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  • Morning Bell: Framing The Debt Limit Debate

    In May, Congress will begin debate on our nation’s debt limit. The debt limit is an alarm bell built into our nation’s laws, which forces members of Congress to confront out-of-control spending when our debt reaches a certain level. Five times in the last four years, we have ignored this alarm bell. This time must be different.

    It would irresponsible and reckless for them to even consider raising the limit without also enacting spending cuts and reform. The nation’s credit worthiness is directly tied to our fiscal stewardship, not our desire to borrow. America would send a strong signal to global financial markets by taking prudent steps to address our out-of-control spending habits, not by blindly giving ourselves another blank check.

    Today’s national debt—the public debt that government has accumulated to finance its out-of-control spending—is approximately $14.3 trillion. To put that into perspective, the government’s annual budget for 2011, which is in itself bloated, is roughly $3.7 trillion. And to put the future health of our economy in perspective, President Obama proposed in his 2012 Budget proposal that we add $9 trillion to that debt over the next ten years.

    Our government borrows nearly 40 cents on every dollar it spends. And the more we borrow, the higher these projections go. In other words, our national debt isn’t a problem…it’s a crisis.

    Many in Washington claim we should, once again, ignore the debt limit alarm bell. They say coupling a debt limit increase with spending cuts and reforms puts the full faith and credit of the United States at risk. This is nonsense.

    As Heritage economist J.D. Foster, Ph.D., noted in January: “Refusing to raise the debt limit would not, in and of itself, cause the United States to default on its public debt. Both immediately and long after it reaches the debt limit, the government would have far more than enough revenue coming in that the Secretary of the Treasury could use to pay interest on the debt. Nor would preserving the current debt limit put at risk the full faith and credit of the United States government, as the President’s chief economic adviser has claimed. The government would continue to pay net interest as it comes due.”

    It is critical conservatives do not give in to the scare tactics of the left. They have one goal in mind: Distracting us from our nation’s fiscal crisis through fear and intimidation.

    Over the past month, Washington began debating this fiscal crisis. First we had the debate on finishing up the 2011 budget, since the last Congress was so irresponsible with your money; they didn’t even bother to pass a budget for the first time in modern history. We also debated competing budget proposals and “frameworks.”

    House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wi.) proposal to reform our tax and entitlement system and get America moving on the right path to eliminating our debt passed largely along party lines on Friday (235-193). Earlier in the week, desperate to have a voice in the conversation he had continually ignored, President Obama offered a “framework,” to modify his earlier failed budget proposal, that “set goals” to reduce the debt by $4 trillion over twelve years, mostly through hefty tax hikes on investors and job creators.

    Similar to the budget debates, the discussion over the debt limit has been rife with hyperbole, false choices and irresponsible conjecture. It started when White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said we would risk damaging the “full faith and credit of the United States” by not blindly raising the ceiling. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned Congress in January that we would need to act as soon as March 31 to avert a global crisis. That date came and went, as we predicted. Yesterday morning, on Meet the Press, Geithner continued intimidating Congress calling any delays “catastrophic.”

    President Obama told the AP last week that failure to raise the debt ceiling “could plunge the world economy back into a recession.” This hysteria is simply not grounded in reality. The world economy will be in much worse shape if America continues to dishonestly approach its fiscal future.

    Congress has time to do the right thing. Members should promptly have a full discussion of the level of debt they want to set and begin immediate, substantial spending cuts to demonstrate the seriousness with which they take the nation’s fiscal problems. These should be followed by additional changes such as hard spending caps and entitlement reforms that would return the nation to fiscal sanity and keep it there.

    President Obama himself voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006 saying: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure…Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” First, the White House said he did so because he knew his vote wouldn’t count. Courageous. Now, Obama conveniently says that vote was simply a mistake.

    Whether he believed it or not, or was merely taking political cheap shots, Obama’s rhetoric was closer to reality in 2006. We are shifting “the burden of bad choices onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” and the time to stop doing so is now. The upcoming debt limit vote isn’t just a convenient opportunity, but a national obligation.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    76 Responses to Morning Bell: Framing The Debt Limit Debate

    1. George Colgrove VA says:

      Whatever – at this point it is on automatic pilot. Change will not be good. The America you all have loved in the past has long since been dead. At this point, I fear the fighting in the streets. Our economy is on the brink of collapse. Had congress actually cut something we would have confidence, but confidence was erased last week. Confidence is all the dollar has left.

      This country is in serious trouble. I think if this government goes on until September 2012, we will have a national debt of $18 trillion. We have a congress who has zero interest in seeing he vastness of the trouble. Average interest rate on the National Debt has been about 4%. If this were a 30 year (almost two generations) mortgage to pay back we would need over $1 trillion a year. The first year of interest would be $714.23, just under the current DoD core budget with the allotment on their global wars.

      We have capped out tax collection at $2.1 trillion. Budgets are $3.7 trillion with only $200 billion going to interest.

      Just tell me how to get this all under control with only $2.1 trillion available cash when we now need over $4.5 trillion a year for government spending and debt payback, when the entire collection of millionaires and billionaires on the planet only have $4.2 trillion in total financial resources? There is not even enough rich people on the planet to cover the cost of this government for just one years! This country is being run by lunatics and being supported by a media that is even crazier!

