By Brian Dann
STOP the presses, call the President, alert John Boehner, tell Ted Cruz to shut the f**k up already, because I just figured out how to solve the Debt Ceiling crisis! It’s so simple and I cannot believe that nobody has ever thought of this before! Here we go. Are you ready? You may want to sit down for this. The way to solve the debt ceiling crisis is… get rid of the debt ceiling! There, problem solved, no debt ceiling, no crises. Ok Congress, make it happen. I will now take my Nobel Prize for economics. Oh I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Is Brian really as attractive in person as he is in his blog photo?” Oh, go on, you make me blush, and the answer is, no. That was taken twenty something years ago by a professional photographer. Now I’m distinguished looking and wise beyond my years. But you’re also thinking “That’s just crazy talk! How can a country function without a debt ceiling? Our spending would be at record highs and be greater than revenue! How absurd! We would have to borrow money from the rest of the free world, maybe even from China!” That’s right Einstein, kinda like were doing NOW! You’re also thinking, “Isn’t the Debt Ceiling supposed to stop us from spending too much?” Well if that was the case then why did we have to increase the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960, 48 times under a Republican president and 28 times under a Democrat? I know, the notion of running a government without a debt ceiling is just plain insanity, isn’t it? What country in their right mind would possibly dream of doing that!? Weeeeeell, actually… all of them, except for two, the USA and Denmark, and just like us Denmark had to raise their debt ceiling as well. But unlike us Denmark has raised their debt ceiling… ready for this?… once, not once a month, not once a year, just once… ever. Oh and indecently, Denmark has very high quality health care that is free for all citizens and visitors, and is paid for by a tax that doesn’t even come close to what the average American or American business pays yearly for health coverage, plus co-pays, plus deductibles, plus uncovered procedures, plus…you know I’ll just stop there. I could go on but I think you get the point. So if no other countries besides the USA and Denmark have a debt ceiling, and the debt ceiling concept has done absolutely nothing to curb our spending in regards to generated revenue, and if the only thing the debt ceiling has accomplished is to turn our congress into bickering school children who won’t share their toys, while jumping up and down whining and crying because Barry Obama wont give up his Supreme Court Certified Supersonic Turbo ACA ObamaCare Hot Wheels Transformer action figure for a lump of coal!…what then is the purpose of having a debt ceiling?
The debt ceiling was first created in 1917 by congress but it only covered debt related to war and a few other expenses. It was expanded in 1939 to cover all government expenses. And for a long time it worked. Congress raised it as needed and did not use it as a bargaining chip to change laws they did not like. It also worked because congress used to create and approve these crazy things called budgets. Today the Republican controlled house won’t even allow a budget meeting to happen so we have not had a budget for years. If they had a budget meeting they would actually have to negotiate with Democrats and g-d forbid that should happen! You see, as any responsible American knows, a budget sets guidelines for how much you will spend for the year and on what you will spend it on. If you try to live without a budget you have no guidelines for spending and you inevitably end up spending much more than you intend to. So lately congress, instead of passing budgets to control spending, just keeps spending and spending and spending, since there are no guide lines telling them when to stop, and here’s the kicker. It’s all on credit! Congress basically has a Visa from the Bank of China with a trillion dollar limit. Eventually they have to go payback what they spent but since they have spent more than the debt ceiling allows them to pay back, they have to raise the debt ceiling or default. Here is where two problems arise. First unlike Denmark, congress never raises the debt ceiling high enough to account for all the money they will have to pay back and to avoid having to raise it again for a very long time. Secondly, The controlling party, in this case the Republicans in Congress, who have now decided that since they are still having a hissy fit that Barack Obama was elected President, and by the way I would never suggest that it has anything to do with him being black, they will now oppose everything this President will ever stand for, and instead of raising the debt ceiling like congress used to, they risk the good faith and credit of the United States by threatening to not raise the debt ceiling unless the President pays whatever ridiculous ransom they dream up, which in the present case includes repealing the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare as it has come to be known. Actually there is a third problem. Lately congress will only pass the debt ceiling for at the most a few months which means congress will continually waste all their time arguing about raising the debt ceiling for a few months and will get nothing else accomplished like immigration reform, increased funding for education, fixing our infrastructure, feeding the homeless, or pretty much ANYTHING that really matters!
So if the Dept Ceiling causes so many problems, and is doing nothing to control spending, and is taking time away from pretty much anything that really matters… let’s just get rid of it. Control spending by passing a budget and sticking to it. Or create a constitutional amendment similar to what Germany has that says debt can only exceed the GDP by .35%. Actually my idea of getting rid of the debt ceiling altogether is not something I can take full credit for. In fact I can’t take any credit for it. People far more intelligent than me thought of it first, people like Warren Buffet(Chairman and CEO Of Berkshire Hathaway), Tim Geithner (former Treasury Secretary), Ben Bernanke (Chairman of the Federal Reserve), Larry Summers (former Treasury Secretary), Bruce Bartlett (Former Senior Policy Analyst and Treasury Official), Ezra Klein (Washington Post), Alan Greenspan (Former Federal Reserve Chairman), Robert Rubin (Former Treasury Secretary), Paul O'Neill (Former Treasury Secretary), and the list goes on*. But if we did this, if we did this completely logical thing, it would remove the one thing that the Republicans have… their bargaining chip. They would lose their ability to put their utter distain for President Obama above the financial and physical welfare of not just the people of this country, but the world. We don’t need a debt ceiling. We need to put people first, not politics, we need compromise, not shut downs, and the Republicans in Congress need to finally accept that a black man, with the middle name Hussein, STOP the presses…Won…Twice.