Friday, July 01, 2011

Obama must explain why the debt ceiling must be raised

I left a comment along these lines on a post at Capital Gains and Games.
President Obama should make it clear to the American people that if we don't raise the debt limit, we are risking severe repercussions. If he doesn't do that he isn't doing his job. Obama is the one person in the nation who is in a position to explain the meaning (and non-meaning) of the debt ceiling. The most important thing he can do is to explain to the American people why the debt ceiling must be raised. All other budget issues, while important, are not connected to the debt ceiling. He must take seriously his role as educator-in-chief and explain that to the American people.

Once he's done that he must then make it clear that it's up to Congress to act. As president he can't raise the debt ceiling. Congress must do it. He must get the American electorate to tell their representatives that the debt ceiling should be raised. Once he does that, it will happen.

So the real question is why isn't he doing this? I'm beginning to agree with the Republicans who keep saying that he isn't doing his job.

1 comment:

Inspector Clouseau said...

During the last Presidential election, CSpan2 Book TV aired a program where the author discussed the results of his or her research, which suggested that something like 5-10% of Democrats , and 5-10% of Republicans, essentially debated and defined the ideological constructs of each party. The point was that the vast, vast, vast majority of the citizens of this country have their lives dictated by the most active and vocal members of society, who also happen to be more privileged .

I strongly suspect that the same thing is occurring with the debt ceiling debate. The debate is not really about the debt ceiling per se, but rather a very deep, long-standing debate about the role and size of government. It’s never been resolved, and never will be resolved in our representative democracy. However, in the mean time, the regular folks in our society run the risk of being irreparably damaged. The elites (the upper and upper middle socio-economic classes) on each side of the fence have theirs, their corporate contributions, decent jobs and income, and will fare just fine economically. It’s the ordinary citizens (lower middle socio-economic class) who will most likely get screwed, no matter which side ultimately prevails in the short term.