Another crisis is about to hit Washington. This one is the latest round of America’s debt crisis. The end has already been decided. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already raised his freshly laundered white flag of surrender which now flutters in the springlike breeze from the Potomac.
On CBS’ Face the Nation this Sunday, Mr. McConnell said, “I made it clear after November that we won’t shut down the government or default on debt.” Perhaps Mr. McConnell needs a refresher on how government works.
Congress does not default on the debt. The Executive Branch does. If Congress does not approve an increase in the debt ceiling, there is still money to pay some of the bills. The Treasury secretary would have the money from tax revenues to pay some or all of the debt that must be serviced. It is up to the secretary of the Treasury or the president to decide not to pay the debt.
All the debt ceiling means is the government can’t borrow any more money.
When Barack Obama came into office in 2009, the national debt stood at $10 trillion. That’s a lot but nothing compared to the $18 trillion it is at now. Obama has increased the national debt on his watch by 70 percent so far. Fourteen months ago, the debt ceiling was raised and in a little more than a year, the government has shot through more than a trillion dollars. At the present rate, by the time Mr. Obama leaves office, the national debt will be more than $20 trillion.
What does America have to show for this money?
Had that money simply been given to Americans, that would have put more than $24,000 in the pocket of every man, woman and child in the United States.
Instead, the government spent money on things like massages for rabbits to the tune of $387,000. The government also spent $10,000 to watch grass grow, $202,000 to study why Wikipedia is sexist and a whopping $440 million to fund Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
America is broke, so why is America spending this kind of money?
A person does not have to have a Ph.D. in Economics like Virginia Rep. Dave Brat to understand this road will not end well. Greece is an economic basket case because it has borrowed to the point where it has no realistic possibility of paying its debts.
This is the road Mr. Obama wants to take America down.
Anyone who has ever been a negotiator will tell you, if you are negotiating with someone, don’t take your strongest leverage off the table. That is exactly what Mr. McConnell has done. By shrieking in terror at the possibility of not raising the debt ceiling, Mr. McConnell has told Mr. Obama that he can dictate the terms of surrender and the Republicans will go along with anything he says.
The Republicans always claim they are the party of fiscal sanity. They always say they will stand up against an increase in the debt ceiling, next time. Next time never seems to arrive.
The Republicans cannot even be motivated to fight fraud and waste in the government budget.
While the Republicans meekly capitulate to Mr. Obama and drive the national debt up even further, there is one item no one is talking about. An $18 trillion national debt is bad enough. However, the unfunded liabilities the government is on the hook for is more than $95 trillion!
America’s gross domestic product or the sum total of all the goods and services produced in the nation is approximately $16 trillion. Our debts, all of them, total almost $115 trillion.
Economic disaster is coming. The real question is, can either party do something to stop it or will Republicans and Democrats just keep arguing like two drunks fighting over a bar tab on the Titanic?