Tag Archives: debt ceiling

I Feel Better, For Awhile At Least


I gotta tell you, it was tough the past few weeks. This whole debt ceiling “debate” was really dragging me down.  I may talk about it in the future, but for now I just wanted to say that I’m glad it’s over. Unfortunately, we’re just going to go through it again in a few months. However, it’s done. I hope maybe we can talk more rationally for now.

So going forward, I’m going to make a few more lists. I’m working on a list of 5 movies from five great filmmakers that I believe people should see. Also by request, I’m going to add a food section where I intend to document and review a recipe every once in a while. In essence, Independent Kansan is going to be broadening its horizons. Hopefully that will give me something to write about when the politics start depressing me. So here’s to the future. Enjoy blogging.

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Independent Kansan: Post-Rapture Edition


That’s right baby, we’re back. I don’t know if everybody is still out there. Maybe some people were whisked away to Heaven, but it wasn’t me and it wasn’t you. The post-Rapture “Hell on Earth” doesn’t seem to be taking place. So I have made the decision to return to a life of speaking my opinion to anyone who will listen and boldly trying to restore some common sense to the world.

It might be worth noting that a few hours after the supposed beginning of the end, a tornadic thunderstorm did roll through my little piece of this planet. I don’t know if God was sending me a warning shot or what.

I guess I should give you a preview of whats to come. Tim Pawlenty is running for President. Mitch Daniels is not. Sarah Palin, apparently raised some money and bought a house in Arizona. People seem to think that maybe she’s setting something up. We still have to raise the debt ceiling, pass a budget and while we are fighting about all of that, the President has called on Congress to reform federal education law this year.

I had got an email on Friday that posed some interesting questions. This is what it said:

“I wonder what the following conversations / planning meetings were like?

Democratic leadership planning on how to take advantage of the new Democratic Majority after the Rapture.  (assuming our Republican friends are taken, and the gay loving, baby killing, welfare spending democrats are left all alone.

Republicans planning how to carry on if their most vocal base goes to heaven.  (Safe assumption that if they got themselves elected to congress they will not be making the trip) How can they stay in office without their Christian conservative supporters.  Did the republican party circulate forms “in case of rapture, please donate all of my money to the Republican party?”
Special thanks to Mike for allowing me to use this. I assume he won’t mind. The point of all this is that there is no shortage of things to talk about, and as the world seems to be continuing on, so must we. Thanks to all my readers. I hope in the “Post-Rapture world” I can continue to provide a voice of civility in a world of madness.

Stand Your Ground, Mr. President


After scanning the news one particular thing stuck out at me. We can’t borrow anymore money. That’s correct the U.S. has reached its debt limit. Apparently due to some fancy accounting we are still paying our bills, but only for a few months. The President has called for the debt limit to be raised. Treasury Secretary Geithner has warned of dire economic conditions if it is not. The general consensus among economists and most politicians is that this must happen. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal even said:

“The first sign that a debt crisis has arrived is that bond investors lose confidence in a government’s ability to pay its debts – and by that point, it is usually too late to avoid severe disruption and economic pain.” Rep. Ryan’s Budget Proposal Pg. 21

Defaulting on our debt will certainly cause investors to lose confidence. So why hasn’t an increase passed it? Republican’s want more spending cuts.

The debt ceiling debate is driving me crazy. Speaker John Boehner is out calling for spending cuts equal to the increase in the debt ceiling. That’s ridiculous and impossible. We can’t cut spending by the amount the debt ceiling will need to go up. If we did it wouldn’t be long before we completely defund the federal government. The possible implications of not raising the debt ceiling are huge. Everyone seems to agree that if the U.S. stops paying its bills the effect on the global economy would be catastrophic. The result in this country would be unimaginable. The worst part is that John Boehner isn’t against raising the debt ceiling. He’s just against it when a Democrat is President. Not that his hypocrisy doesn’t exist across the aisle. Democrats are eager to raise the debt limit now, but they were more that happy to complain about it just a few years ago. For his part, Mr. Boehner has voted to raise the debt ceiling multiple times in the past. A number of these votes are hard to find, because under House rules some legislation is passed without anyone’s vote being recorded. How’s that for open government? It is record that in 2002 and 2004 (when President Bush was in office) he voted to raise the debt limit. He voted that way because it was necessary and John Boehner isn’t a lunatic. At least I hope he still isn’t. I should note that President Obama is calling for a raise in the debt limit, but when President Bush sat in the Oval Office, then Sen. Obama, along with many Democrats, voted against the increase. He now says that was a mistake. It was.

When it comes to budget deficits, debt limits and other things involving money, the reality is that it’s all politics. This is a non-partisan issue being used for partisan gain. Do you want evidence? We’ve had a budget deficit for 10 years. Republican’s just got angry about it when a Democrat was in the White House. Congress has voted to raise the debt ceiling a number of times in the past decade. Republicans supported it all of them until President Obama took office. Democrats were against them at that same time. Then a magical thing happened. On Jan. 20th, 2009, President Obama was sworn in and everybody changed sides. It’s like everybody was suddenly persuaded by the other side’s point of view. If only one argument had been so compelling, we wouldn’t have this stalemate. Unfortunately, both sides were so convincing we just ended up right back where we were. Sentences like that make me wish there was a “sarcasm key” on your standard QWERTY keyboard.

This should not be an argument. We have to pay our bills, and bickering over some arbitrary limit imposed on the government nearly one hundred years ago is childish. I like that the debt ceiling brings public attention to our national debt. It’s important that we pay attention to what we are spending. Using that attention to promote a drastic partisan agenda, however, is irresponsible. John Boehner seems to think that spending isn’t getting enough national attention. We’ve been talking about spending for months. There are groups in both the House and the Senate working on budget compromises. Rep. Paul Ryan unveiled the Republican ideas for reducing the deficit weeks ago. President Obama released his proposal shortly thereafter. THIS ISN’T ABOUT THE BUDGET. This about whether or not we will live up to the commitments we have made. The budget should be a different debate, and it is a debate we are having.

That’s why I believe the President should stand his ground and not give in. For what might be the first time in his Presidency, he’s in a game of political “chicken” and he doesn’t need to flinch. Everybody knows that this has to happen. Yes, some of the new Tea Party supported members of Congress may be clamoring for spending cuts. I think that why Boehner is out causing a ruckus. In the end, the establishment of the Republican party will make sure our economy doesn’t collapse, and will continue the spending debate as they prepare the next budget.

The vote over the debt ceiling shouldn’t even be big news. It would be to the political advantage of both parties to quietly pass it instead of engaging in such obvious hypocrisy. If they don’t get what they want enough of them will still vote for it that the increase passes. Republicans just want the best political advantage they can get going into the next election. They will look at swing districts where a Republican is the incumbent, and a no vote will be popular and those members will vote no. They will look at districts where a Democrat is the incumbent, and a no vote would be popular and special interests will make huge ad buys in the 2012 election.

We have to raise the debt limit and we all know it. So, John Boehner can raise a ruckus about spending. Democrats and Republicans can hope that the public ignores how hypocritical they have been on this issue. Republicans will jump on any notion of conciliation from the White House. If the White House doesn’t give them the chance, they will still pass the debt limit increase.

Stand your ground, Mr. President. This is one fight you’re going to win.