Today: Mar 01, 2024

Debt debate or Dunkaroos dispute

Sarah Green, Staff Writer:
A six year old child and our politicians. What do they have in common? Well, they are both pretty juvenile. In the same manner that children negotiate over swapping snacks at the lunch table, congressmen in Washington
debate with one another to try and gain the prized Cool Ranch Doritos. Well, figuratively at least.
This past week, Republicans threatened to block a vote to raise the federal debt limit unless Democrats concede on spending cuts and several other issues. Perhaps our government officials have forgotten that they are not negotiating over lunchtime snacks any longer.
With the federal deficit quickly approaching the debt limit ($14.2940 trillion), this is no time for juvenile bartering. It does not matter who snags the Dunkaroos. As of last Tuesday, the Treasury had borrowed about $14.268365 trillion – so clearly the Democrats and the GOP do not have very long to hash things out.
If the federal debt limit is not increased, the U.S. will default on its debt for the first time in American history. At the same time, however, increasing this limit is just allowing the vicious cycle of overspending to continue.
This is certainly a difficult and confusing situation. The Republicans want to secure certain concessions like a balanced budget amendment, a two-thirds majority requirement to pass debt and tax limit increases, and spending caps. And the Democrats simply wish to pass a “clean” bill. Increasing the federal debt limit – a move that seems inevitable and unavoidable – while simultaneously passing additional concessions to prevent immense overspending seems to be in the best
interests of the American people. While it would certainly be optimal to avoid raising the debt limit altogether, with the current deficit only $25.6 billion from the maximum allotment, this seems improbable. The U.S. has little choice in the matter.
If you liken the situation to a struggling family, the Republican concessions are the equivalent of taking out a loan while also getting on a budget to prevent such debt to be incurred again. Sometimes there is no choice but to admit defeat. However, that does not mean preventative measures should not be taken in the future. Raising the debt limit is not the best case outcome. But it is the most realistic one.

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