One should factcheck on the debt ceiling. The truth is that raising “the debt ceiling limit” pays for costs of programs that were approved in the past, legal obligations. The US has never defaulted on its obligations in the past. The debt ceiling has been lifted. 

Republicans have voted to increase the debt ceiling limit, 29 times during Republican years and 19 times during Democratic years since 1960. During that time, there have been 32 years of Republicans and 27 years of Democrats in the White House. During the Trump administration the debt ceiling was raised three (3) times, by almost $7.8 Trillion. Trump saw the fastest rate of increase of the national debt than any other modern President. During Reagan’s 8 years in office, the debt ceiling was lifted 17 times, the most times. The raising of the debt ceiling has always been bi-partisan as Congress realized the severe economic damage to the economy if they did not pay for programs and debts of the past. The debt ceiling limit should not be used as a political football to damage the party in office.  

Today, the government continues to borrow money to pay for policies that Trump signed into law, such as the 2017 tax cuts geared at big business and wealthy earners. The debt ceiling was lifted for Trump in 2017 and twice in 2019, March and August, before the COVID 19 pandemic started in the US and had negative business consequences. The debt ceiling established in 1917, is the maximum amount of debt that the Treasury Department may issue to pay the country’s bills. Not increasing the debt ceiling now can force the government to stop payments on seniors’ Social Security and Medicare, stop payments on Medicaid, Federal employees can be furloughed, or stop/limit payments to bondholders, or other obligations. The economic consequences would be severe and felt worldwide. The US and Denmark are the only two democratic countries to have a debt ceiling. There are 5 others countries with debt ceiling limits: Malaysia, Kenya, Poland, Pakistan, and Namibia. 

 

Dennis Klinkhamer

Clear Lak

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