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.

Sincerely Yours,
David Nichols
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.

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