Meanwhile, over in Washington, the bipartisan debt committee that is being tasked with finding ways to cut the USA’s deficit has plenty of plans to choose from as they meet to tackle the problem. No fewer than 32 plans, to be precise. They range from suggestions coming from the far, far left, to the extreme right. Some recurring themes: increasing the age of retirement, comprehensive tax reform (yes, including higher taxes on the rich), reductions in defense outlays, and shared burdens when it comes to Medicare.
The trouble, for the moment, appears to be the fact that there is too little in the way of middle-ground proposals to make for a majority decision for such a committee. Polarization in views and in approaches has been the hallmark of American politics since, circa the post-Katrina days and it seem to be rolling on unabated. A recent comment from a concerned citizen underscores the essence of where the Democratic and GOP factions stand as America approaches the time it must reckon with its yawning budget gap:
“When compromise and goodwill is [sic] readily dismissed, when hardened ideologies give life to conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated accusations, when debate and conversation is [sic] riddled with personal attacks instead of genuine rebuttal, we are no longer working toward a better future."
Now if only those words could possibly resonate with those in charge of finding solutions…
PS – Speaking of budget problems, IMF head Ms. Lagarde said last week that her organization will need to ‘extend’ its $400 billion ‘war chest’ in the wake of the global debt crisis, after its funding tripled. Whether or not the quest for more money brings any part of the IMF’s stash of gold into possible play remains to be seen…
Jon Nadler is a Senior Metals Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc. North America