Government & Politics

News From the Swamp: It's Budget Time Again

The federal government has once again reached its debt ceiling. Sound familiar?

Sep. 6, 2013

The federal government has once again reached its debt ceiling, and the new fiscal year is fast approaching, with Congress still miles away from a budget deal. Sound familiar? The only thing that seems to change in this merry-go-round is the size of the problem. The debt ceiling is set to max out at $16.7 trillion about the time that Fiscal 2014 begins in October, linking the debt ceiling hike with next year’s budget.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wants spending cuts to offset any hike in the debt limit, but Barack Obama and his sidekick, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, believe that Boehner and his fellow Republicans are merely playing games with America’s full faith and credit. Newsflash: There isn’t much faith in America’s credit anymore. The real game being played here is with America’s fiscal future, as Democrats seek unaccountable, unlimited funding for bloated and unsustainable entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Boehner’s call for spending offsets is not new. Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton all entered into budget agreements that included debt ceiling hikes. That is not Obama’s style, though. Despite the recent modest budget-cutting success of the sequester, he’s packed on $6 trillion in debt since taking office, and he hasn’t the slightest interest in dialing it back. Instead, he insists that Washington’s problem is not about spending but about revenue. And his NeoCom friends in Congress operate from the same assumption. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) wants a “balanced approach” to the budget, which generally means raising more taxes, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) still claims that asking “the wealthiest Americans to pay their faire share” will solve Washington’s spending issues. In other words, things aren’t looking up. Unless, of course, one means the debt.

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