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Simon van Kempen: Reducing debt means tax increases must be considered, too

We just cannot have a serious discussion about reducing this country’s long-term debt while arbitrarily ruling out tax increases.

Last Thursday morning, before the markets opened, I wrote this column where I opined that the debt ceiling debate and the resulting bill had been too one-sided.

Now I do not profess to be a financial guru, not in the least, but I have been a political animal since my late teens and have belonged to different political parties in different countries on different sides of the political spectrum. I’m a political centrist and have found myself either to the right or left of most of my colleagues depending on whether I belonged to a conservative or a liberal party.

One thing I learned was that absolutism is anathema to successful political discourse. Yes, those on the fringe often draw the biggest headlines but if you really want to get things achieved in politics it’s by working from the center.

Hours after my column was posted the DOW closed over 500 points down, and after a roller coaster ride Friday, has been in free fall again today, after the S&P downgrade on U.S. debt.

Yes, my investments are hurt as is my 401k but what irks me the most is that the Dow's three-day loss of 1,000 points is largely due to the line-in-the-sand (or rather ‘head-in-the-sand’) attitude of Grover Norquist and those Congressional Republicans he had sign his Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

We just cannot have a serious discussion about reducing this country’s long-term debt while arbitrarily ruling out tax increases, and with 236 Republican members of the House and worse, a filibuster proof, 41 Republican senators having signed. one could argue that further S&P downgrades are on the horizon.

Yes, perhaps we can thank the Tea Party for helping kick this debt debate into the wider public’s consciousness but it’s now time they are their Republican colleagues get serious and join the discussion about looking at spending reductions AND increasing revenues. My 401k and my grandchildren will thank you!

 
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