RYAN: I Bet Margaret Thatcher is Proud

 

An Unsustainable Path 

The recent sovereign debt crises in Greece and other highly-indebted European countries provide a cautionary tale of the rough justice of the marketplace – lenders cannot and will not finance unsustainable deficits forever, and when they cut up the credit cards of profligate countries, severe economic turmoil ensues.

Over the past few years, Americans have seen just how quickly a severe financial crisis can create widespread pain and chaos. But the last crisis was foreseen only by a small number of perceptive individuals who recognized the implications of unwise decisions being made in Washington and on Wall Street.

By contrast, nearly every fiscal expert and advisor in Washington has warned that a major debt crisis is inevitable if the U.S. government remains on its current unsustainable path. The government’s failure to prevent this completely preventable crisis would rank among history’s most infamous episodes of political malpractice.

House Budget Committee | April 5, 2011 

The Path to Decline 

In the end, the debate about rising U.S. debt is not just about dollars and cents, but also about America’s status as a world power and its freedom to act in its own best interests. If the nation stays on its current path, interest payments on the national debt will begin to exceed yearly defense spending just 11 years from now. In just 16 years, yearly interest expenses will be double national defense spending.

If it stays on its current fiscal path, the United States will be unable to afford its role as an economic and military superpower. Other nations with very different interests will rush in to fill that role.

Last year in Foreign Affairs magazine, financial historian Niall Ferguson surveyed some of the great empire declines throughout history and observed that “most imperial falls are associated with fiscal crises. All the… cases were marked by sharp imbalances between revenues and expenditures, as well as difficulties with financing public debt.

Alarm bells should be ringing loudly… [for] the United States.”

America must not lose its role in the world. For this and many other reasons, Congress must act now to change the nation’s fiscal course. The new House majority was sent here by the American people to get spending under control, keep taxes low, and confront these great challenges today to allow this generation to pass an even greater nation along to the next generation.

Congress can choose to let this nation go the way of fallen empires, or it can begin – today – the work of restoring the vitality and greatness of America.

 House Budget Committee | April 5, 2011

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    @AngloCon

    I take issue with the Budget Committee comments only as to the suggestion that “the last crisis was foreseen only by a small number of perceptive individuals.” That is an erroneous apologia for wilful ignorance. It should not stand as recorded history. Anyone paying attention was told many times that the mortgage crisis was coming and that it could be severe. To say that few understood the consequences is tantamount to allowing informed Americans the luxury of complacency.

    Our current crisis is frightening principally because too many Americans deny it exists. We should be reminded, perhaps scolded, that we already cashed in the impunity of prosperity purchased by our forebears..

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    AngloCon: Anyone paying attention was told many times that the mortgage crisis was coming and that it could be severe. To say that few understood the consequences is tantamount to allowing informed Americans the luxury of complacency.

    Yes and no. The truth is that honestly, I didn’t see it coming. I can’t pretend otherwise.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @AngloCon

    Fair enough, but I still believe we shoul err on the side of admitting failure. The last crisis was a cakewalk compared to what will happen if we don’t fix the problem.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Member
    @GoodBerean

    I would like to agree with AngloCon with this frame of reference; an addicted family dynamic.

    In this dynamic everyone plays a role in the process of becoming and staying addicted. The addicted member becomes so because of the dysfunctional family dynamic, becoming “the sick one”, the family scapegoat. Meanwhile, mostly unconsciously, other family members enable the sick one to stay sick by facilitating their addictive behaviour, giving them access to their drug or to money. I have seen family members of alcoholic”s, orange as a pumpkin with end stage liver and too weak to get out of bed, buy their “loved one” alcohol so they can drink themselves to death. Bottom line is that everyone in the family seems to benefit in some way, some appearing sick while the others appear healthy.

    We, the American family, have enabled Congress to become addicted to the power that spending other peoples money affords. The only way to get them off the drug is to restrict its supply, fire the ones most addicted and let them get rehab out in the real world beyond the beltway!

    This budget is not a “path to prosperitiy”, it is the “Great American Intervention”.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller

    I just finished listening to Paul Ryan discuss his plan and answer questions here (it was live, but the recorded version will probably be available there soon). H/T Jonah

    It was extremely impressive. Ryan spoke very plainly and articulately about his proposals, others’ proposals, the fiscal process and present politics hindering action. This is the person who needs to be the voice of the GOP in months ahead.

    I’m willing to place faith in his plan. I only hope Republicans can hold onto power long enough to see it through. If Democrats win reelection in 2016, or even 2014, how much could be accomplished before then?

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @Harlech

    What’s the point of all this? No way it passes the Democrat Senate.

    • #6

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