There are those skeptics with whom I communicate that have scoffed at my conservative views that the National Debt Limit should be abandoned. My belief is that it is a useless number, employed only as a means, this year, for the Democrat Party to demagogue (making use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power) their opponents. So I feel a defense of my position is in order.
The discussion of an appropriate limit on the amount of debt our nation should entertain always involves an accusation by whatever party is out of power to threaten not to support raising the debt ceiling while the party in power responds by stating how irresponsible and disastrous will be the consequences if the limit is not increased.
Consider a quotation from the NY Times, of all places,September 30, 1981, defending President Reagan’s request to raise the limit, and blaming the Democrat Congress of playing games with the debt ceiling.
“The Republican-dominated Senate voted tonight by 64 to 34 to raise the Government’s borrowing authority to more than $1 trillion for the first time in history. Although the routine increase in the debt ceiling was essential to meet Government obligations already incurred, the vote is traditionally delayed to the 11th hour, with the minority party accusing the party in power of spendthrift ways.”
Sound familiar? But it has always been thus. Again, from the NY Times, May 4, 1987:
“There is a time bomb in the national debt ceiling, set to go off at midnight May 15. If a new and higher ceiling has not been set, or the current ceiling extended, Government borrowing must stop and theUnited Stateswill slide quickly into default.
Each year Congress goes down to the deadline, then lifts the ceiling. But the ceiling is a sham. It has no effect on the debt. Each time Government borrowing gets close, the ceiling is raised – but not without costly eleventh-hour shenanigans that force the Treasury into devious financing.”
So we are being told again that if we fail to raise the current limit of $14.3 TRILLION by August 2nd, the consequences will be disastrous, not only for our country, but for the entire world! President Obama has warned our senior citizens that if the limit is not raised by August 2nd, he cannot guarantee that Social Security checks will be mailed out on August 3rd. Treasury Secretary Timmy Geithner has said, “Failure to increase the debit limit is not an option.” while stating elsewhere that, “. . . the debate over raising the debt ceiling is “ridiculous” and it is “irresponsible” for policymakers to leave the impression that theU.S. might not pay its bills.”
The truth is that we have already exceeded the current limit. As of today, July 14, 2011, our current borrowing totals $14.5 TRILLION, and counting! And so far, the sky has not fallen, and, presumably, the government is still paying its bills.
For once, I agree with Timmy. This debate is ridiculous. We all know what is happening, and what is going to happen. And it only goes to support my conservative views that the national debt limit is totally useless, except for political purposes.