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Here we go again…
The U.S. is expected to hit the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling by the end of February.
That means that we can expect more partisan bickering in Washington over whether to raise the debt ceiling—with or without spending cuts. It has now become typical for Washington to stumble from one manufactured crisis to the next instead of fixing the root cause of the problem.
Maybe, just maybe, if Washington actually gets serious about cutting spending then we wouldn’t have to go through the same tired debt ceiling drama nearly every single year.
Last time that politicians raised the debt ceiling, the American people were promised spending cuts. We were told that we would get $1.2 trillion in so-called spending cuts over the next ten years. But with the failure of the Super Committee to reach a deal, we didn’t even get that. The debt ceiling was raised and we ultimately ended up with a bad deal: no real spending cuts and steep tax hikes.
Now some lawmakers are discussing a short-term debt ceiling extension to buy more time for negotiations. In other words, Washington wants to keep kicking the can down the road to avoid the tough issues like entitlement reform.
At this point, one has to ask, what is even the point of having a debt ceiling if politicians just raise it as needed to finance their drunken spending spree?
This chart complied by the Atlantic shows how U.S. debt moves in sync with the debt limit:
The first debt limit was set in 1917 to cap the amount of debt the federal government can legally borrow. As CNN writes, “in theory, the limit is supposed to help Congress control spending. In reality, it doesn't.” The debt ceiling has been raised 11 times since 2001 and federal spending has skyrocketed with no signs of slowing down.
Most Republican politicians are against raising the debt ceiling (without spending cuts—at least) under Obama. But most were all for it during the George W. Bush administration.
Most Democrat politicians are for raising the debt ceiling under Obama. But most were all against it during the George W. Bush administration. Like then Senator Obama—who opposed raising the debt ceiling— said in 2006, "the fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government cannot pay its own bills."
Partisanship—plain and simple.
It’s time that Congress gets serious about cutting spending and reducing the debt.
NO to a clean debt ceiling hike.