Now is not the time to add to federal debt

Americans have read numerous news stories over the past 60 years about the need for the U.S. Congress to raise the nation’s maximum debt limit.

In fact, since 1960, Congress has raised the nation’s maximum debt limit a whopping 80 times.

Our nation’s debt is currently estimated at $28.4 trillion and growing.

Now, Congress reportedly needs to raise the nation’s debt limit again or else the U.S. Treasury Department’s cash balance will drop to an insufficient level to pay all of the federal government’s bills. The national government offices could be shut down - again. This dire assessment is the same one we’ve heard 80 times before.

The overwhelming concensus among economists and Treasury officials - like current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen - continues to be that failing to raise the debt limit - again - would cause widespread economic catastrophe for our nation.

In a matter of days, millions of Americans could be strapped for cash, Yellen told The Wall Street Journal newspaper. We could see indefinite delays in critical payments.

Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving their Social Security checks for a time. U.S. military troops could go unpaid. Millions of families who rely on the monthly child tax credit could see delays, America, in short, would default on its obligations.

The scare tactics usually work and the federal debt ceiling gets raised and we all forget about it until it happens again.

It is a little different this time around, however. At this very same time, Democratic lawmakers at Washington, D.C., and President Joe Biden are pushing for a massive new $3.5 trillion spending initiative. 

Most of the new spending initiative is aimed at abandoning great, proven natural resources - like oil and natural gas - for much more expensive and unproven green new deals.

The nation’s debt limit must be raised soon. Treasury Secretary Yellen says that if the debt limit is not raised yet again then the nation would start defaulting on its debt sometime next month.

“Doing so (not raising the nation’s debt limit) would likely precipitate a historic financial crisis,’’ Yellen told the WSJ.

Local governments, state governments and the federal government all live and work within budgets - just like every American family lives and works within their budgets. Only Congress has the authority to raise the federal government’s debt limit. 

Local and state governments and you and me must cut our spending if we can’t pay our expenses. If your bank notified you that you had insufficient funds to cover your debts, you would be required to decrease your spending. You certainly would not be taking on more debt.

Only Congress can get away with making high federal debt even worse, it seems.

All of our federal lawmakers - both Republicans and Democrats - are to blame for the shaky financial ground that they are putting our nation on. 

The government’s emergency bailouts during the COVID-19 pandemic were lifesavers for many U.S. businesses and individuals, but they have added to the nation’s overall debt, also.

Emergency spending aside, Congress must get our nation’s finances back on solid standing. Someday the great political divide in the country will lead to our financial ruin, if we’re not careful. 

It’s also shameful that we have such a bad recent example of government waste - the $85 billion worth of military equipment left behind in Afghanistan. That kind of financial waste tells American citizens that our federal government is out of control and unappreciative of the taxes that we pay.

Other potential negative impacts of the federal government’s debt limit ceiling issue includes a possible Wall Street stock market dip, inflation and higher borrowing rates that could trickle down to all Americans.

Now is certainly not a good time for President Biden and the Senate Democrats to be trying to add a massive new $3.5 trillion spending initiative to our national debt.          David Powls


The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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