It is no secret that the United States suffers from spending more money than they are bringing in. If the average person tried to live off the budget that the current government is using, they would be homeless within just a few days. This overspending budget is just one of the reasons for the bad blood between Obama and Boehner.
Right now the United Stated is nearing the end of the federal debt limit and with this means another debate about raising the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling was created as a way to stop the president from continuously borrowing money without input from Congress. There is no denying that the president and his staff have very different ideas than the republican controlled congress about what should be done about the deficit.
Republicans are looking for a limit of federal spending and the democrats think that spending the tax payer’s money is why they get elected. This causes some real issues when it comes to passing laws regarding the financial crisis.
Right now, the government can likely keep operating until the end of February possibly into the early part of March. However, it is going to come to a point where there is no room to maneuver and Congress will have to act. While it will be dramatized in the media that the government will “shut down” if an agreement is not reached, the reality is that the president has the power to keep the most essential government employees working even if there is not any money to pay them with.
Right now, the republicans have not pledged to shut down the government over the debt ceiling. However, they recognize that using this approach will give them leverage as they face a fight against Obama and the democrats in the senate when it comes to the fight for fiscal responsibility.
While Boehner has been quoted as stating that the debt bill is one of the points of leverage that the republicans have, he states that it is “not the ultimate leverage.” Boehner states “the republicans are not backing down from their stance that for every dollar that the debt ceiling is raised there is going to be a dollar of spending cuts implemented over the next ten years. This insistence may result in monthly increases of the debt ceiling until a deal can be made.
The preferred choice of Boehner is to pursue a regular order as opposed to a negotiated agreement with the senate democrats and Obama. This involves passing a bill on the debt ceiling and sending it to the senate, calling on the senators to fulfill their obligations to the constitution. Boehner states that this would have been the best course of action during the recent fight over the fiscal cliff that occurred at the end of December.
The main argument between the democrats and republicans is that the democrats want to add and keep programs that the government can simply not afford. The republicans are ready to make cuts to programs such as social security, medicare, as well as other government programs in order to create a more financially responsible government.
Democrats state that the more money can be raised by simply making tax rates higher on those individuals in the United States that earn a certain amount, specifically over $250,000 per year. However, even if the tax rates could be raised, there is simply not going to be enough money to cover the expenses.
A Happy Medium
The real question is, can there be a happy medium? Is it possible to cut out some of the excess government spending? In order for a true deal to be made there is going to have to be some compromises coming from both sides of the table. This is something that has not been seen in the recent past. Can Boehner and Obama reach an agreement that truly meets the needs of the country? It is difficult to tell at this point, but the facts remain, if something is not done soon the United States is facing bankruptcy and the people that are going to suffer are the citizens.