It drives me nuts -- or rather, nuttier than I already am -- to hear congressional Republicans blathering on about how not raising the debt limit is key to cutting federal spending.
Here's a fact (ooh, scary! a fact!) for these Tea Party types: the federal debt limit has absolutely nothing to do with new future spending by the government.
If you read the information below you will discover that the debt ceiling that the Republicans are using to blackmail President Obama really has nothing at all to do with “increased spending.”
The debt ceiling is a formal acknowledgement of debt already incurred. Little things like Bush’s private war in Iraq and subsidies to oil companies making billions of dollars in profits.
Slowly, so all our Republican subscribers can understand, increasing the debt ceiling DOES NOT INCREASE SPENDING. If we don’t increase it to meet the amount of money we have already spent/borrowed we will be in default and the world as we know it will come to an end. Financial markets around the globe will collapse.
Nicely put, Dirt and Seeds blog.
Congress already has passed, and the President has signed, all of the legislation that now requires the debt limit to be raised. It should be a no-brainer to do so. But brains often are in short supply on the "R" side of the aisle.
If the Republicans do not want to increase the deficit, they only need to stop passing legislation that is not paid for and therefore increase the debt. They do not need to tear the house down, as Senator Sanders put it, by failing to raise the debt ceiling. They just need to exercise restraint when it comes to handing out subsidies and tax cuts that are not paid for.
This basic fact needs to be emphasized more by the media, because I suspect that lots of people think raising the debt limit means a bigger federal deficit.
No, that's wrong. All it means is that the United States will be able to pay its bills and meet obligations already incurred by Congress. To do otherwise would be hugely irresponsible.
Late in 2010 the Republicans demanded that the Bush tax cuts be extended for several more years. Along with other deals this added $860 billion to the deficit. Now the time has come to raise the debt limit so what the Republicans voted for can be paid for.
Yet John Boehner and his fellow GOP'ers are acting as if the need to raise the debt ceiling has nothing to do with them. Actually, it does. So they should do the honest thing and raise the debt ceiling without delay.
Then the Republicans can argue with Congressional Democrats and Obama about future federal spending. Dragging the debt limit into that debate makes no sense, because the United States already is obligated to pay the bills that require an increase in the national debt.