Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ideally, we shouldn't raise the debt ceiling, but because of our state-dependent society, it's going up at some point, no matter what

I have to admit, I'm very attracted to the idea of not raising the debt ceiling.  In one fell swoop, we could cut the lifeblood of Leviathan through what is essentially a balanced budget mechanism.  If we are at the debt limit, government receipts have to equal government expenditures.  So even though Obama would have won the November election, our government would be as limited (at least on an expenditure basis) as it would be under Ron Paul.  Unfortunately, the realities of electoral politics and the fact that 70% of the Federal budget goes to some sort of dependence program, any victory will be short lived.  Let's say enough of the GOP goes along and keeps us from increasing the debt ceiling (which is far from likely given most House Republicans voted against the cliff and it still passed thanks to a RINO-Democrat coalition), then what?  We'd have to cut government spending by 40% (about $1.3 Trillion!) in order to not have our debt limit breached.  Our deficit is so big that if we cut out ALL discretionary spending, all defense and just about every cabinet department, just focusing on interest and entitlements, we just balance the budget.  So realistically, we'd have to take a knife to medicare and social security in order to balance the budget, immediately.  As we all know seniors vote, how would you expect them to react in 2014?  We could easily end up with a filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate (heck it even could be big enough to amend the Constitution, won't that just be a hoot!) and a massive majority in the House.  Plus, most people probably won't be happy with their parents and grandparents suddenly cut off from their income.  They will blame the people cutting off the funds now, not the people who raided the trust fund in the first place.  So after 2014, not only will the debt ceiling likely be permanently increased, but we would get socialist programs that would make the French blush.  Essentially we would be winning a battle but losing a war.  Badly.

Perhaps we could have gotten away with not raising the debt ceiling in 2007, when we would have only had to cut spending by 6% to balance the budget, but those days are long gone.  Obama has spent our money like a conman who just had a big haul after a long dry spell.  It's simply not a realistic vehicle for long term restraint of the government.

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