That pesky debt ceiling

February 12, 2011

One of the big arguments coming up in Congress over the next few weeks is the question of raising the federal debt ceiling, the amount of money the United States can legally owe. And it’s not just an abstract question: failure to raise the limit could (maybe, possibly) lead to a default on our debt, with horrific consequences — were it to happen. But will it? Would it be so bad the ceiling were not raised? Is this another manufactured crisis meant to bull-rush us into a bad decision?

In this episode of PJTV’s Trifecta, Bill Whittle, Scott Ott, and Stephen Green chew over America’s debt problem and how best to deal with it:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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A Chinese Trifecta

January 20, 2011

On the occasion of the State visit by Chinese fascist junta leader President Hu Jintao, PJTV analysts Stephen Greene, Scott Ott, and Bill Whittle look at the growth of Chinese economic and military power, and the challenges a rising dragon may pose for the US:

I thought Whittle’s observations on the Chinese military perceptive, particularly regarding the PLA’s focus on the top-line weapons without the support structure and the experience we and other great powers have had. And I agree with their “middle ground” approach to assessing the challenges posed by China: neither making light of them, nor going into a panic-driven depression on the assumption that all is lost. (Besides, preemptive surrender is France’s job.) For my own part, I see China not as our “great good friend” and not as a declared enemy (yet), but a strategic competitor whose assessments of its own interests often work at right angles to our perceptions of our interests.  Diplomatic and economic competition and conflict is inevitable, but a shooting war is not. It all depends on how both sides manage their relations.

I do wish they had taken the time to talk more about China’s internal problems, because they’re serious and threaten China’s rise to Great-Power status and even its stability: banking regulations hiding bad loans that could make our situation look like chump change; rampant corruption that’s creating more and more popular resentment; the anger of rural workers who come to the cities to work and then don’t get paid; a ham-handed diplomacy that winds up scaring much of East and Southeast Asia into our arms; and an aging population that, as Mark Steyn has put it, means the nation will grow old before it grows rich.

One eye-popping fact: China has to add 17,000,000 jobs per year to keep up with population growth.

Like the Trifecta crew, I’m confident we’ll do fine in our competition with China… as long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)