Americans Like the Debt Ceiling Because They Don’t Know What It Is

Well, folks, here we go again — extremists are threatening to not raise the debt ceiling, and all kinds of people who (mostly) know better are whipping up support for not raising the debt ceiling by lying about what it is.

For example, this article at The Federalist about how the American people like the debt ceiling, says that “voters like the the idea of embedded limits on government spending.” And perhaps they do, but that’s not what the debt ceiling is.

The wingnuts got hold of a speech by President Obama in which he said that raising the debt ceiling doesn’t increase the debt, and of course they’re tripping all over themselves laughing and calling him a fool (example). The joke’s on them, though, since raising the debt ceiling actually does not increase the debt but only allows the Treasury to pay bills already due. The actual debt is not limited by the debt ceiling, and the consequences of not raising it would be catastrophic. Which is not, of course, funny.

10 thoughts on “Americans Like the Debt Ceiling Because They Don’t Know What It Is

  1. If the bills are due that IS debt. The ceiling going up or down doesn’t affect those. Raising the debt ceiling means we get to pile up MORE bills to pay.

    • Raising the debt ceiling means we get to pile up MORE bills to pay.

      We’d probably pile up the bills anyway; we’d just pay a lot more to borrow the money to cover the debt.

  2. Too many people in the public don’t know what this whole debt ceiling fight is all about, because most of the MSM punTWITS slant their coverage in favor of Republicans (if not topple over, instead of merely ‘slant’) – and too many of the Republican politicians themselves have demonstrated that they don’t really have a feckin’ clue of what this is really about.

    Add too, the journalistic styling of hapless schmucks like UpChuck Todd, who said the other day that his job is to report what both sides say, and he shouldn’t have to, as a journalist, analyze things.
    He said that.
    And that it’s the President’s responsibility to explain his side, and not UpChuck’s – and for the people to decided what are facts, and what’s the truth.
    That noise you hear, is deceased journalists spinning in their graves like nuclear centrifuges – to bad we don’t know how to tap the energy of the angry dead.

    So, how can we blame the poor public, who are in deafened by the Reich-Wing Wurlitzer, blasting Republican talking points and memes on an endless loop?

    And, don’t forget, a lot of people have more than 1 or 2 jobs, so, who’s got time to sit down, listen to both sides, and make a determination about who’s telling the truth, and who’s lying.
    FSM knows, our cowed, cowardly, compliant, and complicit MSM don’t feel it’s their jobs.
    Far easier, to be stenographers, type up what both side say, blame both sides for not coming to an agreement – and getting that parking spot near where the cocktail party is about to start.
    And there, our MSM punTWIT’s can talk amongst themselves, and then report the next day, that that’s what they heard last night “when talking to people.”

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Tom Friedman has a foreign cabdriver locked in his basement whom he lectures every night, until the poor bastard just cant’ take it anymore, and apes what Tom said – which Friedman than attributes to him in one of his flat-headed columns.

  3. Well, the point Obama was making is correct, but he could have articulated it better. Strictly speaking, raising the debt ceiling has no effect on the deficit, and it doesn’t automatically increase the debt. But by authorizing the Treasury to borrow more money, it does ultimately lead to a greater national debt.

    But the larger point is, yes, it’s about paying the bills that Congress has already racked up, so there really isn’t any choice. I think one thing people need to understand is that this is about Congress, not the president–as every citizen should know, only Congress can authorize spending, and only Congress can raise the revenue to pay the bills.

    And if Congress refuses to raise the needed revenue through taxation, then of course the only option is to borrow it. And if Congress refuses to authorize that, then they’re a bunch of deadbeats. And people generally have a low opinion of deadbeats.

  4. The debt ceiling is for bills already incurred–for example, the war in Iraq–that have already gone over the previous debt ceiling. The people against raising the debt ceiling are equivalent to the people who charge over their limit on their credit cards; and, then refuse to pay the bills that over the limit. They are deadbeats, which is a good description of the Republicans who keep playing these games. These bills that are over the debt ceiling limit were approved by the Republicans in many, many cases. And, the deficit belongs solely and wholly to the Republicans because these are the bills they ran up and did not pay during 2000 through 2009. This is a fact that should not be forgotten by any American. Ronald Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times (!!!) and George W. Bush raised it seven times.

  5. If the bills are due that IS debt. The ceiling going up or down doesn’t affect those.

    Of course it does! It affects whether or not we can pay them.

    Look, suppose your mortgage payment is due and you don’t have any money. Never mind why, but that’s the basic position Congress is about to put us in. Now suppose someone offers to lend you the money you need to cover your mortgage payment. Do you accept the loan? Of course you’re going to owe more money that way, but the mortgage company doesn’t care. The consequences of a default are the same, regardless of whether you’re unable or simply unwilling to make your payment.

  6. The best analogy I’ve heard is that of a mortgage. Nobody gets freaked out about owing 3-5 years of yearly income on a home. It’s considered wise and for that level of debt no one stops eating, stops paying insurance premium, or refuses to pay credit card bill in order to pay off mortgage in just a few years. Neither would it be smart to ride any home equity line of credit endlessly upward.

    But for those most responsible for creating that debt to stop on a dime, find religion blame those who opposed them doing it in the first place is the height of hypocrisy from the “debt doesn’t matter” party.

    How easily the ignorant can be scared when they’re already looking for self-assuring reasons for their present circumstances. Add a group of opportunistic politicians who apparently cannot be elected by telling the truth and resort to trickery, preying on the ignorant and we get a big dysfunctional mess.

    Who will sequestration supporters blame for the increased misery as a result of supporting sequestration and will they ever get wise to the slimeball politicians who exploited their ignorance?

  7. We’d still have a great military for less. We should pare down its budget the same way we do for education, only more. Look at how big it is. As they always assume for other slices of the budget pie, especially social programs) there must be profligate waste and they’ll survive, emerging leaner and stronger. Peace is a lucrative strategy for most everyone and only bad for a few.

  8. I’m amazed at how the republicants in congress can so effortlessly pull the wool over the typical dimwittedteabagger’s eyes? They whine and cry about the debt, how it is stunting job growth, all the while blaming the whole mess on President Obama. Apparently dimwitted teabagger civics classes do not teach the fact that all spending originates in the congress and in fact spending bills are required to originate in the house which has had republicant control since 2010? Oh those liberal facts!

  9. uncledad,
    Teatards didn’t take Civic’s classes.
    They were to busy failing Shop class because they were high on pot, back in the day – and meth, now.

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