Here’s the deal with the whole debt ceiling conversation

January 31 – The federal government essentially runs like your home – certainly multiplied many, many times over in terms of money and who is affected by decisions – but, still, from a very basic standpoint, the government is a business, not unlike your household expenditures. 

If you in your home got to the point where you couldn’t pay your bills, wouldn’t you start to look at ways you could curtail your spending? 

That’s what the debt ceiling in this country is about. By definition it is the legal limit on the total amount of federal debt the government can accrue. First enacted in 1917, the debt ceiling was a way to keep government spending down. 

Alas, over the years, it has become somewhat of an arbitrary number because the government continues to raise the ceiling. 

It would be if you were looking at your own finances, realized you couldn’t pay your bills and instead of trying to cut back, you shrugged your shoulders and paid your bills with a credit card, thus accruing more and more debt. 

If you got a little sick to your stomach at that analogy, you can begin to see why this becomes a rather big issue in the US. 

The current debt ceiling is at $31.4 trillion and by summer, we are likely going to need to either raise it or find ways to cut spending. 

And that’s the crux of where we find the federal government right now. Republicans in the US House of Representatives are looking at ways to cut spending while the Democrats and the Biden administration think the ceiling should be raised. 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said recently, “This doesn’t come to fruition until sometime in June. Now would be the perfect opportunity to sit down just as the way our founders designed our government, you have to find compromise. To think that the president believes there’s no place in government you can’t cut and have a savings for the hard-working taxpayers, there’s so much waste out there and we’ve got to put ourselves back on a trajectory that balances.” 

McCarthy will meet tomorrow with President Joe Biden for their first private meeting since McCarthy was elected speaker and the debt ceiling will certainly be a topic of conversation. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “Everyone knows come May or June, we’re going to reach the point where the bills can’t be paid. I think it’s smart that they’re having these discussions, working on it well in advance. The White House and the Senate and the House all need to get together to figure this out.” 

Congressman John Joyce said, “Democrats need to join with us in coming up with a plan that protects taxpayers, that makes those necessary cuts. Look, all major spending reforms since the mid-80s have been attached to debt ceiling legislation and we can use that framework again to cut that wasteful spending, to be that responsible steward of your tax dollars and to work to solve this challenge. Democrats delayed dealing with the debt ceiling so they could focus more on their additional reckless spending and under the Democrats one-party role, Biden and the Congressional Democrats had every opportunity to address the debt ceiling before the deadline with a simple majority vote. So instead of putting bipartisan reforms in place and operating within our means – just like your business, you function within your budget. At your home, you can’t spend more than comes in. The Democrats went on a wild spending spree that contributed to the highest inflation rate that we’ve seen in 40 years. The takeaway message for me is simple. Being a conservative means paying our debts, but we need to stop the reckless spending that has lead us to this position. That reckless spending must stop with this Congress. It must stop right here. Biden says there’s no ability to make cuts, I say there are. There are strong abilities to be the responsible steward of the taxpayer dollar. He’s going to face that with Republicans united against his reckless spending.” 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “The Republicans aren’t not guilty of spending as well. I don’t want to put it all on the Democrats. There’s certainly a bunch of lazy Republicans that are out there that haven’t helped the situation as well.”