Debt Ceiling and Demagoguery

A friend on Facebook posted links to today’s Fox News rabble-rousing, hate-America message. The flavor of bile this month is, of course, raising the debt ceiling.

Can we talk?

It is simply nutty to refuse to raise the debt ceiling to pay for programs Congress has already passed.  It’s like using your credit card and then saying it’s unacceptable for the bank to tell you that you have a high balance that is increasing.  Try telling the merchants not charge you for the things you’ve already purchased.  Or, see what happens when you tell the bank to stop adding on the interest charges.

If you want to cut spending, then vote against specific programs.  The Republicans — even the Tea Partiers — don’t want to do that, though.  If they voted against a program — like Medicare or food safety inspectors or FAA air traffic controllers — then they’d have to go on record as killing or maiming programs that their constituents rely on.  So, they rally against raising the ceiling on Obama’s/Reid’s/Pelosi’s debt.

Raising the debt ceiling is technical and should be automatic. 

If you want to limit spending, then fight against the grand feel-good laws that create gifts to voters.  If you came late to that party and are new to Congress, then fight against the appropriation of the money for the programs you think are not worth it.  And, take the heat from the voters in your district who love what you’re cutting.

What is going on now is simple demagoguery. Dangerous, despicable, and dumb.

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