“It really is irresponsible of the president to try to scare the markets,” said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky. “If you don’t raise your debt ceiling, all you’re saying is, ‘We’re going to be balancing our budget.’ So if you put it in those terms, all these scary terms of, ‘Oh my goodness, the world’s going to end’ — if we balance the budget, the world’s going to end? Why don’t we spend what comes in?”
“If you propose it that way,” he said of not raising the debt limit, “the American public will say that sounds like a pretty reasonable idea.”
The NY Times piece from which that Rand Paul quote was lifted is all about the wise counsel from a handful of Republicans who insist that not lifting the nation's debt limit is no big deal. I found that GOP counsel rather odd.
In the last 48 hours or so, you may have noticed Republicans gravitating towards this "we don't need to raise the debt ceiling at all" strategy. Like Rand Paul, these hostage takers tell us that the federal government can just "spend what comes in"....and the stuff we can't pay for....well....so what?
There's enough revenue coming in to pay the interest on the national debt, these Republicans tell us, therefore, the U.S. would never default on it's debt notes. As this fable goes, President Obama is lying to Americans when he says refusing to increase the debt limit would be a catastrophe. Obama is simply making stuff up to destroy the GOP heading into 2014, so that Democrats can retake the House.
House Republicans have been sending over to the Senate piecemeal funding bills which are intended to prioritize what will be paid for and what won't. Harry Reid isn't having any of it because he knows what the hostage takers are doing. House Republicans are, in effect, repealing all previously agreed-upon funding measures and replacing those democratically passed funding measures with Republican Tea Party funding preferences. It's a coup by other means.
That should come as no surprise.....because the GOP has been running a pre-meditated, slow-motion coup ever since Obama became president. When a democracy votes to install specific officials.....and the response to that vote is "we'll work to destroy everything these officials try to accomplish"....that democracy is being nullified, the will of the people denied, and a coup is underway.
That's what Rand Paul's take on the national debt limit is all about. Overthrowing decades of democratically passed legislation which authorized the Treasury to pay for specific programs....and replacing all that legislation with the spending priorities of a tiny minority of very extreme Republicans.
For shites and giggles let's say that the coup leaders win out. Let's say Obama and Democrats cave and go along with the hostage takers. After all, Republicans like Paul, Lee, Cruz, etc tell Americans that the nation won't default and everything will kind of work it's way out....nothing to worry about. How about the approximately $700 billion-worth of already-incurred yearly bills which need paid.....but because of low tax rates on wealthier Americans, and a stinging economic recession which has reduced payroll revenues....won't be paid if GOP coup leaders get their way?
Do you honestly believe that reneging on $700 billion worth of past-due, yearly obligations will work out well? What would happen if you tried this at home? If you and your spouse owe more than you earn and you decide to just stop paying for some of the bills you've already agreed to pay...what happens? Credit score plummets, interest rates available to you in the future skyrocket, perhaps a few things repossessed, and in the end if you stay the course.....bankruptcy.
Rand Paul, et.al.....are trying to convince you that none of the above would happen to the larger American government family if we just allow a minority of hostage taking Republicans to determine which national bills we pay and which ones we don't need to pay. And they are saying this stuff in the full knowledge of what happened in 2011 when Republican coup leaders took our national economy down to the wire of default. As only one example, this Politico piece explains how the 2011 coup attempt cost almost $19 billion and did real damage to the country.
If minority Republicans want to dictate federal spending priorities and borrowing limits....then they need to win national elections. They need to win the White House and have a majority in both chambers of Congress. It is precisely because Republicans are having a difficult time doing that.....that they've taken to writing ransom letters, taking hostages and threatening to destroy the national/world economy if the United States doesn't reverse 235 years of majority rule.
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