      • Kimberli Wilson says:

        The American people want to go to the poles with 4 choices to solve the debt ceiling issue as they are suposable arguing over what we want. For the first time, figure out what the American people really want with transparency and change politics in Washington over night.
        1. Rebublican plan 2. Democratic Plan 3. Raise taxes to old levels / close loop holes 4. none of the above. When are we going to go back to what the people want. Our founding fathers would be a appalled.

    2. Roger S., Mass. says:

      "They say coupling a debt limit increase with spending cuts and reforms puts the full faith and credit of the United States at risk. This is nonsense."

      Some tough teacher needs to get after the whole class (Liberal "tax-and-spend" Democrats, RINO's, Czars, Administration department heads, Obama himself) and make them write this down (manually w. pencil and paper, of course) 100 times every night for at least this week; or better, until they "get it". — Could that end up a waste of paper and precious No.2's. Possibly. Their past actions point that way. Nonetheless, it needs to be done. — It's no longer just a talking point, as in BO's 2006 senatorial "grand-stand"; it's the naked, unvarnished, truth! Perhaps frequent repetition could help "instill" it, that is if nothing else will, not even looming bankruptcy!

    3. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      4 – 18 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      What happens if the GOP END Medicare – Here it is –

      I got an Email from a friend – "I'm 61 and my $2000 deductible plan is $522 per month. Last year it was $434 and the year before that it was $349.

      So, I did a Spread Sheet on Future Premiums.

      Based on YOUR Figures – Let's make 2 assumptions.1 – The GOP get their way, and they END Medicare.

      2. Premiums go up 15% a year.

      At 70 Your Monthly Premiums will be $1,836 a Month – $33,514 a year. How will that work, the GOP want to give you $15,000 a year. Where will the other $18,514 come from?

      At 80 – Monthly – $7,428 – Annual – 89,148

      There were 50,454 centenarians in the US in 2000 (according to the US Census) in 2004 and an estimated 55,000 in 2005. Their MONTHLY Premium will be 121,587 – Annually $1.4 MILLION.

    4. Steve Cafaro Fort My says:

      I wonder if America's corporations can withstand balanced budgets. As i see it, the vast majority of recent unplanned deficit spending has been done in the name of corporate bailouts and assistance. Ironic as it may be, even as the lobbied politicians were busy guaranteeing the welfare of these corporations, the businesses were busy shifting jobs, factories and industries to foreign lands. These ill managed manipulations are the ultimate mockery of the concept of "free markets'.

    5. Mary Lang, Fayettevi says:

      If the country were equated to a household, the credit cards would've already been cut up long ago in addition to cutting out unnecessary spending. Cutting back to the bare necessities may be easier said than done, but it remains possible. Not to (cut back) would be an irresponsible decision with the most assured result of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the U.S. can not afford to go bankrupt; the global economy can not afford it either. Obama's rhetoric should no longer be heeded. Let his actions speak rather than his words. If no one ever listened to a word he said but deduced his intentions from his actions only, one could conclude that Obama's intentions were to deliberately destroy the U.S. from the inside out – beginning with her economy and coupled with lack of national security and foreign relation leadership.

    6. John Laser says:

      The Republicans and Tea Party members of the U.S. Congress must take a stand on the U.S. debt. It is obvious that the Democrats and all members of the administration are committed to taking this country into Socialism and destroying the Republic we knew for many years. The Frank Luntz/Shawn Hannity program last evening on Fox News was a real presentation of how the American people perceive our government. Heritage must continue to provide the data so that more politicians understand the urgency of the U.S. financial position and move quickly to address the problem. Unless Congress acts quickly, our great country is going into bankruptcy. We created the problem and must take the hard steps to correct the problem. We must also gain control of the government in 2012.

      John Laser

    7. Mary............WI says:

      On yesterdays morning shows Tim Geitner also claimed the Republicans "promised" to raise the debt ceiling". I don't know if that's true or not. I wasn't aware the decision had been made.

    8. Redfray, Pea Ridge, says:

      With our government elected officials constantly lying to the people, and with there above-the-law attitude, where will our country be if our government continues to spend money out of control? Doesn't matter what program you love, if the government cannot send you a check, because there is no funds, forget the program. We must first keep America intacted, or our hope of a free country goes down the drain, and the revolution begins. The pride of America will not keep history from repeating itself. We must make sure the economy followings simple principles of making and spending money. Just like any household that over spends its income, the agony of loss will start an emotional change in everyones life, and some do not survive?

    9. Don Vander Jagt, Gra says:

      I wasn't born yesterday, Can anyone tell me why the Republicans don't gladly except the idea that it is about ideaology? The "right" has been forced to live under the "left's" ideailogical bent for many years, so there is no reason we shouldn't reverse the trend when we are given a chance, after all it is the left that brought us to this point of bankrupcy.

      NO increase of the dept limit period, make the foolish folks in Washington work it out like any reasonaly moral American would do if he found himself in like condition!

      And they can quit the lying about the socalled impending problems, only a fool would believe their retorical giberish.

    10. Linda, Colorado says:

      We MUST get our fiscal house in order. I hope the Republican Congress has the guts to pass Paul Ryan's bill and NOT back down. Enough is enough.

