The Speaker of the House of Representatives has announced that Republicans must sacrifice to avoid default by raising the debt ceiling. I have several issues with Mr. Boehner’s statement.
- Not raising the debt ceiling does not mean default.
- Raising the debt ceiling $1 trillion and cutting $1 trillion in spending results in zero: 1-1=0. If the net result of the proposal is zero, then cut spending now and do not raise the debt ceiling. I understand it is not this simple but it could be done.
- Why didn’t he propose this for the past two debt ceiling raises?
- Why didn’t he propose this earlier than the eleventh hour?
- And most important of all, what are the sacrifices that he expects his fellow Republican Congressmen to make?
The top Democrats from the House and Senate met with President Obama at the
White House this evening, as House Speaker John Boehner told his Republican
members it is time to make “some sacrifices” to avert a debt crisis.
The late-day activity came as financial markets started opening around the
world and reacting to the breakdown of negotiations and missed deadlines.
Boehner, R-Ohio, had promised to unveil his “new measure” to avoid a debt crisis this
afternoon in an effort to calm the Asian financial markets. He did not. But the outlines suggest there is still work to do.
The speaker would increase the debt ceiling by a trillion dollars and cut spending by a trillion dollars. That is a short-term fix that would allow the country to borrow money
and pay its bills through January.
During that period Boehner’s plan calls for the appointment of a 12-member
Congressional Commission to come up with an additional $3 trillion in cuts and
revenue increases through tax reform.
What is unclear is whether Congress would be forced to vote to raise the debt ceiling again.
“We can’t adopt an approach that leaves the threat of default hanging over
the country for another six months or so,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said
today on ABC’s “This Week.”