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Debt Ceiling, David Waddell on CNBC and a former prez from TN

David Waddell, president of Waddell and Associates and columnist for The Daily News, appeared on CNBC a few weeks ago to talk about the U.S. economy as it relates to the “debt ceiling” drama.

“We don’t have a tax code problem,” he said, a nod to suggestions by President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner that one of the ways they’d try to meet in the middle is by cleaning up the tax code, and somehow that would lead to everyone happily playing in the same political sandbox again. “We have an economic problem.”

Waddell took issue with a suggestion from the show’s other guest that symbolic taxes on the very rich don’t really solve the problem and that the economy really needs much bigger cuts in government spending than what either side is throwing around now.

Unfortunately, he said it’s not likely we’re going to rebuild the bloated ship of state into a sleek schooner between now and August 2 – the drop-dead date when the U.S. Treasury said it’s out of money and has to borrow more or else.

I wish I could inject into this frantic national debate some words from a Tennessean who once occupied the White House a long time ago:

“It is time to pause in our career, to review our principles, and if possible revive that devoted patriotism and spirit of compromise which distinguished the sages of the revolution of the fathers of our Union. If we can not at once, in justice to interests vested under improvident legislation, make our government what it ought to be, we can at least take a stand against all new grants of monopolies and exclusive privileges, against any prostitution of our government to the advancement of the few at the expense of the many, and in favor of compromise and gradual reform in our code of laws and system of political economy.”

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