      We must start living within our means and get this country back to being the greatest nation on earth.

    11. ThomNJ says:

      I have to say that I am admantly opposed to raising the debt ceiling, because this will just signal to the inside the beltway politicians that they can do whatever the hell they want. The so-called spending cut for the latest budget go-round was not only a sham, but I view it as one huge slap across the face to America. That decidedly un-serious deal was nothing more than a continuing condescension towards law abiding, budget conscious Americans. Our Congress has acted in nothing less than a most shameful manner – I will grant that Ryan and team are trying to make adult decisions and I applaud them for that, but there are far too many Dems and RINOs still there who just don't get it. It is astonishingly abysmal. Too many are just trying to protect entitlements and buddy plans. These unserious folks keep pointing at defense, but guess what? We could easily take a cleaver to the budget and get rid of all sorts of pork, subsidies and entitlements that would bring our debt down pretty quickly, and lop off a big chunk of foreign aid and all of the UN funding. We could eliminate entire departments like Education, Energy, the EPA and then some. Our government is just too bloated and doing too many things for which they have no jurisdiction.

    12. KC - New Mexico says:

      The debt limit must coincide with significant change. If the professional politicians on both sides really want to fix the issue, they need to do the following.

      Establish the flat tax for everyone. Today, the rich have incredible loop holes that allow them to pay very little tax in relation to the amount they actually bring realize in income. The poor (average of $36,000) do not pay any tax, in fact nearly 50% of Americans do not pay tax due to loop holes, and the various provisions outlined in the current tax code. The democrats want the rich to pay more, raising the percent does not address the issue. The republicans do not want to mess with the percent. So use the flat tax. Everyone pays – something. If we used 10% flat tax on all realized income, the rich star in Hollywood, or rich person in Washington DC making $1,000,000 a year would pay $100,000 in tax. The poor person making $36,000 a year would pay $3,600. Even if the poor person is receiving food stamps, and other government handouts, they would need to pay back some portion of this. Basically, if you can vote (you are an American citizen), you will pay something towards income tax. There are no exceptions, no deductions, and no loop holes. There is little need for IRS, tax attorneys, tax consultants. All tax exempt organizations are no longer tax exempt.

      Okay – you wanted change – get with the process and drive this change. We will have more revenue at the government level. The process is fair! The next step is government funding which must be reduced and focused on the things that will make this country great.

    13. Don O'Malley says:

      Before his election Barack Obama also said, "in five days we will fundamentally change the United States of America". He warned us, leased we forget!

    14. Judith in Michigan says:

      Considering that today S&P downgraded it's outlook on The United States credit rating to "Negative" should send 5-Alarm Bell Warnings thundering throughout Washington. But for some odd reason, I fear it will be "The same old–Same old."

      We have a choice between the Democrats in power who wish to continue this reckless course because it will buy votes to keep them in power. Plus add the theory that they are doing this on purpose to degrade the US and destroy Capitalism. Actually this therory seems more plausible every day.

      Then the 2nd choice is The GOP, who appear to be unable to take control, defend Conservatism and the wishes of the American people. They always seem to "cave" under the assault by the Left".

      This crisis has not reached rock bottom yet, and when it does it will not be pretty. It will be devestatingly ugly. America will be paying a very heavy price.

    15. ColoComment says:

      Love your Morning Bell & read it faithfully. However, your post this morning states that Obama's plan “…set goals ”to reduce the debt by $4 trillion over ten years,"

      I believe that should be "…over 12 years." Obama is misleading the public. See Keith Hennessey's most recent post dated 4/18.

    16. Norm CT says:

      Obama wants an increase in the National Debt Ceiling? Give it to him. Give him a 38 million increase. That's what he gave the taxpayers. We won't even give him 50% of the increase in funny money like he did to us.

    17. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      For decades now the left has used the same hyperbole and threats to scare the

      American people into thinking the sky will really fall if the federal government doesn't spend us into oblivion. GOP members of Congress, that have been in office for far too many years, the likes of Boehner and McConnell, go before the cameras, before and after they have been reamed by Obama the Dems, relenting that they got the best deal the could. B.S.! Not only they are gutless, but no one that has been in Washington for as long as they have, cannot realize the truth. They will cave on the debt limit, just as they did with the so called "spending cut deal". Face it people, until we rid Washington of both the Dems and old GOP guard, and replace them with true conservatives TEA party members, this nation will continue to slide into an unrecoverable pit that will end in the socialist goovernment that is Obama final goal.

    18. Robert Pennington, G says:

      Congress must decline raising debt limit unless substantial reductions in spending is made.

    19. Ken Allison, Tyler says:

      You say it would be irresponsible of Congress to once again raise the debt ceiling without enacting spending reforms.

      I say it will be irresponsible of Congress to raise the debt ceiling one dime for any reason.

      Whatever the result of finally putting a cap on the ridiculous practice of spending 140% of income, the pain will be less the sooner we get serious about restoring fiscal sanity to our government.

      Of course, since he has already capitulated on a series of CR's, there is no expectation that the Speaker will suddenly manifest the courage to speak honestly to the American people and wage the battle that will ensue over belatedly saying, "NO MORE". But that's what I'd support.

