OK, so you wake up from a long drunken bender and discover that you burned through every bit of your money, raided your retirement savings and maxed out all your credit cards with debts your grandchildren will be paying for the rest of their lives. What do you do?
A) Stop spending, pay off your debts and figure out some way to never go on a drunken bender again where you spend all of your money and sentence your grandchildren to the modern day debtor’s prison.
B) Keep spending money you don’t have, apply for new credit cards and don’t do anything that would keep this from happening again for fear that it might make the credit card companies nervous about your financial stability.
If you picked A), you join the vast majority of Americans and qualify as an adult. If you picked B), you are certifiably insane and qualify as a Democrat worthy of leadership here in Washington, D.C. That is precisely the position held by President Obama and Democrats in this debate about raising the debt ceiling.
The federal government has burned through all the taxes we have paid, raided the money it demanded from us for “safekeeping” for our retirement and has, once again, maxed out our borrowing capacity in global markets.
This, of course, comes at the end of a spending frenzy by Mr. Obama that has added nearly $4 trillion to our debt in less than four years. The amount of debt the federal government has racked up with us taxpayers as cosigners about equals the entire size of the U.S. economy.
All of this happens at a time when the fragile economy looks headed for a second deep recession and unemployment is nearing levels that cause riots. It is so bad that the president of the United States of America actually said during a public news conference last week: “We are not Greece.”
That is when you know you’d better double check to make sure you have plenty of ammo in the gun closet. Probably not a bad idea to hit the gun range as well, just to brush up on your aim a little.
Sadly, our only hope in Washington today are Republicans, who are about as good at winning an argument in Congress as the U.S. women’s soccer team is at winning the World Cup. No matter how right they are, they just can’t seem to get the job done.
When this debate began, conservative Republicans were adamantly opposed to raising the debt ceiling at all in keeping with clear promises they made to voters in the last election. After months of discussion, they agreed to compromise and raise the debt ceiling if Democrats agreed to dramatically cut spending and put in place measures to prevent this crisis from ever happening again.
Mr. Obama and Democrats — with help from muddled GOP leadership in Congress — have since double-crossed conservatives and are now demanding that Republicans also swallow tax increases, a mortal sin for conservatives.
And now comes Mr. Obama accusing these same Republicans of refusing to compromise even after they have walked entirely across the field, agreed to surrender their high ground in an offer to help him save his career from the Obama Default capping off this most dismal Obama Recession.
So much for Mr. Obama’s promise to change the way Washington works. Turns out he fits in quite nicely as it is.
• Charles Hurt’s column appears Wednesdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.