Second, the failure to confront the debt problem right now greatly raises the risk of a fiscal crisis that would make borrowing far more expensive for the U.S. government. The sharp increase in interest payments would deepen the budget hole, forcing an era of austerity, led by reductions in benefits, that’s virtually unimaginable today. “If we don’t take immediate action, we’re facing a super sub-prime debt problem with dramatic effects on interest rates and the value of the dollar,” warns David Walker, chief of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a think-tank that specializes in budget issues. “We risk losing control of our destiny.
One of the most irritating memes of this past election season was “Bush started the spending spree, not us!”. Sorry, but that doesn’t excuse you one jot for RAMPING UP SPENDING EVEN MORE.
The saddest and most disgusting part of watching the aftermath: Obama actually seems to GET that the American people are fed up with financial incontinence (and I use that word intentionally). But most of of the liberal commentators, not to mention a lot of the liberals I know), seem to be in complete denial. They want to believe that it’s all about sheer stupidity; or about racism; or about the Religious Right, or any of a half-dozen other red herrings. They seem fundamentally incapable of accepting that the single consistent central Tea Party talking point – getting federal spending under control – is something that people actually CARE about, and not just a front for darker motives. The democratic party is going to suffer until it can educate itself about this one, simple fact.
P.S. I’m not saying that the Republicans are going to be any better about this, just that the Democrats have been deep in denial over it. The article cited above says a lot about breaking through gridlock, but honestly, our best hope may lie in gridlock. Government grows less in gridlock years than when under single-party control.