Thursday, July 28, 2011

An Independent Argument for Raising the Debt Ceiling

Posted by: Noël Jones

I want to be absolutely clear on this one. I picked the image above intentionally, because I believe that our fractional banking system based on the Federal Reserve IS a house of cards, and that because of it, we are great danger of true economic collapse as a nation. BUT, when it comes to the battle that has been raging between Tea Party Republicans and more moderate Republicans and Democrats, things have gotten out of hand, and we the citizens are at risk of becoming a political casualty to the Republican Right.

NOT that the Republican Right doesn't have a valid point to make--they do. Our entitlements are unsustainable, and must be reformed. But the real debate should be about how to reform those programs in the most humane way over time, not how many people we can cut off as a collective nose to spite our face (or rather, to spite President Obama's face).

Democrats and moderate Republicans have already compromised on spending cuts, and it is now time for the Republican Right to compromise on tax cuts for their rich friends. Regardless of their ideological objection to taxation in general (which I agree with on many points) what has been making me mad about the spin and obfuscation coming out of the Right in Washington on this one is that they keep trying to act like the President is proposing tax hikes on EVERYONE, when it is really just on people (and companies) making $250,000/year or more. And those people right now are currently paying LESS
than the rest of us, thanks to Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, that our Republican congressmen have burnt countless hours in Washington to protect for the wealthy (especially those that contribute to their campaigns).

If our debt ceiling collapses, America defaults on its debt and we lose our AAA credit rating. The dollar will lose value. It will be catastrophic to our economy when the nation is already in recession. So it's time to stop playing chicken, raise the debt ceiling through the next election, so that congress can get back to the hard work of designing serious reform for our entitlement programs. That's my take on it. But you're welcome to disagree, and post comments as to why you think we shouldn't.

So I am linking a petition to Congressman Charlie Dent of the 15th Congressional District, demanding that he stop playing games and vote to temporarily raise the debt ceiling (it is also linked under the image above):

What do you think about this? I want to hear from you, whether yea or nay!


Anne said...

Thanks for posting, Noel. This is an important issue that has spiraled out of control.

noel jones said...

i should also say that thankfully, part of the deal being discussed is cuts to MILITARY SPENDING, which in my opinion should be coming BEFORE any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

there is so much taxpayer money being blown by our government to line the pockets of defense contractors that it makes me sick. anyone who claims to want to cut spending that doesn't want to cut waste in MILITARY spending, is not making sense, in my opinion. tax dollars are tax dollars, waste is waste, and fat cats getting fatter are still fat cats getting fatter on our tax dollars.

we also need to cut CORPORATE WELFARE. the idea that some people are mad that poor people get food stamps while oil and gas corporations making billions in profits each year--even as they destroy the environment--make no sense to me.

as for those who claim that tax cuts for the wealthy creates JOBS, i would point to the Reagan years when Reagan cut taxes and unemployment went UP. the same mistake was repeated by Bush II. the idea that wealthy people will not just keep the money and will use it to hire people is a joke.

if anyone is going to pay taxes at all, then the wealthy should be paying at least the same percentage as the middle-class. the fact that they are still paying less than we are is ridiculous.

as the President put it, "Wall Street bankers should not be paying a lower percentage of taxes than their secretaries."

noel jones said...

meant to say re: CORPORATE WELFARE

"the idea that some people are mad that poor people get food stamps while oil and gas corporations making billions in profits each year--ARE RECEIVING GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES--even as they destroy the environment--makeS no sense to me."

noel jones said...

ok, i know i'm being animated here, so feel free to chime in and disagree...

Kate R said...

Noel, Thanks for posting this. It's important that we talk with our friends and neighbors about what's going on with the federal government since these decisions will affect us all as individuals and as a community. I agree with your assessment that taxes need to be raised for the wealthy. Every dollar earned in this country should be taxed the same amount, no matter how many other dollars surround it. I don't know enough about the wasteful military spending or consequences of corporate welfare to comment on it. What you're saying here makes a lot of sense, but I'd like to hear from others who disagree.

In the meantime, I visited to share my opinions with our Congressman and I hope others will do the same! No matter what your opinion is, he needs to hear it. Don't hesitate because you think he's already heard it from someone else - there is strength in repetition.

noel jones said...

