The right answer and the wrong answer when it comes to more borrowing

United_States_Capitol_Building

Within today’s Jolt from the Political Insider team, there’s a contrast between two Georgia members of the House Freedom Caucus that has held up the election of a new speaker: Reps. Jody Hice and Barry Loudermilk. Part of the contrast concerns the speaker’s race — Hice still backs Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., for the job while Loudermilk said he isn’t backing Webster and won’t necessarily vote with the caucus on that matter.

The other main point of contention between the two concerns the debt ceiling, and as far as I’m concerned their positions make clear which one understands the reality of how things work in Washington and which one still hasn’t figured it out.

The one who hasn’t figured it out is Hice, whose position was captured in a recent, brief profile by the New York Times:

“In an interview later, (Hice) also said he would not vote to raise the debt ceiling, no matter the economic consequences. ‘Where does the insanity stop?’ he asked. ‘We have got to cut spending and live within our means.’ “

Let me answer the congressman’s question very directly: The “insanity” stops with pretending the time for opposing the debt ceiling is after spending bills have been approved. Here, Loudermilk gets it right (from the Jolt):

“Here’s what Loudermilk told reporters about the debt ceiling Oct. 9:

“‘We have to raise the debt ceiling. I use the analogy: If I loan my son my credit card and he ran it up, I’m still obligated to pay for it. Previous Congresses are the ones who have run up the debt. We’re going to have to pay for it.’ “

That’s exactly right. The time for “cut(ting) spending and liv(ing) within our means” is when the spending measures are being passed — not when the bills for those bills come due. If you’re saying something other than that, you’re not being straight with people about the issue.

It’s not as if there aren’t other ways to go about this. I have suggested a few in the past: Include a proportional debt-ceiling increase with each spending bill; even better, reflect priorities by passing some spending bills without an increase and others with the increase necessary to fund them. Either way would increase pressure on Congress to be more frugal — and it would be done at the time the spending was being approved, rather than waiting until the bill came due as is done now.

Reader Comments 0

43 comments
STHornet1990
STHornet1990

When Loudermilk is the smart, honest one, you have to wonder what the people voting for Hice were smoking.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Thanks for this, Kyle. Your mouth to God's ears and all that.

bu2
bu2

They needed, as you said, deal with this with the spending bills.  And the spending budgets should have been passed well before 9/30 like any business would have done.  If the Senate Dems continue to abuse the filibuster, McConnell should have done his job and eliminate the abuse.  Force Obama to veto.  Let people know who is blocking things.

straker
straker

Rafe - "the Constitution is outdated"


I do not know anyone who believes that.


I have never heard or read of any progressive saying that.


WHO told you that?

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@straker I do not know anyone who believes that.


I have never heard or read of any progressive saying that.



In a second interview, State Senator Obama asserted that the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties in that it states what the State and Federal government could not do to you. He asserts that it is flawed in that it does not state what the State and Federal governments should be obligated to do on your behalf. In discussing the Warren court, Obama stated that it wasn't truly radical in that it did not break free from the constraints placed upon it by the founders. He noted that the court never ventured into the issue of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in the society.


http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/President/US/Barack_Obama/Views/The_Constitution/

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@straker

The Democrat presidential candidates are "outdated".

Can't they find anyone with a little more life in them, and maybe some ideas more innovative than spending other people's money?

M H Smith
M H Smith

@straker 

How many time have you heard anyone use the quote "the Constitution is outdated" or someone on the left express their beliefs in a so-called "Living Constitution"?

 If you don't like THE WRITTEN CONSTITUTION then amend it, to pass what you want the WRITTEN CONSTITUTION to allow the laws you want, before circumventing the  amendment process and  codifying a bunch laws in hopes the Supreme Court amend the CONSTITUTION for you.

.

The founders very wisely warned us not to change our laws on a whim.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I would never want Hice to treat me to dinner. It's likely I'd end up having to wash dishes to pay the tab.

@RafeHollister 

redistributive non-economy.

LUV IT! Shuffling the imaginary money around.  

straker
straker

Barry - "real Americans know what progress is"

Rafe - "dictionary definitions mean little anymore"

Kyle - "moving in the wrong direction"


In fact, today's progressives adhere quite closely to the dictionary definition, despite your convoluted attempts to distort it.


Just be honest and say things should be as the Tea Party wants them to be.


In other words, laissez faire for Big Business and an end to all social programs.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@straker 

Social programs should be limited to orphans and those with severe mental or physical handicaps.

Everyone else works for a living.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@straker So, you believe as the proggies, do that the Constitution is outdated and we should move on to a more government controlled country, where government decides for us what is in our best interest?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@straker "In fact, today's progressives adhere quite closely to the dictionary definition, despite your convoluted attempts to distort it. Just be honest and say things should be as the Tea Party wants them to be. In other words, laissez faire for Big Business and an end to all social programs."

Not a single word of that is correct.

straker
straker

Rafe - "proggies"


Progressive - "favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement or reforms, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are"


Please advise as to exactly what you find objectionable to the above.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@straker 

What I find objectionable about proggies' version of "progress" is that it means a weaker economy, weaker defense, less personal responsibility, and more government dependence.

Real Americans know what progress is, and what proggies have on offer ain't it.

M H Smith
M H Smith

@JFMcNamara @RafeHollister @straker 

Say what? Hillary is a dog alright, she might even be blue but she is no Blue Dog.

