Monday, January 14, 2013

Debt Distraction

The horrific attack at Newtown, and the other public shootings both before an after, have certainly raised awareness in the community regarding weapons and their place in our society. I am pleased with the instant reaction by this Administration in creating a task force and opening a dialogue to discuss what could have been done to prevent these tragedies, if anything. But is this type of 'reactive' governance healthy. You bet, but maybe not if it is distracting from other important matters of the day.

We saw with the 'Fiscal Cliff' fight that the former Congress chose to drag their feet in a stalemate, only to cobble together a half fix to appease the electorate, without making the tough decisions. Now, with most looking at Washington's fight on citizen weaponry, the Debt ceiling talks and much need spending reform has taken a back seat.

I do not deny the need to have serious and intense dialogue on the proliferation of high capacity magazines, more serious enforcement of background checks (especially those that choose to deceive during that process), and a broadening of those laws to capture the Gun show sieve. But what is being accomplished right now is two fold; A) the conversation in Washington has moved away from serious fiscal matters that threaten to shut down government, and create economic tumult throughout the country during the stabilization of a very vulnerable economy, and more importantly; B) an emboldening of the Conservative right as it protects their perceived protection of 2nd Amendment Rights, while being allowed to not debate the tough decisions relating to fiscal management, or mismanagement for that matter.

The Vice President's commission will come out with recommendations this week. It will be important for the Administration to take these under advisement, but then redirect the debate back to money talks. The 2nd Amendment battle will always be there, and the debate will drag out for sometime. But the need for fiscal prudence, debt relief, and serous spending controls is on a game clock right now. We can't afford another band-aid to stop the hemorrhaging of the trust in this Country's monetary management.

Here's hoping.



Mike Palmquist said...

Excuse me, who started the discussion about the 2nd Amendment issues and took the eye off the fiscal issues?

dog gone said...

We can walk and talk and chew gum at the same time.

There was enough discussion going on about the debt ceiling - ie the debt - and the fiscal cliff at the same time that there were discussions beginning on gun control.

We've had overall far too little discussion on gun control, while we have had steady discussions on debt and growth. The logical thing for us to do is to engage in more stimulus and less austerity while interests rates are low. This is because the Austrian school has pretty much zero success to show for its theories, while Keynesian economics has a long record of successful pragmatic application.

I would direct you to the authoritative articles that address the concerns of lowering the debt at such a sharp rate that it could derail our recovery.

I don't know where you've been hiding, but I've been following this all along, including as one of the economy group hosts over at the DU (Democratic Underground), as well as writing about it.

There has been substantial attention given to this, including in the run up to the November 2012 election.

Look closer, dear Flash! Attention to debt and deficit is out there! Lots of it!

Mike Palmquist said...

Yes, Keynesian economics has worked so well in Europe. Let's just start spending money like we have an inexhaustible supply. Oh, wait, we do, we can just continue to either 1) Print it (it worked so well in the Wiemar Republic, or 2) raise taxes on everyone.

Flash said...

Mike, when the dialogue began following Newtown, there was a clear sign of a bipartisan path forward, but soon after, many on the Right flipped back and dug in their heels. DG, I am not saying the issue is being ignored, just that it is crystla clearly taking a back seat to the 2nd Amendment dialogue

Mike Palmquist said...

Mike Palmquist said...

How do you negotiate over nothing?