Debt ceiling not the problem
February 8, 2023
The good news is raising the nation's debt limit is not a problem. The U.S. Congress has always voted to pay its bills– and will this spring. The source of those debts, of course, came from Congress first approving the annual budget and the corresponding appropriations. Our elected officials have a matching obligation to agree to pay for what they already committed to spend.
That is what running the government – or a business, or a family – is. There is planning, spending to execute programs agreed to and paying all the bills as they come due. Our congresspeople talk – often high down rhetoric. Congress sets or agrees to policies and in running the federal government, Congress approves the spending is trillions is dollars annually. Congress has an equal obligation to pay for what it already bought.
All that bombast about running the government like a business? Horse feathers. Those grandstanding congressional representatives would be first shown the door then fired if they pulled those shenanigans at Microsoft or Pioneer Market or The Slider Café.
Does this concern people in La Conner? It concerns people in every community in the country. Can you say catastrophe?
Holding the debt ceiling hostage is like watching a bad comedian poorly perform the skit where he takes himself hostage and then threatens to shoot himself if he does not get his way. What is the outcome if his demand is not met?
That is how crazy, sad, ugly and catastrophic it will be to not raise the debt limit. Can you say March 2020 newly discovered coronavirus pandemic? How did every household in America fare there? Can you say 2008 burst housing bubble?
We have had only one recession with the adjective great and capital letters used: Great Recession of 2008. Of course there was the Great Depression of 1929-1941. That ended when the whole world went to war, which really ramped up production and provided a job for everyone. But what a way to get to full employment. Can you say 12 years of misery, day in and day out, all across the country?
Rep. Rick Larsen, in his centrist Democrat pragmatic way, has cosponsored a bill that eliminates the debt ceiling. The House of Representatives could vote on that. No, it has to be brought to the floor and the Republican Party controls the movement of legislation into the chamber for discussion and approval. That bill seeing the light of day is unlikely.
That commonsense legislation is The End the Threat of Default Act, introduced by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL). It i repeals the national debt ceiling. The bill has 42 cosponsors in the House, all Democrats.
It is really quite simple. Congress needs to agree to amend “the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by striking ‘debt subject to limit (in section 3101 of title 31 of the United States Code)’ and inserting ‘face value of obligations issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury).’
The debt limit has no impact on government spending. Every representative knows that. All the debt ceiling does is restrict the U.S. Treasury from paying for those expenditures already made by Congress.
Once this artificial limiting the debt is eliminated the curtain will come down on this silly melodrama and the production will never be revived again. It is past time to close this show down for good.