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July 23rd, 2011

Animal House and The Debt Ceiling Debate

I have to admit at the front end of this article that I have been on vacation with my family for a couple of weeks. When I left, President Obama and congressional leaders were arguing about raising the federal debt ceiling limit. To my surprise, they are still arguing.

President Obama, the leader of our University, has had several press conferences in which he’s shown his anger with the Republican’s unwillingness to raise taxes as part of this “deal.” He has all but threatened Republicans with “double secret probation.” Speaker of the House John Boehner has likened negotiating with the President as similar to negotiating “with a bowl of Jello,” and all but threatened a full blown food fight.

We have heard the calls of the “imminent doom” to the United States that will come from our inability to raise the debt ceiling limit. Never before, do these doomsayers cry, has the United States ever been in a position to not pay its bills or honor its financial commitments. These were undoubtedly the same doomsayers that noted unless we shoveled almost $800 billion to Wall Street and Big Banks, our economy would falter…or that if we didn’t inject hundreds of billions into the economy under the guise of a “stimulus,” our unemployment would skyrocket.

Well if either President Obama or congressional leaders would pay close attention, they would know that our ecomony continues to falter, and unemployment not only skyrocketed but continues to stay high. The credibility of the doomsayers has hit as deep a low as Congress itself, and the sign over their fraternity is hanging by a single nail.

To me, the fundamental problems are:

1. Our country has spent more money than it has taken in for as long as I can remember.

2. Our “leaders” constantly call for reducing the size of the federal government and getting tough on spending.

3. Despite this, our “leaders” continue to bloat the federal government with huge new entitlement programs that we can never hope to pay for unless we adopt the tax policies of Western Europe.

4. We are on an unsustainable financial trajectory directly over the edge of the cliff.

5. Unless someone cuts the tap line and stops the flow of beer, all we will continue to see is the President and congressional leaders arguing about who should buy the next round.

We deserve better.

These leaders were elected to solve problems, guide our country, and represent our shared interest. They are, I believe, intelligent and patriotic people. We pay them a lot of money to act like professionals and lead our country.

What we see instead is a bunch of college freshman who partied all semester, and now they’re reduced to pulling all nighters to get their term paper done, and they can’t even agree on what the subject should be.

Time has run out on the Animal House antics of Washington, DC.

Voters are looking for not only a new President, but congressional representatives that won’t stay up all night at toga-spending-kegger parties, only to to cram for the exam at the eleventh hour.

It’s last call. Time to sober up.

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About the Author

Bob Haus
Robert Haus is a Des Moines based advertising and communications consultant. Born and raised in Iowa, Bob is a proud graduate of both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa College of Law, which makes him a confirmed CyHawk fan. A former farm boy, and recovered lawyer, Bob has spent the last 20 years working at all levels of state and federal politics. He has worked for and advised Republican candidates for President, US Senate, US House, statewide office, and the Iowa Legislature. You can follow him at Bob's personal blog is

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