On Debt and Alcoholism

Raising the debt limit to solve the nation’s financial problems is like raising acceptable blood alcohol levels to solve alcoholism.
It’s ridiculous.
Would providing more credit cards with more available money to a compulsive shopper resolve that compulsive behavior?
Our government has a spending problem. Making more money available to a government that is a compulsive spender is not the solution to the problem.
When do we stop putting band aids on this wound and deal with the source of the problem?

Aside from the confusion, the notion that Conservatives should raise the debt ceiling without exacting some concessions goes against years of conservative orthodoxy. That’s because one thing true Conservatives agree on is that debt is a problem — and that fixing it will require entitlement reform or spending cuts.

At least 20 times since the Eisenhower Administration, Congress has used the debt limit as an opportunity for policy reforms. This includes the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings reforms, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the Congressional Review Act in 1996, and (most recently) the Budget Control Act in 2011.

Historically, Republicans thought the only way to get Democrats to agree to fix the debt problem would be to utilize the moment of maximum leverage — which is the debt ceiling increase. “That’s the moment when even liberal presidents like Barack Obama know they can’t play chicken,” says one Republican Senate aide.
I believe that Republican aide was WRONG.

All kinds of games are being played in this deal at the expense of the American people.

Here is the latest info on on what’s happening on this issue. This part of the article will be updated as events unfold.

Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced terms of the deal on the Senate floor, drawing support from the White House but a quick denunciation from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).
But Cruz, who has helped lead a movement among House conservatives to block a deal that does not include White House concessions on Obama’s landmark health-care law, told reporters he would not seek to delay a vote through parliamentary procedures.

The Senate deal avoids any major changes to the Affordable Care Act, a major victory for Democrats and a repudiation to House and Senate Republicans who for weeks tried to use the threat of a shutdown and potential default to force changes in the health-care law.

Passage of the bill would mean that the government can reopen, and hundreds of thousands of federal employees can return to work. It also means that the Treasury Department can continue to borrow money in order to pay the government’s bills.

But the bill’s timeline sets up another potentially bitter showdown over spending cuts and entitlement programs that will unfold in the halls of Congress over the next four months.

“After weeks spent facing off across a partisan divide that often seemed too wide to cross, our country came to the brink of a disaster. But in the end, political adversaries set aside their differences and disagreements,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “What we’ve done is send a message to Americans . . . and in addition to that, to the citizens of every country in the world, that the United States lives up to its obligations.”

[Read the latest updates here.]

In addition to lifting the $16.7 trillion debt limit, the emerging measure would fund the government through Jan. 15, delaying the next threat of a shutdown until after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It would set up a conference committee to hammer out broader budget issues, such as whether to replace deep cuts to agency budgets known as the sequester with other savings.

In a small Democratic concession on the Affordable Care Act, Republicans got additional safeguards to ensure that people who receive subsidies to buy health insurance are, in fact, eligible.

“Republicans remain determined to repeal this terrible law,” McConnell said in announcing the agreement alongside Reid. “But for today – for today – the relief we hope for is to reopen the government, avoid default and protect the historic cuts we achieved under the Budget Control Act.

Read more at The Washington Post

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  • john q

    Many people think that raising the debt ceiling allows the government to spend more. They’re wrong.

    The debt limit doesn’t authorize new spending, it provides the funding to pay for spending commitments that Congress has already made.
    When the government spends more than it takes in, the gap must be funded with debt, or more specifically, bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury, but the Treasury CANNOT issue new debt once the country is at its borrowing limit. This is the law.

    Basically, if you buy a new car that you can’t afford, you have very few choices when the payments come due.
    – You can become an outlaw.
    – You can lose the car and all of your credibility along with it.
    – You can find a way to make the payments, even if it puts you further in debt.

    While we certainly may need to reduce spending in the future, right now we have two legitimate choices – Raise the debt ceiling, or start walking the path of a deadbeat nation.

    • sroysr

      or you buy only the car that you ca afford. borrowing to pay your bills is NOT paying your bills. it is simply delaying and increasing those bills. like it or not this country needs to straighten out it’s fiscal house or sooner or later reality will do it for us.

    • ken345

      You totally miss the reality. In the Constitution it states that the government has to pay external debts before they fund anything else. The government brings in enough revenue on a daily basis to pay our external debt. As long as the government brings in enough revenue, by law we will never default on our external debt.

      What actually happens if the debt ceiling is not raised is they have to permanently shrink the size of the internal federal spending by whatever amount it takes to not incur more debt. Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t actually cause us to go further into debt unless the government actually chooses to do so. If I have a $10,000 dollar limit on my credit card, getting my limit raised to $15,000 doesn’t automatically put me deeper in debt but if I was stupid or fiscally naive it would certainly give me the ability to do so. When it comes to spending the government is both stupid and fiscally naive.

      The government wants much more than it can afford but sooner or later the debt will have to be paid off or the whole country will come crashing down. We can’t keep using our VISA Card to Pay our Master Card and our Master Card to pay our VISA Card.

      Considering that way over 60% of what the government brings in is automatically spent on entitlement programs, like medicare, medicaid, and social security and that it will go up even further with implementation of obamacare, and that 40% of everything the government spends comes from borrowed money it’s TIME TO STOP SPENDING NOW.

      You can’t dig yourself out of a hole by digging deeper and you can’t spend yourself out of not having enough money but somehow the folks in Washington and like yourself don’t seem to grasp that simple truth.

  • rhaffaelpatrick

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