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America is Not Broke - Only Congress Is and It Can Be Replaced

The "market" is not a tornado or an earthquake; it's not an outbreak of hostilities between two nations; it's not a nuclear accident or a tsunami. It's the crowd-sourcing of pessimism or optimism about our financial future by a lot of people whose individual judgments are strongly influenced by other people with a significant stake in shaping the future the way they want it to be.

The market does not control America. Americans control America.

Here's the score on the Standard & Poors credit rating that has made the markets bob up and down like a kids Duncan Yo-Yo.

S&P wasn’t faulting the U.S. for patching the mortgage mess. S&P was reacting to the more systemic cause of America’s budget problems—which are momentous. This cause, S&P noted, is “political,” though “ideological” would be a better word. It springs from a fantasy of the Republican right that has been embraced by the U.S. Congress for fully a decade. This is the fantasy that governments can operate without revenue—more precisely, that a government presiding over an expanding economy as well as an aging population can operate without increases in revenue.

In this case, those people are primarily far right-wing politicians whom the moderates, the liberals and the progressives have permitted to frame the national economic issue as debt rather than revenues. And when the frame the problem, you control the answer.

No one really cares whose fault this is anymore other than politicians who want to be re-elected and I'm including my own '08 Presidential candidate in that. The people who need to take the conversation back and who should be framing the economic issue as one of jobs, not debt, are us.

That's us. We're in control. But as long as we allow ourselves to fight with one another over federal budget table-scraps (funding for the arts, Planned Parenthood and education) the people who control the meal - the financial industry and media on the right and the left - will continue to serve themselves heaping helpings while we deliver up to them the odd piece of filet mignon that falls from their crowded plates.

Business, too, has a stake in this. Not the businesses that make money on money but those that need consumers.