Will federal fiscal failures be the status quo?
''The federal government once again has reached the limit of its legal ability to borrow money, meaning it cannot issue new Treasury debt without action by Congress to increase the debt ceiling limit. As of this month, our 'official' national debt -- which doesn't include the staggering future payments promised to Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries -- stands at $14.2 trillion.
The debt ceiling law, passed in 1917, enables Congress to place a statutory cap on the total amount of government debt rather than having to approve each individual Treasury bond offering. It also, however, forces Congress into an open and presumably somewhat shameful vote to approve more borrowing. If the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives gives in to establishment pressure by voting to increase the debt ceiling once again, you will know that the status quo has prevailed. You will know that the simple notion of balancing the budget, by limiting federal spending to federal revenue, remains a shallow and laughable campaign platitude.
It is predictable that Congress will once again merely delay the inevitable and raise the debt ceiling, after the usual rhetoric about controlling spending, making cuts, and yes, raising taxes. We have heard endless warnings about how irresponsible it would be to 'shut down the government.' The implication is that sober, rational, mature pundits and politicians understand reality, while those who oppose raising the debt ceiling limit are reckless ideologues who will harm the economy just to make a point.''