National Debt: $4 Trillion More with Nothing to Show for it


As the House looks to avoid the manufactured threat of default by raising the debt ceiling without spending cuts or other reforms, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is standing against the dishonest rhetoric:

Coburn started off by pointing out there really is no debt ceiling, since it has never stayed in place.

CUOMO: So, no surprise to you. My first question is about your take that the debt ceiling isn’t that important, that we can still pay our bills. A lot of people say that that is nonsense.

Are you holding to that position?

COBURN: Well, who says it’s nonsense? The fact is, is we’re eventually going to make hard choices, Chris. And the debt ceiling has never not been raised. So, there is no debt ceiling.

And by having a debt ceiling and then raising it every time, it allows the politicians off the hook for making the hard choices.

You know, your kids and mine are going to suffer greatly because we failed to rein in spending that’s not efficient, not effective and basically outside the bounds of the Constitution.

Cuomo tried to ambush the Senator, saying hitting the debt ceiling would be a bad thing:

Because you will have to then start prioritizing payments. You will not have the money to pay everything that comes in. You’ll start to have to make choices. IOUs in effect that could negatively affect the credit markets once the financial markets move, the consumers also known as the American families pay the price. You can’t fix it down in Washington. A lot of economists, a lot of big shots in business say you can put us right back into a recession. A bad domino effect.

Coburn didn’t take the bait:

So, the assumption in your process is that we won’t fix it. We won’t make hard choices. And what I’m saying is we’re going to eventually make these hard choices.

Now, we may not make it this time. I may not win my battle for us to start making the hard choices now. But our country is going to eventually make the hard choices.

And all you’re doing and all everybody else is doing is by putting off the choices, making them that much harder on the average American.

Big spenders keep saying we should push off the big decisions just one more time, only to repeat the request months later. In 2010, national debt was $13 trillion. Three short years later, the country has racked up nearly $17 trillion in debt with nothing to show for it. Beltway politicians have long since run out of excuses to regain control of the national debt.

In the realm of political things that go bump in the night, “default” plays a distant second fiddle to the national debt. The only thing Congress is lacking is political will. Senator Coburn and America know it.