If you’re watching anything to do with the debt ceiling debate, you know as well as I do that the negotiations aren’t going very well. Of course, that depends on who you are listening to. But in case you’ve been busy getting ready for Memorial Day weekend coming up, there are 10 days left before the debt ceiling issue causes a default of the government.
And who is to blame?
Well, again, that is going to depend on where you get your information. The White House is still blaming the House Republicans for passing a debt ceiling increase that included going back to the 2022 budget, and cutting $4.5 trillion dollars from the overall spending over the next 10 years. It would raise the debt ceiling $1.5 trillion or until March 31, 2023, whichever comes first. Democrats have poo-pooed that and said they want a “clean debt ceiling bill”, without any negotiations on cutting spending. That’s what Democrats do, after all.
So, as I sit here and look at this and figure out who’s to blame for this mess, there are three places to put the blame.
The first is squarely on Joe Biden. For a guy that said initially that he wouldn’t negotiate with Kevin McCarthy on anything that included a reduction in spending to go along with the debt ceiling increase, he once again, apparently has lied. Or changed his mind…or read the polls that said it would be his fault if we defaulted on the debt. Biden hasn’t come out publicly and said that he has negotiated anything, and neither necessarily has his team that’s meeting with the Republicans. We haven’t heard of him budging from his “clean bill” status. McCarthy has moved the needle some, saying that the GOP has come off of the 2022 budget and have increased spending somewhat more than that. He hasn’t said how much.
Most Americans blame the Democrats at this point because they don’t believe that Biden is negotiating in good faith. Usually, negotiations are a give and take. You aren’t going to get everything you want and neither is the other guy. And if Biden is sticking to his guns that there won’t be any spending reductions, he is at fault and there is no question there.
McCarthy is right that he isn’t going to be able to pass a clean bill through the House. And while most Americans will blame the Democrats on this one (until the media slams the GOP), you have to understand that the Republicans are also at fault here.
Yes, the debt ceiling and over-spending is traditionally a Democrat caused problem. After all, it was the Democrats that have increased the spending on the federal budget by 30% just through three programs, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That said, it was their programs that have put us in the position where all three of those programs are going to have to face draconian cuts up the road. But the Republicans have gone along with it. And if you look at who has raised the debt ceiling the most, it’s been the Republicans. Donald Trump raised it twice. George HW Bush raised it four times, George W. Bush raised it seven times for a total of 13 times. Bobo Obama raised it seven times, and Bill Clinton four for a total of 11 times.
The problem here isn’t which party raises it the most, or who wants the “clean bill” passed. It’s that neither party wants to do anything substantive about it. What they need to do is pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would not allow Congress to spend a nickel more than they have taken in from taxes and fees. As it stands now, the American people don’t have a clue how much Congress is really spending. If they saw it in the form of tax increases every time Congress spent more than they took in (kind of like an assessment given to members of clubs at the end of the year), there would be all sorts of hell to pay. A balanced budget amendment is the only way to go. States must balance their budgets. So must cities and municipalities. Why can’t the federal government do the same thing?
And it’s both parties that have balked at this. Neither has issued a strong effort to pass a balanced budget, even though they controlled both Houses of Congress. It needs to be done, and the sooner the better!
T-Minus 10 and counting…
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!
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