GOP Senators Want to Pick a Fight With Biden Over Debt Limit. Yes, Really.

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Republican senators met this past week to develop a strategy in dealing with the Democratic majority and President Joe Biden. They decided to propose a series of mostly symbolic gestures that would put the Democrats on record as supporting all the bad things in the country and none of the good.


And they decided to demonstrate how serious they are about getting control of spending. They adopted a statement suggested by Rick Scott of Florida to demand spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling later this summer, Business Insider reported.

One might gently inquire why the sudden concern about the national debt after spending the last four years squandering taxpayer money, going on a spending binge like some 16-year-old girl who went to the mall after stealing her daddy’s American Express card.

The GOP cannot make a case for fiscal conservatism when, almost to a member, they abandoned the principle during the Trump presidency. But Republican partisans and most voters have a very short memory. It’s a new day and there’s a new president who just happens to be from the other party.

Who gives a flying fig about history or consistency?

“This is a page from the Obama-era economic sabotage playbook, and I’m not going to let Republicans play games with the economy for their political benefit,” Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement to Business Insider.

Republicans gave the green light for a surge of red ink in the 2017 corporate tax cuts as well as military spending increases. With pandemic-related emergency spending, the debt grew by another $7.8 trillion under Trump, ProPublica reported.

If Republicans keep a hard line against raising the debt ceiling, the federal government would default on its debt obligations in an unprecedented event.


Yes, yes…real Old Testament stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria.

It’s not like we haven’t heard it before.

To hell with defaulting on the debt. How about giving minimal thought to future generations who have to pay for those wonderful stimulus checks we got from Daddy Warbucks and Uncle Joe? The statistics show that Americans took that “emergency” cash and blew it at the mall — at least, the virtual mall. That dream of a 16-year-old girl with Daddy’s credit card going to the mall actually came true.

Now, after standing by when the debt rose by almost $7 trillion under Donald Trump, Republicans have all suddenly rediscovered fiscal responsibility and the GOP has instant credibility on speaking against deficit spending, right?

At least the Democrats had the good sense to sit by quietly during the Trump years. Obama added a cool $9 trillion to the federal debt and they were silent then, too.

The only people these days who care one iota about the debt ceiling are international money traders and writers of financial newsletters. The money traders hate it when small investors swallow the propaganda about a “default” and sell everything in sight. Newsletter writers can’t remember where they put all that research on why not raising the debt ceiling is a very, very, very bad thing.


Fed Chairman Jerome Powell thinks the cheap cost of borrowing — interest rates at or near zero — makes playing politics with the debt limit kind of silly. “Given the low level of interest rates, there’s no issue about the United States being able to service its debt at this time or in the foreseeable future,” he told NPR last month.

Republicans should realize they’ve entered a new era in politics about spending. This isn’t 2013 when the GOP and Obama shut down the government over a few tens of billions of dollars in government funds. We’re talking trillions of dollars. The politics of talking trillions of dollars is pretty much like talking about billions of dollars except you have to think of 3 more zeroes when discussing or writing about it.

It’s not that hard because you get used to it very quickly.


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