When Greece and other Mediterranean countries faced a possible default on their national debt, wealthier nations insisted that the debt-ridden countries impose deep budget cuts and increase taxes as a condition for further loans. The result was further economic slowing and increased unemployment - at least in the short term. This was accepted because a default would have certainly caused even greater hardship. The United States fully supported the austerity requirements as prerequisite for further economic support for these nations.
Now it's our turn to deal with our own country's debt problem. Congress passed a law a couple of years ago, which the President signed, that implements automatic budget cuts if an acceptable budget isn't passed. And now what do we hear: this will cause an economic downturn; our nation will be at risk militarily; the cuts will result in extreme hardship.
In the movie "Iron Lady", Margaret Thatcher says, "the medicine (budget cuts) is harsh, but the patient requires it in order to live." The more we put off taking the medicine, the more ill we become, and the more difficult the cure will be.
Congress and the President had the foresight to implement automatic budget cuts. We're not at war and our economy is growing. There's no justification for putting off that first dose of medicine. Practical and reasonable Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Socialists alike should all come together now on this issue. What was good for other nations with debt issues will also ultimately be good for ours.