    20. Thomas Mulshine, Lay says:

      A big step in reducing debt is to reduce the size of government. All know that growth in government is growth in spending. If every branch and department where to reduce its size and budget by 10% per year for 6 years, we would be back to a controllable size. The result would be less spending, regulations and needless lawmaking.

    21. Controse, Denver, CO says:

      The debit limit vote, like manna, is from fiscal heaven. It could be used to LOWER the debit limit and thus force immediate, significant federal government shrinkage. The vote could mandate that $X amount of bonds, notes, T-bills coming due in the next month, quarter, six months, or year or two are to be payed off NOT rolled over. From where does the money come to make this happen? Department, program and czar elimination that's where.

    22. Charles Nystrom, Sum says:

      Popular rhetoric about deficits and debt depicts a future when our credit and economy collapse. From my perspective, that future is now.

      We are already suffering from a real inflation rate of 5% to 10%. Real unemployment is over 10%. The private economy is only marginally larger today than in the summer of 2008 (15.0 trillion GDP vs $14.6 trillion). The dollar index is near its thirty year low of 70 (it was over 140 during Reagan's term). The housing market is still in shambles. The 2011 fiscal deficit will reach an almost unimaginal $1.65 trillion.

      Our only "quick fix" is to force the government to limit spending to its revenue by refusing to allow it to borrow more…… until strigent conditions on spending are put in place.

      Treasury cries, "Catastrophe". But, like any loan broker, I expect the markets would favor any move that suggests our nation is finally serious about putting its financial house in order.

    23. Dwana Townsend, Harv says:

      I am hoping our Congressmen/women and Senators have the guts to hold Town Hall meetings during this Spring Break, because I plan to be there and voice my oppostion. If not I have made several phone calls to the local as well as DC offices, sent e-mails, as well as mailed letters. I am only one citizen. Please look past your PARTY affiliation and voice your opinions to your representatives. American Citizens need to speak up, one voice, one nation under God, with Liberty and Freedom for all. We must protect our nation from fiscal failure before it is too late.

      Our brave young men and women are risking their lives all over the world to protect our Constitution, it's time for regular everyday American Citizens to Rise UP in peaceful protest to also preserve and secure the future for generations that will suffer as a result of our inaction to engage in the Political process!!

      The alarm bells are definately going off all around the world. Some countries are having issues with the American Dollar. This not only affects American Citizens but the World Economy. If we continue on the current path we will lose respect around the World, our Dollar and all of our Savings will be threatened and not just through tax hikes, inflation, higher interest rates, etc, but the whole Monetary system will be in jeapordy.

      Don't allow the President, Tim Geithner, Berneke, Congress, the Senate or anyone else to scare you into allowing this government to raise the Debt Ceiling. This will allow for more government spending, buy them time so they can look away from this Crisis instead of addressing it head on (ALL for Policitical MOTIVES). We cannot afford to wait 18 months allowing the two Parties to postpone any serious discussion until the 2012 Elections. This is totally disgusting (from both sides of the isle) and as an American Citizen it angers me to watch all of the Hate and Rhetoric which has caused a great divide amongst our Citizens. I remember the feeling after 911 how Americans were so united under our flag (it was the first time I felt real progress towards a UNITED People).

    24. Jeff- York PA. says:

      I read this morning that the direction that this administration has chosen to take is

      act of desperation. The strategy is to use fear and aggressively use key words to

      keep adding "fuel" to the fire. The fact that Obama tries to be like the average

      working U.S. citizen is a lie. His actions should be compared to Castro's when he said

      he was there for the country and his way would nationalize and protect Cuba into

      a paradise that is fair for all. I strongly would ask if Obama has actually worked in his whole life. I would bet he doesn't even know how to change a car tire.

    25. Chroma41, California says:

      Some wag once said "If all the economists in the world were laid end-to-end, they would never reach a conclusion."

      So we have lies, BS, obfuscation, ideology and poor judgement coming out of the White House infecting Congress and congress is too concerned with re-election to do more than window dressing.

    26. Robert, North Richla says:

      Good article, with solid points. However, this "battle" is already lost. The RINOs actually think they won (and they did) when they caved in to Reid/Obama on the spending resolutions. We can no longer expect any leadership out of Boehner/McConnell – nor is calling them out going to accomplish anything. Now (not next year) is the time for Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul and Jim DeMint to get to work and let the American people realize the Tea Party is for real. I can't wait to see the paper tigers and accounting tricks little johnny will attach to his "victory" in this battle. His failures are no longer evidence of just weakness, they show complicity and lies.

    27. Ben C., Ann Arbor, M says:

      Actually the Federal Government borrows 100% of the money it spends given the Federal Reserve is a private bank. Our financial system is beyond broken and requires a massive restructuring otherwise history will continue to repeat itself. I don't see anyone on the horizon with the determination to make the changes. Until this happens we are simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    28. Jim Buzzell says:

