Yes, there is a debt ceiling, but for your typical politician, that ceiling resides in something akin to an elevator. Sure there is a ceiling, but it may rise if the right buttons are pushed.
While the term “debt ceiling” seems to suggest that there is a point at which it is impossible for our nation to continue to borrow money, it seems all our “debt ceiling” has come to represent in recent years is a floor at which the elevator will stop. Before we reach that floor, politicians of both parties simply re-negotiate the terms under which they will all continue to overspend and send the elevator, and its ceiling, to new heights. There is really never a possibility of remaining at the same floor or going down, the only issue up for debate is who will get to push the button to send us to the next floor.
When the Democrats controlled Congress under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the elevator buttons really lit up. There was no need to negotiate with conservative thinkers, because Republicans had no power to change anything. It didn’t matter that the American people weren’t along for the ride, Democrats just pushed the reconciliation button and Obamacare took us higher. But now that American voters have taken the House away from liberals, the President doesn’t know what to do, because he’s never had to negotiate before. What he’s learning is that convincing the People’s House to go higher is much more difficult than button-pushing with Nancy Pelosi. Americans know it’s a nice view, but it’s scary at the top; we all want to accomplish great things in our nation, but we’ve got to go about it responsibly.
The prevailing perception in Washington is that this elevator can never go down. If we are to be a successful nation we must rise to the top! Spending is equated with success; success for entitlements which prove America cares for the old or unfortunate, success for constituents when their representative wins them a government windfall, and success for our reputation in the world as we continue to lavish those that hate us with money to win their favor.
However, how successful have our spending methods been? Are our entitlements in good shape, solvent and growing for our future? Were constituents thrilled with their incumbent politicians in the 2010 elections? Are our enemies convinced of our benevolence by our financial offerings to them? I would answer negatively to each of these questions. For all of the talk about the necessity of overspending, just what exactly are we going to lose by stopping our nation from continuing to hemorrhage borrowed cash at unprecedented levels? Well, we may have to reform entitlements that are already bankrupt, stop seeking pork our constituents don’t want, and review our foreign aid rolls to see who really does need help.
The elevator has paused for just a moment, and the over-spenders in Washington are telling us that if we don’t push the $2.7 trillion button, we’ll all plunge to the bottom of the elevator shaft. The truth is, we can come down without plunging to our deaths. If we push the right buttons, we can bring our debt back down to ground level, but we need your help.
The President continues to accuse Republicans of not being willing to compromise, and has called for a “balanced approach, and long-term solutions.” The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act we passed in the House with bi-partisan support is a balanced approach with long-term solutions. Cut, Cap, and Balance cuts spending levels both now and over the next ten years, caps future spending limits at 18% of GDP, and starts the process of passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which is a major part the long-term solution to overspending in Washington. The American people are tired of Washington insiders playing politics with our national credit rating, interest rates, and financial markets. The Cut, Cap, and Balance Bill was an honest attempt to cut through the political jargon and get something positive done for America. However, Harry Reid and the Democrats have blocked it from even being debated in the Senate.
As we face this debt crisis, I want you to have full confidence that I am working as hard as I can to fight for fiscal sanity so we can avert national, financial ruin. Once we’ve eradicated our debt and saved our nation for another generation of hard-working Americans, I hope we will have taught our children that rather than using the debt ceiling “elevator” to take the easy way to the top, to take the stairs and pay their way one step at a time.