The debt limit or debt ceiling subject has appeared previously on this blog with an introductory outline regarding the history of this virtual cap.
Please separate your ideological feelings about government spending and revenue collection for just a few minutes. Yes, the United States is in debt which grows by the minute because of interest on borrowed funds and continuous spending. The country spends more money than it receives.
The debt limit or ceiling concerns money the country has already spent, so our current imbalance of receipts and expenditures are not fully connected. Without raising the virtual cap, the country defaults on its legal obligations which has never happened in our history. We do not know the ramifications of such a failure, but one could expect financial distress and chaos in every country. We have experienced the impact of a potential default with the lowering of the credit rating.
There are nuances between raising the limit, temporarily suspending, or in some cases redefining the concept of the limit, but for simplicity sake consider all in the same boat. Almost 80 times since 1960 that virtual cap has risen through Congressional actions. If someone wants more specifics please see the CRS publication, The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases by D. Andrew Austin and Mindy R. Levit.
Yesterday the House voted to temporarily suspend the limit, and the Senate also voted in favor today. Your regular news sources will have features on the drama in the House about attaching riders, which were not attached, and in the Senate today with Ted Cruz actually attempting a filibuster unlike his pseudo filibuster last year.
The Cruz office issued a statement yesterday which is linked here and copied below.
“If you ask anybody outside of Washington whether we should keep increasing the debt ceiling without fixing the underlying problem of out-of-control spending, the answer is ‘of course not.’ This answer cuts across party lines and ideology—outside the Beltway, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Libertarians all agree that living within your means is basic common sense. And yet Washington is not listening to the American people.
“Under President Obama, our national debt has increased from $10 trillion to $17 trillion, and now the President is asking for yet another blank check to keep increasing our debt without doing anything to reform Washington’s spending problem. This is wrong, and it’s irresponsible. Our parents didn’t do this to us, and we shouldn’t do it to our kids and grandkids.
“Historically, the debt ceiling has proven the most effective leverage for reining in spending; 28 times, Congress has attached meaningful conditions to debt ceiling increases. We should do so again to address the real problem. I intend to object to any effort to raise the debt ceiling on a 50-vote threshold. I will insist instead on a 60-vote threshold, and if Republicans stand together we can demand meaningful spending restraint to help pull our nation back from the fiscal and economic cliff.”
In paragraph one, I’ll agree in principle with Cruz although he is combining 2 distinct issues into 1 because the underlying problem to use his words is about current and future spending and not debts already incurred.
In paragraph two, my question for the Senator is to cite the Constitutional provision where any President of the United States does the spending. Congress has not passed any budgets which one can blame on either Chamber or political faction. Let’s say that the House Budget Resolution which many like to call the Ryan Budget was enacted into law. Both the Congressional Budget Office and House Budget Committee reviews come to the same conclusion. The GOP Budget would itself require multi trillion dollar increases to the debt limit over the course of the coming decades.
In paragraph three, Cruz is putting lipstick and blush on a gator as we would say back home. Historically the reigning in of spending has nothing to do with increases to the debt ceiling. The decisions to cut spending came from the Members of Congress. I’d argue against his number of 28, but that’s hogwash on my part. If the riders were so meaningful, why is spending still out of control to use your assessment? Seriously, these riders have been nothing more than political gamesmanship by whichever Party has been in the minority in the specific Chamber.
- Why can’t you or any Member of Congress address the “real problem” with its own legislation?
- Could it be that neither you nor any Member of Congress cares to take that step?
Today Senator Cruz released the following statement which is linked here and copied below.
“Today’s vote is yet another example that establishment politicians from both parties are simply not listening to the American people. Outside the beltway, Americans of all political stripes understand that we cannot keep spending money we don’t have.
“Some members of Congress care so much about being praised by the Washington media that they’re willing to mortgage our children’s future. They pretend we don’t have a problem and can just kick the can down the road.
“Let’s be clear about the motive behind this vote — there are too many members of Congress who think they can fool people and they will forget about it the next week. But sometimes, come November, the people remember.”
- I give those who voted in favor and those in the Senate who voted to end the Cruz filibuster credit for not for not threatening the faith and credit of the United States of America by causing the country to default on debts already incurred.
- Senator Cruz, I hold those who voted in favor and those who opposed accountable for not addressing the real problems facing our country.
“Let’s be clear about the motive”
Senator Cruz rather make political headlines bashing everyone else. He’s grandstanding for his next election.
Senator Cruz show me where in the Constitution of the United States of America or identify when and where in the history of the United States of America that subject matters such as spending, efficiency, and taxing are required to be attached as riders to legislation. I’m not limiting you to debt ceiling increases, but asking for any precedent since George Washington took the oath of office.
I wonder what became of the Pledge to America from 2010?
What’s worse, someone who fails to do their job and walks away or someone who fails to do their job, blames others, and does their best to prevent anyone from attempting to do their job? That’s what bothers me about Ted Cruz. We have all this talk, but no action other than that to stir up a feeding frenzy by chumming the water without any concern on what the sharks might do.
- Democrats continue to blame Bush.
- Republicans continue to blame Obama.
- Tea Party continue to blame everyone but yourselves.
Just stop the continuous nonstop campaigning for reelection or your next election.
You probably have a job lined up on K Street already, so why not try leading the country by acting as representatives of the people of the United States of America and not self promoting spokespersons for your political party and special interests.