Calmes: Only Republicans want to keep this silly charade over the debt limit

Calmes: Only Republicans want to keep this silly charade over the debt limit (via @latimesopinion)

9/24/2021 5:23:00 PM

Calmes: Only Republicans want to keep this silly charade over the debt limit (via latimesopinion)

Both parties ran up the tab. It really shouldn't be controversial to say that the government should continue to pay its debts.

federal debt is attributable to tax cuts and spending during Donald Trump’s presidency, including initial rounds of pandemic relief. Republicans controlled the Senate for those four years, and the House for two. Trillions more date to George W. Bush’s administration, when Republicans also ruled Congress for most of his two terms, and reflect the costs of deep tax cuts, two wars and a new Medicare drug entitlement.

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Given the bipartisan responsibility for the debt, here’s a bipartisan solution for avoiding these fights over the borrowing limit: Get rid of it.AdvertisementThat won’t happen, not soon at least. Republicans, led by two of the least constructive, most cynical politicians I’ve covered over many years, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, are enjoying Democrats’ discomfiture too much as they anticipate capturing control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections.

But consider why the debt limit must go.It’s anachronistic. It’s ineffective as an incentive for fiscal rectitude. And it’s divisive, sparking so-called debates that mislead Americans about just what’s at stake and further undermine their fragile faith in government. Instead, the nation’s commitment to cover its debts should be plain, even explicit, in its annual spending laws, without a separate statute.

Few nationshave debt-ceiling laws; Denmark, the only other democracy that does, sets its limit so high as to be irrelevant. International investors watch in wonder as the United States, the planet’s financial powerhouse, whose dollar is the global reserve currency, repeatedly jeopardizes that status — and the global economy — by calling into question whether the government will make good on its debts. The harrowing crisis in 2011, provoked by tea party Republicans in Congress, caused credit-rating firm Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the nation’s AAA+ rating.

The debt ceiling, as we know it, dates to 1917. Until then, Congress had authorized the Treasury Department to borrow for specific purposes., as the United States became a global power, Congress set broader borrowing limits so the Treasury could better manage federal finances. As U.S. obligations grew, so did the frequency of votes to lift the debt limit.

Since 1960, according to theTreasury, Congress has acted 78 times to adjust the ceiling — 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democrats. But beginning in the Reagan era, as both the debt and political polarization grew, lawmakers often weaponized the debt-limit votes to make the party in power look profligate, and themselves fiscally righteous.

in the past decade Congress flirted with default by budget brinkmanship. Yet all three times that Congress lifted the ceiling during the Trump administration, Democrats provided support to make the actions bipartisan.Lifting the debt limit isn’t a green light to new spending, despite McConnell’s

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repeated claimsthat Republicans are opposing an increase because of Democrats’ “reckless taxing and spending spree.” It simply allows the government to pay debt it’s already incurred through spending and tax-cut laws, including obligations for Social Security and Medicare benefits, defense contracts, veterans’ healthcare and much more.

The headline on anTuesday from Moody’s Analytics said it all: “Playing a Dangerous Game With the Debt Limit.”AdvertisementVoting against a higher debt ceiling is like voting for a balanced-budget constitutional amendment, another Republican hobbyhorse: Neither does anything to resolve the imbalance between federal revenue and spending. Such gambits are like political bumper stickers, easier and more popular than proposing spending cuts and tax increases to actually reduce debt.

In the decades I reported on fiscal policy, from Ronald Reagan’s second term on, annual federal spending much of that time was roughly equivalent to about 21% of the nation’s gross domestic product, while taxes covered an amount in the range of 18%. That left

yearly deficitsof around 3% of GDP (more in years of economic crises, less in good times, and excepting the few years of surpluses late in Bill Clinton’s presidency).Given that experience from Reagan through Trump — an era of four Republican presidents and two Democrats, when control of Congress swung from one party to the other or was divided between them — it is past time to recognize that there is a rough consensus in this country to accept some deficit spending. That plain fact should settle how to handle the debt ceiling: Either unite to raise it whenever necessary, or abolish it.

The House took the first step Tuesday, voting to raise the limit enough to finance projected debt through December 2022 — just past the midterm elections. Democrats provided all 220 votes for this act of fiscal responsibility. McConnell, irresponsibly, reiterated his self-fulfilling vow that Republicans will block action in the Senate.

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Europe has ‘limited’ direct exposure to Evergrande’s debt crisis, Lagarde saysIt comes at a time when global stock markets are on high alert over Evergrande's massive debt problems. what's the chance I could set up a virtual interview with you and the king of crypto RichardHeartWin , who has created the fastest appreciating asset of mankind! Hex which is up 1,000,000% in 2 years, need I say more? *Everyone* seems to have limited exposure to the massive Evergrande default. This doesn't seem possible. I'll summarize the article for you, it will save you time. Lagarde says she has yet to see how many trillions she has to print for her friends. In the meantime I am buying the dip. Bitcoin

Goldman Sachs says a government shutdown would hit these stocks the hardestAs a debt limit showdown brews in Washington, history shows certain stocks could be hit hardest if a government shutdown occurs. Pro Oh Yes, important to get them stock trades in! 👍 Pro Not a single historical government shutdown has adversely harmed the economy.

The Republicans' debt-ceiling ransom note finally comes into focus.MaddowBlog: The conventional wisdom is that Republicans, unlike their earlier debt-ceiling crises, haven't yet presented Democrats with a ransom note. That's not true. MaddowBlog Do you ever hold Democrats accountable MaddowBlog That's BS. All they have to do isto use their majority and pass a bill to lift the debt ceiling. They don't need the Republicans. The Democrats are the ones that are holding the whole United States hostage. Budget idiots MaddowBlog It’s time let the republicans tank America. Let the world know republicans want to destroy America. Dems have always folded and gave them what they want. Well not this time yes it will be hell but everyone will see the republicans don’t care about America.

AP EXPLAINS: Why the debt limit is again roiling WashingtonWASHINGTON (AP) — The idea of the U.S. government breaching its “debt limit” sounds scary. But what, exactly, are lawmakers in Washington fighting about? The debt limit is a nearly century-old artificial cap that Congress placed on the U.S. Why didn't we hear about the debt limit from 2016-2020? Because our political leaders have not had fiscal self control for decades. The Republicans don’t care about the debt, which is why every time they control Congress they add to it. But it scares people who don’t understand it which is right inside their wheelhouse.

Why the debt limit fight makes Washington a stock-market ‘wild card’The potential for another white-knuckle flirtation with a U.S. default via a debt-ceiling showdown is helping to raise policy uncertainty. The good news, is... All this damage and 100 people hold the keys good luck Can U say Insider-Trading in the House and Senate..! O’h my bad I wasn’t going to bring that up in a public setting… But who cares it’s not a Law anymore… Unless U get a stock too move by word of mouth and neither the House or Senate see it coming…GME

As debt limit looms, U.S. Senate Democrats see showdown vote next weekWASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Senate aims to vote next week on raising Washington's borrowing authority and keeping the government funded, the chamber's No. 2 Democrat said on Wednesday, as a House Democrat warned that Republican opposition could lead to a historic default on the nation's debt. Senator Dick Durbin said the chamber sometime next week would take up the bill passed in a party-line House of Representatives vote. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said his caucus will sink the emergency legislation to suspend the $28.4 trillion federal debt ceiling. Show down of President with a Crisis ,Bush commenting on how a crisis is handed against Trump and Covid-19