The debt ceiling has been raised. Government services will continue.
And no contingency has been made to increase the government's income.
There's no nicer way for me to say this: the White House is the Republicans' bitch. President Obama has been stressing the need to increase government revenue; that it makes next to no sense to raise the debt ceiling without the ability to actually pay down the debt. And what happens? No revenue. No paying down the debt. Just a few shortcuts in spending, as if that's supposed to fix anything.
From what I can see, they've increased our ability to generate debt with next to no way of paying it down. That's just brilliant. It certainly looks like we're not going to be the one's responsible for doing so. No, it appears that they'll just keep kicking the debt ceiling higher and higher, until we're probably about 100 trillion dollars in debt...and then pass that along to future generations to handle.
Now, this kind of rhetoric is frequently used when people start talking about decreasing tax breaks. "If we don't start bringing in the money now, future generations will have to pay for it." Along the way, compromise is made, and those tax hikes barely come into the picture at all. And once all the votes are cast, and the bills are passed, that lovely rhetoric is all but forgotten until the next time we're staring the problem in the face.
I'll be called crazy for this, but I think it's about time we reexamined the Constitution and its Amendments, perhaps even rewriting them. The democratic republic in which we live has been a grand experiment, and it's worked well in many regards. But times have changed since 1776, and we need a document that can rule our nation in modern times.
Let's look at American favorite, the Second Amendment. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This Amendment was ratified on 15 December 1791. We'd just shucked off the reins of an oppressive "mother country," and were experience turbulent times of our own as we started organizing ourselves into a nation. We were being eyed by numerous nations around the globe as both new and weak. (The army, formed in 1789, had all of 1,000 men. Woohoo!) So it was somewhat important to keep American citizens armed and ready for potential trouble.
Over time, the meaning of the Amendment has been corrupted into, "I can have a gun, and you can't take it!" The part about "a well regulated Militia"...? Never mentioned. The same applied to "being necessary to the security of a free State." No, the only part people seem to remember is, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." People, mind you, who answer to almost no authority, so they're not a "well regulated Militia." We're one of the great super powers of the world, and not under threat of invasion, there's no necessity to secure a free State. We're as free as we're going to get, people!
But there's a HUGE difference between the people then and the people now. Back then, our founding fathers, those who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, were men willing to shed blood for the freedom of their nation. That freedom, paid for with the highest of currency, lives, is something that most of us take for granted. Freedom, my friends, isn't free.
Say what you will about government policy. Argue party views until you're blue in the face. But come time to speak with someone in the military, or someone who is already done serving, and I highly recommend you pay that person the highest respect, as that person has demonstrated a willingness to maintain our freedom at the price of his or her blood. 'Nuff said.
Back to the major rewrite our country needs...There is, of course another issue. One I fear greatly. It's the terror that goes like this...a Preamble that reads, "Yo...'Sup? We the, the coolest people of the coolest country in the world, in order to remain the coolest, establish coolness as, like, a law, insure domestic coolness, provide for the coolest defense, promote general coolness, and secure the blessings of Christ and stuff, do hereby write this here cool document." That...would not...be cool.
But I think a rewrite needs to be made, as Congress and the House of Representatives are NOT looking out for the welfare of the people. Perhaps they are doing as the people want, but those same "people" probably don't even fully understand the issues at hand. Heck, I can't even make that claim. The very first thing these representatives NEED to do is educate their constituents on the issues, and THEN get feed back. Once that's done, the representatives need to go and vote in favor of what the people want, as is their supposed job. It would be quite a kick in the pants for the political types if the Constitution actually required representatives to do those very things, instead of voting in such a way as they think will get them reelected when their term is up.
Really, I could probably go on and on about this. I'm glad that I'll still be receiving services from the government, as I kind of need said services. But I'm also ticked at the fact that the future is not something the current politicos care about. Our future generations are being screwed out of a future, and they don't even get taken out to dinner on the government's dime.
2 August 2011 is, in many ways, a bad date.
Be well, all, and DFTBA!