It is a facile argument, perhaps. But it is what has become so commonplace that we are struck by the failure even to consider the move more than anything else we have seen in the debt limit debate. Why did we fail to negotiate with our creditors? Why did the country, already failing to meet its obligations, not reach out to the creditors in order to help right the ship?
The Tea Party takes the position that taxes and debt cannot increase and must decrease. Yet no representative of this fractured and omnipresent group that got its way in getting a balanced budget vote in both houses made any mention of this prospect.
We can guess that the economic gurus said that we cannot default on our debt. They no doubt said that the entire underpinnings of our financial system cannot withstand a default of any kind.
Yet, would negotiations with our creditors actually result in a finding that default had taken place? Would our credit rating have suffered if the end result is that our deficit was reduced in one fell swoop?
I say no way. In fact, this is precisely what the Tea Party should insist on. Because the debt is then immediately reduced in some kind.
Sure, we can be exposed to the claim that doing so taints our bonds and treats creditors unlike they should be treated.
The problem is that we are not considering the one fact that is irrefutable.
Without our debt, the world would be in much worse shape. In fact, our debt has kept the world going economically for decades.
Imagine the world without the more than $15 trillion spent to keep ourselves going. Imagine who would have less and by how much.
So far, Japan and China and every other nation that has benefited from our aid, our expenditures, and our capital have paid nothing for the benefits these expenditures have brought. Absolutely nothing.
And, just like the millionaires and billionaires in the US, just like the corporations who were bailed out and those who gorge at the public trough, none have paid for the debt in anywhere close to the amounts they should have. For many decades.
The end result of the next set of debates must include a careful eye at negotiating down our debt on a fair and equitable basis. Including paying down the debt with capital from our biggest creditors.
If we want real leadership from Obama and our Congresswomen and Congressmen, then the first thing is that, as Obama has continually claimed, "Everything is on the table." And if Obama is telling the truth, then the bi-partisan Debt Committee must be required to consider this. And Hillary Clinton must be charged with talking with our creditor nations about their agreement to participate in their own plan to help us out.
We should accept nothing less.