Looking for light in the debt tunnel

July 27, 2011 1:24:06 PM PDT
So in the end is it all much ado about nothing - this debt crisis stuff?

There are some Americans who think that.

The truth is the debt crisis is a crisis. If you ran your household budget like the federal government runs its budget - you'd have long ago been run out of your house.

But the government can do something the rest of us can't - simply raise the level of what it owes, its debt, and then presto magico, the crisis is solved.

Or, at least, put off.

Ronald Reagan put it off 18 times. Pres. Obama wants to raise it again, rather than have the U.S. default on its obligations - something it's never done.

And it's a simple thing, to just vote on raising the debt ceiling. (The President could also use a little-known 14th Amendment clause to just raise it himself, but he's apparently loathe to do that.)

But instead, the kitchen-sink political approach has been employed. Wanna raise the debt ceiling? Then cut spending by a corresponding amount. That's the demand from House Republicans. Or, more accurately, some House Republicans. The Tea Party peeps have, at least until now, balked at raising the debt ceiling. It has put House Speaker John Boehner in a rather delicate position - negotiating with Pres. Obama while trying to hold at bay his more conservative colleagues.

Today, the Speaker told his members in rather salty terms to get with the program. And that now seems to be happening. A vote on the debt ceiling bill could be held in the House tomorrow. Will the crisis be avoided? Are Americans tired of the politics-as-warfare? We'll have the latest on the debt debate - or is it debacle? - tonight at 11.

Also at 11, our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer is on Long Island, where a family's home came into the line of fire in a stand-off between a mentally ill man and Suffolk County Police. But 9 months later, the family can't erase the trauma of that day - or forget how they came within inches of getting shot. They blame the County for not taking responsibility for the physical and emotional damage caused by the police.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Jeff Smith (in for Lee Goldberg) with his AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho (in for Sade Baderinwa) and me, tonight at 11.


Click here to send a comment.