What Part Of 'Enough' Don't They Understand?
The U.S. Congress has raised the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960. Ronald Reagan oversaw the largest number of debt ceiling increases (17), and George W. Bush approved a near doubling of the debt ceiling during his two terms in office. Reagan raised the debt from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion, a 33.33% increase, and debt was 53.1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the George W. Bush presidency, an almost 100% increase, 84.2% of GDP.
While Bush was no (economic) bargain, he has proven to be a piker when compared to Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama. Bush left office with the U.S. debt at $10.626 trillion. As of October 17, 2013, the U.S. debt was $17.075 trillion. That is an increase of $6.399 trillion, an increase of 60.22% since Obama took office, and debt is now 102.7% of GDP. By the way, during WWII, the U.S. debt was 117.5% of GDP, so Obama is approaching FDR.
What has Obama done lately? He has, since October 17, 2013, incurred $526 billion in new debt. For perspective, the proposed FY 2013 budget deficit was $680 billion. Further, just last April  Obama proposed a FY 2014 budget with a deficit of $744 billion.
President Barack Obama has blown through more than $500 billion in deficit spending in the three months since passage of the deal proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on easing the debt ceiling battles that gave Obama virtually unlimited borrowing authority from October 17, 2013 through this February seventh .
$500 billion was not enough! Now Obama wants more! Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has told Congress, via a letter on January 22, 2014, that:
When I previously wrote to you in December, I estimated that Treasury would exhaust extraordinary measures in late February or early March. Based on our best and most recent information, we believe that Treasury is more likely to exhaust those measures in late February.
[Lew also said:] ... best course of action would be for Congress to raise the nation's debt limit before February 7 to ensure orderly financing of the government.
But just how much is enough? Even (then Senator) Obama, on March 20, 2006, said:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies... America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. [emphasis mine]
Failure of leadership indeed. "...we are here [again]..." Can Progressives/Liberals/Democrats and/or anyone in the MSM say "Irony?"
Most people, faced with this situation, would cut spending. But not Obama. He continues to "ask" for a credit limit increase. Democrats will certainly approve anything he asks for. And RINOs go along with them. As Chris Wysocki says, "Somebody has got to make Obama cut up his credit cards and get him into one of those debt counseling services. Pronto. But I'm not counting on Congress to do that. They're just as addicted to deficit spending as he is." Economic reality will eventually rear its ugly head. No more borrowing will be possible.
How does Obama "ask?" Obama, in December 2013, reiterated his vow not to haggle over the debt limit: "No, we're not going to negotiate with Congress to pay the bills that it has accrued." White House spokesman Jay Carney (an Obama "second voice") said:
This is something that is Congress' responsibility and ought to be acted on without drama and without delay. Pursuing that path is always a bad idea and it is harmful particularly to the middle class in the United States. And we wouldn't expect that kind of action to be taken.
[Carney also said that] ... lawmakers should raise the debt ceiling "in a manner that in no way endangers or disrupts economic growth and job creation."
Carney blamed Republicans for hurting the economy by forcing the shutdown in October 2013, and by conducting similar debt-limit actions in 2011.
So, what can we expect from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)? More of the same: lots of talk, no coherent action. In the "lots of talk department," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said:
The speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a 'clean' debt limit increase simply won't pass in the House. We hope and expect the White House will work with us on a timely, fiscally responsible solution.
But, in the "no coherent action department," consider this:
The debt limit is not the fiscal standoff it used to be. When Republicans first took the House [and Boehner became speaker], they demanded deep cuts to spending as a price for increasing the national borrowing limit. Last time they lifted the cap [in October 2013], they did it without concessions from Democrats and President Barack Obama. [emphasis mine]
Will the debt ceiling be raised yet again? Recent history doesn't bode well, indicates an affirmative response. If so, then I'm with Peter Schweizer, who says "Throw Them All Out."
For both sides, it's about raising the debt limit so vote buying can continue. The "problem" is that when borrowing is no longer possible and reductions are forced, society as we know it will collapse, and riots, especially food riots among those who feel entitled, will ensue. I pity my children and grandchildren.
But that's just my opinion.
Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University. He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making. He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired. Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years. He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.