Op-Ed: Our Leaders Are Using the Debt Ceiling as a Weapon - It's Horrible for Americans
When is the ceiling not above your head?
When it’s a tool used by politicians to beat each other’s brains out without improving any American’s quality of life. Regarding the debt ceiling, their actions aren’t above you, but beneath contempt.
As always, no one can plumb the depths of contempt deeper than President Joe Biden, the epitome of the Peter principle.
The position of the White House on the current debt ceiling fracas is that there should be no barrier to rampant, unrestrained spending — meaning the debt ceiling should be increased because it’s not a fixed boundary, but a malleable, meaningless “limit” to which no one is accountable.
If you could continually increase your debt limit at your discretion, imagine what you might buy.
I suspect many Americans think a discussion about the debt ceiling should focus on reducing and then eliminating debt. Instead, these negotiations are about how much more debt we as a country can accumulate. Weird, ain’t it?
Your president believes it’s more dangerous to cut spending in any manner than to continue spending money we don’t have.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, working with the Republican majority, has proposed the Limit, Save, Grow Act as his party’s debt ceiling plan. The bill would increase the debt limit by $1.5 trillion and proposes a return of funding for federal agencies to fiscal year 2022 levels while aiming to limit the growth in spending to 1 percent per year.
Remember those halcyon days of 2022 when the government lived within its means? Neither do I.
The Republican bill, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office, will save the country $4.5 trillion over the next decade. The logic is, increase the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion now, and we’ll save $4.5 trillion later. I applaud any reduction in federal spending, but I am suspicious of any “cut” that requires us to spend more money first.
The White House’s response to the Republican plan:
“An actual breach of the U.S. debt ceiling would likely cause severe damage to the U.S. economy. Analysis by [the Council of Economic Advisers] and outside researchers illustrates that if the U.S. government were to default on its obligations — whether to creditors, contractors, or citizens — the economy would quickly shift into reverse, with the depth of the losses a function of how long the breach lasted. A protracted default would likely lead to severe damage to the economy, with job growth swinging from its current pace of robust gains to losses numbering in the millions.”
According to both parties, default is not an option, so why is the administration using the threat of default as a rhetorical tool? Because the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and his handlers are hysterical fools, that’s why.
As with all debt ceiling stalemates, both parties want to use the opportunity to injure each other and damage their opponents’ chances in the next election.
Wouldn’t it be better if, instead of continuing to try to kill each other, they worked on behalf of their constituents to place government on a firm financial footing and thus improve the economy?
Lower our debt and its ceiling and raise our hopes for a better America.
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