.

GOP a bunch of clowns when it comes to debt ceiling

  • Saturday, October 9, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion

It’s way past political cliche, but that old “Popeye” comic strip where J. Wellington Wimpy promises to pay a short-order cook tomorrow for a hamburger he plans to eat today, is still the best way to describe Republican intransigence over a vote to extend the nation’s debt ceiling. In case you missed it, Republicans in the narrowly divided U.S. Senate voted to block the approval of new borrowing intended to pay for old debt that they’re complicit in racking up. While entirely unsurprising, the GOP’s united front on the debt ceiling is the most transparent kind of political cynicism.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans are pressing Senate Democrats to use the fast-track process known as reconciliation to raise the debt ceiling without GOP votes. That’s the same process the Democrats want to use to bypass the GOP to pass the President Biden administration’s sprawling domestic agenda. With the Senate deadlocked at 50-50, and a midterm election looming, Republicans want to make Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his fellow Democrats look as bad as possible as they look to recapture control of the 100-member chamber.

“There is no chance, no chance the Republican conference will go out of our way to help Democrats conserve their time and energy, so they can resume ramming through partisan socialism as fast as possible,” McConnell said as another attempt to raise the debt ceiling flopped. But, and this is an important but, the inescapable reality is that McConnell and the GOP are responsible for the spending that’s led to the standoff, and they’re working as hard as they can to evade responsibility for it. That’s some galactic dissonance for a party that’s tried to portray itself as a champion of fiscal responsibility.

And even that doesn’t hold up under even casual scrutiny. These are the same Republicans who voted for the President Trump administration’s deficit-exploding tax cut for the wealthy. And they are the same Republicans who voted for a two-year extension of the debt ceiling in 2019, according to Politico. And that monster bill boosted federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars.

After the failed vote, Schumer correctly blamed Republicans, accusing them of “playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States.” “The Republican Party has solidified itself as the party of default, and it will be the American people who pay the price,” Schumer added.

Writing in the Washington Post, columnist Greg Sargent noted that Democrats could use the budget reconciliation process to get rid of the debt limit, first imposed during the administration of President Wilson as a way to fund the nation’s entrance into World War I. Back then, the debt ceiling was capped at a relatively quaint $15 billion, according to NPR. There’s a certain beauty to that plan. But it would require Democrats to do something they are supernaturally bad at doing: Actually using the power that comes with controlling the White House and both chambers of the legislative branch, and playing the kind of hardball it takes to get stuff done.

You can say this much for the Republicans. They might not run the White House or the U.S House, but they routinely roll right over Democrats as if they do.

The Democrats should get rid of both the debt ceiling and the filibuster – thus ending the paralysis in an already broken U.S. Senate – and do the work the voters elected them to do. You can bet Republicans would do the same if they were in charge. It’s time to take the wheels off the GOP’s clown car before it runs the nation permanently into the ditch.

John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, Pa. Email him at jmicek@penncapital-star.com.

More in Opinion

Malls fade into history due to online shopping

My buddies Ayres and Klinger and I walked its crowded corridors for… Continue reading

.
Hot glue gun just 1 issue with dreaded school projects

Raising three daughters has come with many delights, challenges, prayers and moments… Continue reading

.
SNL’s Biden not ready for prime time

Whatever problems the real President Biden faces with polls and policies, they… Continue reading

.
Leaving leaves alone is good for the environment

If you don’t like my opinions this week, you can take a… Continue reading

COVID has helped remind us life is short

The Lyft driver pulled up to the curb at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.… Continue reading

Millions ofreasons toinvestigate

Help us understand. If someone broke into your house and took let’s… Continue reading

.
Biden hiding from the press

The White House press corps is in a snit again because President… Continue reading

.
We didn’t have to eat Kix when Clinton was in office

Inever parted with a $20 bill faster. It happened at one of… Continue reading

.
Feminists: Heart, brain are what truly matter

Iwas a Republican, and I was a Democrat, and I was an… Continue reading

Most Read