When I attended college in the ’70s it was still possible for a student to work and pay for the bulk of tuition and other expenses. Costs have risen and now it’s simply physically impossible to work your way through school and graduate without being burdened by debt. As a grandfather, I worry about whether my kids will figure out a way to afford higher education for their children.
Posts Tagged ‘debt’
On a recent Sunday morning political roundtable show, a panelist noted that the nation’s biggest problem was its debt. No one disagreed. I guess that’s the conventional wisdom. I would argue that our continuing high unemployment problem is the most pressing issue we face, and it’s an issue with a human face.
Fanatic factions in congress, mercifully, did not trash the full faith and credit of the United States. Good news for the short term. But the deal focuses on making cuts at a time when consumers aren’t spending and businesses aren’t spending or expanding, leaving the government as the spender of last resort. Austerity at this juncture seems to mean continued bad economic news in the long term.
The debt ceiling fight just ended was fought mostly on terms dictated by the far-right wing of the Republican party. Increasing taxes, even on the wealthiest millionaires and billionaires, was a non-starter. Compromise was out of the question, with the radical right perfectly willing to drive the economy off a cliff. Amazing. By today’s standards, Richard Nixon ( EPA, price controls, traveling to China, etc.) would be denounced as a commie. Or at least a RINO.
The Tea Party freshmen were elected to be rigid ideologues, dadgummit, and they ‘re going to remain pure no matter what. And that means they don’t give a damn if the nation’s already staggering economy takes another body blow. Meanwhile, in the real world, people are most concerned about the lack of JOBS.
Europeans are struggling desperately to avoid financial default. Yet here in America we are facing a looming fiscal debacle that is of our own making and is entirely avoidable. In other words, we’ve manufactured a crisis over an issue that has historically been a routine decision. Simply amazing and disgusting.