October 23, 2013
With Congress having adverted an economic meltdown just last week, and will be facing a similar scenario in a matter of months, I just had to write my three Congressmen to express my dissatisfaction over what is turning out to be a semi-annual debt ceiling crisis, in which one political party is holding the other hostage all the while making the United States look like a fool in the eyes of the world.
Below is a copy of my letter to the Speaker of the House, who just happens to be my Representative.
Steven H. Spring
October 22, 2013
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
1011 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-3507
Dear Speaker Boehner,
With another self-inflicted crisis having been temporarily settled this past week, I wanted to write to express my dissatisfaction with Congress. There are many immense problems facing this nation for Republicans and Democrats to continually fight over such trivial matters as the debt ceiling. Be it our rapidly crumbling infrastructure, our failing kindergarten through twelfth grade educational system, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid facing drastic reductions in benefits due to budget shortfalls, all the while we are bankrupting ourselves with our numerous military and imperialistic crusades, and in spite of all that we have a dysfunctional Congress.
Passing the Second Liberty Bond Act Of 1917, in which the debt ceiling was enacted, might have been a good idea at the time, however, instead of helping curb federal debt, all it is used for now days is leverage for one political party to hold the other party hostage to its demands, whatever they may be. In 1979, Congress seemed to correct this flawed law when it instituted the Gephardt Rule, which raised the debt ceiling as needed when a budget was passed. However, most likely for partisan political reasons, Congress repealed the rule in 1995, which led to the debt ceiling crisis of 1995 and the shutdown of the federal government in both 1995 and 1996. Since then, we have had a debt ceiling crisis in 2011 and two just this year, the first of which resulted in the downgrading of this nation’s bond rating, the first in our history.
One would think we learn from our past mistakes, yet that does not seem the case, as this nation will once again reach the debt ceiling in just a few months, and we will go through this ridiculous procedure once again. Asinine, is the word that comes to mind when I think of the time and energy wastefully spent dickering over paying for debt already incurred. Congress needs to implement the Gephardt Rule once again.
With record low-interest rates and a stagnated economy, now is the time to rebuild our entire aging and rapidly deteriorating infrastructure system. This is how we put the country back to work with decent paying jobs. Not only will this provide local work that will actually trickle down into all forms of the economy, but will also create much needed revenue to pay off the enormous debt facing this nation.
Is there really any wonder why Congress has an approval rating in the single digits?
Steven H. Spring