Hello again Children! This is Bradley coming to you from the Capitol! It is Tuesday January 15th and is our fourth day of the seminar program. The morning session was included a brief lecture by Dr. Baker followed by two sets of guest speakers. The first of the guest speakers in included the Co-Chair Commissioners of the Presidential Debate Frank Farenkopft and Micheal McCurry. The second group of speakers included Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today; Scott Horsley, White House Correspondent for National Public Radio; and Janet Hook, Political Reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Today’s material presented was interesting and educational, the topics of second term presidential curses and the operation of the Presidential Debates were talked about. One thing that really struck me this morning was said by Mr. Farenkopft, “Washington is Broken.” He went on to explain that there are important aspects missing from today’s politics and that is there are no relationships between opposite party members. Congress is in session from Tuesday to Thursday, a three day work week which actually sounds pretty nice except your work involves making the most important decisions for the country. The three day work week results in Congressmen leaving Thursday night and coming back to town Monday night causing no time for relationships being built, unless you know someone you can’t trust someone and no compromise is being worked out. Congressmen who hail from safe districts are especially problematic, and in my opinion Congressmen should have to live in provided housing in Washington as long as they are working in Washington. If your neighbor was someone you had to work with, had kids who had relationships with your own, or had a spouse that was friends with yours you would almost be forced to have some sort of relationship with the person or at least converse with them. The morning session ended around noon and I ate a packed lunch and we made my way to the site visit.
The site visit was at the Washington Center’s headquarters and it was with guest speaker Allen Nesbitt who is the founder of his own Opposition Research Firm. Opposition research in a nutshell is digging up dirt on opponents of the opposite party running against you. Nesbitt and his team search records, social media, and even Google to find anything and everything bad about an opponent. Nesbitt’s Firm is oriented with the Democratic Party and mostly aids in primary elections on any scale except presidential elections. I rather enjoyed this presentation because it showed a new path to take politically that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. After Nesbitt’s presentation we had our small group discussion and we were done for the day, however a particular issue was raised during the end of our meeting I would like to elaborate on.
Congress and the President have a deadline in February or March in regards to the debt ceiling, if it is not raised America will go into default and all government agencies will be disbanded except for the ones necessary to the running of our country, aka the ones that couldn’t come to a decision on what to (if that happens) and the standing military. To put this plainly the country will be running on life support. In our group discussion a peer brought his opinion to the floor and that was we should go into default because it will be the best option for the economy, the debt will go away and we will be able to start with a clean slate. I will apologize now if you don’t agree with my view on the matter or if I offend anyone by inserting my own political opinion. However I will have to strongly disagree with my peer, in fact I will go as far as to say you are absolutely wrong! Yes, if we default our debt would disappear that’s good and all, but the government will all but completely shut down, unemployment would go up, our country would be vaulted into another recession, and we will lose all national credibility. I would love to know who would want to file for bankruptcy? Anyone? I’ll take the silence as a NO. When you file for bankruptcy you erase your debts and start over fresh, with no car, no house, no money, and a nasty credit score. If our country defaults we will lose every government organization that runs the country behind the scenes and that will need to be reinstated as soon as possible, the government would go from no debt and no spending to needing to spend a large amount of money to rebuild itself. Where in the world would we get that kind of money, it certainly wouldn’t be able to be put on the backs of the American tax payer, it would need to be borrowed, but from who? No one would want to lend us money, you can’t get loans or at least any resemblance of a decent loan once you file for bankruptcy so therefore the government would have great difficulty in accomplishing this task. Default is not the solution, it is only another problem. The solution is to come to a long term agreement on the debt ceiling and to negotiate real and thoughtful long term spending cuts, that is the only direction that will bring long term stability to the debt situation and to the economy in regards to the debt. I’m not an economist so I can’t speak for the economy as a whole.
Until next time children, Bradley signing out!