Thelma and Louise

Refusing to raise the debt ceiling does not restrict Congress from spending more money. It simply blocks the government from paying the bills for things Congresses and Presidents , past and present, already bought. Republicans are again saying that they will support paying the debts they have already authorized only if there is an agreement to dramatically cut future spending mostly on programs that benefit the elderly and the poor.

The Obama Administration has said over and over again that it is willing to talk about spending cuts but not in the context of threats to refuse to pay what we already owe as a nation.

The debt ceiling will be reached in mid-October. If it is not raised, we will default. The common wisdom isoh they’ll work it out before the deadline; after all, the consequences would be disastrous to do otherwise and there are ways of working out a “soft landing.”

Now there is no doubt the debt ceiling will be eventually raised somehow, someway, sometime, and we will eventually pay for the meal we have already eaten. But given the current contradictory and adamant positions of Republican legislators and of the Obama Administration, I don’t see how an agreement can be reached before the mid-October deadline. We really could go over the cliff this time.

If we fail to pay our bills, our default could trigger a worldwide financial crisis and each of us will be far worse off financially the day after than we were the day before. As Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon careened toward the edge of the Grand Canyon in their roles as Thelma and Louise in the epic film by that name,

Thelma says: “Go.” Louise asks: “You sure?” Thelma responds: “Yeah.” Louise has the last word: “Hit it.” Please.Don’t think our political leaders are not capable of economic suicide this time around. The way some of them are talking, they almost relish the idea. But the landing won’t be as exhilarating as the flight.

Tim Mannello