      Let's look at this debt limit issue realistically; as a business owner if I ask a creditor to raise my company's debt limit, and they say no, we would start looking at way to reduce our expenses, and costs of doing business. First we would look at those expenses that caused us to spend more than we take in; no expense would be exempted from this process. As we look to cut our business expenses we would see the our production needed to match our sales; if we are producing inexcess of our sales we would need to scale back our production; which means we could do with less employees, material, and warehousing. Next we look at our administrative expenses, can we consolidate jobs descriptions, can use one less secretary, do we really need to retain all of our administrative help, and the list goes on? By doing things that require austerity we soon find that we have money through this fiscal management process that can pay the supppliers, and creditors without borrowing more. This is true of our out of control federal government, what are we paying in our debt service, what is anticipated cost to operating our government at the level currently being sustained; then lets look at reducing the overall cost of managing within our collection of taes, etc. and cut out the overhead, department, and programs that contribute nothing to our increasing the federal income, and otherwise cost private sector jobs and revenue, and do not support the American people, and the nation's growth. In other words, tighten the belt, live with our means as the rest of us do, and stop prompting those things that do not serve us well as a nation. DO NOT RAISE THE DEBT CEILING! Let's force congress, and the administration to make the necessary cuts now, and into the future. As the debt requirements start to diminish over time lower the debt ceiling each ensuing year thereafter. Let's get our fiscal house in order.

    29. John Langwick, Tucke says:

      Now that the S&P has down graded US credit rating the cost of debt service on the debt will likely increase further causing even more increase in the deficit and in turn the debt. This would seem to be the proverbial slippery slope taking us further and deeper into debt. Given this new development how does this effect the size of the required budget cuts needed to stay and then reverse this trend?

      Thank you for your consideration and work you do to keep us so well informed.

    30. toledofan says:

      I think that the Ryan budget plan is a really good starting point, but like anything else, there are always other alternatives. So, the time has come for all the cards to be on the table and logical heads need to prevail and start to do what is best for America. Opp's I forgot to do that you have to have leadership; the Democrats could care less about a budget, their power comes from spending, the President sure isn't going to lead, why start now and hiws budget was nothing but smoke and mirror. That leaves the Republicans and I think, although they seem to have good intentions, they lack the staminia to actually do what has to be done. Boehner seems to care, but, I think, lacks vision to really see the big picture. I just don't think he's a fighter and a true patroit willing to do what it takes to defeat the Democrats. I think he has to much Rino blood in his veins. So time will tell.

    31. Debra Morris, Cowich says:

      We need to balance the budget!!!! There should be no exception. Our government representatives are out of control. This is our country, WE THE PEOPLE, remember and it is about time we took control of what we are spending. If these representatives we sent to Washington D.C. are not going to do the job we sent them there to do, then next time around we vote them out and continue to do that until all of Congress gets the message.

      They have not cut much of anything, especially their salaries, their benefits, their so call "full salary" retirement. I suggest this is a very good place to start.

      Our country needs to be run as a business; no business would survive being run as our government is running now.

      No more taxes, no more spending, no more. Our government was not put into place to take care of the people of this country. We need to take care of our country.

    32. Carol,AZ says:

      Yes America, sing in unison; " Great Balls of Fire."

      Ring the fire alarm and alert the Treasury Dept. / Sec. Gauthier, and all frat boy leadership, who are still rallied around the keg, all drunk on spending.

      ALL, elected and reelected are responsiblity for ignoring this raging inferno called our National Debt.

      To counter the fire ball and the clear and present danger, Gauthier is telling us; to raise the debt ceiling, "To help avert a national crises." (re. HF)

      Where was the accountability two year ago when this useless appointee was entrusted with our nations treasury and accountability?

      The smoke rings of forwarning ignored. The oxygen tank now empty and the panic mode by our own government once again, spiting fear to America, as they go into panic mold once again.

      We have all seen this behavior before.

      America is being hosed once again, over the issue for fiscal responsibility.

      The inaction for real reform defiles all accountability for checks and balances within the framework of a Democracy.

      "The upcoming debt limit vote isn't just a convenient opportunity, but a national obligation." ( H.F)

      Take away the keg:

      Replace the frat boys with leadership singing; "great Balls of Fire," holding machetes, to cut, shash, and hack ALL pork barrel spending, out of our current budget.

      "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give it to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson.

    33. Aaron Petty, Tucson says:

      This AM, 18 Apr, Austan Goolsby said there is absolutely no possibility that the US would default on it's debt because the great portion is owed to ourselves and besides that we have a money printing press. So why the big commotion about raising the debt limit? It appears immaterial to me.


    34. gary sheldon AZ says:

      Time to defund overlapping departments with a vengence thus reducing gumMINT size. MAObama Care must be eliminated and Social Security and Medicare must be kept out of the hands of manipulative spineless Senators and Congressional "representatives" who bow to the "Presedente' " as if he were royalty. I am still baffled that the "child king" can halt oil drilling ANYWHERE!! Wake up conservatives,.. the king has no clothes.

    35. Glory, Houston says:

      Time to stop talking, crying…and start moving … forward.

      Everything is a lie in DC

    36. Rick74, Manassas, VA says:

      You quote Dr. Foster to put the debt ceiling into perspective. Yet, Foster's very next paragraph expresses the alarm driving many of our Congresspersons:

      "At the same time, however, Congress should recognize that holding the debt limit at its current level would force a massive restructuring of federal spending to an extent that is little appreciated. All federal deficit spending—equivalent to about $1.5 trillion in 2011, or roughly equal to all security and non-security discretionary spending—would have to cease immediately."

