In going about my daily reading routine I have obviously run into a lot of talks about the debt ceiling and the current negotiations regarding it. CNN, The Huffington Post, New York Times, Time magazine, local political bloggers, it seems everyone has something to say about it. Not to mention that my twitter feed is blowing up right now!
I noticed one thing in reading about the talks and it disturbs me. The numbers that are being thrown around just aren’t big enough. One deal offered was to raise the debt ceiling by 2.4 Trillion. Boehner supposedly floated a deal around that allowed for 4 Trillion in savings. These sound like huge numbers but they just aren’t big enough. I went back and crunched a few numbers my self. Currently our debt is at somewhere around 14.3 Trillion. In 2009, the debt hit an all time high (at that time) of 11 trillion. Now just two years later the debt is up over 3 trillion. If we raise the debt ceiling by 2.4 trillion that’s just a band-aid. What that tells me is that in two years (or less) we will be right back where we are now. The same idea goes for the deal offering 4 Trillion in savings. I realize that the 2.4 Trillion would “fix” the expected deficit of 1.5 trillion for the year but are we really ok with coming back to this situation year after year? I said it in an earlier post but we’ve raised the debt ceiling 74 times since the sixties. I still stand by the fact that this tells me that the debt ceiling is pointless and something else needs to be done to control spending. If we implement the plan to cut, cap, and balance then perhaps the debt ceiling concept will actually be of some use.
Obama has vowed to veto a balanced budget amendment stating that our debt “isn’t a constitutional matter”. The more I read and the more I think about the more I have been convinced that perhaps its time to make it a constitutional matter. A week ago Obama declared that it was “time to pull off the band-aid” but it seems that he is vowing to veto agreements that will do just that. It is time to stop playing around with our debt and get things under control. It may mean tightening our belts it may mean cutting some spending DRASTICALLY but the survival of our government is at stake here and that ladies and gentlemen calls for more than just band-aids.