After scrapping together a solution after nearly dropping off the fiscal cliff, another financial crisis looms ahead for Congress and President Obama: America’s debt ceiling [arbitrarily] will expire sometime in February or March. With the coming expiration, the president and Congress currently are “negotiating” the prospect and respective terms of raising the debt ceiling.
What this means, for those unaware, is that the United States could default on its debt if the borrowing limit is not increased.
Obama remains adamant that no negotiating will take place, stating, “What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people.”
Conversely, Speaker John Boehner expressed a desired coinciding cut to spending, opining, “The American people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time.”
The negotiations for raising the debt ceiling certainly will not be resolved right away, safely before its expiration, because that would be much too practical for our government. Like the fiscal cliff, the budget, and almost everything else pecuniary, Congress and the president will most likely wait till the last minute, if not until right after it is too late, to resolve this issue.
Granted the Republicans need to, and hopefully will, realize that in the end, America cannot default on its debt, thus the ceiling needs to be raised. However, their current stance is not only reasonable and justified, but also needed.
Our government spending is already enormous, wasted on expenses ranging from robot squirrels to pet beauty products to Martian pizza. Additionally, the recent natural disasters added even more costs for the government, with the House recently passing a $50.7 billion relief bill, which assuredly will be approved by the Senate (especially since their version, rejected by the House, totaled $60.4 billion). This is only accentuated by Congress’ desperate resolution to the fiscal cliff merely deferring most needed spending and entitlement cuts.
Other Republican leaders express similar sentiments, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor affirming, "It’s time for President Obama to stop putting our credit rating at risk and acknowledge we need a credible deficit reduction plan attached to any increase in the debt limit.”
This view is indicative of most Republicans stance on the debt ceiling, and likely will be a position they hold on to till the end. This is not to say that only the Republican approach is valid, because both sides certainly need to cave on some stances for the general good of the people; nor is it meant to suggest that Democrats would simply accept these terms with none of their own.
Spending cuts of some form and tax hikes on wealthy Americans, will likely accompany any raise to the debt ceiling, unless, of course, Obama remains averse to any negotiations.
Whatever may happen, this time around Congress and the president hopefully will pass an actual solution, rather than just settling for a temporary fix, or as some millennials say, “kicking the can down the road.”