After some brief research, I found that the most recent House resolution to increase the public debt (H.J. Res. 45, Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010) was signed into law in February of 2010 (Public Law 111–139). It passed without a single House Republican yes vote, and it took TEN months to pass in the Senate, but that is not my point. My point is that American citizens have not had to worry about whether this great nation will meet its payment obligations for the past 18 months. American citizens have rarely been as deeply concerned about the U.S. government meeting its debt obligations as we are now. I do believe that Congress has the attention of the American people, as well as global businesses, banks, allies, and unfriendly global neighbors.
Eighteen months seems a reasonable period of time in which to address debt limits and reductions in spending, and I think American citizens would support a deadline of eighteen months from now (February 2013) in which to do so. To attach an emergency, hastily written, non-vetted Constitutional amendment in such a heated environment as our current debt ceiling stalemate would not be responsible or prudent on the part of our nation’s elected leaders. Does the desired end justify the rushed means?
Raising the debt ceiling should be simple and straightforward for now. Our nation cannot sacrifice its people through default on its bills. Who would foreclose on us? The thought is too frightening to consider.
Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle should vote to raise the debt ceiling for eighteen months. In those eighteen months, both houses of Congress and the President must seriously address a long-term bi-partisan debt reduction plan. The U.S. debt has taken many years spanning several administrations to get to this point, and a six month stop-gap vote won’t provide for stability in our national or global economic virility. The U.S. cannot afford impotence in global economics.
I honestly believe that I am not alone in preferring eighteen months of serious debate and some measure of stability in our economy. Will interest rates increase tomorrow? I can’t be sure. I can’t be sure of much of anything to do with our nation’s economy right now, and it is due to the inability of Congress to simply vote in the best interests of the majority of the American people. As a responsible voter, I rely on my elected leaders to set aside party politics and do what is in the best interests of people.
Our nation’s most beloved asset is its people and the Constitution was established, in part, to insure “domestic tranquility” and to “promote the general welfare” of the people. Our prosperity depends on our leaders to choose what is best for the American people (promote the general welfare) instead of what is best for party politics and reelection campaigns. I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on, as long as you are on the side of the people.