In another time, posturing and histrionics over raising the U.S. debt limit would be just more of the tiresome bravado Democrats and Republicans alike have wielded over the past several years.
These times, however, are like no other in American history.
Last year’s general election cleared the White House of the twice-impeached Donald Trump and an administration rife with greedy corruption and malfeasance. The same election, however, left behind a deeply divided Congress, immobilized by Republican political thuggery unmatched in recent history. Emboldened by stunts like the ones that swindled the balance of the Supreme Court, GOP leaders and rank-and-file alike shrivel from the fear of Trump’s wrath. The vast majority of Republicans in Congress either look away from or are cheerfully complicit in Trump’s malevolent push to undermine American democracy by promoting The Big Lie and more.
We live at a time when hundreds of GOP politicians traditionally defined by prudence and pragmatism join the ranks of hysterical extremists. Their sound judgment is clearly absent on just how far to carry the threat of not raising the federal debt limit.
It takes little imagination to see that members of Congress willing to participate in or look away from Trump’s dangerous deceit about non-existent election fraud in a corrupt attempt to claim power from Democrats would also risk economic destruction if they thought it could serve their purpose.
It absolutely would not.
Not one credible economic expert nor advisor — conservative or liberal, Republican or Democratic, representing personal or business interests — says that forcing the United States to default on national debt would not create a cavalcade of calamities.
Not one person or business in the Aurora region or across the nation would be unscathed by such a disaster.
The rich and poor, employed and retired, government and private workers, everyone would be hurt by lurching interest rates, frozen banking, ended paychecks, decimated retirement accounts and an endless list of secondary fiascoes even experts say they cannot predict.
What’s more, the rhetoric Republicans pass along from each other and then to the public is a ridiculous bastardization of the reality of the U.S. government and economic systems.
The so-called “debt ceiling” that limits the borrowing power of the treasury is based on past spending, not future. Trillions of dollars in spending approved by the past Republican Senate, and signed into law by former Republican President Donald Trump, must be paid. The government must be able to legally borrow and manage funds to do that.
The mundane and clerical task of Congress to raise the debt limit to match what has already been spent has as much to do with partisan politics as deciding what color of checks to choose to pay the nation’s bills.
Republican and Democratic members of Congress absolutely should examine and modify the Biden Administration’s behemoth spending plans.
It has nothing to do, however, with making good on what Republicans agreed to spend years ago.
“I will not support signing a blank check as this majority is advancing the most reckless expansion of government in generations,” Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., said during a House panel debate, as reported in an AP story in The Sentinel.
Meuser, like other Republicans, risk economic Armageddon with their conflated nonsense.
No matter what your politics, your position or even if you think masks are stupid, you need to start hammering on members of Congress like Colorado Republicans Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck and Lauren Boebert and make clear to them their sophomoric brinkmanship is the political equivalent of car surfing in a thunderstorm.
The uber-partisan Boebert, whose tenuous grasp on the U.S. government and reality are well-document on her Twitter feed, would clearly nuke the nation’s economy for five minutes on Fox News.
She’s not alone in making clear the GOP want to leverage the end-is-near into a political contest.
“Democrats are spending recklessly,” Buck said in a tweet this week. “Republicans shouldn’t help them raise the debt limit.”
Buck is hardly alone in Colorado with his inflammatory eyewash.
“Instead of making meaningful reforms to spending, Dems are attempting to ram through a vote to raise the debt ceiling and provide Pelosi and Biden with a blank check for their progressive agenda,” Lamborn twaddled earlier this week. “I will vote against this measure and refuse to kick the can any farther down the road.”
He clearly plans to kick himself in the head, and you, too. Find something else to feud about.
Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]