      Since we are waiting until the last possible moment to have this debt ceiling discussion, we find ourselves at the point where a massive restructuring and a ceasing of spending are absolutely required unless we drink the kool-aid and raise the ceiling … imagine that!

    37. Gregory Norton, Bois says:

      I think it is about time for Heritage and others to stop commenting on what Obama and Geithner and others in the administration say. They are predictable liars. All their comments merely further document the fact.

      Time to shift attention to Republican sell-outs (like Boehner) and what they claim to be doing about the crisis, and what they are actually doing. It has been months since the Administration has said anything enlightening, worthwhile, or even true. Time to ignore Obama. He remains relevant, but what he says is not.

    38. Bill Pound, Bozeman says:

      We should insist that Congress and the President agree on a budget for 2012 with significant spending cuts. Then and only then should they consider the debt limit.

      One wonders what the President and Liberal Democrats are thinking. If we keep spending beyond our means, becoming like Greece, what then? With our without riots as some hope for, would this create a Emanuel crisis large enough to through out our Constitution and force us to start over? Would they care? Is this what they secretly want to happen? How else can their rhetoric and actions be explained?

    39. RennyG Maryland says:

      "NO INCREASE!!" End of comment!!!

    40. Al from Fl says:

      It is up to the republicans and the people at this point. The dems and the Obama administration are not serious about cutting – they want spending and taxing and have nothing to say about how we are going to handle $20T in debt or how to avoid it. The credibility of the congress is on the line – first the TARP which most people are willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Then, the TARP was not used for what was intended when passed, followed by the stimilus bill all of which had to be passed yesterday. We continue to find that the arguement for the sky is falling to get something passed turns out to not be true. Now we have the debt ceiling and supposedly it must be raised at all costs etc. Fact is we can pay our intersest on the debt payments, the question is what is left for gov't operations etc. Well, how much is left? The only way to stop the dems from successfully destroying our country is to hold the debt ceiling and hold out for cuts in the 2012 budget. The next election, the people will have to decide if they want the America that we all grew up in or do we want a secular progressive run european socialist system. Obama and his progressives do not have America's interest in mind nor is their political instincts "American". Can we make cuts and still survive – yes? Do we need depts of education, energy etc.? Yes, some one to two thirds of the federal gov't workers will get pink slips etc. Let's get to work putting this country back on solid ground.

    41. Ronald DuBois Bogota says:

      You wrote that we should not even consider raising the debt ceiling unless we also enact spending cuts and reform. Question: If we enact spending cuts and reform, why would we then allow the debt ceiling to be raised? That would only allow the government to spend whatever money is saved, instead of using it to bring down the debt. The debt ceiling must NOT be raised, regardless of any spending cuts or reform

    42. David Chick says:

      To put things into perspective, tell your readers the federal governments spends approximately $10 billion per day. Therefore when they talk about cutting $30-60 billion they are only talking about 3-6 days of spending. PEANUTS!!!

    43. Don Renninger says:

      Best way to rein in expenses is to stop spending, ergo pass the House approved 2012 Budget as the first step. This plus make any future years spending cuts effective along with the 2012 cuts.

    44. JohnL2 SC says:

      The now Republican congress let us down with the fraudulent CR that alleged to cut spending by 38 billion rather than the ACTUAL 312 MILLION it will cut! We legal American citizens are NOT stupid, displayed our discontent in the 2010 midterm election, and gave the Repubs "a chance" to DO SOMETHING!! So far, the Repubs have done one thing…….get duped!! I shall vote for NO Democrat in 2012 and, unless things dramatically change, NO incumbant Repub!

      If We The People have to clean up and clear out Washington DC "elected children", WE SHALL!!


    45. Ron W. Smith, Provid says:

      It is telling that at a time when the cutting of spending should be front and center, all eyes in Washington, D.C. focused on the problem, those eyes aren't even in Washington, D.C. It's recess time. No problem is too great to avoid for another couple of weeks, right?

      But, then, with the impasse over HOW to cut spending, there's no question not much would be done anyway.

      The $1 trillion elephant in the room should be the place to start with serious proposals for cutting. No one I know would be unhappy to hear about cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and MAYBE even Medicaid were National Security seriously approached for serious cuts. Yes, that trillion dollar elephant in the room, that chunk of annual federal spending that equals the total of what is spent by the rest of the world COMBINED on their national security. Yelping that our National Defense would be endangered by such serious cutting should fool nobody at all except the few in the "big tent" who are easily misinformed. And yelping that we must stand by our international commitments, all $1 trillion a year worth, won't fly at all since those who have relied on us so heavily all these years have already assured us they'll understand if we take off a decade or so from our decades-old SuperPower on call role.

      So, what's the stalling all about on Capitol Hill? Let's get going–first by dumping Paul Ryan's juvenalia, a budget proposal by a boy when a man's proposal is called for, a serious proposal designed to get right to the heart of the matter. Overspending in Washington, D.C., won't be stopped by doing a dance around the edge of the money we pour annually into National Security. Other countries have avoided that kind of profligate spending. We can, too.

    46. Tom Sullivan in FL says:

      Republicans in the House should pass a combination bill

      1. Raise the debt limit, but only by monthly increments, increments which taper off spending, throttling it to zero net borrowing by 2016. This provision must include a prohibition on "borrowing" from trust funds.

