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U.S. to hit debt ceiling on Thursday, January 19, 2023
A debt ceiling standoff may trigger 'serious' fallout for Americans, warns economist. Here's what it means for you

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. would likely hit its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling on Thursday.
  • The debt ceiling is the amount of money the U.S. is authorized to borrow to pay its bills. Since the cost of government operations generally exceeds federal tax revenues, the U.S. must raise money by selling Treasury bonds. The government can't do this after hitting the debt ceiling.
  • If the U.S. ultimately can't pay its bills, it will default on its debt. That's only happened once in U.S. history — and seemingly by mistake. Another default would mean likely recession and financial crisis, economists said. 

One might ask why the $1.7 trillion spending package, rammed through Congress without reading and signed into law by President Biden, did not automatically raise the debt ceiling.

I don't get the debt ceiling and the panicked nature that both parties use to shove these monstrosities through Congress at the last possible moment. Threatening dire consequences like a government shutdown or, heaven forbid, a default on our government obligations.

Because, essentially, Congress is fighting to pass the authorization to spend deficit dollars for legislation they have already approved and signed into law.

To me, it seems like this is a total scam designed to screw with the public rather than any serious attempt to implement prudent and fiscally responsible spending. Political brinkmanship and gridlock to gain leverage, rather than as a means of controlling government spending.

If  Members of Congress were honest, and most assuredly this is not the case, they would include the spending approvals -- automatically raising the debt ceiling for the legislation they have already approved and avoiding this last-minute Kabuki theater.

Of course, this would bring unwanted exposure to the necessity, priority, and cost of each program and a real debate over the issues instead of last-minute shenanigans. Shifting the argument from who to blame for this pig with lipstick to why we are wasting high-interest borrowed money on these unnecessary items. 

The way I think about the debt ceiling is that it is a plea to the national credit card company to raise our credit limit after we have bought the merchandise by promising that any debt, no matter how outrageous, will be paid by future taxpayers. This is a position sometimes used to justify providing amnesty to the invading hoard of illegal aliens -- unmindful of the fact that, on balance, they take more in entitlements and other assistance from the government than they return to the government in the form of taxes.

Bottom line...

It appears that the fight over the debt ceiling is a psychological ploy to allow Members of Congress to openly advertise, once more, that they are "doing something" to justify their existence while plundering the treasury to buy votes, donor support, and feathering their own nests.

The debt ceiling is not a viable instrumentality to re-negotiate programs that have already been passed and signed into law. So what's the game? If anyone has a good answer, let me know.

When you hear about the government's need to service the national debt, think about how a bull "services" a cow. Yes, it's the very same process.

We are so screwed.

-- Steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS