The Debt Limit: Same Old Song

The very term “debt limit” makes a mockery of any kind of responsible budgeting. Each time the government reaches the “limit” it gets raised with the familiar scenarios that include threats of a government shutdown (an idea that increasingly appeals to some conservatives) and the claim that the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. is at stake. We have faith and credit? Who knew?

Republicans usually cave, or in the case of a shutdown, succumb to media pressure and the Democrats and allow the spending and debt to grow, along with trillions in interest on our $31.4 trillion debt.

And Republicans are no different. President Ronald Reagan took the deficit from $70 billion to $175 billion. Bush41 took it to $300 billion. Clinton got it to zero. Bush43 took it from zero to $1.2 trillion. President Obama halved that to $600 billion. Trump jumped it back to 3.3 trillion.

But maybe not this time? House Republicans have passed a bill that could put Senate Democrats and President Biden on the defensive. Yes, it would raise the debt limit, though only for one year, but it also would do something unheard of in Washington in recent years and that is reduce spending.


View Source