There’s a little word starting with the letter D that has Leftists up in arms more than usual. No, it’s not “domestic terrorism” or “DeSantis” or even “D-Student President.” The word is “default” and Leftists are sounding the alarm that unless those evil mean ole Republicans approve a bunch of spending (which is totally related to running the country and isn’t related to a bunch of partisan bullshit designed to help Leftists buy… I mean earn votes). And those evil mean dagnasty Republicans want to…horror of horrors…spend less! Those monsters!
While talks between President Puddin’ Head Joe and House Speaker Kevin “Not Charlie” McCarthy have broken down more often than the car I bought from a sleazy used car salesman (i.e. a used car salesman), it seems more and more people on the Left are afraid we aren’t going to pay our bills and Grandma Gertrude will lose her Social Security, Medicare, and all means to survive. It’s going to be worse than January 6th!
Yeah, not so much. Let’s dive in
What the Left thinks it means – what will happen right now unless House Republicans agree to keeping proposed expenditures at higher rates
What it really means – a condition that hasn’t happened yet, but will become a reality in the near future
First off, a bit of insider baseball. Congressional budgeting isn’t the same thing as personal budgeting because the government can always print more money. If you or I did that, we’d be thrown in jail.
Come to think of it, that would be an ideal solution to the problems I have with Congress…
Anyway, because of this federal ability to print money, you’re more likely to find a happy Bud Light drinker than the government is to default on our debts. There are risks tied to this, namely the US Dollar becoming more worthless than Kanye West’s 2024 Presidential campaign coffers, but our elected officials aren’t stupid enough to let that happen, right?
Considering there is a sitting Representative who expressed fear that Guam would capsize if there were too many people, I’m not betting the farm on that.
But what I am betting the farm on is a lot of histrionics from people who don’t know the first thing about how economics works, even those who boast of having economics degrees but couldn’t make change.
Or toast, for that matter.
At the heart of this current kurfluffle is the Left’s insistence we raise the debt ceiling to ensure expenditures get paid. Put another way, Leftists are “just trying to pay America’s bills.”
One tiny problem (well, more than one, but we’ll get into that a bit later). The spending being done now is for the next fiscal year, which doesn’t start until…October 1, 2023. The shit we’re dealing with now is from the fiscal year that began October 1, 2022, when Democrats controlled the House and, thus, controlled spending.
Waitaminute…wouldn’t that give Leftists a vested interest in raising the debt ceiling (which is like getting a credit line increase on the federal Visa card)? Why…yes, yes it would!
It also gives them a manmade…womanmade…wymynmade…transmade…whatever made line 0f attack against House Republicans. After all, they’re standing in the way of paying America’s bills, right?
Not so much. The House passed a debt bill waaaaaaaay back on April 26th, a bill that Senate Majority Leader Chuck “Not Amy” Schumer called “dead on arrival” and President Puddin’ Head Joe said he would veto the House bill if it passed the Senate. Compare this to his comments from a few weeks ago (and a few days after he made the veto comment) trying to spin the situation to his advantage.
Hmmm…kinda makes you wonder who’s really forcing the default issue, doesn’t it?
But it’s not like the Left doesn’t have solutions. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent Puddin’ Head Joe a letter suggesting he invoke the 14th Amendment as a means to resolve the debt ceiling issue and avoid default. Although this may seem like a stretch that would make Reed Richards look like a block of stone, Section 4 gives at least somewhat of a framework.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Now, I didn’t say the Left had good solutions.
The Left’s argument relies on the “validity of the public debt…shall not be questioned” part. Thanks to our good friends at Merrium Webster, we have two definitions of “validity” that maybe kinda sorta works.
the quality or state of being valid: such as
a: the state of being acceptable according to the law
b: the quality of being well-grounded, sound, or correct
Now, I’m giving the Left more credit than usual for deep thinking, but just because they put a little more thought into it than how they want their steaks cooked doesn’t mean they’re on the right track. Even with the most liberal (see what I did there) interpretation of the definitions, you’re still left with the “so what” question. How does this apply to the debt ceiling?
According to Al Jazeera (because I love to be an equal opportunity mocker of bad ideas), invoking the 14th would eliminate the debt limit and allow the nation’s bills to be paid. Now, this may solve the short term issues, but astute readers and students of history know how this is likely to end.
Spoiler Alert for you Leftists out there: it doesn’t end well for anyone, especially you.
Even though the Left is almost completely wrong here, they have inadvertently stumbled into a real issue: we aren’t taking federal spending seriously. I would say the government spends money like drunken sailors, but that would be insulting inebriated members of the Navy and I won’t stand for that. I don’t have any reason to believe we’d ever go into default, but only because of the power the federal government has to create money out of thin air. And we’re not talking about bills that have anything backing it, mind you. Right now the only thing backing the US Dollar is…our word.
Any Native American readers want to chime in on how much the government’s word is worth?
More to the point, our government’s spending makes the possibility of an actual default more and more likely unless we get a handle on it. As anyone who has had to take our a second mortgage to buy eggs this week can attest, inflation is a real issue affecting us all on some level. The more money we print, the less value it has. Before you know it, we’re post-WWI Germany without the pointy helmets.
And the thing is we keep running into this game of economic chicken every fucking year. The party in power of Congress and the party out of power always jockey for position in the weeks and months before the government can’t pay its bills and chaos ensues (according to the Left). Then, we might have to…shut down the government until a deal can be reached! Then, people might realized just how big, cumbersome, and mostly useless government actually is, and that’s going to hurt Leftists!
Wait. I’m not sure there’s a downside here. Oh, wait, I see one: this brinkmanship is tired, as well as tiring. But we will keep seeing it as long as both major parties prefer it to fiscal responsibility. Democrats and Republicans don’t want to think about what happens when the interest payment on the national debt exceeds our ability to pay since they’re too busy trying to figure out how to blame it on each other.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating (for no other reason than to pad out this piece a bit more). America has a spending problem. We are a shopaholic with the world’s most elite credit card, and we keep upping the credit limit because our elected officials are more than willing to sign off on it. And as long as the dipshits in Washington DC fail to grasp even basic accounting practices (i.e. being too far in the red is a bad thing), we’re going to keep playing chicken with the can being kicked down the road so a new group of dipshits can play.
Well, there’s a line from the movie “War Games” that applies here: “The only winning move is not to play.” Granted, we’re not dealing with Global Thermonuclear War or even chess, but we are hurtling towards a different point of no return, one where default is all but guaranteed. Cutting proposed spending while still increasing spending doesn’t help. Our national debt is in the trillions of dollars, and nobody on either side really wants to do the one thing that will help.
STOP FUCKING SPENDING!
While Republicans don’t seem to have any answers, at least they’re not really dumb ideas, which is what the Left has to offer right now. So, expect more chicken in DC and less in your refrigerator.
Speaking of which, could you help me out? I need to buy some chicken and I’m short by, oh, a few thousand dollars. Thanks in advance!