Raising the Debt Ceiling, Revisited

Yes, raising the debt ceiling does increase the debt -- no matter what Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom might claim.

Congress has two ways of cutting spending. One of those ways is not budgeting. Budgeting no longer exists. Discretionary spending is done on a series of Continuing Resolutions, or by baseline "budgeting." Neither is a budget as you or I understand it, where we look at our income and our expenses and try to make one match the other. And non-discretionary spending is by definition un-budgetable. By law, entitlement checks must go out, no matter what.

So let's stop using the B-word, because it's really just a different B-word.

The first real way Congress can cut spending is to, you know, cut it. They could reduce entitlements or eliminate the baselines and do the real work of holding the pursestrings.

Yeah, I'm laughing bitterly at that, too.

The other thing Congress can do is to let the Treasury hit its legal debt limit, then refuse to authorize any more debt. At which point, something has to give. But raising the debt limit will increase our debt, no matter what, like a fat man loosening his belt a notch after a big dinner -- the newly-allotted space is going to fill right up.

So don't let the Stoner-in-Chief tell you any different.