According to economist Richard Wolff, “to put it in perspective, the number of times the government has raised the debt ceiling since 1940? Ninety, almost twice a year. This is a normal, automatic procedure.”1
When the two most powerful parties in the country cannot agree on a vote that has been commonly agreed to over the past 60 years, with no lasting negative effect, then expecting cooperation between the two parties to solve any of the difficult problems of today seems unlikely.
The Republican Party has resorted to a misinformation campaign full of fear tactics to convince citizens that raising the debt ceiling will cause a terrible problem. The usual sources of news for family don’t check on the facts they parrot what they hear. So households are filled with the same discussion from the Republicans every day even though the facts aren’t included.
Many citizens, analysts and economists including Professor Wolff have determined their (Republicans) tactic is to vilify President Obama so he won’t win a reelection in 2012. That election is over a year away and the US needs jobs now. If jobs are created people will have money, they will start paying taxes and the debt will be paid down.
Except that the Republicans are blocking any decrease in military funding and any attempt to tax the wealthy who are the only people who have enough money to pay taxes (if they were required to pay their taxes).
The tactics used are the same as any schoolhouse bully, but far more dangerous. To block any forward movement on creating jobs so the debt can be realistically paid makes for tragedy in many families across the United States.
On the subject of the two-party system, Political Science Professor Lisa Jane Disch “argues that the system also works as a monolithic ideological construct that makes it difficult even to imagine a vibrant, multi-party political marketplace.”2
I don’t think that the two parties will be able to solve the problems on the table today unless both sides agree to speak to each other like adults so they can come up with intelligent solutions for the citizens.
I think we need to lower the legal barriers so a multi-party system has a chance. Also we can seriously consider using alternative ways to make the way clearer for third parties like the “fusion ballot” that Professor Disch suggests.
1. Richard Wolff, interview by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales, DN Internet, July, 28, 2011, http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/28/richard_wolff_debt_showdown_is_political.
2. Brian Doherty, “Fusion Power: Why only two parties is no fun,” Book review, accessed August 4, 2011. http://reason.com/archives/2002/12/01/fusion-power.
Doherty, Brian. “Fusion Power: Why only two parties is no fun.” Reason.com, December, 2002.
Accessed August 4, 2011. http://reason.com/archives/2002/12/01/fusion-power.
Wolff, Richard. DemocracyNow.org. by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales. DN Internet, July 28,