Where Are the Debt-Ceiling Chicken Littles Today?
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Why bring up the debt-ceiling controversy now? After all, that controversy was just recently resolved by Congress’s decision to raise the debt ceiling yet again, in order to enable U.S. officials to continue adding more debt to the nation’s credit card. Given that the new debt ceiling won’t arise until sometime in 2024, why revisit the issue now?
The reason is to show the utter hypocrisy and gamesmanship of the Chicken Littles who dramatically exclaim, time after time when the debt ceiling is reached, that it must be raised again. Otherwise, they exclaim, the federal government will be forced to default on its debt, which, they say, will cause the sky to fall, make the United States fall into the ocean, and bring catastrophe to the rest of the world.
The purpose of a debt ceiling
The debt ceiling is an implicit acknowledgment by Congress that too much debt is a bad thing. The purpose of the ceiling is to prevent Congress from incurring an amount of debt that exceeds the ceiling. That is, the ceiling serves as the maximum amount of debt that the government is permitted to incur.
What happens if the debt ceiling is reached and not raised? In that case, the government must match tax revenues with expenditures. The expenditures will no longer be permitted to exceed the tax revenues. In other words, no more borrowing, which would necessarily mean that the total debt would not exceed the debt ceiling.
Hypocrisy and gamesmanship
So, where does the hypocrisy and gamesmanship of the Chicken Littles come into play? Notice that after Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling yet again, the Chicken Littles went into silent mode. They are silent with respect to
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