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Mark West / June 30, 2011

Just Say NO Debt Ceiling Increase

The media these days is in a buzz with coverage of the financial crisis and the portrayed conflict between Republicans and Democrats in Washington who are drawing theoretical lines in the sand over the looming Debt Ceiling crisis.

On the one hand we have Republicans who were initially opposed to any increase of the Debt Ceiling based on their belief that continued deficit spending and increases in our national debt merely postpone the inevitable and ultimately and dramatically increase the price our nation’s citizens will have to pay for this toxic spending binge.

On the other hand we have Democrats, including President Obama, warning that anything short of an increase to the Debt Ceiling will result in apocalyptic and calamitous consequences to our nation.

However, as time has progressed, it has been interesting to watch which of the two sides is really committed to its position. The Democrats, in their insistence on a Debt Ceiling increase are resorting to their all to familiar and customary arsenal of tricks, threats, distortions and outright lies, showing no willingness to give up their spending habits and their demand for higher taxes.

Meanwhile, what has emerged among Republicans is a clever new strategy and motto known as “Cut, Cap and Balance.” While this appears to be a creative achievement, it’s really nothing more than a compromise and an abandonment of their previous commitment to stand fast against any increase in the Debt Ceiling.

This new mantra of “Cut, Cap and Balance” merely sidesteps the issue and entices the American “sheeple” to buy into a compromise that increases the debt ceiling by disguising it under the pretext of cutting and capping spending and balancing the budget. However, when have politicians been known to follow through on pledges, commitments or promises to do something at some future and unspecified date? Note the specific language of the CC&B Pledge:

I pledge to urge my Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to oppose any debt limit increase unless all three of the following conditions have been met:

Cut – Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.

Cap – Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on the path to a balanced budget.

Balance – Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenue and expenses.

The key word in this Pledge is “unless” which indicates that if your elected official can secure a “compromise” from Democrats to Cut, Cap and Balance, then Presto! – Republicans are all on board to raise the debt ceiling! This they are willing to call a victory! Sounds to me more like a betrayal to the people who elected them!

Let’s put this into a scenario to which you and I can relate – one that equates in ratio to our nation’s revenue, spending and debt. Assume that you make $36,000 per year but are spending $60,000, thus creating an annual deficit of $24,000. You’ve been deficit spending like this for a number of years and you have built up a personal credit card debt of $240,000. Your bank is getting uneasy about your ability to pay the debt back and your credit limit is now maxed out. Concerned about your lifestyle, you approach the bank and present the following “solution” to the loan officers:

You agree to make substantial cuts that will reduce your $24,000 deficit next year and thereafter. (But you don’t define what you mean by “substantial” cuts.)

You promise to subject yourself to caps on your personal spending that will put you on a path to live within your means at some future date. (Again, you don’t define caps and you don’t establish or commit yourself to definite timeframes.)

You affirm to the bank that you will sign a legally binding document that will restructure your budget in such a way that eventually your spending will equal your income, but it may take a number of years before the legally binding document becomes enforceable. (This is what passing a Balanced Budget Amendment implies. A majority of the House has to pass the Amendment; three-fourths of the States have to ratify it; then two-thirds of the Senate has to then approve it. The crisis that faces the nation cannot wait years to implement.)

Now, in all seriousness, would you really expect the bank President to accept such an open ended, nebulous, and non-binding agreement? A more likely scenario would be that he would show you the door, call your loan, and force you into bankruptcy.

This is what the Republican leadership and many other Republican-friendly organizations are asking you to do. Any “compromise” that requires an increase in the Debt Ceiling portrays a failure of leadership. It means our nation will continue to deficit spend. In essence, instead of racing toward a precipice that is only 100 yards away at 70 miles per hour, we reduce our speed to 50 miles per hour, simply delaying the moment of truth. In reality, the only way to avoid the precipice is to stop the car – or stop the deficit spending – PERIOD!

There is a verse in Proverbs that states: “The borrower is servant to the lender.” The Federal Government and our elected officials are the greatest borrowers in the history of mankind. To date, they have run up a short-term debt of over $14 TRILLION. I say “short-term” because when you factor in the true debt of our nation (including Medicare and Social Security) it exceeds $120 TRILLION!!

This makes the United States of America not only the greatest borrower ever, but, according to Proverbs, we find ourselves in the greatest financial bondage in the history of the world. As if that weren’t bad enough, Republicans would have us now sign off on raising our Debt even more!

Panic-stricken liberals allege that failure to raise the Debt Ceiling means to find our country in peril of defaulting on our loans as a nation. Well known and respected news commentator Brit Hume opined on The Factor on June 27, that this will most definitely not occur, owing to the fact that sufficient revenues guarantee our ability to offset all loan obligations. According to Hume, who follows the political scene closely, it is entitlements that would be affected in the short term. This would put pressure that is now lacking on Congress to pursue meaningful reform on entitlements, which is what our Congressmen loath to tackle.

So, if you agree that any increase in the Debt Ceiling is an act of national suicide, then “Just Say NO Debt Ceiling Increase!” Call, email or fax your Senators and Congressman and tell them NO MORE DEBT!! And if they ignore you, commit to their replacement at their next election. We can no longer tolerate politicians in Washington; what we need are Statesmen!

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