Yes, there needs to be a curtailing on government spending. Yes, the government has to adopt a full measure of fiscal restraint with regards to spending. But ever since the debt ceiling "crisis" began, I can't help but ponder why, in my recent memory, has it become such a point of contention this time, and not so much in times past.
Then I came across this little piece on Think Progress, a site that I don't normally frequent:
VIDEO: House GOP Urged Clean Debt Ceiling Hike As A Matter of Responsibility And Good Governance
By Jeff Spross on Jul 30, 2011 at 8:30 am
Under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), the Republicans continue to precipitate a stalemate over the debt ceiling and a possible economic crisis. As ThinkProgress’ Zaid Jilani and Travis Waldron have reported, not only did the Republican leadership vote multiple times for clean debt ceiling hikes under more favorable political circumstances, but no less than 98 currently serving House GOP members did so as well.
Between a vote in 2004, and another in 2002, many of these Republicans took to the floor of the House to defend a debt ceiling hike as not only necessary, but as a basic matter of responsibility and good governance. ThinkProgress has compiled the video.
At the risk of sounding like taking sides, Republican lawmakers have allowed themselves to be held hostage by the Tea Party's influence within their ranks (to put this dynamic into perspective, former President Bush II had too initiated policies which had begun a surge in deficit spending). They are so myopic and fixated on holding the ideological line against tax increases that they simply cannot see reality. Allow me to paint the picture:
1. We are in strained economic times nationally! The country cannot afford to allow interest rates to rise...even the talk of such puts strains on both domestic and foreign markets.
2. The voting electorate did not elect Republicans to Congress last November to add to Washington gridlock! Politics is about legislative compromise, not legislative hindrance. What is occurring with regards to the debt ceiling talks is proof why politicians cannot and should not be allowed to govern by ideology as opposed to pragmatically.
3. If we were focused on creating and replacing the 10 million jobs lost in the economic downturn instead of whether the economically well-heeled have to "suffer" tax increases, we wouldn't have so much revenue shortfall in the first place. This is an indication that we need a combination of revenue increases, spending cuts, fiscal restraint, and the removal of liberal and conservative ideologues in Congress (after all, I can think of at least 10 million people who couldn't care less about a tax increase).
In the simplest terms, like my mother used to say when I gave her an excuse about cleaning my room, "I don't care how you get it done...get it done...now!"