I once had a ninth grade teacher in Indianapolis, named Mr. Gaucho (I believe). He used to say that out of confusion comes learning or words to that effect. Ok, regarding the debt ceiling, I got the first part, the confusion, but the second part eludes me.
We are told by some that default will not affect us. It has always been my experience that when one does not pay ones debts, something bad happens. Someone comes and takes your car back, the lights go out, rather nasty people start calling you at all hours of the night or Guido comes to break your legs. Am I missing something here?
There are some people who are demanding that before any raising of the debt ceiling there has to be some financial house keeping. It makes sense, but my question is, why is it crucial now. We have been raising the debt ceiling for about 100 years. We raised it under Bush 2.0, we raised it under Clinton, we raised it under Bush 1.0 and under Reagan. Why has it become crucial to fix our debt problem only over the past 6 months?
Then there is the question of how. When a person has debts that person tightens hir belt, maybe looks for a loan and sees how s/he can raise some income. In our situation some people say, no raising of income (read “no new taxes), only tightening our belts. Big business has lowered the annual income of the middle class, raised costs on necessities such as food, energy and medical care. And the middle class is told to tighten its belts, because they are going to get even less in the future as a price for raising the debt ceiling. Yet there is no plan to raise money to pay off the debt. While the oil companies with mega profits are subsidized by the government and huge companies like GE pay no taxes due to loop holes, we are told to get a paper route to pay our government’s debts.
Oh and one more question: Whose debt is it? When Clinton left office, the United States had a surplus. Now we are on the verge of default on the largest debt in history. That is partially because of the generosity of Bush 2.0 who gave tax breaks and perks to big business, lessened regulations and allowed mega-corporations to send jobs overseas. The debt ceiling that we may or may not raise is to pay off an already existing debt; that is money already owed. It is money spent by Bush 2.0. We are told that unless the middle class suffers even more so that the rich don’t have to be inconvenienced, we will default on the debt with which the Republicans and Bush 2.0 have saddled us, we will default. Oh and by the way, it’s not that bad.
Out of confusion comes learning. Ok, I got the confusion, does the learning come in a week or in 2012 elections.
Torah teaches us that we must first help the poor. It’s not charity, it’s the right thing to do. We give of our profits and we give of our principal never giving up our principles. Every field has four corners that must be planted but can’t be harvested except by the poor and the immigrant and all who are in need. We give 10% of our gross income to the poor every year in addition to opening our fields. We don’t tax the poor or cut services, no matter what the reason. The goal, Torah tells us is that “you will have no poor or needy in your land!” Imagine that, the goal of a righteous country is to do away with poverty, not to do away with taxes.