A Moral Look at the Debt-Ceiling Debate

What exactly are our moral obligations here?

Fr. Robert Sirico from Acton tells me:

There are three important things any legislator must base his decisions on: First, our responsibility to future generations requires that we keep our fiscal house in order. Second, the dignity of individual citizens must be protected by allowing wealth-creating institutions to flourish and respecting the importance of voluntary charitable associations. Third, he should remember the limits of the federal government as set forth in the Constitution.

Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. This needs to be remedied, or we’ll face the sort of fiscal meltdown that has caused so much havoc lately in the European Union. Are America’s problems like those of Greece, Portugal, and Ireland? Not exactly. But we can cause severe economic problems with misguided policies that will suffocate growth, further depress job creation, and push millions farther away from any hope of rising out of poverty. Another more subtle consideration is to reflect on the impact such policies have on the culture — on individual initiative and the work ethic. It is not a bad thing for a society to have a cultural and moral bias in favor of productive work and to sanction the easy acceptance of charity and welfare payment when these are not necessary and when one can provide for oneself. That old-fashioned notion about the American Dream is what’s at stake today.

A prudent and discerning legislator will look down the road into the future and will vote in a way that allows America’s opportunity society to continue to flourish. Both a short-term and a long-term fix are needed in order to deal with the problem of our national debt.

Fr. Sirico also takes on the latest Jim Wallis effort here.

At NR, we are corporately encouraging the still-being-improved-on Boehner plan.

I am curious what you all think about this contentious, confusing debate, and how it connects to the coming elections …

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4 thoughts on “A Moral Look at the Debt-Ceiling Debate

  1. Davide says:

    @Kathyrn-hearing all the bickering going on in Washington I wanna crawl under a rock and die. Thx

  2. Fred says:

    Washington has a revenue problem and a spending problem. What a joke you are! First off Bush broke this country by going into Iraq and cutting taxes. Secondly WallStreet broke this country by gaming the system. Thirdly taxes have never been lower in 20yrs than they are right now! You got your tax cuts for the corporations and yet where are the jobs they are supposed to be creating? Truth is, Reagan raised taxes and his taxes were much higher than now. His economy was better too. Clinton balanced a budget which no Republican has ever done, and his taxes were higher. It’s not rocket science people. You are being misled by ultra conservative people like Kathryn here, and then she thinks she’s putting a moral spin on it. Too funny and so sad Kathryn. What are the wealthiest among us asked to sacrifice in this? You are after Social Security which we pay into. You want to break Washington like Bush broke this country and Obama helps further break it. You are as messed up as they are!

    1. Dan says:

      Fred, what do you propose to fix the issue? You are placing blame on republicans but I think the question at hand is how to solve it. In very general terms our options are ton cut spending, raise taxes or put it off till after the next election. Also in very general terms the republicans want option 1 while the democrats and president want option 2 or 3.

      So how would you fix it? I am mad too that this is happening and there’s blame to share everywhere but what now?

      1. Fred says:

        Dan,
        As I sad, we have a revenue problem *(raise some taxes) and a spending problem *(make some cuts). What we have right now is one side that is completely unreasonable and therefore nothing gets done. The problem is, they just don’t have the numbers for their hardline stance. So yes, I do blame them more. Let’s see what it would take. I will put some words out there and you tell me if you see the tea party freshman represent any of these words? Can the compromise? Can they find middle ground? Do they have statesmanship? Can there be concession? Do they have reason? Can there be negotiation? Can they establish good faith with the other side? Is there any bargaining going on? I would say no to everything. Therefore they are earning themselves a well desearved reputation. It’s not good for the country.

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