What The Public Doesn't Understand About The Debt Ceiling

What the general public doesn't understand and what professional politicians should when it comes to the debt ceiling.

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When a CBS reporter asked President Obama why a recent poll shows that 69% of Americans don't want the debt ceiling lifted, he responded by stating that "professional politicians understand the debt crisis better than the general public." As I heard the words come from his lips, I knew there would be outrage on the right, and the left and certainly the right again!

The problem is, the president was right; ahem, correct.

When posed with the question, "If you have a credit limit and have maxed out your credit card, should you raise your credit limit so you can spend more?" Americans respond with a resounding "NO!" as would I if that were the question.

But here is the real question:

As an American, did you know if we do not raise the debt ceiling and go into default, that thousands of Americans will lose their jobs? And a 9% unemployment rate will be something you'll hope for? Or that programs like Homeland Security will be cut which I'm sure will make any terrorist organization smile.

[See a collection of political cartoons about the budget and deficit]

How about home owners and small business owners longing for the days of 2008? And that double dip recession the Republicans were trying to scare you about? Well, it certainly would happen. Speaking of money, our bonds will be worthless; and if you think that TARP and the bailout were bad, that's just an appetizer for the domino effect not raising the debt ceiling would have on Wall Street, perhaps worldwide; just look at what happened with Greece.

I mentioned that the president was right when he said Americans don't know as much about the debt ceiling crisis as a professional politician; and I do believe that. When some of the nation was outraged or offended by his remark, I could hear Jack Nicholson saying, "The truth, you can't handle the truth!!"

[See a collection of political cartoons about President Obama]

We need only look at our own television viewing habits to see evidence to support the president's rhetoric. Let's take a little quiz shall we?

  1. Were the Bush tax credits meant to last forever? Answer: No, just ask the authors of the legislation.
  2. When is the president planning on removing those temporary credits? Answer: 2013 and beyond, not a massive tax cut taking place in August.
  3. How many times did President George W. Bush raise the debt ceiling? Answer: 7 times.
  4. And where was the Republican outrage then? Answer: they didn't have a Democrat in the White House up for re-election!

    OK...now a few moreā€¦

    1. What former governor's daughter was on "Dancing With The Stars?" Answer: Sarah Palin.
    2. What was the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial? Answer: Not guilty.
    3. Who was voted off (pick one) American Idol, The Biggest Loser or The Bachelorette? Answer: I don't know, I was too busy paying attention to the debt crisis.
    4. The point is, most Americans would've been able to easily answer the latter three questions. We were glued to our T.V. sets during the Casey Anthony trial; not to CSPAN and the ratings prove it. So don't be offended, the president's not saying you're dumb. He is simply saying you don't have the time to spend 40-60 hours a week to do a job you elected him and Congress to do. Oh, and by the way, the latest poll shows 47% of Americans (Rasmussen) don't want the debt ceiling lifted; see even the CBS reporter proved the president right with his question. Love that!

      • Read more about deficit and national debt.
      • Slide Show: 6 Consequences if the Debt Ceiling Isn't Raised.
      • Slide Show: 6 Ways to Raise the Debt Ceiling.