When it comes to raising the debt ceiling, Republicans are reacting to the idea as if it's plutonium and they're not wearing their haz-mat suits. This is pure bullshit. The debt ceiling is routinely raised, by pro forma vote. Not this time. Kentucky "optometrist" and Senator Rand Paul said this: "We will actually vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling next week if we can, but it will be contingent on passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution." Hmm. How can we get a two-thirds majority in both chambers of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the states BEFORE THE SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS STOP GOING OUT?
Clearly, the GOP wants to hold the entire budget process hostage. They forget that the prior administration engaged in two wars, that are still going on, AND lowered taxes on the rich. If A=income and B=expenditures, and B-A=$12 trillion, you have two immediate choices: end both wars or raise taxes on the rich. Instead, the GOP wants to distract with attacking such useless institutions as Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Am I the only one confused by this tactic? Threaten to do away with the EPA, while fire threatens Los Alamos, and flood waters threaten Fort Calhoun and Cooper Nuclear Station in Nebraska. Now, I know, the U.S. Nuclear Commission has jurisdiction, but I think you get the point.
I've already addressed the faux anti-abortion attacks on Planned Parenthood. It boils down to this: if only 3% of their services involve providing abortions, and no federal funds may be used for the provision of abortions, why eliminate family planning and cancer testing for poor people?
The website defeatthedebt.com points out that Congress has raised the debt ceiling 6 times in the past 3 years. "It took the United States 200 years to accumulate the first $1 trillion of debt. The most recent trillion took us less than a year, and we are on track for another $5 trillion in the next five years."
As of a few seconds ago, America's two wars, two distinct, separate, unneeded wars, have cost us $1,216,617,335,784. The estimated cost of caring for the wounded, maimed and families of the dead has been placed at as least that much again.
Bush's Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 was predicted by the Heritage Foundation to eliminate the national debt in by fiscal year 2010. Uh, it didn't. His other tax cut, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, didn't grow jobs and only gave tax relief to the rich.
Federal debt has existed since Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton plan for strengthening the financial credit of the country by assuming the debt incurred during the Revolutionary War and the period under the Articles of Confederation. It goes up in war-time and down during peacetime. During endless war for endless peace, all bets are off.