Kate R.--thanks for posting--great comment.

And yes--I would like to hear from people who disagree with me on this, because I know that there are some out there that believe that the danger of not raising the debt ceiling is some sort of hoax and that it wouldn't affect our economy much to default. Personally, I can't understand that view, but if someone can pose some convincing information to back that idea up, I will consider it.

tunsie said...

I have traveled the world several times.My favarorite is Sydney,Australia.I have many relatives there...when describing someone who is shady or shifty...They call him a politician.They said to me,tunsie.that man is a real POLITICIAN...i thought he was a member of parliament...but they called him a crook....tunsie...I love u honey

noel jones said...

ha! funny. and sad.

Dennis R. Lieb said...

Part One: A few simple observations (that can be factually verified) followed by personal opinion:

1...Since the real estate crash, the top 1% income bracket (mostly Wall Streeters and their ilk) have increased their net worth by 25%. Considering how much they already had, this is a huge amount of money. At the same time, the middle income American's net worth has dropped 23%. Again, a huge amount relative to the wealth of those whose main asset is their home. Under these conditions it is harder to say that we are in a deep recession as much as a redistribution of wealth up the food chain...a very dangerous phenomena if you know how food chains work.

Who is destroying the economic stability of America ? A few remaining teachers and firefighters unions; perhaps 130,000 people in Idaho collecting food stamps or the weasels on Wall Street, who threatened the Senate Banking Committee behind closed doors to pull $1 trillion dollars of assets out of banks so as to collapse the system unless they got a federal bail-out?

This is an obvious example that those who caused the collapse by rigging the market and betting on it's disastrous outcome via collateralized debt obligations have never paid a dime in penalties for their destruction. Therefor they have no reason not to try it again as I am sure they are currently working on.

2...We could balance the budget tomorrow on just the money we piss away every day on foreign military adventures that will net us nothing. We continue to ignore history and dump our national wealth down a rat hole on an imperialistic experiment that the former British Empire figured out was a net loser around 1918. Until the debt hawks in congress get real and demand a withdraw from these escapades I will not take one of them seriously about debt reduction.

3...Raising the debt ceiling accomplishes a singular task: it allows us to be pay our CURRENT debt on time. It has nothing to do with how much money we spend or raise in the future so tying it to some political end game is a straw horse at best and should make us wonder what the real political objective is. If we do not pay those bills on time we are delinquent. When you or I are delinquent the bank takes our stuff, the credit agencies torch our ratings and no one lends us any money to fix the leaking roof. If this congress can't grasp this simple concept and still wants to make us the deadbeats of the international financial community they are bigger dopes (or liars or both) than even I imagined and should all resign in disgrace.

4...The two biggest tax increases in my lifetime were by Reagan and Clinton (two people I really don't like). In both cases, the right fought tooth and nail against them, claiming societal collapse would ensue. In both cases it resulted in major economic expansions with no ill effect to the ultra rich.

End Part One


tachitup said...

Dennis -
Wierd stuff.
Your point #1 - you're all wrong. Or maybe I just don't understand what you're saying. Aren't the top few percent paying a huge percentage of the tax revenue? Aren't the bottom 50% paying zero?

#'s 2, 3, and maybe 4 - right on, bro. keep it up.

First time I've not completely understood where you're at.

noel jones said...

looking forward to Part Two...

Dennis R. Lieb said...

I posted Part Two here last night and saw it on the blog. Now it is gone...where did it go?

I will have to reconstruct my concluding statements from scratch and will add further explanation of my points when I do that.

Very frustrating.


tachitup said...

Ooh, I hate when that happens. Noel tells us to save elsewhere, but I do it only sometimes.

noel jones said...

yes, please compose in a Word doc and cut and paste if its anything lengthy and important! that way you can't lose it, even if blogspot gets glitchy, which it does on occasion...

noel jones said...

