Debt-ceiling silliness

Americans might have expected House Republicans to have concluded after 2011 that using the debt ceiling as a tool for demanding fiscal cuts is an extraordinarily bad idea.
Not only did the ugly debate result in a downgrade of U.S. debt, it sunk the popularity of Congress to single digits.
As negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” continue, though, Congress is once again resurrecting the debt ceiling as a crowbar with which it hopes to leverage political power.
The recklessness of the approach is apparent to anyone who has ever used a credit card.
Keep in mind that Congress is the branch of government that authorizes expenditures. Also understand that the debt ceiling is an after-the-fact issue. Raising the debt ceiling is not about whether Congress will spend money, but whether it will make good on the expenditures it already has made.
Americans understand they should think long and hard before using their credit card to buy a big-screen television. They also understand that, once they have done so, the damage has been done. They do not have the option to revisit the decision when the credit-card bill comes in the mail.
The GOP-controlled House is painting the debt-ceiling issue as a fight between a spendthrift president and a fiscally responsible Congress. That’s a picture that may appeal to its base, but it’s a mirage. Congress, not the president, ran up the credit card. The only question is whether Congress will pay the bill.
The federal deficit is a real problem, and House Republicans are wise to worry about it. The time to fight, though, is before buying the television, not after getting the credit-card bill.

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2 Comments

Filed under Federal deficit

2 responses to “Debt-ceiling silliness

  1. John Lake

    BUT while they will allow a tax increase now they will come back and use the Debt Ceiling as a WEDGE issue to try and get the age limit for Medicare and SS higher.

  2. Edith

    Congress is appears is simply disfunctional. Ninety percent of them cannot see beyond their nose and have no idea how to fix anything. Unfortunately we voted them in so we only have ourselves to blame.

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