Archive for January, 2013

Debt Ceiling Debate Heats Up

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Originally posted at the Coalition to Reduce Spending

Today, President Obama held a press conference regarding the upcoming debate about the debt ceiling. It is his contention that it must be raised as soon as possible to prevent Social Security checks and veterans benefits from being paid. He was specific in stating that the debt ceiling shouldn’t be tied to any spending cuts. But to what extent is political fear mongering trumping reality? After all, Congress has not passed a budget in over 1,000 days, and the President’s budget proposal was rejected unanimously in the Senate. A little bit of planning from the government would help their case, but it seems like most leaders are intent on continuing their spendthrift ways without a plan to tackle our debt at all.

In response, Senator Mike Lee from Utah made some good comments that cut through the politics and clarified exactly what’s at stake with the debt ceiling debate. As he stated:

“Too often in Washington, we’re presented with a false choice: Either take no cuts at all and raise the debt limit, or raise the debt limit with a promise of cuts and they never transpire. That kind of cut simply won’t cut it anymore. All of the programs hardworking Americans rely on are placed in jeopardy by us reflexively raising the debt limit without putting in place permanent structural spending reforms.”

Senator Lee also had an enlightening statement about default, which too many in Washington throw around as a means to scare voters. As he noted:

“Those who want us to raise the debt limit as if we were voting on a motherhood appreciation resolution will tell us that if we don’t raise it immediately, or raise it only on the basis of permanent structural spending reform, that it will somehow amount to a default. We must remember that this is not true. If we fail to raise the debt limit, it would bring about some problems, and bring about significant shortfall in revenue for government, but that is different from a default. A default is what happens if we don’t pay the interest as it accrues on our national debt. That’s not going to happen. We have more than enough revenue coming in each month to cover that sum.”

Watch the full interview with Senator Lee here: