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Lewis Morris / September 23, 2021

Leftists Want a Bigger Credit Card

Dems want GOP help to clear the way for socialist spending by raising the debt ceiling.

Democrats are salivating to enact their awful spending plan. In addition to more than $1 trillion for “infrastructure,” their $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill full of new spending represents the bulk of President Joe Biden’s agenda. It would be a massive political victory, and it would give Democrats a firm grip on the levers of power for years to come. Of course, it would also wreck the economy, but Democrats are in this for a different long game. They figure to worry about the economic consequences later; they want to push socialism now.

Democrats must raise the debt ceiling in order to enact their cornucopia of madness, and they have the votes to do it. But, oddly enough, they don’t want to do it alone — Democrats want Republican support for the measure. And they are using their powers of spin, greatly enhanced by a compliant media, to try and shame the GOP into coming along.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took up prime editorial space in The Wall Street Journal to call on Congress to raise the debt ceiling. She painted a catastrophic picture of the economy going into a tailspin because no one would be able to count on the full faith and credit of the United States government.

Secretary Yellen has it backward. The secret is out on America’s debt, and the world is taking notice. The full faith and credit of the U.S. is, frankly, an open question, and countries like Russia and China are already planning for a day of reduced American power. And it’s because of continuously choosing easy spending over serious reform that the economy is teetering on the edge. Yellen is demanding that Congress do it again.

Meanwhile, Biden wrote a letter to state governments warning that a recession is sure to follow if the government defaults on its debt. Both Biden and Yellen reminded their readers that in the past, raising the debt ceiling was a bipartisan affair. It was suspended three times during the Trump administration. Well, it wasn’t right then, either. The debt grew by a whopping $8 trillion in four years.

Democrats simply don’t want to pay the political price for having to make this call alone. They want Republican fingerprints on the weapon that will murder the economy. Congress is up for grabs in 2022, and the Democrats want to be able to blame Republicans if the economy starts to implode before the midterms.

The House ushered the process along by passing a bill Tuesday that will fund the government through December, avoiding default. Included in the bill is a measure to suspend the debt ceiling until December 2022, presumably after the Democrats win the midterms. Suspending the debt ceiling would continue to allow the government to borrow to pay off its current obligations until December 2022, when the limit is automatically raised to reflect what was borrowed. Congress could continue its bad spending behavior unchecked, then just add it to the tab later with no penalty. There are gambling addicts with better sense.

Senate Democrats ran into an obstacle in pushing the $3.5 trillion spending package. With Senate Republicans united in opposition, the only way Democrats can pass the measure is through budget reconciliation. This means that the bill must be stripped of everything but strictly fiscal items. For example, Dems cannot provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants through budget reconciliation. And so ruled the Senate parliamentarian earlier this week, earning her the stern approbation of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

If Senate Democrats Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) maintain their opposition against a barrage of antagonism from the left, then Senate Democrats won’t be able to pass the $3.5 spending bill anyway. What will happen to the spending measure and debt suspension sent by the House is uncertain. Since it contains current spending, Manchin and Sinema might support it. But it won’t receive any Republican votes.

Even if the Democrats are forced to raise the debt ceiling on their own, that won’t be a victory. Neither will somehow getting them to pare back or forestall their spending spree. Achieving real spending reform is the only true victory in this fight. But that won’t happen with the current crew that’s in charge.

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