2 February 2013, 09:59

Walking a dangerous line: Obama and the deadly fiscal cliff

Walking a dangerous line: Obama and the deadly fiscal cliff

The inaugural events in Washington are over and everyday works starts. The first serious issue reelected president Barack Obama has to face is the unmeasured public debt of his country. The legal debt limit is now $17 trillion. Considering that today it is not possible to prevent its further growth a new decision on raising the debt ceiling even higher is required.

This must be done before March 1. But the Republican majority in the Congress, which turned this crucial issue of the national economy into a playing ball of its political game, is now blackmailing the government and the president by setting unacceptable requirements to the current administration. 

Stakes are really high in this disgraceful game. If the government fails to legalize the new debt ceiling by March 1, the US will face the so-called technical default with all ensuing consequences for the national economy and the population. 

But even if the debt ceiling is raised before March 1, this won’t solve the issue. According to the forecasts of the US Treasury, in the near future the public debt will raise to $19 trillion, exceeding 100% of the country’s current GDP. There is more to come. 

Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University has calculated that the real deficit of the US exceeds the official figure reaching unbelievable $200 trillion. This enormous public debt is the result of the policy of the big bosses in Washington. The debt began to grow especially rapidly during the administration of George Bush Jr, which resumed the armament race. The US military costs reach more than $700 billion a year. This is almost equal to the total amount all other countries spend on their defense. 

During his presidential campaign of 2008 Barack Obama promised to stop building up armaments. Nevertheless, the 2013 Pentagon budget reaches $631 billion which does not differ greatly from the amount it received under George Bush.

Washington is continuing its armament race even despite the economic crisis it has not overcome yet. 

It is possible to raise debt ceiling over and over again as well as to promise to move away from the dangerous line but it looks like the greediness and appetites of the US military industry complex prevail over the national interests. 

The threat of default which is hanging over the US economy is indicative of it.

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