When the president lied about not knowing whether there would be enough money if the debt ceiling were not raised to pay seniors, the disabled and the military, the talking heads on the right went ballistic. They were saying that this was a typical democratic tactic to scare old people. Well as an old person I am insulted. I was not scared nor do I know any other old person who was scared. I am reminded of what my father told me when he said "Please tell me when I get stupid." What he meant was that he was getting calls and solicitations that only made sense if he had lost all his faculties - gotten stupid. Well my dad died at 86 and never got stupid. The talking heads are somehow assuming that us old folks somehow have gotten uninformed, or believe anything that apparently only the democrats tell us. It also puzzles me how anyone came to the conclusion that a failure to increase the debt ceiling would somehow only cause the voters to take it out on the republicans. It seems to me that if the republicans would somehow shed the mantle given to them by George Will as "the stupid party" they would in the house pass the Toomey bill to require the payment of the interest on the debt (so no default), entitlements and the military. The budget wonks tell us that that would leave $30 billion per month available for other spending. Personally I feel that if the government cannot get by on a mere $30 billion a month, it should not exist period. However, it would make the politicians earn their money by allocating it and making those tough decisions. Getting rid of all the Federal agencies except those specified by the constitution would be a good first step. As I said in the posting on "What would Adam Smith do?" if the government only performed its constitutional functions and the roles outlined in the Wealth of Nations, I bet we could get by on $30 billion and that amount would increase monthly as the debt decreased monthly as it matures and is not increased.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com