“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Monday, April 4, 2011

Marco Rubio On The Debt Ceiling

Florida's newly-elected Senator, Marco Rubio, wrote an editorial in last Wednesday's Wall Street Journal explaining Why (He) Won't Vote to Raise the Debt Limit.

There's been a lot of ink spilled by the left on this issue. As I wrote this post on Friday morning, CNBC's political reporter, 'Red' John Harwood, breathlessly explained, after a clip of Indiana Republican Representative Mike Pence, that it looked like the Tea Party-controlled GOP legislators were going to shut down the federal government and imperil the country's credit rating, the economy, peace on earth, etc. In short, the world balances on whether some GOP members of Congress hold fast to demand Democratic agreement to some reasonable spending cuts of only tens of billions, for now.

Treasury Secretary Geithner has been proclaiming that not raising the debt ceiling means defaulting on US obligations, which, of course, is simply untrue. If Tim really believes that, then he's just not smart enough to hold his cabinet position.

Wonderboy's folks even corralled banking crony Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase, to declare that it was just crazy talk not to raise the debt limit. Good ol' Jamie. Give him a few regulatory breaks and let him visit the Oval office, and he's good for whatever propaganda and scare talk you need from him.

Fact is, though, Rubio and his colleagues who are against raising the debt limit are, I believe, correct this time.

As Rubio notes in his Journal piece, Wonderboy and the Democrats are offering a 2012 budget with a ten-year spending level of $46 trillion. You'd think in this time of serious deficits and excessive spending, the federal government could manage a balanced budget for 2012? No, it can't even do that.

This is Rubio's point. There's no seriousness on the part of Democrats to do anything about spending. They won't discuss any significant cuts. Rubio wrote,

"....instead of simply raising the debt limit, we should reassure job creators by setting a firm statutory cap on our public debt-to-GDP ratio.

Some say we will go into default if we don't increase the debt limit. But if we simply raise it once again, without a real plan to bring spending under control and get our economy growing, America faces the very real danger of a catastrophic economic crisis."

He also notes that in 2006, Senator Wonderboy voted against raising the debt limit to $8.965 trillion, saying at the time,

"Raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure."

Hmm. What's that saying about goose...gander.....well, you get the point.

Having attended a couple of Tea Party events in the past two years, I'm not encouraged by the GOP rolling over on this one. I don't think anyone wants a government shutdown. But if our Congressional branch can't direct Treasury in how to prioritize payments while getting spending reduced in order to either meet the debt limit or credibly nudge it up temporarily, then we're lost on a much larger scale than simply the debt limit.

I guess we'll all see how this develops later this week, won't we?

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