Your problems solved
As quite a few American & foreign pundits have begun to grasp, the U.S. electorate has been voting consistently for two things, through many election cycles. First, they want a very large, comprehensive, & intrusive Nanny State. And second, they don’t want to pay for it. From the polls, which show strong opposition to raising the debt ceiling, we further learn that they don’t want their guvmint to borrow the money, either.
Readers of this website will appreciate that these are normal positions in any large, centrally bureaucratized, democratic polity, & the USA is hardly the only country poised atop some “fiscal cliff.” And let me add that the average U.S. citizen is no more stupid than the average Canadian citizen. Indeed, from what I can see up here, that would be impossible.
Northern Europeans pay much higher taxes; Swedes for instance about double what Americans pay, the French & Germans not much less than the Swedes. The British, who have by northern European standards a low tax regime, pay something like half again more than United Statists, & Canadians also pay more, by maybe a third. And we are all closer to balancing our budgets.
From this point of view, Obama & the Democrats are wimps. They say they want to balance the federal budget, fair enough. We know they oppose any significant cuts in spending, so we can forget about that. They are raising taxes, but not by nearly enough. If they were serious, however, they could balance that budget by higher taxes alone.
Start by simply doubling the latest tax rate on “the rich,” to around 100 percent. That won’t make much difference to the deficit, so double it, too, on all the other income brackets. Now, we are getting somewhere. Keep doubling across the board until revenues & expenditures level out. It’s that easy. Soon, everyone can be paying 100 percent, & by the principle of graduated income tax, the rich paying, say, 10 or 20 or 50 times what they earn. Given demographic trends, the rates would have to keep rising at an accelerating pace towards infinity, but hey, it’s just numbers.
The alternative, we now learn, is to mint trillion-dollar coins. This has been proposed with mock seriousness (but now increasing gravity) by several economic sages of what we might call the neo-Weimar school. There is a loophole in the coining regulations that will allow the U.S. Treasury to do this. Simply mint another one each time the debt ceiling approaches, & there will be no need to ask Congress to raise that ceiling again.
What puzzles me is the Republican response from Congress. They may have retained control in the House of Representatives, thanks to careful gerrymandering of districts, but really, everyone knows they lost the election, & that a solid majority of Americans (increased since November according to polls) believe Obama “understands” them, & is looking out for their best interests. For comparison, well over three-quarters of Americans abominate the Congress, & condemn it for being insufficiently cooperative with the Obama administration.
So why not give Obama & company whatever they want?
The Republicans hesitate in view of the likely destruction of the United States of America, to which they continue to cling, as to their guns & their Bibles, with an understandable sentimental attachment. And perhaps they feel the injustice, that many tens of millions who do not like the guvmint & are opposed to 9 dollars in 10 of its spending, if not more, should be compelled to pay for what they think is evil. But again, hey: they lost the election, & the majority in a democracy have always carried rape rights on the minority.
Why are the Republicans dithering, when there is work to be done? Why don’t Boehner & McConnell lead a little delegation over to the White House to offer a surrender? “You tell us how you propose to fix the problems, & we, by abstaining on every Congressional vote, will let it all pass through.”
Of course, poor President Obama would then have to fight with the Congressional Democrats who, when push comes to shove, actually agree with their Republican colleagues on most substantive issues. But a civil war between the White House & the rest of the Democratic Party would be, from a Republican standpoint, so much more fun than one in which the Republicans themselves step up to take the beating. It might even expose some part of the great American Obamanoid majority to aspects of the fiscal problem they had previously overlooked.
Meanwhile, let me propose that all you Yankee Rednecks move up here to Canada. You know, we could take over this place.