Mike McGinn / February 7, 2023

It’s Time for a Balanced Budget

Progressives insist the Constitution says we MUST raise the debt ceiling. Fact-check: FALSE!

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment of our Constitution states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.” Many of those on the progressive Left, and even some on the Right, will argue that this mandates we must raise the debt ceiling so our government will not default on its payments. This, however, is far from the truth.

Debts incurred by the United States are indeed valid, just as any debts that I personally incur are valid. If I am unable to pay my debts — e.g., my home mortgage — then a lien will be placed against my home and, if I continue to fail to pay my mortgage, my home will be foreclosed on and sold at auction to satisfy the loan. In the case of a car loan, my vehicle will be repossessed. In extreme cases of delinquency, I will be forced into personal bankruptcy and my assets sold to pay my creditors. Granted, they will likely receive pennies on the dollar, and my credit rating will be tarnished for the foreseeable future.

I can’t contact my bank or credit card company and demand they increase my credit limit simply because I can’t pay my current bills. Neither can the federal government, despite the cries we hear from the progressive Left. I may have “budgeted and allocated” several thousand dollars for a Caribbean vacation I’d planned to take this summer, but that doesn’t mean I can demand that creditors increase my credit limit simply because I don’t have enough additional funds to pay my current debts. The same applies to the federal government, again, despite what leftists would like you to believe.

The federal government is rich beyond belief. It is far from being “broke.” It is well able to pay its debts. Just as you might own a vacation property, or a boat, or have other assets that could be sold to pay your debts, the federal government has all kinds of assets that could be sold to cover its debts. And just like the money you’ve “budgeted and allocated” for that Caribbean vacation, which you could cancel and then use those funds to pay your current bills, the government could “cancel” many of the programs that are nowhere defined in the Constitution (I’m thinking Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, etc.) for which it has budgeted and allocated funds. It doesn’t even need to “cancel” these programs, which can simply be scaled back to free up funds to pay other valid debts.

Sadly, the useful idiots in our society, those who lack even a modicum of economic understanding, will unquestionably believe the cries of the progressive Left that the “sky is falling” and that our nation is doomed if we don’t raise the debt ceiling yet again. But raising the debt ceiling will only ensure that the drunken sailors currently at the helm of this ship we call the United States of America will spend us further into debt. The debt held by the public, i.e., you and me, which currently stands at just under $31.5 trillion, has doubled just in the past decade, and roughly quintupled in the last two.

That trend is not sustainable, and the time has come to hold the line. The time has come for fiscal responsibility. The time has come for a Balanced Budget Act to be passed into law.

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