Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Debt Limit

As my fellow blogger Linkmeister just pointed out (check out the site, by the way, the new format is cool), all this debt the Republicans are complaining about represents expenditures that Congress appropriated.  Yes, that Congress - the one whose Republican members are whining that we can't raise the debt ceiling without cutting huge amounts of spending at the same time.  They approved all this spending.  Now they say we can't pay the bills because it will exceed the debt limit which (they insist) we can't raise.  What?  Where were all these fiscal hawks when those expenditures were up for a vote?

In addition, I saw a Reuters article recently in which the Tea Party faithful are about to draw and quarter John Boehner because he told them we're going to have to raise the debt limit.  The good thing is that Boehner actually recognizes that.  But I want to know where all these Tea Party types were for the last 10 years or so, when George W. Bush was running two wars off the books and pouring our money into Iraq like water - and then losing track of it.  Remember, Bill Clinton left office with a budget surplus.  Dubya promptly blew it away with tax cuts, and that was before the wars.  From the Tea Party, or the people who are now the Tea Party?  Not a peep.

It seems unkind to conclude that the Tea Party activists don't care about anything - the state of the country, the welfare of their less fortunate fellow citizens, public health, the education of the next generation, the repairs needed in our infrastructure - as long as their taxes aren't raised.  But I don't see an alternative position; that's what they say, that's how they act.  Their tax burden is more important than anything else in the country.  As long as it stays the same, or goes down, they don't care what happens to anything or anyone else.



  1. The mindset you described in your penultimate paragraph is also, I believe, the mindset of Grover "small enough to drown in a bathtub" Norquist's Americans For Tax Reform. Of course, they were also actively working for the destruction of the Federal Government, a dream also maintained by the tinfoil tricorn brigade. But the strange thing is: Grover Norquist and his organization have at times been at odds with the various self-appointed "leaders" of the leaderless Tea Party. So what gives?

  2. Unfortunately, both sides are correct.

    The Bush Administration is primarily to blame for the budget deficits, and for the reasons you mention (the tax cuts and the "wars of choice" in the Middle East). (And don't forget those banking regulation changes of the 1990's--which both parties supported--which led to the banking crisis.)

    But now the deficit is really a problem, no matter whose fault it is. But the Republicans aren't serious about solving it, because the "tax cuts for the rich" are "off the table." Pardon me? We're going to cut school lunches and visiting nurses, but not reinstate the tax rates? Duh.

    We do have to cut expenditures, and we do have to raise taxes. But the rich ARE going to have to pay their share, as well. And the corporations, too. And no more tax breaks for sending jobs overseas. And no more cheap illegals. And no more wars of convenience. And no more tax breaks for petroleum companies.

  3. Curtis, you and I occasionally disagree on political issues, but on this one we are in total agreement. I just wish our soi-disant representatives in Congress could see it.