Big “showdowns” in Washington are always hype, with both sides distorting the facts so that the hapless citizen–whether he watches Fox or CNN–focuses on irrelevant details and misses the big picture. When it comes to the recurring conflict over raising the debt ceiling, here are two obvious facts that explode just about everything that the Republicans and Democrats are saying:
OBVIOUS FACT #1: Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is equivalent to insisting on a balanced budget. Any Republican politician who has (a) championed a balanced budget amendment but lamented the difficult road ahead while (b) voted to raise the debt ceiling, is obviously insincere (or doesn’t understand accounting). Either way, genuine fiscal conservatives cannot take such a person seriously anymore.
OBVIOUS FACT #2: If the debt ceiling is not raised, the government by no means needs to default on its outstanding bonds. There is an enormous amount of revenue flowing in, with which the government could pay existing creditors, as well as people owed money through Social Security, pensions to retired government workers, etc. Thus when President Obama and other Democrats say that if they don’t get their credit limit raised, they will crash the Treasury market, they are (using their rhetoric) holding the global credit markets hostage to their spending goals.
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