Default is unthinkable. U.S. bonds are the gold standard, the unsinkable vessel of trustworthy, sleepeasy investing.
Even the slightest crack of doubt about the government's resolve and ability to keep it so will have devastating consequences to our economic and social well-being. Congress must therefore raise the debt limit so America can meet her obligations.
If not, interest rates will soar, and as the costs to government rise, so will the misery of an already distressed citizenry. Worse, America will lose the confidence of other nations, not only as a safe financial harbor, but also as the rock steady repository of its historic values. The American ethic, which has heretofore always drawn worldwide adoration, will forever be diminished.
The desire to cut the deficit and improve our fiscal condition is not merely commendable, it is essential.
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However, the means to do so is not through a rigid refusal to raise the debt limit but rather through the laborious legislative process that must increase revenues as it decreases expenditures.
The debt limit has nothing at all to do with budget discipline. In fact, it has been changed 74 times since 1964 to allow for the continued financing of government operations as willed by the people through their elected representatives. It is the budgeting process itself that determines the obligations we absolutely must fulfill.
Rand Paul Republicans who won't raise the debt limit are most hypocritical. They make a big show of pretending to be responsible, yet they lift not one finger to address the true roots of the problem.
They refuse to take the timid step of repealing the Bush tax cuts, much less the much bolder one of finding new income sources by closing loopholes and increasing rate progressivity.
They refuse to reduce spending on their favored special interests, the ones that bankrolled their fiction-fueled road to power.
They refuse to undertake the hard work of selling their flawed vision of a pre-Depression do-nothing government so their colleagues will budget accordingly. Indeed they can't do so for the factual precedent of history is impossible for them to overcome.
Yet still they rush like bulls in a china shop, not merely careless about destroying America's welfare and standing, but seemingly eager to do so.
America's financial condition is certainly important. But in the process of determining our national priorities — the strength of our safety net, our true defense needs, national health care, etc. — it is crucial to understand that government is not a business. Only government can protect our constitutional rights and liberties.
The purposes and methods of government, which operates under a democratic system of checks and balances and equality under the law, are often directly opposed to that of business, which is often under authoritarian rule and exists solely to make a profit for its owners.
In America, we citizens are the shareholders. Yet our goal is not profit. Rather, it is the sustenance of that sort of stable and secure society within which we can fully enjoy the blessings of liberty.
It is also the preservation of the heritage handed down to us by our founders, who created a constitutional system of government consistent with values revered the world over.
America must not, therefore, leap headfirst into the shallow waters of default, defeat and despair. On the contrary, the sky's the limit for a nation that stands united behind the truth of its world-leading values.