      2. Prohibit all borrowing after 2016

      3. Repayment $200 billion of debt per year

      4. Social security receipts can only be used for social security, no more "borrowing" from this trust fund

      5. Debt interest payments get first priority on spending

      The House must take full control of US spending, as the Founders provided.

    47. Jackie- BelAir,MD says:

      HOW CAN GOD BLESS AMERICA WHEN AMERICA STOPPED BLESSING GOD? HE is the only one who can help our country when she is as far gone as this.I am 56 and for the most part, have been a one-income family for 23 years, when I had two children and decided I needed to be the one to raise them instead of someone else. I totally understand not everyone can do this, but we have been struggling all this time. I believe that most families, now are struggling; and we all know that raising the debt ceiling would be like us refinancing our debts over and over and over again. Eventually, you can't dig yourself out anymore. Oh, but BIG DADDY GOVERNMENT will swoop in and help; except who's gonna help him? I didn't go to college because my mom couldn't afford it ; and when I didn't have health insurance because I quit my job, I paid for very expensive cobra insurance so I could have my baby without worrying about complications. And when you didn't have a job, one could get a maximum of 26 weeks of unemployment, and had to prove you were actively looking for a job. Government cannot afford to stick it's nose in every aspect of people's lives, AND power-hungry politicians do not do this because they care about people, but they just want to have power over them!! Another thing our country needs other than much prayer and reliance on God is TERM LIMITS! POWER ALWAYS CORRUPTS WITHOUT CONSTANT PRAYER AND SEEKING HIM.

    48. Disgusted , Illinois says:

      Unfortunately for us TAXPAYERS the Republican leadership (if you can call it that) is only interested in staying elected and NOT fighting for the betterment of America and us who put them there.They have absolutely no spine when it comes to confront the regime from The Speaker? on down.I salute the 59 that voted against the cuts,

      DO NOT RAISE THE DEBT LIMIT untill REAL cuts are enacted.

    49. Mike, Chicago says:

      Increasing the debt gives obama a blank check.

    50. Ann, PA says:

      wow-I think I'm going to call my credit card company and ask for them to raise my "debt ceiling" so I can buy some more junk I don't need and then steal money from my family when I can't pay it off! What an idiocracy

    51. SLibertarian - theso says:

      DO NOT raise the debt limit. All the politicians are doing is taking out new loans to pay the bills on existing loans!

      This will only result in disaster! Our nation is facing severe consequences, and Standard and Poor's (S&P) downgraded our long-term debt assessment to "Negative" – and faces a possible downgrade of our AAA credit rating..

      Come on people! Tom, you are in the right ballpark, but that's not enough. We need a balanced budget amendment. NOW. No more of this "This proposed budget balances the deficit in X number of years" At least until the new Congress takes over and blows that budget out of the water!

    52. gorio says:

      Recently Jim Demint has shown the way, we need all the republican legislators to join him in a show of solidarity for a filibuster of the debt limit vote, If the republicans can show a united front and throw in the kitchen sink as well, tell Obama they will give him the money to set up the exchanges for his single payor health insurance IF he passes the BBA. Then publicise it well Obama will have to follow the polls, and he can take credit for it as well, its all good because after we repeal Obamacare we can still use the exchanges,( run under contract by private enterprise) to allow the insurance companies to compete across borders..

    53. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      In this "first round" of the Budget Battle the Republicans hardly laid a glove on the Democrats and Liberals. They didn't even take a swing, throw a punch, or land a jab. This is intolerable.

      Regardless of what the facts turn out to be regarding the actual amounts of spending reductions achieved this Congress has come dangerously close to losing what ever goodwill the membership brought with them as they took office.

      I, for one. am deeply disappointed with the Republican leadership and I will go on record as follows:

      Everyone deserves a "second chance". This Congress must categorically reject an increase in the Debt Limit. Absolutely no compromise with the liberals, period. If they can not accomplish this then they need to be replaced. It is just that simple and straight forward. When I hire someone to do a very specific job I expect that job to be done, no excuses.In this case I is We The People and the job description in this instance could not be more clear. Stop, not slow down, not hesitate, the operative word is STOP the insane spending and bring government expansion under control.

      Secondary issues such as Planned Parenthood, Obamacare are just that, secondary. In fact they are part of the problem. Obamacare is beyond expensive, it is a taxpayers nightmare created by a Control Freak.

      Planned Parenthood ids a social issue with very little to add to the real underlying spending problem.

      Focus, Focus, Focus.

    54. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      The debt limit will be increased and unless the Republicans start paying attention to public opinion outside the confines of money-covered Washington, Barry O. & 'the bell' will be celebrating another 4 years on public funds.

      All the informative essays from Heritage are not read by average America.

    55. Bernard P. Giroux, S says:

      Guess that Standard & Poor's had something to say about that debt load today. Somebody needs to browbeat the Federal Reserve.

    56. Pingback: Framing The Debt Limit Debate « OBX Tea Party News

    57. Ron Hert, CA. says:

      Spending cuts have to not only be voted on but in the actual process of being done-when the final process of voting takes place. Or, there needs to be something in place that will force the Democrats to keep their word and not allow the same thing to take place that has happened every time that spending cuts have been brought out by the Republicans-the Dems lied and increased spending and taxes on the federal level every time to date.

