Rumble On The Hill Over The Looming Debt Ceiling

One political fight after another plays out across the country in the evening news, it has become cliche at this point. Watching these Senators and Congressmen talk smack about their colleges is reminiscent of WCW wrestlers talking up their upcoming matches. ‘The Brawl In Washington’ many are now billing it. If that doesn’t sound like a ‘Wrestle Mania,’ fight, I don’t know what does. The latest battle over how to fund the government through September seems to be a preview of upcoming fights (matches).

The higher stakes mean nastier battles, particularly the battle over raising the debt ceiling. Yeah, that’s a good idea; we are an estimated 14 trillion in debt and what does the government want to do you may ask? Why, raise the debt limit silly, so they can sink us deeper in debt. Pardon me but isn’t that what got us into this mess to begin with? I wonder will these politicians ever pull their heads out of their keisters. The debt ceiling was intended as a warning bell to alert us when it is time to stop spending, we cannot continue to ignore this warning.

The political infighting has raised concerns among lawmakers and government officials that Democrats and Republicans in Congress will not be able to decide whether to increase the federal debt ceiling above $14.294 trillion in the coming weeks. Once they do that they will have to start figuring out a budget for 2012, and eventually tackle the long-term federal deficit.

“It’s taken us some time to get acquainted with each other and to work our way through this, because understand that this process that we’re in is likely to be repeated a number of times this year,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, referring to talks over the current budget, according to http://www.recordonline.com.

The pressure is on as worries shift from the idea of closing national parks to concerns the US government could default on its debt, triggering another financial tsunami. “Its one thing to play brinksmanship on a government shutdown, which can be fixed in a minute without many long-term consequences,” said Lee Sachs, a former counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “It’s another thing to do it with the debt ceiling, where the impact of failure would be catastrophic for years, if not decades.”

Many congressional Republicans say they will not raise the debt ceiling without aggressive spending cuts. The White House and Democrats lawmakers want the ceiling raised right away, out of fear that if the country defaults on its debt, interest rates will go through the roof, sparking another financial quake that could cripple hundreds if not thousands of businesses.

“One could only hope that the lesson that could be learned from this is the importance of figuring out solutions and not positioning,” said Kenneth Duberstein, former Reagan White House chief of staff,” according to, www.wallstreetjournal.com

Right now things on Capitol Hill appear to be in chaos, caused by dysfunctional White House leadership, or lack thereof. On May 16, the wallstreetjournal.com states, the government is set to hit the $14.294 trillion limit that only congress can raise. Once the Treasury hits the debt wall, it can’t issue any more debt. This means, the Treasury can’t borrow money to pay the country’s bills, including interest on previous debt.

“The US had $14.212 trillion in debt as of Thursday, putting it $82 billion under the ceiling. Treasury has a number of emergency measures it can use to buy some extra time, but it will run out of headroom by July 8, when the government could go into default. Geithner said such a scenario would be “unthinkable.””

Russell W. Dickson, lives in upstate NY, and is a Freelance journalist. He has written for both print and online news/opinion pages.Russell holds a B.A. in English, minor Journalism from The University at Albany, Albany, NY. His writing experience spans more than a decade and his work has graced the pages of newspapers, magazines, online news orgs, and political websites in both the U.S. and abroad.