Are you as sick of this debt ceiling crisis as I am? I would hope so, because it's saying something when someone like myself, who works in the field of United States politics.
Over the course of the last week and half, there has been a jousting match between the President and Congressional Republicans over what it's going to take to raise the United States' debt ceiling, which will allow us (in word alone (essentially)) to take on the debt that we'll incur over the course of a period of time.
The problem is that "period of time" has forever been indefinite. The 2010 mid-term elections brought in a wave of electable people on the terms that we start defining this "period of time" with severe reductions in government spending, so we aren't faced with allowing ourselves to incur even greater amounts of debt.
The President has met with the leaders in Congress a handful of times now, and absolutely nothing has resulted from the meetings.
So far, the Republicans in the House, and the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are the only ones to lead on the issue.
Republicans in the House have "shown their cards" so to speak, by saying they will vote to increase the debt ceiling, so long as some physical sanity is restored, and another debt ceiling raise down the road can be avoided.
In order to achieve that end they have proposed massive and necessary cuts to the United States penchant for our ever-increasing government outlays.
The President and his Party in either house of Congress has done nothing. The President has made himself clear.
He constantly uses the phrase "everything should be on the table." Typically when a real leader says something that definitive they actually mean it.
The problem with Obama is that he doesn't mean everything, he means one thing. Tax hikes on those who already pay 80% of the nation's revenue from income tax, who are more likely than their lower tax bracket brethren to create jobs.
If the President were indeed a leader, he wouldn't say everything needs to be on the table, because that would mean he'd have to discuss, in good faith, reductions to his massive healthcare overhaul, the bloated federal government bureaucracy, and his "winning the future" initiatives.
Much like the Democrats with daddy issues in Wisconsin, the President seems to be conveniently ignoring the drubbing he took last November, and insisting that those who got elected because they pledged to not raise any taxes, raise taxes to get a debt ceiling deal done.
The "loopholes" both the President and Democrats love talking about in front of television cameras are really just a facade. Why? Because if all tax loopholes were really on that table, that would mean all of the ones that their supporters get as well.
The loophole issue is just a further example of who really is playing "my way or the highway." Sure, you can get rid of the tax loopholes for hedge funds, "corporate jet owners" and the like, but you can't touch the ones they've given to their friends.
Furthermore, the loophole debate is prime example of where, if there was any ground to negotiate a deal, that would be it. Since Democrats have never put pen to paper on a deal to actually end, specifically all the tax loopholes they always go on TV to whine about-because they'd have to get rid of some of their own, we are at an impasse.
A recent CBS poll showed just 21% of 8-- "Adults" approved of the Republicans in this debt ceiling debate and 70+% disapproved of them.
Put aside that fact that only 30% of the nearly 900 polled were Republicans, and the fact that we can assume NONE of them were registered or likely voters, the poll is a sham. In reality though, the results should also be a sham.
Until Barack Obama finds the ability to lead (which he has never done, on anything) I fully expect this thing to go down to the wire at best, and past the deadline at worst.
Be very careful when you hear powerful politicians talk about having "everything on the table." What they really mean is everything they want, and nothing the other side can stomach.
So far, Congressional Republicans are the only ones to have actually proposed something, regardless of them saying take it or leave it. Until we see an actual plan from Congressional Democrats, or preferably the President, we know who the leaders are, and who they aren't.