CDZ The Debt Ceiling

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by usmbguest5318, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. usmbguest5318

    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2017
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    Just how lame are the people whom Americans have elected to Congress? Rather than voting to discard the debt ceiling or to appropriate most but not all of the money available for a given fiscal year, the Congress have stood by the notion of having a debt ceiling and periodically increasing it. Come on! What substantive value is there to having a debt ceiling when all that happens is they keep increasing it?

    FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) is set to be exhausted this coming Friday. Why? Well, largely because Harvey was a more devastating disaster than the government wagered would hit the U.S. Absent Harvey, or with a less impactful Harvey, the DRF would quite likely not have run out of money and necessitated the GOP-held Congress [1] propose and pass a debt ceiling increase (along with in turn borrowing more money), in order to not only provide assistance to disaster victims but also to avoid appearing as penurious "fat cats."

    Would it have been so bad for Congress to have appropriated what they could, and held back, say, $100B or so from the total $1T+ available for discretionary spending?


    Quite simply, for a given time period and set of objectives, if one has a fixed sum of money available for budgeting, it's absurd to allocate and spend every last dollar of that sum to fund one's routine endeavors, thereby, in the event of an unforeseen, and unforeseeable at the time of appropriating the budget, disaster (natural or manmade), having only the options of increasing the debt ceiling or leaving citizens "high and dry," so to speak. I mean, seriously, who having a total budget of billions and billions of dollars does that? Um....The members of the U.S. Congress do that.

    Then there is the matter that this time round, it's hurricane Harvey relief that, in part, necessitates the increase. Even the most ardent AGW-deniers assert not that the planet isn't warming, but rather that it is not warming because of human activity. Accordingly, regardless of warmer seas' etiology, the fact remains that a consequence of them is more powerful hurricanes. [2] Does not the better part of prudence oblige Congress, one having a debt ceiling, to appropriate funds such that it doesn't have to raise it when reasonably foreseeable calamities like weather events happen mere weeks before the federal fiscal year ends? After all, it's not as though hurricane and tornado events -- unlike asteroid-strikes, earthquakes, and/or volcanic eruptions -- don't come almost every year.


    On the contrary, they occur with such regularity that we have identified seasons for them [3], and they consistently wreak more widely spread devastation and directly disrupt the lives of more U.S. citizens than any band of terrorists. Does Congress adopt a "let's hope it doesn't happen" stance when funding DHS and the USIC agencies? Seemingly not; they aren't the organizations that have run out of money and nobody's saying the debt ceiling increase is to provide funding for them.

    At the end of the day, however, the debt ceiling serves as little more than politically induced stress. That's stress that workers and beneficiaries just don't need in their lives.

    1. Congress, not the POTUS, has the power of the purse and Congress designates how much money gets assigned to each government program. I mention the GOP only because it is the GOP that's most ardent about debt and deficit reduction and about reducing government spending. One'd think, therefore, that the GOP would only pass budgets that don't put the government in the position of needing to pass stopgap debt ceiling increases.
    2. See also:
    3. Atlantic Hurricane Season
      U.S. Tornado Season
    • History, rationale, politics and management of the national debt and the debt ceiling:
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1

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