There are very few Americans with the means to make large purchases with cash, and for most people credit, the ability to obtain goods based on trust that payment will be made in the future, is a necessary fact of life. The idea of a nation making purchases on credit was crucial to the Founding Fathers who believed that borrowing money to finance their revolution was an absolute necessity. The young nation’s first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, stated that “The United States debt, foreign and domestic, was the price of liberty,” and because the expenses for war exceeded its income, America borrowed money based on the trust payment would be made in the future.
One way to ensure that a lender can trust the money they lend will be repaid over time is the use of credit ratings and most Americans are well aware that crucial to maintaining a good credit rating is repaying debts in a regular timely manner. The quickest way to destroy a good credit rating, besides not making regularly scheduled payments on time, is defaulting on a loan and it is a fundamental fact that any adult with an IQ over 40 knows; unless they are Republicans serving in Congress with an African American man as President.
There are a rash of Republicans in the House who fail to see the catastrophic danger of defaulting on the nation’s debt, and they ignore Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution that empowers Congress to pay the nation’s debts on money borrowed against the full faith and credit of the government. Since its inception, America has borrowed money and amassed debt Congress is empowered by the Constitution to repay to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States. Last January, there were several House Republicans who denied there was any risk whatsoever of not raising the debt ceiling to pay debts Congress already incurred which meant failing to pay the nation’s creditors that would have surely lead to another credit downgrade. One teabagger, Ted Yoho (R-FL) told his constituents that the nation’s credit rating would actually be better if the United States defaulted on its debt and he was joined by 33 House Republicans who voted against the last short-term debt limit extension in January.
What Yoho is suggesting is tantamount to an American family missing months of their mortgage payments leading to a default on their loan and foreclosure, and then expecting their credit score to be better than if they had made regular timely payments. House Republicans control the nation’s purse strings and there are an increasing number of them who deny that failing to raise the debt ceiling will lead to anything other than a catastrophic economic failure including a stock market crash, missed Social Security and Veterans payments, and a collapse in Treasury bond prices that would lead to record high interest rates,. It would also likely trigger a worldwide economic depression that Republicans nearly created during their 2008 worldwide recession, and House Speaker John Boehner is gambling that to prevent an economic disaster, President Obama will have to agree to a deal to make drastic changes to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, farm programs and government pensions.
Despite Boehner vowing not to jeopardize the full faith and credit of the United States at least five times in the past year, he said, “I’ve made it clear that we’re not going to increase the debt limit without cuts that are greater than the increase in the debt limit. The president doesn’t think this is fair, thinks I’m being difficult to deal with. It may be unfair but what I’m trying to do here is to leverage the political process to produce change. We’re going to have a whale of a fight.” Just a week ago Republicans were willing to cause a credit default unless they were allowed to defund the Affordable Care Act, but Boehner upped the ante this week and told his rabid conservative audience that $2.5 trillion in discretionary cuts that account for about one-third of the federal budget was just the beginning of Republicans assault on the American people.
Boehner said, “Now, it’s time to deal with the mandatory side” to wild applause from a crowd of 430 austerity-mad conservatives, and boasted Republican intents to eviscerate Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, farm programs (food stamps), and finally eliminate government worker’s pensions they paid into throughout their working lives. Republicans have plotted to destroy New Deal programs funded by working Americans since their inception because they ensure a semblance of security and protection against dire poverty, and the big prize is destroying the Social Security retirement fund Republicans have lusted to eliminate for nearly 80 years. Now that they have angry teabaggers on board who share their aching desire to drive the entire population into poverty by “dealing with the mandatory side,” they are poised to fulfill their decades-long goal. If their demands are rejected they intend on destroying the nation’s economy and collapse world financial markets and hand control of the government to the obscenely rich.
It is important to remember that when S&P downgraded the nation’s stellar credit rating in 2011, Republicans raised the debt limit but their childish threats and dalliance in demanding dollar-for-dollar spending cuts destroyed the trust that America would make its payments in the future. It turns out that S&P were right and there is the very real possibility that the same Republicans who threatened to stop paying the nation’s debts in 2011 intend on following through in defaulting on its debts in 2013. If any American thinks credit ratings agencies are not watching Boehner and his teabagger’s folly in threatening the full faith and credit of the United States again, they are as stupid as House Republicans who think America’s credit rating will actually be better if it defaults on its debts.
Republicans have so far exceeded being petulant little brats obstructing governance because Americans elected an African American man as President that they are a real danger to this country in part due to their oath to Grover Norquist to shrink government to a size they can drown in a bathtub. Instead of leading and dissuading House Republicans from driving the nation’s economy to ruin, Speaker of the House John Boehner is giving the juvenile delinquents a box of matches and a can of gasoline and turned them loose on the nation’s economy.
Americans should be mortified because these are the same lunatics who were willing to send the economy off the fiscal cliff last December “just to see what would happen,” and now they think they know what will happen and believe if America defaults on its debts “the nation’s credit rating would actually be better.” Americans should take heed and shudder that this is what happens when Republicans with the intelligence level of two-year-old children lay out the options of an economy killing credit default or eliminating mandatory worker-funded domestic programs, and realize that given the opportunity they will likely do both.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.