Members of both parties in Congress are trying to work out a deal to allow themselves to spend more taxpayer money without cutting the debt, and one freshman conservative congressman is calling them out on it.
According to a Thursday evening story from the Washington Post, White House officials are imploring Capitol Hill Republicans to get behind a plan to raise the federal debt ceiling, as multiple sources say that congressional budget talks have largely broken down.
“Only in Washington is it considered appropriate to endlessly lift one’s borrowing limit without even a hint of shame or a plan to stop it,” reads a Friday statement from Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas. “We should not raise the debt ceiling without a deal to spend less than the current caps and put us on a path to a balanced budget.”
However, the report continues, Democrats are holding out to get guaranteed increases on federal spending limits in addition to the increase to the debt limit.
“Allowing Democrats to back us into a corner and force a ‘deal’ that raises spending levels when we are $22 trillion in debt and counting would be ridiculous,” Roy’s statement continues, “although it appears some members of my party would be happy to do it.”
Just like in the budget process almost every year, the goal is to avoid a potential pileup of budgetary deadlines at the end of the fiscal year in September.
This usually happens anyway and usually precipitates shutdown-avoiding punts, either continuing resolutions or deficit-exploding omnibus packages.
As I’ve explained before, Congress is always on spend-spend-spend autopilot — with our money. And spending more than the government takes in on our massive federal leviathan is the key factor driving our massive $22 trillion debt.
So lawmakers have to get together every so often and come to bipartisan agreements to raise the amount of money Congress can borrow so that Congress can go back to its regularly scheduled episodes of budget-and-shutdown theater.
Republicans actually managed to break spending records despite having trifecta control of the federal government last year, and this country is fast approaching an era of trillion-dollar federal deficits and an estimated $12 trillion more added to the national debt over the next decade.
“The American people have to live within their means, so should the leaders of our nation,” the Texas congressman’s statement continues. “We must end the madness now and not allow the nervous nellies of Wall Street to mortgage our children’s future for quick and dirty profits.”
But of course, since we can’t even attempt to tax ourselves out of a fiscal problem this bad without sending our economy back to the stone age, living within our means as a republic will mean that we have to cut spending — somewhere.