Since 1980 the federal debt ceiling has been increased from $706 billion to $13,529 trillion. These debt ceiling increases correspond with federal debt levels.  Of that increase, 16 debt ceiling increases totaling $3,361 trillion occurred during democratic administrations; and, 34 increases totaling $9,462 trillion occurred during republican administrations. The increase during President Obama’s term thus far has been $1,653 trillion (Miami Herald, July 27, 2011).  One wonders at the timing and necessity of this debt ceiling stalemate.   Debt ceiling increases have been a routine congressional matter in the past.  No one doubts the urgent need to address the budget deficit and federal debt but no one seems willing to approach the problem in a truly non-partisan debate and compromise session.  Tax reform, therefore, an important part of the deficit discussion is relegated to the status of a poor relative as both parties arm wrestle for leverage in the next election.  The real loser in this power- grab struggle is the American people left without a functioning government.  Woe to us if the rest of the world loses faith in the stability of our political system.

The behavior of our esteemed representatives and senators lends itself to parody.  Hence, I’ve changed the lyric to the famous Gershwin tune.


(To tune of “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by George and Ira Gershwin)


Things have come to a great impasse / And the blame flies “tit for tat”

The Republicans want one thing / But the Democrats don’t want that

Oh I fear a sad end we’ll see / Will democracy fall flat?

This great nation born no longer one / Something must be done.


You’d cut spending with budget axes 

   I’d trim spending and edge up taxes

Spending, taxes, budget axes

  Let’s call whole thing off

 I say public and you say private

  You’d kill health care and I’d revive it

Public, private, kill re-vive it

  Let’s call the whole thing off


But oh, if we call the whole thing off / Then we might start to think

And oh, given proper thought / We might do what we ought


Cut big spending and raise some taxes

  Stop pretending to grind no axes

Feed-up, knowing,   To hell the country’s going,

The people call the politics off

   Let’s call the whole thing off

Copyright 2011 by Robert S. Steinberg

This entry was posted in POLICY, TAX, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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