published Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Debt limit deadline nears

Every day seems to bring another proposal either from President Barack Obama or from Democratic or Republican members of Congress on how to deal with the fact that after Aug. 2, there won’t be enough taxed and borrowed dollars in the federal treasury to pay all our nation’s bills.

Raise taxes a lot and cut spending here and there to bridge the gap, the president and Democrats say.

Cut spending a lot and don’t raise taxes, most Republicans reply.

The latest proposal is by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. His complicated idea is to have the president propose to increase the already-staggering $14.3 trillion debt limit by $700 billion prior to the Aug. 2 deadline. Then, Obama would be asked to propose nonbinding spending cuts of at least that much.

Unfortunately, the debt limit increase would take place without any certainty that the spending reductions would go into effect. Even worse, additional debt ceiling increases totaling $1.8 trillion would be proposed a bit later to tide the nation’s breakneck spending over until after the 2012 elections.

That might provide political cover for some members of Congress, but it is a raw deal for taxpayers. They would be saddled with trillions of dollars in new debt and no corresponding guarantee that the spending which is creating the debt would be lowered significantly.

Do you want our federal government debt — on which just the interest costs us hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes each year — to continue to increase interminably?

Or do you believe that we, the taxpayers, should finally demand that a majority of the members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans — and the president at long last start truly “limiting” the debt by spending less.

Obviously, much federal spending is necessary. However, it also is obvious that much government spending is irresponsible. Some is wasteful. And some spending is actually unconstitutional.

It is a sign of gross abdication of their sworn duties that many in Congress are seeking a vast increase in the debt limit, rather than insisting on the huge spending cuts that are plainly necessary to get our country’s fiscal house in order.

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