Intrepid reader Stan is right to be offended by the blame game. The question is not who is to blame, but what to do about it. Cherished interlocutors Donald, Bill, and A.I., seem convinced that there is no solvency crisis and that the fault for the solvency crisis belongs solely to the Republicans. The latter is adolescent; the former, pathological.
President Bush does share a lot of blame for the present crisis, along with Republicans who weren't the least bit shy about spending when they held Congress. However, Bush isn't President anymore. I underline that for Bill's benefit. Obama is president and he continued Bush's economic policy. That means he owns it.
As for the reality of the crisis, if this one isn't real it is difficult to imagine what a real one would look like. Europe is headed for a major financial meltdown. It doesn't look as though there is any realistic chance of avoiding that now. What is the cause? Let me suggest that it isn't Republicans. It is the simple fact that one European government after another can't pay its debts. There is reason to suspect that China is headed for the same kind of disaster.
The U.S. still enjoys a cushion in so far as our Treasury Bonds are the last refuge of world capital. That ought not to be reassuring. It ought to be terrifying. Our debt is now, for the first time since WWII, equal to the GDP. Does anybody think that, absent serious reform, it won't continue to grow? If the CBO's more realistic scenario is indeed realistic, we will indeed be where Greece is now in a couple of decades. Perhaps I need to reproduce the CBO's ominous chart.
What happens in the short term if Europe does meltdown? They buy a quarter of U.S. exports. What happens in world capital markets do lose confidence in Treasury Bonds and there is no safe refuge left?
The U.S. has to put its fiscal house in order. Even if ObamaCare paid for itself (it doesn't) and Social Security were fixed (it hasn't been), these programs soak up enormous resources that can't be used for anything else. Meanwhile, Medicare and Medicaid are out of control.
It is a case of world class irresponsibility to pretend that we can solve the solvency crisis without reforming entitlements. Yes, we are going to have to have tax increases. We are also going to have to reduce the size of the welfare state. Anyone who refuses to recognize this is estranged from reality.