    58. Harry Stevens -- Woo says:

      I wish the Republicans would have the courage to say that we will not support a increase in the National Debt Limit unless:

      1. The Democrats and the President agree to pass and sign Paul Ryan' Budget and abide by that Budget for Spending in 2012.

      2. Agree to a Constitutional Amendment to require the Federal Government to a Balance Budget and abide by that Budget in all future years.

      3. The above two agreements must be in writing and signed by the President and the Congressional Leadership in both Houses and published in every Newspaper in the Country.

    59. michael j mudrak car says:

      It is time for the sleeping lion to awake. The people who have no idea of what is

      happening in the space around them. We have our young men and women being

      deployed for liberty and a president that is dedicated to violate our freedom by

      bankrupting our nation. Thinking he is the new age robbinhood. or alibaba and

      the fourty czars. There has to be an end to this anti constitutional behavior by

      our elected officials. I believe the time is now 2012 might be to late.

    60. Anthony Thompson, Be says:

      It seems clear that how we resolve the budget problem (i.e. higher taxes or lower expenditures) will be the major issue of the 2012 elections so that can't be done now because of the complexities of the budget. But, I propose the House and the Senate Republicans make the repeal of "Obama-care" the single condition of lifting the debt ceiling. We'll see how the President and his cohorts sort out their priorities inter se the "full faith and credit of the United States of America" and their health care law.

    61. William R. Barker says:

      Any reason why the piece doesn't note what cumulative deficits add up to under the Ryan Plan?

      Any reason why the piece doesn't not what the National Debt would be estimated to be in 2020… 2021… and/or 2022 under the Ryan Plan?

      I need Heritage to be honest with us… to volunteer the bad along with the good – even when it reflects poorly upon so-called "conservatives."

      We should stop deficit spending immediately. Not slow the continuation of it; stop it!

      We should begin paying down the National Debt; not continue to add to it.

      Hey… to those who disagree with me… who say my idealism isn't feasible… will you at least agree with me that Heritage needs to give a FULL accounting of where our country will stand ten or twelve years down the road one "plan" pitted against the other?

      I'm happy to acknowledge that the Left has moved America's finances from the frying pan into the fire; will Heritage acknowledge that the Boehner Republicans plan – at best – to simply stoke the fire with a bit less wood?

    62. michael j mudrak car says:

      If obama wants to change our constitution for his purposes than every state should

      collect taxes do away with the Irs. each state pays their senators and congressmen

      and every state handle their own finances.washington would then receive a strict

      operating budget with salary!s for president and vp. Sounds far fetched but so does

      obama care. Every session of senate or congress starts with a new bill a resolution

      and more than likely just duplicating existing laws. Just as the bridge to no where

      the waste of time and effort on our dime. Does it ever end?

    63. George Colgrove VA says:

      michael j mudrak

      "each state pays their senators and congressmen

      and every state handle their own finances"

      I absolutely agree! Talk about transparancy! I think government would shrink overnight! These goons would stay in DC as little as possible and then get back to theur real jobs!

    64. Gary Geurts, Victori says:

      Do not raise the debt limit. As described in other good posts, let the goverment decide where to spend its limited resources on while keeping the debt limit flat now and reducing it over time. I do not understand why forcing the US to make draconian cuts will affect our credit – doesn't make sense to me! Congress cannot be trusted to limit spending – why trust them any further?

    65. gorio says:

      Dear Mr. Barker, The reason Heritage doesn't bother with the deficit "comparisons" is that the Ryan plan will bring the USA finances back to a 20% govt expense to GDP ratio over a 30year period, There are NO quick fixes for the debt problem, it has become to large to fix in a 10year span. so its really about whether we are going to "attempt" to fix it or just slide into a PERU status and disrupt the economies of many small countries holding dollars, The democratic party has already made the decision that it will bet on forcing more taxes out of the "rich" or the corporate enterprise and has really admitted that it is incompetent to deal with this crisis, however they refuse to give up any of their spending "accomplishments" just like Detroits financial nightmare they think it is more important to hang onto power than to stay financially viable, so be it!!

    66. John Lipham Chapel H says:

      If the US Government is currently borrowing 40 cents of every dollar spent, then a failure to raise the debt limit means that spending must come down by 40%. That's a rather quick turn to a balanced budget – far beyond what anyone has proposed. I don't think that big a change in so short a time frame would be good. But it does give the Republicans considerable leverage – if they use it – to craft a longer term move to a balanced budget.

    67. John Lipham, Chapel says:

      If the US Government is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that is being spent, then a failure to increase the debt ceiling means current spending must be cut by 40%.

      That's a substantial change in a rather short period of time – far beyond any other proposals to move toward a balanced budget. I don't think we can make that big a change in such a short period of time. But it does give the Republicans considerable leverage – if they use it – to move toward a balanced budget in a longer time frame.

    68. Sandy, Richfield, UT says:

      President Obama told the AP last week that failure to raise the debt ceiling “could plunge the world economy back into a recession.”

      YEAH…we've heard that one before. Newflash Obama! we are ALREADY plunged into a recession thanks to your continued out of control spending. The credit card has reached it's limit. Deal with it!

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    75. Don Quixote says:

      Cut through the lies of politicians. Read this blog:

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