Raising the Debt Ceiling

A vote regarding raising the debt limit of the United States is pending in Congress in the very near future. My hope is that more “no” than “yes” shows up in the final tally. My expectation is that “yes” will carry the day, regardless of whether or not the Speaker of the House is able to solicit any concessions from the Obama administration on future spending reductions or not.

I want to raise my debt limit, too. Currently, my family spends about 98% of our income servicing our debt. That debt includes such luxury items as groceries, a car payment and cable Internet and TV. Short of a raise, which is not likely, or an unexpected windfall–even less so–the only method I can see to lower our debt to income ratio is to cut out the TV portion of the cable bill, and that is a choice I am fully prepared to make should it come to that. My kids may not be too overjoyed, but making hard choices is part of life. It falls into the category of personal responsibility.

Our caretakers in Washington don’t appear able to comprehend that reality. The current administration seems to think that their words define reality. According to them, the debt limit must be raised to meet the Federal Government’s obligations. To you and I, that would indicate a problem with promising too much, but to this administration it’s a problem of obstructionist politics. Those racist, hateful, greedy Republicans are refusing to appropriate enough money. That teabagger faction within the Republican party just doesn’t understand what good government is all about.

The Republican leadership is not much better. After caving on the budget “line in the sand”–$100B to $60B to maybe $3B they have already set a precedent for speaking tough, but ultimately using only empty threats and meaningless words. This “debate” will most likely be more of the same.

For some straight talk on the debt ceiling issue, see this article by Michael D. Tanner, at The Cato Institute.