.

.


Hillary is of the "Social Progressivism" stamp. 

Blue Dogs are of the "Social Conservative" stripe.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@straker The main problem is progressivists are the only ones who would describe their policies as "progressive." The rest of us see them as moving in the wrong direction.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Kyle_Wingfield @straker What gets me is people like Straker will vote for someone who is an openly acknowledged progressive, but they will not do the research to find out what progressivism is all about.  

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@RafeHollister @straker  , Hillarie is not a progressive.  She is a Blue Dog Democrat.  She may claim to be a progressive to get votes, but its pretty clear she is to the right of most Democrats.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

You are absolutely right Kyle, the focus should be on balancing the budget, so there will only be raises necessary to cover the interest payments on the debt, which are becoming substantial.  If interest rates were to return to their historical ave rate we are going to be in trouble paying the interest on the debt as it will make up the majority of our budget.


The proggies obviously have nothing that will help other than raising the taxes on the rich, which is a very middling solution, as there just aren't that many folks in the 1% club.  This is just some deep emotional ideological response that offers little that will help. The same folks are quick with the GW Bush caused this mess, with his two wars and a tax cut, totally oblivious to  the fact that the per person share of the national debt has doubled under Obama.  I am not sure how either of these responses help anything.


The middle class is where the money is and to raise substantial amounts of money you gotta go there, but the middle class is struggling terribly in the Obama government focused  redistributive non-economy.  Their are numerous plans out there to balance the budget fairly and quickly with I think minimal pain on each of us, but some folks are never going to be in favor of any of the plans, because some sacred cow of theirs would have to share in the misery.  Don't know where we go from here, but I suspect we will just kick the can further down the road, until someone picks up the can and says pay me now or default.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Jefferson1776 We already have the same top rate as under Clinton. The Reagan rate -- i.e., the one Reagan ended up with -- was lower, but somehow I don't think that's what you meant. I think you just didn't know what you were talking about.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

@RafeHollister Raise taxes to the Clinton rates or better the Reagan rates.  Quit with the redistributive "crybaby act"  it is just not true.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

You are right about Hice.  I think he is about stupid.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

"The one who hasn’t figured it out is Hice"

Really? He'd have a hard time getting out of a wet paper bag!

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

The spending bills for next year are being negotiated at the same time as the debt ceiling increase. Why not use the debt ceiling vote as leverage to put some sanity into the spending bills?

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Kyle_Wingfield @LilBarryBailout 

I get all that--I do read the OPs--and it's a nice sentiment, but what motive force exists to get Congressweasels to reduce spending while they're in the process of handing out all the goodies (I mean, "writing the new spending bills")?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@LilBarryBailout Why not? Because the debt ceiling is being raised to cover last year's spending. The choice to borrow money was made then; talking about the debt ceiling is an artificial method of CYA politics to pretend otherwise.

As I said, the time to implement debt-ceiling reform is on the new spending bills that will require a new increase in the debt ceiling down the road.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Kyle_Wingfield @LilBarryBailout

What we've seen work in the past, and leftists will just love it because it's "compromise", is spending cuts in return for raising the debt limit.  IIRC, that's how we got the sequester, which has been the only meaningful spending restraint during the disastrous Obama regime.

Caius
Caius

Kyle it is a crying shame that you feel it is necessary to write this column.  But it is necessary.  I would add the following:

Constitution of the U.S.,  Article I, Section 8:  "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;...."

"To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;"




lvg
lvg

Very well said but how do you justify an increase in defense spending of several trillion dollars for three wars  while cutting taxes under George W plus free drugs for the  elderly?

From Wikipedia:

""""""The recent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were largely funded through supplementary spending bills outside the federal budget, which are not included in the military budget figures listed below. Starting in the fiscal year 2010, however, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were categorized as "overseas contingency operations", and the budget is included in the federal budget.

By the end of 2008, the U.S. had spent approximately $900 billion in direct costs on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The government also incurred indirect costs, which include interests on additional debt and incremental costs, financed by the Veterans Administration, of caring for more than 33,000 wounded. Some experts estimate the indirect costs will eventually exceed the direct costs.] As of June 2011, the total cost of the wars was approximately $3.7 trillion."""


Where are those funds coming from?Did the GOP protest?


bu2
bu2

@lvg

No and that's a good part of the reason they lost the House and Senate in 2006.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@lvg  What about the funds to pay for today's passed bill to fund the military and servicemen? Same "magic". But the deficit matters! Really? On budget?

DMayr
DMayr

Agreed. Haggling over the debt ceiling is analogous to treating the symptoms of an illness without caring what's causing them in the first place. And in this case: it's also taking the patient hostage and demanding a ransom before writing the prescription. 


Just another case of self-manufactured crisis to fuel the Kabuki theatre that certain ideologues in Congress seem to favor over actual governing.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

"The “insanity” stops with pretending the time for opposing the debt ceiling is after spending bills have been approved."


Thank you Kyle. 


Why don't the Freedom Caucus Republicans just get this through their head?  Are they really trying to play politics with the fiscal responsibility of the United States?  Evidently so.  It seems they'd rather bluster about Planned Parenthood and stop funding that doesn't actually go to abortions and trying to gain political points by doing it. 

They should be voted out of office, but when elections come around, voters forget about stupid actions like this. 

straker
straker

Kyle, another rare time when I'm in complete agreement with you.