We are not in a debt crisis and we are not in a political crisis of the first magnitude. Not yet.
The fact that a group of newly elected House Members, joined by hyper-conservative colleagues trying to make a point, were willing to risk the "full faith and credit" of the United States does not make a crisis. The manipulations of the House radicals are fairly easy to understand and they pose no long term threat to the health of the Republic: having just 1 house of Congress, in one branch of the government, the ONLY thing the tea potters and friends can do is OBSTRUCT. If they keep trying this simple minded act of juvenile delinquency, the public, unaided in the education process by a fearful and cowed national media, will send them a hard, direct message: off with their heads (figuratively). It is like college kids consistently blocking a road through campus to protest everything: yeah, what else can you do? Once the point has been made, whatever it is, it gets tiresome to keep hearing it again.
The more the Republicrats play their hand, the more they will lose, if only someone (maybe...ah...the President?) will try standing up to them and calling their bluff. How that bluff is called, and on what issue, is of vital importance. It must be in a way the public can clearly and easily understand.
We got ourselves into a debt problem in fairly short order and we should be able to get out of the worst part of it with equal speed. It will take a leader willing to say, "Now is the time for all Americans, top to bottom, rich to poor, to make a modest sacrifice on behalf of the nation." That is waaay out of fashion, I know, since G.W. Bush told us to go shopping while he planned two very expensive wars+ tax cuts. Raising taxes at the moment would be an almost guaranteed way to send the country back into a deep recession, waiting too long to do so could, in fact, make for an eventual debt crisis.
S&P was dumb to downgrade us. We should downgrade them. After the mortgage collapse, they should have been put out of business. Why aren't they?
Doug Terry, 8.9.11