The headlines read: “Political gridlock worries Wall Street,” “Budget stalemate drags stocks down most in almost 2 months,” “Impasse could be costly for states,” “Race on to get debt plans in form for vote,” “With the debt limit, no raise lasts forever,” “Magic things can happen in every Congress in a short period of time, under the right circumstances,” “What would Reagan do,” “How to end an idiotic game of chicken,” “Leaders crack down on their rank and file,” “U.S. downgrade may ‘be a big thing,’” “Washington has four days to raise debt ceiling,” “Treasury will default on some bills.”
Stories tell of threats about Social Security checks not being mailed, U.S. servicemen and servicewomen not being paid and many other similar actions where federal funds would be withheld because Uncle Sam would not be able to meet his obligations.
As one of President Barack Obama’s top advisers said several years ago, never let a good crisis go to waste.
It’s obvious this advice is in the forefront for Obama’s inner circle and also in the minds of many GOP strategists.
The national debt, uncontrolled spending, a balanced budget, our national security, unemployment and illegal immigration all will be major issues in the 2012 elections. Some are suggesting it will be a vicious and dirty campaign.
But now, raw politics is at center stage in this terribly serious theatrical drama being played out in Congress and the White House with the final curtain only hours or days away.
President Obama has been focused on his re-election in 2012 since he moved into the White House in January 2009. Most every action has been based on what is in his best interests and what gives him the best chance to win a second term.
He does not want any of the debt ceiling or uncontrolled spending debate carrying over into 2012, which would cloud his popularity and re-election efforts.
The same thinking is at center stage with Democratic senators and House members who face re-election next year. They and the president don’t want to anger the millions of potential voters receiving federal entitlement money by talking about cuts. At the same time, they know growing numbers of thinking Americans realize there must be cuts in these massive entitlement programs, which cannot be sustained if there is any hope of ever coming close to a balanced national budget.
Republicans also are well aware they have the opportunity to use 2012 as a means of calling for and getting action now because Democrats are so fearful of this mess being pushed into the election year.
Numerous Democrats have suggested making a temporary fix now but postponing more serious action on debt/borrowing/spending issues until after the November 2012 election when they hope Obama will be given another four years in the White House. He would use these additional years to further “change” in America, turning it into a far more socialist nation and making big government even bigger.
Republicans who were elected in the 2010 landslide were put into office to live up to their pledges of bringing fiscal sanity to Washington. The public was sufficiently stirred up prior to the 2010 election to elect those candidates who pledged to fight for lower federal spending and more favorable tax rates to encourage business and reduce unemployment numbers.
It will be difficult for these new House and Senate members to go back to their districts and ask to be re-elected if they have not performed as they pledged.
Obama is fighting for political survival, and he will be using every possible ploy to win votes, including stirring fears by telling his supporters that if the GOP wins the White House, millions upon millions of entitlement dollars will dry up.
Only a few days remain before the Aug. 2 deadline set by Obama as the date when the United States will default on its obligations and lose the confidence and trust of the rest of the world — unless Congress agrees to raise the national debt ceiling by trillions of dollars.
Voters — more importantly, concerned citizens — should realize that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada would not even allow his fellow senators to vote on the House-approved measure calling for a limited rise in the national debt but a larger cut in national spending.
How does he justify not even allowing a debate on this approach to the issue?
When will the time come when those elected to serve in Congress and in the presidency will have the nation’s best interest as their main goal rather than raw politics and personal gain?
Both parties are guilty of playing this game, in the past and today, but Obama and his gang have brought it to a new, ugly and dangerous high. The public cannot allow itself to be comforted by thinking everything usually turns out OK and that, over the nation’s history, crises have come and gone but, in the end, we still are a strong, healthy country.
There is no guarantee this will always be the case. Obama’s plan and dreams of changing this country could easily turn into a nightmare, with serious and lasting consequences: a far different and weaker America with fewer freedoms and opportunities for its citizens, a nation that no longer is the world’s respected leader and superpower fighting for freedom and opportunity for individuals throughout the world.