One of President Barack Obama’s reasons for refusing to negotiate his demand to raise the debt ceiling centers on his premise that the debt ceiling is about existing debt obligations, not future ones. He’s right, in a limited way. What he chooses to elide in that, though, is that existing debt exists because of past spending exceeding past revenues: see, for instance, his Stimulus Bill in 2009; his trillion-dollar deficit budget offerings in each year of his administration; the Democrat-run Senate’s refusal even to consider a budget until this year, with that budget offer containing billions of dollars in deficit; and the government’s continued spending in excess of revenue, even in the absence of a budget.
Of course spending reductions need to be part of the present debt ceiling raise negotiations—that’s the only way to reduce/eliminate future borrowing (and on the side, to reduce/eliminate the need for future debt ceiling raises).
There’re plenty of Federal revenues coming in with which to pay the Federal government’s borrowings and to keep those debts current. That was the case in 2011, when the Obama administration and Senate Democrats tried to mislead us about debt “default,” and it’s the case today, even though we’re two years further into Obama’s failed recovery.
The Democrats in this government threatening default if the Republicans and Conservatives don’t agree to lift it without spending limits are
a) deliberately dishonest in their misleading claims about “default”
b) breathtakingly ignorant about meaning of defaulting on borrowings
c) holding our economy—and us Americans who exist within it—hostage against their getting their own way
Or all three.
But Obama, his Senate Majority Leader, and the latter’s seconds and deputies all refuse to negotiate. Again.