Debt and deficits

The red "GOP" logo used by the party...

The red “GOP” logo used by the party for its website (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What do debt, as in national debt, and deficits have in common, besides both beginning with the letters “DE?” I think that many Americans are confused about the difference and the media and the GOP are doing nothing to clarify the difference. If the Federal government spends more than it takes in in revenue, the difference is a deficit and that adds to the national debt, which we owe mostly to ourselves. The only way to reduce the national debt is to take in more revenue than we spend as a nation, run a surplus in other words.

The best way to reduce deficits and thereby reduce the national debt is to stimulate the economy to produce more jobs and thereby more tax revenue. Austerity does not work, just ask the European nations who have tried it since the crash of 2007, England, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. The nations of the Common Market, European Union, that embraced austerity as a solution did so at the urging of German bankers who wanted their loans repaid in full. Now Germany is finding that austerity by its customers reduces its ability to sell German products and that hurts Germany itself.

Here in the US, the GOP are selling austerity because some of the most conservative among them believe that it is morally the correct solution. In other words, don’t help the less fortunate among us because their misfortune is their own fault. They chose to be born to poor parents or they decided to be poor in New Orleans or they decided to live along the New Jersey shore and should have been better prepared for a hurricane. They are the true believers.

Those members of the GOP who are not true believers, but are more politically motivated, are selling austerity as a solution to the nation’s problems because it will only hurt the 99%, not themselves or the 1%. They believe that another 2 or 4 years of economic pain will cause American voters to turn to the GOP for relief. In other words, they expect voters to reward them for all the grief that they have caused or will continue to cause if we let them. And the corporate media are shirking their responsibility under the Constitution to inform the electorate. Shame on them.

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