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The so-called “bipartisan” agreement in the U.S…

… is only putting off the inevitable unless something more substantive can be done to alleviate the unfathomable levels of American debt. Americans are going to have to pay now – because the price to pay later will bring their proud nation to its knees.

Usually, The Onion is a work of satire. Usually. But after reading this entry this morning, I kind of have to think that the authors were being a little more than tongue-in-cheek…

Following Sunday’s pathetic excuse for an agreement on raising the government’s borrowing limit, Democrats and Republicans took time to celebrate the meager, ineffective deal, calling it “a testament to the not-so-great things that can happen in Washington when both parties barely come together and agree to not really accomplish anything.

American politics has become so damned polarised in the past decade that simply agreeing on the time of day can be considered an occasion worthy of celebration. The arrival of the radical Tea Party-ists has made the finding of any common ground between Republicans and Democrats next to impossible.

And this is really bad news for my American friends as this is a critical time in their history. In my very humble opinion, I think that not since their Civil War has there been a greater crisis. All levels of government and many households and businesses are barely treading water or are on life support.

My thoughts are in sync with those of Jeffrey Simpson when he wrote this:

Americans can blame foreigners if they want for some of these problems – currency manipulation by China, unfair trading practices, companies shipping jobs offshore – but they’re mostly responsible for their own problems. Systematically, Americans have refused to tax themselves at levels commensurate with their spending. The result of this collective irresponsibility has finally caught up with them.

They waged wars while cutting taxes, as in Iraq and Afghanistan under George W. Bush’s disastrous regime. They let the Pentagon budget explode, raised the costs of public health care (as in Mr. Bush’s unfunded drug plan for seniors), kept the cost of gasoline below that of any Western country, left the financial sector largely unregulated until its excesses brought the economy to its knees, and designed an immensely costly and, in many respects, quite foolish Homeland Security apparatus.

In the days when the King of the land decided to go to war, he sent out word to his Lords that they must help to fund the mission. The Lords, in turn, sent out tax collectors to the towns and countryside to get what they could in order to fund their Lord’s obligation to his monarch. Without these monies, the King could not run his wars nor keep the royal treasury stocked. Credit was non-existent save for some parts of the world where usury was an accepted practice.

No money. No way to pay for arms, arrow fodder and supplies. Ergo, no wars.

Flash ahead to today. Americans of all stripes must simply realise that in the absence of adequate personal and corporate tax levels they cannot wages wars – or live in a modern democratic country – without paying for a significant proportion of its operations.



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One Comment

  1. It’s not 100% the Americans’ fault. Someone had to lend them the money, and they lend it while ignoring the fundamentals of lending… fundamentals that they don’t ignore when it comes to, say, Greece.

    In essence, the rest of the world puts up with Americans’ shit – we enable them. Instead, lenders should long ago have recognized the US was a poor risk. That would have increased their cost of borrowing and this issue could have been solved decades ago. Every country that has lent the USA money is partially to blame.

    But the main issue is the American doctrine of “every man for himself”. As long as they don’t understand that their society… that ANY society survives only by providing for its own, and that doing so means everyone has to chip in, then they are doomed to failure. It’s just a matter of when.

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