In case you couldn’t get past the F-bombs, here is a few vulgar free reasons of why I care about this whole debt ceiling thing, when I’m normally blissfully clueless to stuff like this. And even if you did read the entire previous post, this still touches on a few things I didn’t previously touch on and goes blunt and/or in-depth with a few others. And while the following examples are indeed selfish to me and my family, millions of families can relate to them.
- I’m due with a baby a month after the deadline. At that time, I either will or won’t have health insurance, depending on the decision made. With no way of putting a back-up plan into place. Unless you count years of debt, to be a back-up plan.
- If I paid for my mental health meds out of pocket, the cost would be between 1-2000$ a month. I make, roughly 1000$ a month. Without the meds, I can’t work. I don’t know what the out of pocket cost for my therapy and monthly visits to the psychiatrist, needed to get the scripts, cost. But it’s a moot point since we are already spending more on treatment than my job brings in. A job I can’t hold without the meds and therapy…
- Pat’s SSI check, that he gets due to being legally, unquestionably, and permanently disabled, is almost the exact amount of our rent. So it pays our rent. It’s the one bill we never have to worry about. So if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, there goes our rent money. I could pay it out of my paycheck, which would leave about 300$ to go to other bills, and that’s assuming that I can even work without any form of treatment for my own disabilities.
- Currently, we are on the verge of dangerously being low on food. We weren’t exactly getting much in food stamps these past 6 months. Due mostly to error on the side of the government, but that is neither here nor there. So we supplemented the best we could with my paychecks. Then I went a month without any income. Followed by a month of GREATLY reduced income due to my own current inability to work, and my short term disability check (Through work not the government… I paid into that for a year to cover my ass for when I got pregnant or if I had a mental break down. Didn’t expect them to go hand in hand.) only being a fraction of my normal check. We’ve done the best we can in the past 2 months, but cupboards are getting dangerously bare. Depending on the decision made by congress, we either will or won’t be able to fill the cupboards and fridge. Though, I will note we will get our August food assistance before the deadline so it will be September and there after that is affected. I don’t like being on food stamps. I’m not proud of it. It isn’t bragging rights. But most of what we currently get, we get because Pat is disabled, not because we are under the poverty line. And with my current paycheck situation, we are very grateful. Oh and yes, there is always the food pantry, but donations are down (because of the economy which will be utterly destroyed even more if the debt ceiling doesn’t get raised), and if the government is no longer cutting checks, the food pantry has NO means of restocking it’s shelves.
- I could get a better job to get us out of the poverty line, but at this point, doing so would involve a better education. Which would be paid for by government grants. Which won’t exist if, well, you see where this is going…
Here is where it affects you:
- Do you want to retire at 65? You are either going to need you SSI or serious investments. Both will be gone if this doesn’t get fixed now. Your investments gone? Well yeah, the economy is holding on by a string as it is. Stocks are steady because people are praying that the deadline is met. If it isn’t, stocks plummet, the economy goes beyond recession, and that affects everyone in and out of this country. You’ll be no better off than my family, really. It just won’t hit you quite as fast.
- There are some rather important things paid for by those checks. I’ll let your imagination go crazy here, but I’ll get you started: prisons.
So, why this is all stupid right down to even having a debt ceiling?
- We are the only Democratic country, besides Denmark, that even has one and everyone else seems to be doing just fine without.
- Back when the debt ceiling was put in place, it was Congress’s way of controlling the President’s spending. Back then, the President was able to write checks with little to no control from Congress. So Congress put in the debt ceiling so at least he had a budget to stick to. Since then, things have changed, and the President can no longer just randomly write checks. Everything gets approved by Congress and they indeed set up a budget of what can get how much and the President has to stick to it.
- Speaking of which, the need to raise the debt ceiling is so that the budget that Congress long ago approved, can actually be paid for. So basically, they handed Obama a stack of pre-approved, by them, bills and said “Here, pay these” but refuse to guarantee him enough money to actually do it. Ironically, in this situation, it’s actually Obama, and not Congress, who decides what bills get paid and which don’t. Technically, he can write the checks, all of them regardless, and it isn’t like they will bounce, but it would be him ignoring the debt ceiling. Either way, if the ceiling doesn’t get raised, he’s the breaking law. Because he’s been ordered to execute two laws that are in direct contrast to one another. He can’t legally do his job in regards to them both, if the ceiling isn’t raised.
- The debt ceiling has been raised 76 times since it was established in 1917. 10 of those times have been in the past 10 years alone. It normally doesn’t take much to raise it. Never this much drama. All it takes is a vote on a spending hike or a tax cut.
Look, I’m no expert, but there are a few things that just seem like they just be common sense. At least to me.
First and foremost, argue what taxes get raised and what budgets get cut later. For now, do the bare minimum and agree to raise the debt ceiling, or even get rid of it, in time for checks to get written in August. Hash out the details when you aren’t seriously running out of time. In fact, can’t the details be argued later when the actual yearly budget is being set? Or are you planning to do this again when it’s budget time…
If you insist on hashing details right this very moment, then let’s look at a few things. First of all, the rich aren’t being properly taxed because back when Bush was in office, you seemed to think it would help the economy. Many years later, you are all still campaigning on the grounds that the economy is still really screwed up. So, maybe it’s time to start properly the people who can afford to be taxed. The whole debt ceiling issue is because you are spending more than you are bringing in in a monthly basis. (Which is something many Americans can relate to.) So maybe you should look to increase your income. It’s what everyone else does. Taxing the rich would indeed raise your income.
In fact, and I can’t verify this, I’ve heard rumors that even the middle class are agreeing to pay more taxes if it means this whole issue goes away. Though, if you raise taxes on the middle class but not the upper class, you might have bigger problems.
Look, I know legalizing pot will mostly help the state level governments with the sales tax and all. However, it will create many jobs and you would receive the income tax. Some of which might actually generate some serious income. May or may not end up equating to small change in comparison to the million dollar crisis, but as someone who lives on pennies at times, I can assure you, every penny counts.
I’m sure there are at least a few other things here and there that you can nickle and dime to generate more income or lower bills.
But no matter what, unless there is a drastic overhaul and a few wars are stopped in their tracks (we’d be ok with this btw) you are going to be spending more than you are earning. So there is going to be debt. So isn’t it time to just raise the ceiling already? Or seriously consider getting rid of something that isn’t even in the constitution and is just a random outdated law that was later made obsolete?
Just a thought. Or two.