Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Good News And Bad News

Well folks, the proverbial snowball is going to continue to keep rolling down the mountain. With the debt ceiling agreement deadline looming, it looks like the Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid along with President Barack Obama have finally caved, and have agreed, along with the Senate Republicans to raise the US debt ceiling $3 trillion dollars. This deal, if approved, is expected to extend through 2012-a presidential election year. If you are counting, and I can't blame you if you aren't-I have never had to use trillion in any form when I balance my checkbook, that would increase our national debt from $14.3 trillion to $17.3 trillion. Whew! Boy am I relieved!
The good news is we can put to rest the talk of not sending out social security checks as well as paying U.S. troops. Medicare for senior citizens will likely not be affected. Now, interest rates will not go up and the dollar will not be devalued any further. I wonder how much further it can be devalued? The stock market will likely not plunge. Heck, there might even still be money available in the form of grants and loans for Americans if they want to go to school and get educated. Of course there are no guarantees that social security checks will be mailed out on time. Or, guarantees that any other negative effects that might be felt by the debt crisis will not happen. No my friends, guarantees are pre-election material. This is not the time for hope and change. Well, maybe spare change.
The bad news is the US national debt would now be at a stout $17.3 trillion. The senate vote was 50-49 in favor of the increased debt ceiling. That means about half of our elected officials in Washington, D.C. actually don't know how many zero's are in a trillion. And there are 17.3 to account for. A government default has been avoided....for now. For years our elected politicians have proved they have no idea how to balance a budget. Of course if you have someone's else's money to budget with, it really doesn't matter if it balances or not. What is going to change moving forward in the hearts, minds, and souls of our government officials that will allow the start of debt reduction?
This proposed deal, expected to be finalized on Monday, also includes a two step process that would eliminate approximately $2.4 to $3 trillion in debt. How is this going to be done? The first step would be to eliminate $1 trillion through spending cuts. Additional deficit reduction would involve cuts to Social Security and Medicare. A special committee of Democrats and Republicans would work together on this debt reduction which would also include tax reform. Long story short-the thrifty spenders on Capitol Hill would like to put a band-aid on a bullet wound. Let's hope otherwise and pray that a paycheck and proper medical attention can be afforded for not only our invaluable troops but all American citizens.
Democrats and Republicans working together to solve perhaps our nation's biggest problem. Wow! I hope you live in the sunbelt because the snowball is getting bigger and moving faster and you still have a chance of it melting a little before it reaches you.

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