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Chan Lowe: The debt ceiling crisis


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The contours of this debt ceiling battle, at least the congressional portion of it, now appear to be developing around two kinds of lawmakers: the professionals and the amateurs. The former, the so-called “adults in the room,” are aware that the structure of a viable democracy is rooted in the bedrock of compromise. The latter are those who were sent to Washington by an angry electorate with a simplistic mandate to fix things once and for all, then leave.

Fix-it-and-leave sounds like a noble undertaking, and comports with the Founding Fathers’ idea of the clear-eyed, pragmatic citizen-legislator who laid down his plow, his adze or whatever, and journeyed to the national capital to serve his country for a short period before returning to his vocation.

That was back when the fundamental unit of government was the state. The federal operation was so insignificant that had it defaulted, it probably wouldn’t have made any difference to the average citizen, nor would other countries have even paused in their endless cycle of European land grabs to take notice.


Interconnectedness and interdependency makes everything different now. While an 18th Century agrarian view of government still holds romantic appeal in the hinterlands, it helps no one in 2011, especially those who depend on government largess for their very survival, when a large bloc of our lawmakers finds itself unwilling to deviate from an unrealistic, wrong-headed stand (raising the debt ceiling is merely acknowledging the money we’ve already spent, after all), when a little flexibility would lead to betterment⎯or, at least, deliverance⎯for all.

One tea party-backed freshman, who had no previous experience whatsoever in government, admitted in an interview that the conflicting forces around him left him clueless as to what he should do, except to fall on his knees and ask for divine guidance.

The rest of us can only hope that He’s listening.

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Comments

Who wins with a default or credit downgrade? The top 2% who own bank stocks, the IMF, and the federal reserve with higher interest rates...


This has been a long time coming. Although the lefties still want to blame Bush for everything, you have to look to the root of the problem in the Clinton administration with the 'get give everyone a home mortgage' strategy. Don't forget how Barney Frank's failure to oversee Fannie and Freddie until it was far too late. Certainly Bush added to debt and did not recognize the impending crisis. Now we have to face it. At this point we need a deal and then move on to the real job of fixing the economy which means support small business (less than 500 employees). Small business has to be the job engine for real recovery. Today there no interest in adding jobs, a mindset that must change for a real recovery to occur.


Eric Cantor,(among many) is on the "Profit-Wagon" if the U.S. defaults on its debt payment...He's invested in Pro Shares Trust Ultra-short Treasury EFT...which preforms well when the U.S. debt is undesirable....
Anyone see a conflict of interest here.?


Get out your Voter's Cards, it's time to fire these idiots. And I don't care if Boner cries or not!


_He_ is listening, the trouble is more that when He provides guidance, increasingly few people are listening to _that_ :-)


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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