One of our frequent commenters, Kad Barma, posted a comment to a recent post by Jim Peters. While the main point of the comment is to explain why Federal spending must be curtailed (a conclusion with which I disagree but I’ll address that in a future post), KB also posits a scenario for a resurgence of the Democratic Party in Washington – or at least that’s how I read it. To give all of our readers a better chance to see the comment, I (unilaterally) decided to repost it here:
[by Kad Barma] I’m actually encouraged that a determined group of legislators could FINALLY stop Congress and the present administration from spending so far beyond our means. Our present government spending as a percent of GDP exceeds that of Greece, who has just defaulted. Only by the good graces of the foreign countries that hold almost half our debt are we allowed to go on printing money over at the Treasury. Pretending that borrowing more to support that spending is any sort of solution is the real crisis, and the Democrats have certainly shown no leadership on crafting a solution to that side of the equation.
Raising taxes, whether via tariffs or rescinding Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, to cover government spending in significant excess over 20% of GDP is still going to bankrupt us. (The interest payments would soon become our entire federal budget). Don’t get me wrong–those Bush tax cuts to the wealthy NEED to be rescinded, because the middle class cannot shoulder the burden alone. But the point made by the small and determined group of legislators is that the 20% of GDP ceiling is not something that can be ignored anymore, and not even for one more budget cycle. And good on them for sticking to their guns.
Fairness of the burden is the next issue at hand, and I’m surprised Democrats aren’t more encouraged by what just happened. Instead of a unified opposition to rescinding the Bush tax cuts, preserving Medicare and Social Security, and all the other important programs of our government, Democrats are facing a fractured and broken Republican party and a much easier road ahead. (The Speaker of the House couldn’t convene his majority!!!) They still must bear their portion of the responsibility for the outrageously unbalanced federal budget, but they will have a stronger hand in shaping the next version.
UNDER 20% OF GDP!!!!