Truly ridiculous

The battle over raising the debt ceiling is truly the most ludicrous debate to happen in Washington, D.C., in generations. And one party – the GOP – is solely responsible for this spectacle.

The absolutely ridiculous nature of the Republican position was made evident by Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a press briefing today. During that briefing, Cantor – apparently in all seriousness – said Republicans had already made the only concession they would make: even discussing actually raising the debt limit. Cantor went on to say, “What I don’t think the White House understands is how difficult it is for fiscal conservatives to say they’re going to vote to pay for a debt ceiling increase.”

This is astounding, though many Americans may not realize why. The debt ceiling is an artificial – and some argue unconstitutional – limit on U.S. borrowing. Raising the debt ceiling does one thing and one thing only: Allows the American government to meet the obligations it has already made – obligations that the current and past Congress made in the spending and revenue bills they passed.

So, in effect, what Cantor is saying is: “What I don’t think the White House understands is how difficult it is for fiscal conservatives to agree to pay their bills.” It is a ludicrous statement that demonstrates that either Cantor doesn’t have a clue about this issue – a frightening possibility considering he’s one of the main negotiators – or he is intentionally trying to cloud the issue for the American voters.

The bottom line is this: No budget currently proposed or even contemplated would be possible without a substantial increase in the debt ceiling. Rep. Paul Ryan’s Draconian budget would require an increase of trillions of dollars over the next decade. The even-more conservative budget proposed by the Republican Study Committee also requires a multi-trillion-dollar increase in the limit.

Unless someone is prepared for the U.S. government to default on its loans, increasing the debt ceiling is an absolute necessity. But for Cantor, even discussing doing something to avert a global financial disaster is a huge concession for congressional Republicans.

Is it possible to impeach an entire party for dereliction of duty?

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