I have been around the political scene for more years than I can remember, and I can’t recall a time when there was more polarization. I also can’t remember a time when the personal wealth—such as it is—of the nation’s middle class was more at risk.
When I began writing this piece, Moody’s had just issued a warning that the United States might lose its Triple A credit rating if Congress doesn’t pass legislation increasing the nation’s debt limit before an Aug. 2 deadline.
You know the story. Republicans, who have voted to raise the debt limit many times in the past (seven times during the George W. Bush presidency), now say they won’t vote to raise it this year without accompanying spending cuts, namely in Social Security and Medicare.
Democrats won’t vote for that. They’d rather raise taxes on the rich or close tax loopholes. President Obama wants some sort of combination of both, which is probably the most responsible way to solve the problem. Shared sacrifice, they call it.
I believe it when most of the nation’s economists tell us that if we default on our debt, everyone in the world—including you and me—will suffer.
In the Great Recession of 2008, I lost most of a piddling SEP retirement account I had been paying into for several years. My wife lost a third of her 401k.
Many of you are probably familiar with the dreadful, nauseous feeling that overcomes a person who wakes up in the morning to find he has lost much of his/her retirement security. You also know of the depression that subsequently sets in after you realize the ramifications of your loss.
I believe those in charge will find a way to solve the debt crisis, but I still don’t trust them. When one side is totally financed by the richest people and most powerful corporations in the world, and the other side is partially financed by the same guys, how can you possibly trust any of them?
If they don’t come to their senses soon, buckle up; it’s going to be a rough ride.