IS THE UNITED STATES CLOSE TO BANKRUPTCY?
Many people doubted that; but could it happen?
What the 2012 presidential election was really about was thrown to a panel of experts in the form of a rhetorical question, thus, "Is the U.S. Headed Toward Bankruptcy?" on ABC's "This Week", yesterday.
The panelists came from a wide section of society; made up of Wall Street insiders, political analysts and politicians that were close to the nation's fiscal malaise that was actually driving the issues in Washington D.C.
On the surface, there seemed to be the acceptance that the country's financial problems were only a few years old, but the staggering National debt and the deficit that fed it to grow and grow have been laid out before past sessions of the U.S. Congress, and the only thing was that all those concerned agreed on "plans" in shadowy forms. Yet, nothing farther was accomplished.
The two main parties, Democratic and Republican, possessed those plans, but they were diametrically opposed to each other.
However, letting past history of the country's financial woes aside, the members of the panel confessed that all governments, past and present, as said before, were pessimistic about the approach to take by either side. In reality, Hell would freeze over before a consensus could be reached.
The latest has been the debt ceiling and deficit reduction talks that ended up in the hands of a bi-partisan committee, "the Super Committee", last year, and ultimately resulting in a stalemate, which one of the conservative members of the panel blamed President Barack Obama for.
Another member disagreed and said that the president's job proposals that were still pending in Congress, which now had a Republican majority in the House, was the culprit for the lack of attention that was required to handle both the economy and the National debt.
Therefore, looking deep down into the situation, they (members) were not optimistic about whether governments have the desire to deal with those problems, but only if philosophical idealism would be overlooked, then there might be some hope of going back to the days, when the nation had surpluses and no debts.
One member thought that the presumptive Republican candidate in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, had a "plan" that would cut taxes to boost the economy, and also to reduce government size and spending; and that would be the answer.
Meaning that job creation would come from the generosity of investors pouring in their gains to get it (economy) growing, and that would resolve all those financial problems. Or, the way to use to do so should be at the discretion of the "shakers and movers" of the economy, such as big banks and corporations, and not the government.
In other words, to tackle the National debt itself or to reduce the deficits that were accumulated yearly through government spending should be encapsulated in the overall economy. To address them directly or for Congress to face them head on was not stipulated; or none of their actual solutions was nowhere to be seen in that plan.
While on the other hand, Obama/Biden and the Democrats believed that, if the tax code was reformed for every individual citizen to pay his or her "fair share in taxes", there would be enough left over or saved toward clearing the National debt, and to get the nation living within its means once again.
Philosophically, the country was caught between "the hard rock and the deep blue sea"; and from the perspective of the panel, there would be no common ground between the two parties to sort out their differences; and until then, Washington would remain one enormous "gridlock"; and hence, the troublesome state the country was in.
In conclusion, whoever could get the two sides to "compromise" was what was needed, but they (panelists) could hardly see that coming any time soon; and even, if that could happen, it would be long after the 2012 presidential election, no matter who won.
According to the panel, there would be no bankruptcy for the U.S. in the future, but it would rather be pretty close, if things were left as the were now.