For months, pundits have been warning a reactionary, angry, ill-informed vote by the electorate this week would result in an even worse economic situation than we already have. If you’ve heard it nowhere else, you’ve heard it here.

Before you smack me for a seemingly “I told you so” attitude, listen carefully to long-time economic writer Shawn Tully in the current issue of Fortune magazine. A guy with great economic chops.

“By 2013, the total U.S. federal debt will total 76% of Gross Domestic Product if Congress remains gridlocked and digging out at that point will be unimaginably painful. It’s highly possible, even probable, Congress and the White House will succumb to gridlock and do nothing in the next two years to narrow the gigantic gap between outlays and revenues. That’s a formula for disaster.”

Without going too far out on a small limb, my prediction … for what it’s worth … is gridlock there will be. In spades! In support of that position, I offer only two of hundreds of pieces of public evidence put out there in the past 48 hours.

One, expected House Speaker John Boehner: “We’re going to pass bills through the House by the dozens to repeal the health care law, stop bailouts of any kind and cut taxes.”

Two, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell: “The primary goal of Senate Republicans in the next two years is to make sure President Obama is a one term president. We’ll do all we can to make that happen. And to repeal Obamacare.”

Weigh those repeated public pronouncements from two major Republicans in positions to make gridlock possible, then tell me you’ll bet the farm it won’t happen.

Now, hear these words from Dr. David Walker, chief of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a respected budget issues think tank.

“If we don’t take immediate action, we’re facing a super sub-prime debt problem with dramatic effects on interest rates and the value of the dollar. We risk losing control of our destiny.”

These are not voices of the far right or the far left. These are not the paid idiot predictors of doom of talk radio. These are highly specialized, well-trained professionals steeped in economic education with years in the business.

Want more? How about this warning from the Congressional Budget Office in August. Given an extension of Bush tax cuts (highly likely) and taking no hard corrective action, “…deficits will total $3.5 trillion between fiscal 2011-2013, raising total borrowing by 39% and swell debt-to-GDP (ratio) to around 76%. At that point, interest on the federal debt would absorb one dollar in every ten of spending, versus one in 20 today.”

Given the rock-headed, oft-repeated Republican public position the budget can be balanced best through tax cuts and not tax increases, Tully writes, if that were humanly possible, “those cuts would have to total 5% of GDP or one-fifth of current spending.” But not getting the job done by 2013 means, at that point,”debt would be one-third of all spending.”

One dollar in three! One in three!

Imagine what would happen between now and then if all foreign countries, who hold more than half our outstanding debt, came to believe we couldn’t pay and called our notes. Simply put, we would become the world’s largest debtor nation.

We are at a place in our historic debt that, because it is in the trillions, the interest compounding each year is almost unbelievable. And the hill that taxpayers must climb to pay that off will become steeper than we’ve ever known. At the same time, as the clock ticks, the methods of payment diminish rapidly.

In the end, pay or default, we are going to have terrible national repercussions. Each one of us. Each one.

Now, think about the vote you cast last Tuesday. Is the person you helped send to Washington equipped to understand this situation? Is that person mentally and educationally open to listen to all sides and reach necessary solutions they may not now believe in? Is that person able to get beyond today’s anger, frustration and his/her own ideology to become a problem solver? Can/will they do it? Quickly?

Or are they going to fill two years with meaningless public hearings trying to chase the President up a political tree? Are they going to blindly follow McConnell, Boehner and other party leaders into two years of gridlock just to prove some unprovable, idiotic political point? Are they going to play Nero’s fiddle while this nation’s debt burns us into bankruptcy?

The warnings of our quite likely economic apocalypse are coming from too many sources … from too many educated and experienced people … to be ignored. There is no hedge. There is no place to hide. There is no individual safety. There is only straight ahead. And a lot of pain.

Are you still pleased with your vote?

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