Ex-GOP Sens. Baker, Kassebaum: Avoid 'Sinister' Default

Monday, 18 Jul 2011 01:57 PM

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The prospect of the United States’ defaulting on its credit is frightening, significant, and sinister. The country must reduce spending, enhance revenue, and reform the tax code and entitlements, former GOP Sens. Howard Baker and Nancy Kassebaum Baker wrote in an Op-Ed in The Washington Post.

“The prospect of default on the sovereign credit of the United States of America is so frightening, so significant, so sinister and so far-reaching in its impact that we can’t fail to deal with this issue,” the two former senators from Tennessee and Kansas wrote.

The two, now husband and wife, noted that they were not directing the admonition at President Barack Obama or at the GOP or Democratic members of Congress but said instead that it should serve as a “general comment by two former senators who, as Americans, are deeply concerned — and fearful of the unknowable consequences of a default.”

The question is not really about the debt limit but the commitment to honor U.S. obligations.

“It’s about recognizing that the last thing a tenuous and fragile recovery needs is another earthquake, a wave of fear in the private sector that further inhibits job creation,” they wrote.
“To do so, we need to reduce spending, enhance revenue, and reform our tax code and entitlement benefits — not default on our commitment to pay the obligations we have incurred.”

In closing, they quoted President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address to the nation: “We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”


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