Texas Straight Talk: How DC Won On The Debt Ceiling, And Americans Lost


Washington, DC, Wall Street, and central bankers around the world rejoiced this week as Congress came to an agreement to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling. The latest spending-and-debt deal was negotiated by Congressional leaders behind closed doors, and was rushed through Congress before most members had time to read it. Now that the bill is passed, we can see that it is a victory for the political class and special interests, but a defeat for the American people.

The debt ceiling deal increases spending above the levels set by the “sequester.” The sequester cuts were minuscule, and in many cases used the old DC trick of calling reductions in planned spending increases a cut. But even minuscule and phony cuts are unacceptable to the bipartisan welfare-warfare spending collation. The bill also does nothing to protect the American people from the Obamacare disaster.

As is common in bills drafted in secret and rushed into law, this bill contains special deals for certain powerful politicians. The bill even has a provision authorizing continued military aid to opponents of the Ugandan “Lord’s Resistance Army,” which was the subject of the widely-viewed “Kony 2012″ YouTube videos. Most of these unrelated provisions did not come to public attention until after the bill was passed and signed into law.

Members of Congress and the public were told the debt ceiling increase was necessary to prevent a government default and an economic crisis. This manufactured fear supposedly justified voting on legislation without allowing members time to even read it, much less to remove the special deals or even debate the wisdom of intervening in overseas military conflicts because of a YouTube video.

Congress should have ignored the hysterics. A failure to increase government’s borrowing authority would not lead to a default any more that an individual’s failure to get a credit card limit increase in would mean they would have to declare bankruptcy. Instead, the failure of either an individual or a government to obtain new borrowing authority would force the individual or the government to live within their means, and may even force them to finally reduce their spending. Most people would say it is irresponsible to give a spendthrift, debit-ridden individual a credit increase. Why then is it responsible to give an irresponsible spendthrift government an increase in borrowing authority?

Congress surrendered more power to the president in this bill. Instead of setting a new debt ceiling, it simply “suspended” the debt ceiling until February. This gives the administration a blank check to run up as much debt as it pleases from now until February 7th. Congress can “disapprove” the debt ceiling suspension, but only if it passes a resolution of disapproval by a two-thirds majority. How long before Congress totally abdicates its constitutional authority over spending by allowing the Treasury permanent and unlimited authority to borrow money without seeking Congressional approval?

Instead of seriously addressing the spending crisis, most in Congress would rather engage in last-minute brinksmanship and backroom deals instead of taking the necessary action to reign in spending. Congress will only take serious steps to reduce spending when either a critical mass of Americans pressures it to cut spending, or when investors and foreign countries stop buying US government debt. Hopefully, those of us who understand sound economics can convince enough of our fellow citizens to pressure Congress to make serious spending cuts before Congress’s reckless actions cause a total economic collapse.

Personal Liberty

Ron Paul

Former Representative Ron Paul has maintained a steadfast consistency in speaking out against executive power, taxation and war. Unlike many of his Republican peers, as a Congressman, he voted against the Patriot Act and against the Iraq war. He has voted against farm subsidies and regulating the Internet, which is in line with his interest in reducing government spending and the role of the Federal government. Paul has also expressed his opposition to the war on drugs, saying that the government's efforts have actually been a war on doctors. These and other controversial opinions have often caused tension with his Republican counterparts. Paul is the author of many books, including End The Fed, Liberty Defined and Revolution: A Manifesto. Along with a lengthy political career as a Congressman and Presidential candidate, Paul has also worked as a respected obstetrician in his home State of Texas. Since his retirement from Congress in 2013, Paul has stayed busy encouraging Americans to fight for liberty by founding the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and his own news channel.

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  • Old Wolf

    To be quite blunt, to admit that not getting a debt limit raise would lead to default would be to admit that you’re running a ponzi scheme, that you’re taking out further loans to pay the old loans. That’s the only way that not getting a credit increase would cause default on the loans.
    Otherwise you hit the cap, and stop spending further on credit, and use your remaining income, if any, to continue payments on loans.

  • Alex

    Sorry, Ron, but no thinking people care what racist you or your race-baiting spawn have to say…

    • carl_AF

      Facts Alex, give us facts about Rep Paul’s racist or race baiting ways.

    • Michael Castillo

      What is more racist than someone who labels anyone they disagree with a racist? Put the facts about Ron Paul’s supposed racism in the sunshine. If you can’t then look in the mirror to find a racist!

    • Gary

      Evidence of racism? I’m waiting.

    • Richard Erwin

      another race baiting libtard alex just like obummer

  • Jim Read

    From what I have heard the debt ceiling waiver was done just like the ACA, no real bill to be read before it was voted on. “You must vote on it to find out what is in it” remember those famous words, it worked so well the first time and now it has worked again. Here is a different concept for congress, only ONE bill can be presented in a month and no other bill can be presented until that bill has been read, (all 2000 pages) and no amendments can be attached to any bill. Each bill must pass or fail on its own merits. Two things would be accomplished by this, spending would be reduced because a good majority of spending is in amendments and there would be much fewer meaningless laws to be ignored by the police, FBI and the justice dept.

  • Warrior

    And now we are really seeing the effects of “TOO BIG TO FAIL”. The gubmint can now extort loads of cash from the “TOO BIG TO FAIL” gang. That’s ok though because the “fed” window is still open for bidness!