- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 2, 2023

Addictions are dreadful, trapping sufferers in a destructive pattern of behavior they are unable to halt without a helping hand. Compulsive spending is one exceptionally harmful form, impoverishing addict and loved ones alike. One look at the U.S. debt clock lays bare the insidious spending disorder that has ensnared President Biden and his fellow Democrats. Americans are faced with the unenviable task of preventing them from further sabotaging the nation’s financial future.

Washington’s political turmoil over raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit, reached earlier this month, underscores the obsession with overspending. Locked in denial, Mr. Biden has demanded that Congress pass legislation raising the debt ceiling “without condition.” In the meantime, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has taken “extraordinary measures” to defer some government expenditures, delaying default until at least June.

Rather than look in the mirror, the president lashes out at Republicans, accusing them of endangering the nation’s finances. “The very notion that we would default on the safest, most respected debt in the world is mindboggling,” he hissed Thursday. Describing money owed — not money earned — as “respected” reveals the upside-down values of Bidenism.

To be fair, Republicans share some blame for tepidly supporting the Biden-era’s $5 trillion spending spree. At least their attempt at making any new debt ceiling agreement contingent upon spending cuts constitutes a resolution to reform.

“Let’s sit down and change our behavior for the good of America,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy urged on “Fox News Sunday.” “Because what we’re going to do is bankrupt this country and bankrupt these entitlements if we don’t change their behavior today.”

His is an appeal to reason that is backed by public opinion. A recent Harvard-Harris poll found 63% of voters agree that the debt ceiling should be hiked only if coupled with spending restraints. Respondents contending Democrats should refuse to negotiate spending constraints measured only 37%. After lax oversight allowed the loss of an estimated $500 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to fraud, Washington’s spending addiction is glaringly evident to Americans.

Record revenues are never enough for the big spenders. The U.S. Treasury raked in an unequaled $4.9 trillion in fiscal 2022, but it spent $6.27 trillion. Unrelenting deficit spending has already saddled each U.S. taxpayer with debt approaching $247,000 and has set the nation on course to owe $1.2 trillion in interest alone by 2032.

Moreover, on the horizon is the impact of government profligacy on Social Security. The program’s primary trust funds are on course to be empty by 2033, according to the Congressional Budget Office, forcing mandatory cuts to monthly checks for tens of millions of seniors.

Their money mismanagement is only one of the Democrats’ disturbing behaviors. Others include their refusal to secure the nation’s borders, their hobbling of law enforcement measures meant to protect citizens from rising crime, and their assault on the First Amendment right to rebuke such anti-Americanism. It is a modern misfortune that Washington serves as a hive for individuals harboring such destructive compulsions.

Mr. McCarthy is obligated to stand firm against the Democrats’ spending disorder. Deficit-reducing cuts must accompany a debt-ceiling hike.

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