Opinion

Sophie’s choice? We choose survival

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Tucker Carlson
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      Tucker Carlson

      Tucker Carlson is a 20-year media veteran with a wide variety of experience in journalism. Currently a contributor to FOX News, Mr. Carlson has also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS, and written for magazines such as GQ, Esquire, and New York. He is the founder and editor in chief of The Daily Caller, a 24-hour news site committed to providing its audience with original reporting, thought-provoking commentary, and breaking news.

      Click here to purchase the DVD of Tucker's Fox News Special Report, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/FOX-NEWS-REPORTING-Textbooks-Children/dp/B002Q4UAYO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1264517853&sr=8-4"> FOX NEWS REPORTING: Do You Know What Textbooks Your Children are Really Reading?</a>

The current meltdown on Capitol Hill comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention for the last 30 years. It’s been obvious for decades that at some point the U.S. government would be unable to make good on the promises it has made to its citizens. There isn’t enough money in the country to pay for it all.

Everyone knew it, but everyone also knew that Washington would continue to ignore the obvious until adults stepped in. Once America’s bondholders revolted, the assumption went, we would get spending under control, just as various European welfare states have in recent years. In politics, reform never comes before crisis.

Now that crisis has come. Two weeks ago, the ratings agency Standard & Poors announced that unless the United States reduces its debt load by at least $4 trillion over the next decade, the country’s credit rating will be downgraded. America’s AAA rating is a cornerstone of our security. Even countries like Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark have AAA ratings and soon the USA won’t.  A downgrade would accelerate our decline from being the world’s preeminent nation.   There is no greater threat.

Washington’s response? A great bipartisan averting of the eyes. Leaders in both parties have decided to ignore the numbers and their consequences. Neither the Boehner plan nor the Reid plan cuts anything like $4 trillion from the debt. Both, therefore, assure a downgrade and a certain evaporation of American power.

You’d never know it from the noisy debate playing out in Congress and on cable news. Republican leaders in Washington have put immense pressure on rank-and-file members and conservative leaders to support the Speaker’s plan. Those who refuse face attack, and in some instances, the loss of their seats. Even solid fiscal conservatives have for the most part given up and decided to obey. “It’s not perfect,” they say of the Boehner plan, “but at least it’s a good start.”

Is it? A downgrade will mean the U.S. government pays more in interest on its debt. It will also mean that every American will pay more for loans. Cars, mortgages, bank lending — all will be more costly.

Economists estimate that a change in our debt rating could cost the country $100 billion annually. That’s about five times what Speaker Boehner says his plan will save in its first year. How is that a good deal?

And those are just the short-term numbers. There’s no law of nature that says America must remain the most powerful country in the world. We got here through hard work, innovation, a reliance on markets and minimal government intervention. The explosive growth of government we are witnessing now threatens to change this course, possibly quickly and forever.

Nobody argues it will be easy to slash $4 trillion from the country’s debt. That’s why it hasn’t been done. Nor will any attempt to do so necessarily play well politically, at least right away. People like entitlements. That’s why we spend so much on them. But there are some principles worth taking political risks for, and America’s standing in the world strikes us as meeting that standard.

Despite the rhetoric one often hears from politicians about crossroads and turning points, there aren’t many obviously defining moments in American history, nor are there many debates that in 100 years will seem even more significant than they do now.

This is one of them.

In the next five days, doing the right thing will require members of Congress to anger their own constituents, and will cause some even to lose their seats. It’s worth it. In fact, there is no choice.

  • http://lamecherry.blogspot.com/ Lame Cherry

    Tucker Carlson, you know very well that by Obama’s illegal manipulation of interest rates, that it protects rich elitists like yourself while impoverishing poor Americans, so this public looting can continue which buys Democratic voters and makes wage slaves for GOP barons.

    Ronald Reagan proved in 1984 that small savers could recieve high interest for Florida retirement WHICH BOOSTED THEE ECONOMY while not bankrupting America.

    All of you should be ashamed for your lies, smears and piracy of the poor.

    Debt benefits your  caste Tucker Carlson not  Reagan Blue State Americans and you know it.

  • showb1zz

    I know the downfall of Western civilization will not come from famine, war, or disease, it will come from the “CAREER POLITICIAN”.

    Tucker’s last line “and will cause some even to lose their seats.” speaks to the heart of why we will NEVER get a decent debt deal from either side. You can’t play poker with scared money, and you certainly can’t do what is best for the country if you have to worry about your job. Taking our newly departed representative Weiner as the example, he had NEVER had a job outside of being an elected official. Look how hard he “fought” to keep his job after being embarrassed for two weeks straight!

    We need people in congress who have regular jobs, who don’t need to suck off the tit of the taxpayer in order to survive. You do the county’s business, then you GO HOME TO YOUR REAL JOB. We certainly have enough rules and regulations on the books already…maybe the lightbulb ban wouldn’t exist if these parasites didn’t have to find ways to make themselves relevant.

  • MikeMcNeil

    Release the hounds.