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Don’t Miss the Point of the Debt Ceiling

With the back-and-forth of the debt ceiling “crisis”, there seems to be confusion that benefits incumbents on both sides of the political aisle.

The Debt Ceiling has been raised 102 times since 1917, with 10 increases since 2001. The Debt Ceiling is, sadly, pretty similar to the sub-prime lending debacle. The Treasury has to approach Congress with the request to increase the “borrowing limit”. Over the last few years, the malignant level of borrowing undertaken by Treasury Secretary Geithner, encouraged by Fed Chairman Ben Bernecke, has far exceeded our ability to repay, coupled with printing of more money, weakening our dollar and causing inflation.

The request has been issued again to Congress to increase the borrowing limit in order that the US not “default” on our repayments to borrowers. Remember, the subprime lending crisis occurred & has likely damamged the value of our homes for decades because the mandate was issued by the government to lower lending standards so that folks could borrow money, at levels they could not repay, to make home purchases. Sounds pretty familiar. Borrowing and spending above our means.

The 2010 election was not simply about “opposing Barack Obama and Democrats”, it was about saving this country.

The US Treasury will receive enough revenue in the next few weeks to pay our creditors, if there was a prioritization of debt. That happens at all of our houses. Who gets paid first with the money we take in through our paychecks. The US government refuses to prioritize those payments. To the extent that Barack Obama clearly indicated he may decide to withhold Social Security checks. There will be enough revenue to the Treasury through our payroll taxes to issue these Social Security checks. However, there is no guarantee which agencies of the government will be able to function at full capacity. In other words, it’s back to a possible government shut-down.

Understand, the Constitution and current law requires that the US Senate and the US House present budgets ANNUALLY. The US Senate has neglected its duties for over two YEARS. This has permitted a wide-open spending binge because there was no budget, no limits. Yes, it’s a mess. It’s a mess at the hands of both Democrats and Republicans for treating government as a vending machine, not a constitutionally-directed entity that answers to the people.

The debt ceiling has not, in years past, been tied to debt reduction. However, after years of promises, and especially this past year’s election of promises to “defund Obamacare”, “to defund Planned Parenthood” , etc.(all, by the way funded in Continuing Resolutions by this GOP-majority at current funding levels), this request is different. The uncertainties that have businesses bound in fear are a direct result of the lack of leadership in Washington to make tough decisions. It’s time to act with courage. It’s time to cut spending. These cuts have to be tied to the debt ceiling due to the inability of those addicted to spending and feathering their political nests to stop.

We have to close tax loopholes to raise revenue; we have to stop subsidies that should’ve been sunsetted years ago; every federal agency should cut its budget by at least 5%; we have to prioritize our spending in Washington just like we do in our homes in Tennessee.

The point of the current debt ceiling debate is now tied to debt reduction, because there is no incentive to move back into a constitutional government framework unless the carrot of elections is accompanied by the stick of accountability. Let’s make sure the obvious point doesn’t get lost in the game of blame.

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