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Home » Online Forex Trading Blog » The Debt Ceiling And Howard Beale

The Debt Ceiling And Howard Beale

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The rhetoric coming from Washington is sad, muddled and meaningless.  The U.S. is in a Howard Beale moment.  In the movie Network, the television news anchorman encouraged Americans to get up, get out of your chairs, go to the window and yell out, “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.”  At this juncture, Republicans and Democrats are at a political impasse with the country credit standing very much as risk and employers afraid to hire.

The Republican caucus in the House is led by John Boehner.  His leadership role is being pressed by far right wing House Leader Eric Cantor, who clearly wants Boehner’s title.  Eric Cantor is one of the Republicans who stormed out of the Biden debt reduction meetings. 

The Tea Party has made Boehner’s job impossible.  At this critical time, Congress has been neutered by the 64 Tea Party candidates.  60 of these Tea Party members of the House are a unified block.  Michelle Backmann, a Presidential candidate, is the leader of the Tea Party caucus.

These Tea Party politicians feel empowered by their recent success at the polls.  They profess to advocate smaller government, tighter fiscal policies and are opposed to any revenue increases.  They claim to be strong supporters of the Constitution, especially if they can interpret it to their advantage.

The problem is that Tea Party Candidates have hardened their position.  Behind all the bravado is their real cause.  That is to make certain the President Obama does not serve a second term. 

The debt ceiling freeze is a perfect vehicle.  At one point, it is believed that President Obama and Boehner were close to striking a deal to cut spending and increase revenues that would trim $4.1 trillion from government spending.

Boehner was unable to get his caucus to approve the tentative plan.  The reason is that one-third of the plan included revenue increases. Republicans have been accused of holding a gun to the taxpayer’s collective heads but this time Obama seems to be holding the line that trimming the budget also requires increasing revenues especially from large corporations and millionaires. 

Speaker Boehner is clearly unable to control his caucus who has forced him to change his strategy just about every day.  The daily talks have been fruitless. In fact, Eric Cantor and President Obama have engaged in bitter exchanges.

If this situation were not so serious, it would be comedy.  Unfortunately, the behavior of the House has rendered this branch of government useless.  More progress would be made if the House closed down.  It is apparent that the Tea Party block has an underlying purpose and that is to defeat Obama in 2011.  This is what motivates Republicans.  The problem is that the people on Main Street need an efficient Congress that can work together. 

Republicans defend their position on no increased taxes by insinuating that this would prevent job creators from hiring.  That is a stretch.  The woes we are suffering now are directly linked to the Republicans and President George Bush.  The Bush tax cuts did little to stimulate job growth.  Bush’s takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and the lack of regulation over financial institutions caused this recession.

With employment rates tumbling, and financial institutions around the world on life support, Bush turned the White House to Barrack Obama.  A lesser man way well have crumbled under the weight.

The Tea Party is an American populist, political movement associated with the Republican Party.  The party describes itself as conservative and libertarian.  Michelle Backmann is their loudest voice.  This caucus is disrupting the legislative process. 

On Tuesday Mitch McConnell, the Minority Speaker in the Senate, suggested a “backup plan.”  The McConnell plan is based upon changing the legislative procedure for raising the debt ceiling.  The debt ceiling increase would be proposed and passed in the Senate.  It would then be sent to Congress where it would be rejected.  Obama would veto the rejection.  If the House cannot muster a two-thirds majority, the bill would then become law.

This backup plan, may be the only way to increase the debt ceiling.  It is a sad state of affairs when politics muddies then people’s water. The House has only passed 50 of 259 pieces of proposed legislation. 

On Tuesday, a frustrated Boehner indicated that this was the President’s problem.  Where was Boehner when Bush was in office when the debt ceiling was raised 7 times.  If the debt ceiling is not increased, chaos will reign.  Seniors will not receive their regular payments.  Military personnel will not be paid and massive layoffs will raise the unemployment rate.  The repercussions will cause the country’s AAA credit rating to tumble.

When Tea Party candidates were elected, they were charged with balancing the budget, preventing tax increases and reducing the debt.  However, the voters hardly expected such a contentious atmosphere and while all Americans want reductions in spending and the deficit, they hardly expected these changes to be implemented immediately. 

Both sides are scheduled to meet today at 4:00 p.m.  If the talks are fruitless, Obama may want to give the McConnell proposal a long hard look.  Failure to increase the debt ceiling may well spell the end of the Republican Party because Obama has created the impression that he will move toward the center while the Republicans threaten the elderly, the unemployed, the sick and the poor while protecting their wealthy constituency.

“I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take this any more!” 

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About the Author -

Hiland is a professional writer with extensive entrepreneurial experience. He is a graduate of St. George’s School Newport, RI and the State University of New York at Albany where he majored in history. He has been active in the real estate business for 30 years and has founded and sold several businesses. Hiland currently writes for several financial sites and is a published author of the novel The Last Parade. He has recently completed a manuscript for a children’s book entitled Sami and The Minnow Man.

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