Critics call for the opposite of a “clean” deal on debt ceiling

debt ceiling

President Barack Obama has made himself clear: he will not sign a debt ceiling bill unless it’s “clean,” meaning that he will not negotiate.

Under President Obama, the total federal debt increased by 57 percent. Once he took oath, the federal debt stood at $10.6 trillion. The total debt now stands at $16.7 trillion. Under President George W. Bush, the total federal debt rose 38 percent. President Bill Clinton’s term saw a 32 percent increase of the total federal debt.

Due to the current federal debt, critics of this administration’s pursue of an increase in the debt limit have been pressuring lawmakers to ensure that Congress does not allow for an increase. Expanding the amount of money the U.S. can borrow means one thing in the long run: that the money we now have will not be spent on useful programs that need the funding, and that more money will be necessary in order to have some, if any, of what we owe paid back.

Reason’s Nick Gillespie points out in this video for Reason TV that because of the significant growth of the federal government’s net interest payments, the government will have to find a way to obtain more revenue in order to pay some of its debt, which will inevitably lead to a reduction of private investment in productive resources, stifling the economy and keeping potential business owners from dedicating themselves to their ventures.

According to Gillespie, the only way to address the country’s old age entitlements like social security is to promote long-range cuts in spending and tie any increase in the debt ceiling to immediate cuts. At this moment, old age entitlements are already unsustainable. The impracticality of our entitlement system could lead the country to bankruptcy. Keeping the debt ceiling from increasing and making sure that long-range cuts are carried out could keep future generations from becoming further indebted.

According to Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) the debt ceiling debate is the “tsunami.” “Not raising the debt ceiling is not an automatic trigger for a default,” said the Representative from Florida “because we’ve got enough money to service our debts - default is when you can’t service your debt.” According to Yoho, foreign interests are the first to be serviced.

As of now, the federal government takes in between $250 and $300 billion a month while the debt services add up to about $30 billion a month, which means that the government can fund 85 to 86% of what the United States owes without having to raise the debt ceiling.

Rep. Thomas Massie took it to Facebook to express his frustration over those who simply can’t see that the U.S. government needs to balance the budget. According to Massie “everyone inside the Beltway prefers to live with massive deficits instead of making tough decisions that might upset Lobbyists, Mutual Fund Managers, Government Contractors, and the voters clamoring for Free Stuff.”

In his statement, the congressman who has been in D.C. for less than a year urged the public to judge lawmakers by their vote record in Washington, D.C., not by their promises.

The debt ceiling deadline is coming up Thursday and reports of Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) eying a possible agreement have already been hitting the news cycles.


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