May 27, 2024

Straight Talk on The Debt Ceiling

English: The United States' debt ceiling was r...
English: The United States’ debt ceiling was raised to one trillion dollars for the first time in history on September 30, 1981. Since then, it has been raised an additional $13.2 trillion. This chart tracks the ceiling as of the end of each calendar year. Years are color coded by congressional control and presidential terms highlighted. Data source: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know what really gets me going—the political theater that’s going on in Washington right now.  For weeks I’ve been mulling over this thing, and I’ve come to a few conclusions.

1. There is a Good Argument for Raising the Ceiling

I disagree with doing such, but there is a good reason for raising the ceiling: It’s to pay for things that the government, by law, has enacted and agreed to pay for.  There was a debate on whether to spend money on X, and at the time no one cared whether we actually had money for X, they agreed to pay for it anyway.

I mean, the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget since 2008, and Minority Leader (former Speaker) Nancy Pelosi came into government claiming that they were going to make sure that everything that they passed was paid for, but we’ve seen how well that worked out!

So, I can understand where people have gotten themselves into obligations as a matter of law, and so the Republicans coming back at a later date and refusing to fund what was passed—regardless of whether they voted for it—seems like sour grapes.

2. When is a Limit a Limit?

You can’t have a limit if it really isn’t a limit.  You and I have limits on our credit cards and mortgages, and we can ask for the limit to be raised, but we are at the mercy of the bank.  In America, the people are the bank, and it’s our money that they’re asking for more of—and not the money that we have now, the money that we and our children’s children will make!

That’s right, government revenue is our money.  Our government, last time I checked, was of the people, by the people and for the people.  Our government exists because of consent of the governed, and no matter what Washington wants to say about money belonging to the government, that idea is contrary and foreign to our countries founders.

At some point, to have a limit, you have to say “this far and no farther.”  But just like a child that learns that no doesn’t really mean no if he begs hard enough or shows the puppy dog eyes, our government doesn’t get the hint that there’s a limit and that it cannot and should not be extended indefinitely.

3. The Theater

Does anyone really believe that the Republicans aren’t going to vote to extend the limit?  I mean, I don’t even know if they really believed in Cut, Cap and Balance since all the talk I heard of was what they were going to do when that failed.

If you’re going to be negotiating from a position of strength, it’s best not to telegraph exactly what you’ll do should the other person decide that he really doesn’t want what you have to offer.

I mean, the President believes that he has the Republicans in a corner:  that either the McConnell plan will be passed, or the so called Gang of Six will come up with something, or they’ll pass a stop gap.  I don’t believe that the President believes that Speaker Boehner will really let the limit hold—or he’s sure that he can blame anything that has to be done on Boehner.

Perhaps it’s the latter—for it’s obvious that the government takes more money in than is necessary to pay for the debt.  It’s Obama that writes the checks, and he could adjust for the money he has.  And yet he could take the tact that, should the ceiling not be raised, that he won’t send out the Social Security checks and blame the Republicans.

When it’s his responsibility to pay the bills in the first place.

What Will the Republicans Do?

By the time you read this, I would not be surprised if there’s a deal in place to raise the ceiling, or at least a tentative agreement—even though Boehner stated that they are on two different pages as far as where they want the country to go.

  • The Republicans should stick to their guns, and let the ceiling hold.  They are there to do a job, and that’s to stop the growth of government.
  • They should make sure that everyone understands that it’s the job of the President to make sure the law’s carried out, and that means prioritizing spending.  This might mean stopping military action in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.  Perhaps this is a good thing.
  • If they really believe in Cut, Cap and Balance, then they should hold firm on that line and not accept any alternatives.  I’d love to see Harry Reid’s face when they’re made to bring that bill up again in the Senate and pass it or else look like they’re the ones that have help up the ceiling increase.

But, like I said, I’m pretty confident there will be a deal, and that we will cave.  Who knows, I could be wrong?

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One thought on “Straight Talk on The Debt Ceiling

  1. The point of raising the debt ceiling is so that the US can take on more debt. The more we owe, the less the dollar is worth. That means effectively paying higher prices on everything from milk to mansions. The immediate $1 trillion in spending cuts are caps on future spending and don’t change the balance sheet right now.

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