intransigent over the very same topic. They happen to hold a lot of political sway in one of the houses of Congress, which doesn’t necessarily put them on the side of the angels.
Maybe it’s fitting that tea partiers helped pave the way for the birth of a great nation, and it’s tea partiers who may be leading it into eclipse.