United Airlines Flight 173, registration N8082U, was a Douglas DC-8-61 en route from Stapleton International Airport in Denver to Portland International Airport on December 28, 1978. When the landing gear was lowered, only two of the green landing gear indicator lights came on. The plane circled in the vicinity of Portland while the crew investigated the problem. After about one hour the plane ran out of fuel and crashed in a sparsely populated area near 158th and East Burnside Street, killing 10 and seriously injuring 24 of the 189 on board.I am sure this fable can be read a number of different ways. I think of it in terms of focusing on a short term issue while ignoring a long term issue.
The reason it resonates with me is that I see the debt crisis in the same way. The Administration doesn't have "three green" for 2 August regarding the debt ceiling. At the same time the long term issue of overwhelming debt, generated from deficit spending, is looking large out there.
That is the point of a Representative Ron Paul OpEd from last week: "Default Now, or Suffer a More Expensive Crisis Later".
Here is his point in a nutshell, after he discusses the Austrian School of Economics vs the Keynesian School:
Everyone wants to kick the can down the road and believe that deficit spending can continue unabated.On the issue of taxes, Representative Ryan doesn't really get into it, but I would argue that there are those who think that if taxes are raised it will just go to fuel more spending, which won't help solve the debt issue.
Unless major changes are made today, the U.S. will default on its debt sooner or later, and it is certainly preferable that it be sooner rather than later.
And, the numbers being thrown around are ten year numbers, which reminds one of J. Wellington Wimpy's line, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today".♠
Regards — Cliff
♠ A character from the Popeye Cartoon.