Updated: May 7
Another dust-up. Yet another foam in the mouth and feigned demonstration of anger fading into a spoiled child anger fed by arrogance. This display is Republican Kevin McCarthy and the Make AMERICA Great Again GOP House of Representatives member. If you haven't noticed or watched the recent debt cap negotiations on Capitol Hill, you're probably not alone. The crisis created by the Republicans borders on the intersection between political amnesia and 'we have a tax policy', so let's make a platform. Don't be bothered by the camera loving the posturing of the Speaker of the House, but recognize that hypocrisy is alive and kicking like an angry mule.
I usually file this kind of political shenanigans under the 'wake me up when it's over' category, except for one tiny little thing called the law. The hubbub and gaslighting over the Debt Ceiling is an attempt by one political party, the Republicans, to extract concessions or, in this case, steep social spending cuts into programs affecting a vast majority of Americans in the lower tax brackets, none of which seems to be a concern for Speaker McCarthy and his rebel MAGA clan. These spending cuts include veterans' health care, medicare, head start, and other areas, including the repeal of student loan forgiveness. I think some of these cuts provide areas for debate unless, of course, you are struggling and living paycheck to paycheck, which is where most of us Americans on a fixed income or part-time employment find ourselves. A point of interest is that the House GOP doesn't articulate any trickle-down benefits to the American people other than the wealthy and corporations involved in fossil fuel production amidst the global climate change crisis.
What is the Debt Ceiling?
The debt ceiling, also called the debt limit, is a cap on the total amount of money the federal government is authorized to borrow via U.S. Treasury securities, such as bills and savings bonds, to fulfill its financial obligations. Because the United States runs budget deficits, it must borrow vast sums of money to pay its bills."(New York Times) Honestly, a default is bad for business. If Treasury bond values decline then so will other financial instruments. “Financial armageddon” occurs plunging us in to full blown recession and for what - curbing spending?
So What is going on?
The Republicans are getting ready for the presidency race in 2024. So, what better way to ignite your MAGA base than to smash things and cause trouble? Remember when all the right-wing politicians and experts walked in front of the TV cameras and screamed about the prices at the gas station and how the president wasn't doing enough? It would be awful for Democrats, whereas cutting veteran healthcare is so much better. The gas prices did soar, and fossil fuel companies made record profits, and then the noise subsided from the right until someone kicked the political ball into the Democrats proverbial front yard! The ball is in the court of the debt limit. The previous Speaker deplored the way the government should not play around with the debt ceiling by using it for concessions. Going back to the Reagan era, the hostage negotiation tactic around the debt cap was not well received. However, on the left, Democrats have hypocritical too. During the Bush era, then Senator Obama accused the White House of not have a budget plan when faced with the same obligatory debt ceiling request. When Prwsident Obama faced his own debt ceiling, he admitted his stance against Bush administration did prioritize the country; he was accountable, something rarely seen in politics.
So, what indeed has changed? Well, not a lot has changed regarding debt ceiling concession strategy. Sen McCarthy wants to roll back all the Biden administration achievements. Most noteworthy, he and the MAGA House representatives want climate investments and the IRS budget rescinded. The GOP does not have a coherent policy other than to break and dismantle democratic advances. Looming outside the shadow of fiscal responsibility to pay bills, the GOP not only doesn't see a need to honor debt payments on monies borrowed, but they want to roll back LGBTQ rights, voting rights, education programs (student loan forgiveness), and immigration reforms. Rather than address homelessness, they penalize corporations that criticize them, like Walt Disney World, and attack M&Ms chocolate. Imagine not wanting to be part of the global climate change solution or helping IRS to ensure the wealthy continue to reap benefits of tax loopholes that you and I don't qualify for and may not take advantage of. Their complicated hitting policies focus on an anti-woke agenda based on a white Christian nationalist ideology. Then you think, what about us? The GOP doesn't really care about common people outside their own white MAGA base. Follow or listen to their national evangelical head of news - Tucker Carlson. He was recently on Fox News as host of the number one prime-time news program until his firing, but not before spewing hateful rhetoric about the great (false) Replacement Theory- a theory he proclaimed minorities were replacing whites. A theory regurgitated over and over in different forms and different spokespersons. Ridiculous, as if that world exists where the Replacement Theory might be true! Black and Latino Americans are dying at an alarming rate at the hands of the police. Systemic racism has taken over our educational system and school boards.In addition, Fox News allowed him to divide and mislead his audience by spreading false information and propaganda from Russia's Putin as being good and President Biden (his president) as evil. Fox News has split from Tucker Carlson, but the news media giant still houses presenters with a similar appetite for absurdity and disinformation.
The issue of GOP using the debt ceiling to bargain is questionable at hypocrisy on both sides are a stalemate for negotiations. But for Republicans, any straw to catch is better than actually trying to work towards a bipartisan deal. As an aside, Denmark has a similar policy with respect to the debt cap. If only, what is actually good for the country and people in Washington, your elected representatives, listened to their constituents and voted accordingly. Like abortion, many Americans, over 60%, in a recent poll support the issue and favored restrictions but not the Gilead inhumane anti women laws pushed in Republican states! And most Americans do not want our nation to default on paying our bills! But here we are living in a world that is but I g up but ignoring climate change and trodding on women right once again but pretending it's for their own good!