Some people might say the problem with America’s economic condition is self-evident in the sideshow that has come to represent the economic policy discussion in the Nation.
As politicians and policymakers continue to attempt to work the American public into frenzy over the seriousness of the economic situation throughout the country, they continue to offer solutions that have little practical value to a Nation more than $16 trillion in debt.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested this week that the United States should eliminate the debt ceiling to allow government to spend at will. Bernanke’s reasoning is that the United States’ not raising the debt ceiling so that it can meet its financial obligations is like a family of debtors refusing to pay its bills.
"This is sort of a family saying, ‘we’re spending too much, let’s stop paying our credit card bill.’ That’s not the way to get yourself in good financial condition," he said.
Except a family of debtors doesn’t have the same ability to print money at will that the U.S. government has. That would mean, by Bernanke’s logic, a family of debtors unable to pay their bills should do what the Federal government already essentially does: borrow money it can’t afford to pay for the money it can’t afford to pay back.
Meanwhile, such notable economists as The New York Times’ Paul Krugman are suggesting that the Nation could ease its economic problems by minting a trillion-dollar coin to pay down America’s debt. That’s such a comical suggestion that comedian and host of “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart probably has had the best explanation of anyone as to why it’s a bad idea.
Stewart said in a recent taping of his show:
I’m not an economist. But if we’re just going to make sh*t up, I say go big or go home. How about a 20 trillion dollar coin? Or maybe, just forget about it and do one of these, “Oh, I was digging through the White House couch cushions and Eisenhower must’ve left this one hundred quillion dollar bill laying around.
When Krugman later suggested that Stewart was “ruining his own brand” by making fun of the trillion-dollar coin idea, Stewart responded, “If somebody is ruining their brand with a trillion-dollar coin idea, I don’t think it’s the non-economist.”