Debt Ceiling Debate

The house voted yesterday to extend the debt ceiling debate until may, a move more akin to ignoring the need for nonelective surgery than being cured. The senate expects to pass the measure next week. The leverage credited with making this happen? A threat to congressional pay checks.

What's next? Automatic $110 billion "sequester" speeding cuts to military and domestic programs March 1 unless Congress can agree on alternative cuts and new revenue that would get America on track financially over the next ten years. And then, March 27 temporary available money ends and the debate begins...again

Aside from the noteable opportunity cost we are all paying as our leaders continually revisit the same issues and ignore other issues important to us and our country, the rest of the world watches as historical global peacemakers - often times now disliked for example for telling folks in the Middle East what to do - can't agree on fundamentals in their own back yard

And what about our own homes and wallets? Already our paycheck are less as the payroll tax holiday expired earlier this month. Our savings dwindled as the market suffered through the economic crises. Showdowns like this create uncertainty bound to impact rates and markets and our retirement savings Again. Even our home values, which finally saw a solid year of wonderful recovery are at risk. Every 1% increase in national home values translates to $190 billion added personal wealth for Americans. Again. If sales and prices slow simple because they are inextricably intertwined with wages, rates and the broader economy - buyers and renters can't continue paying more for housing when they don't have the money and confidence.
All told, the extra time out leaders are buying comes at a high cost to us

Shari Olefson's picture
Shari Olefson

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