When the curtain finally falls on the political Kabuki Theater that has been the democratic and republican debate over raising the debt ceiling, one thing will be certain… nothing will have been done to substantially reduce the nation's debt.
It's not because our lawmakers don't know how dangerous the deficit is….oh, they know. But they also know something else…that Americans, rich and poor alike, have gotten hooked on free money. And they also know that handing out that free money is what gets them re-elected.
By free money, we are talking not just about bloated entitlement programs but also the vast number of tax subsidies and other loopholes that waste money on worthless programs like ethanol production. And yes….subsidies for those corporate jets and oil companies…almost two thousand separate subsidy programs. And - the tax code also includes free money for individuals. In fact, a large segment of the population does not pay any income taxes at all. If that's not free money, I don't know what is. An agreement will be reached to raise the debt ceiling and some cuts will be made but nothing too painful---you see, it's not easy saying no to free money.
Write and let me know what you think. I'm Bill Applegate.