Here is a press release issued by the Easton group collecting signatures for this petition, which has apparently already drawn 600 signatures:


Easton Group Gains Petition Momentum

Easton, PA, August 1, 2011, – On July 29, constituents from the city of Easton handed in petitions with 434 signatures from across the Lehigh Valley to Carol Richman Halper, Congressman Charlie Dent’s long time aide. The petitions clearly state their message to Rep. Dent to sit down with everyone, not just Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans, and find an agreement to end the debt ceiling crisis.

In his op-ed in the Morning Call Rep. Dent stated "I have spent an enormous amount of time working and meeting with financial experts, ratings agencies, Republicans of all ideological stripes, Gang of Six Senators, and Blue Dog Democrats to find an acceptable resolution.” However, Rep. Dent voted in lock-step with Speaker Boehner for the Boehner bill and against the Reid bill.

Volunteers continue to collect petition signatures from constituents urging representative Dent to work across the aisle not only with Republicans, but with Democrats to find a compromise and raise the debt ceiling today. As of Monday, August 1st, over 600 petitions signatures have been collected on paper and online at

When volunteers delivered petitions to Rep. Dent’s Allentown office on Friday they inquired about Rep. Dent’s negotiating with Blue Dog Democrats. Ms. Halper, District Director responded that the Congressman is a moderate. Pressed by her visitors to answer whether the Congressman was working with Pennsylvania’s Sen. Bob Casey (regarded by many as a moderate Blue Dog Democrat), Ms. Halper responded: "Who thinks Senator Casey is a centrist? [Casey’s voting against party line] was an anomaly, but, be that as it may, Sen. Casey is our Senator."

Volunteers will drop off the next batch of petitions on Monday, Aug. 1, around 11:30 a.m., again at Rep. Dent's Allentown Office.

Anne Lauritzen
Phone 610-258-4345

noel jones said...

so the house passed a deal today, that includes NO ADJUSTMENTS TO TAX CUTS FOR THE RICHEST 1% of the nation...we'll see what the senate does tomorrow...

regardless of whether anyone is against the concept of taxation or not, how can anyone argue that in a nation sustained on taxation, that the wealthy should pay LESS taxes than the middle class, and the CORPORATIONS should get WELFARE?

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Noel. We are entirely fucked with these dangerous ideologues running the HOR. There is no negotiation or compromise. They would have been just fine with imploding the economy if they didn't get what they wanted. That is freaking insane. What are we going to do? Instead of blaming the President for our failure to help elect representatives to the HOR that would have been legislative allies..
Get off your fucking asses and start working for the candidates who represent your values..and for the love of God..VOTE! Vote with your brains, not your emotions. Stop allowing yourselves to be manipulated by corporate interests and their campaigns of fear and division.

noel jones said...

Anon 8:37--true on all levels of our government--locally as well. here in town we have politicians working for "special interests" as well--THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILIES AND THEIR FRIENDS. and on a local level, we have even more direct ability to DO something about it, the first and most important being either

1. stepping forward to RUN for office, or
2. thinking of anyone we can that would make a good candidate and ENCOURAGING them to run

and then, as you say--long before we need to VOTE, it's important to

3. SUPPORT the candidate that you want to win--offer to do some canvassing for them, donate money to their campaign or whatever else they need.
4. HELP voters who need it to get to the polls, or
5. OFFER to WORK a polling station and hand out flyers on your candidate, and THEN
6. VOTE, and
7. if your polling station doesn't have a poll watcher for your candidate to watch over the vote count, VOLUNTEER to be one so the count is honest.

we have 7 or 9 positions on the school board turning over this november! people complain all the time on this blog about corruption in the school board. it is time to DO something--the most immediate need is that BOTH PARTIES need good candidates for Region III (Forks area) to run for TWO spots recently vacated on school board--THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT AND THERE ARE ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT TO FIND THESE CANDIDATES.

noel jones said...




noel jones said...

the senate passed this bill this morning, and the wealthy of this country get to continue to pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than the rest of us...thanks to the Tea Party, who are being played like a fiddle by the wealthiest 1% of this country...

WAKE UP TEA PARTIERS--these people do NOT care about you. doesn't it bother you that pay MORE in taxes than Wall Street CEOs and Oil and Gas barons? WHY do you keep fighting for their right to pay less taxes than YOU do? You are being PLAYED.