Wednesday, July 27, 2011
What I Wrote to My Congresscritter
Once in a while, your humble narrator rouses himself from his apolitical torpor and sends a check to an advocacy group, or writes a letter (these days, an email) to his elected representatives. Concerning the danger of a politically-motivated default on the United States' debts, which at the moment appears entirely possible, I wrote my Congressmen the following:
"Dear Congressman Bucshon:
I am writing to express my dismay at your co-sponsorship of the 'Cap, Cut, and Balance' resolution which passed the House of Representatives last week. As a former employee of the Concord Coalition, I share your concern with the United States' budget deficit and your belief that Congress must address this critical problem. However, I also believe that in the short term, our government must pay its debts and meet its other commitments. Since we are currently in a recession and fighting two wars, the federal government must - as George W. Bush observed under similar circumstances ten years ago - run a short-term deficit to pay its bills. By voting to link an increase in the federal debt ceiling to a Constitutional balanced-budget amendment, an amendment which would take months if not years to pass, you effectively declared that you no longer believed it was a priority for the United States to pay its creditors. Should the United States default on its debts, even for a brief period, the results would be catastrophic: bank failures throughout the developed world, a collapse in the value of the dollar, a return to recession in the United States, and a chain reaction of credit downgrades not just for the U.S. government, but for state and local governments as well (including Indiana). I urge you to reconsider your position and vote to approve an increase in the federal debt ceiling prior to the default deadline on August 2nd.
Terre Haute, Indiana "
(July 24, 2011)
I hope this soon becomes an artifact of an obscure early-21st-century political spat, but given the ideological extremism of the current House Republicans, I fear my mildly-hysterical tone may prove justified. It's always unsettling when one has to invoke George II as an example of moderate statesmanship.