Debt ceiling claims

MODS: if this has no factual answer, feel free to move into Politics and Elections or the Pit or the trash can, but I want to see if there is a factual answer first: on what basis is the GOP in the House claiming to be refusing to pass the debt ceiling bill? As I understand it, this is for debts already incurred, so the only purpose to refusing to pass this bill is to wreck the economy. If a party wants us to borrow less money, the time to discuss that is BEFORE that debt is incurred but this is too difficult to pass through Congress so they’re able to get enough GOP support only after the debt has already been incurred. Is the purpose to “teach” Congress not to incur debt? Or does the GOP have an actual basis for refusing to authorize payment of debt already incurred? This just seems pointless and somewhat childish to me as a way to argue that debt is bad, but maybe I’m not getting what the point is.

I think they (republicans) would say the debts they are being asked to pay are illegitimate spending passed by previous administrations. They have no reason to be beholden to those that came before. Kinda like if your brother spent $10,000 on mom’s credit card should you have to pay it?

Thus, they will only agree to pay if some concessions are met.

NOTE: I am not saying the above is a good argument. I am saying I think that is their argument. Being FQ I am not sure I can opine further.

I don’t think this is an FQ question. The fact is that there is no debt ceiling increase bill right now for Republicans to oppose.

[Moderating]
Moving to P&E.

What Whack-a-Mole says rings true, but I think it would lead to a game of chicken that the GOP can’t win. Much like their threats to shutdown the the government which backfired badly. When push comes to shove, not even the GOP wants to be held responsible for a potential economic meltdown.

Exactly. They hold approval as blackmail to get concessions on unrelated legislation.

And the Republican leverage in the game of chicken depends in large part on whether Republicans can convince voters that it’s the Democrats who are behaving unreasonably and obstructing compromise. That’s becoming a hard row to hoe.

Fine with me. I would appreciate further comments on how the GOP will frame their criticisms of the debt ceiling bill passing to appeal to voters’ (or citizens’) needs, rather than focusing on their duplicity, doubletalking, grandstanding, etc. I get that there is a certain large percentage of that going on, but I’m really wondering if they’re trying pitch their steadfast opposition in a rational way that makes any sense to anyone.

Republicans claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility but history shows this is completely untrue. Indeed, dems have been fiscally more responsible then republicans since Reagan (at least).

It all comes down to what the money is spent on. Dems want social programs. Reps want lower taxes.

Do they have any response to saying, “OK, but the time to address the debt the U.S. has incurred is when we take on that debt, not after we owe it and it’s due. We owe it. We need to pay it. End of discussion.” I mean, aside from the political: “Yeah but we can choose NOT to pay it unless you agree to give us X. Y. and Z.”

Well, technically with the debt ceiling we are talking about taking on new debt. As old debt becomes due, new debt is issued both to pay off the old debt and to finance spending. The amount of new debt will exceed the maturing old debt so long as there is a deficit.

It’s the inability to pay off the maturing old debt that precipitates crisis, but ultimately it’s all of a piece.

So what you say is right - but the relevant time point is not when debt is incurred. It is when decisions are made during the budget process and the setting of tax policy that make incurring more debt over the coming year inevitable. Not at the time when the Fed is simply carrying out the technical requirements to issue debt to fund a deficit that inevitably results from that prior budget and tax legislation.

Unfortunately, they don’t care if they win. They just want the Democrats to lose. And it’s really, really easy for them to make the Democrats lose, so long as they’re willing to lose along with us. Which, sadly, they are.

The modern Republican party are terrorists and the stability and survival of the US is their suicide vest.

There is no rational basis on which to hang this.

Just for fun, take a look at this CNN article from 2021, the last time Republicans pulled this stunt.

It’s not unusual for the minority to resist whatever the party in power is doing. But when it comes to both the debt ceiling and infrastructure, Republicans don’t actually oppose the substance of what Democrats are trying to accomplish. Instead, Republicans believe they are extracting maximum political pain from Democrats and showcasing divisions within the Democratic ranks that will make voters believe President Joe Biden’s party is incapable of governing ahead of next year’s midterms.

Republicans aren’t even sweating the blowback for being labeled as hypocritical, obstructionist or irresponsible. In fact, they feel confident that Democrats will bear the blame for bringing the nation to the brink of economic catastrophe.

No other major industrial nation even has a debt ceiling. Why the Democrats didn’t eliminate in December is baffling. Opposition is purely a political ploy based on the history that Republicans have gotten to where they are by understanding that the average citizen has zero knowledge about economics and therefore has buttons that can be pushed. DEBT BAD is one such button.

It’s insanity. How can the simple statement that the debt ceiling is merely an agreement to pay what the government already owes be too complex to grasp? Yet, the Republicans have done this seven times in the past decade and gotten away with it each time.

Fear for our country.

Because the senate and Mitch McConnell (and actually, McConnell was so unsure of McCarthy being able to control the House McConnell actually capitulated a little to dems on this which is super unusual for him).

You could also argue that the bluff becomes less convincing each time, and that however ignorant voters are it becomes harder and harder to sell the story that it’s the Democrats who are to blame for random government shutdowns.

Nope, you’re absolutely right factually. But facts have limited value in politics. To the average voter who isn’t paying attention, (or worse, the voter who has been paying attention to right wing media’s distortions) raising the debt ceiling sounds like its being fiscally irresponsible. So pushing back on it makes for great sound bites come election time. “My opponent voted to raise the deficit to umpteen trillion, but I voted to put a stop to it.”

Both sides did this but up until recently everyone knew that it was all posturing and at the end of the day they would make sure that the dirty work got done and ceiling would get raised. But the new GOP is entirely posturing with no substance behind it. So they will follow their fantasies off a cliff and take the rest of us with them.

Because they didn’t have the votes. Because they don’t vote in lock-step with whatever the party leaders want. I could easily imagine Manchin or Sinema voting against it; at which point, you would need help from the Republicans, and in recent history they have voted in lock-step with leadership (well, up until the House Speaker vote…).

Hope this isn’t a hijack, but do you think this is anything other than a bluff/posturing? Is there a nonzero chance that Congress will not raise the debt ceiling by the deadline?

Other than posturing, have the Rs been able to get any meaningful concessions from this behavior re: the debt ceiling?

I believe there is a chance that the ceiling will be lifted in time. The GOP’s corporate masters, who control all but the batshit crazy wing, may well tell the leadership to pull the knife away from the economy’s throat.

What I’d really like to see would be someone bringing the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that the debt limit is unconstitutional because Congress, by virtue of passing budgets with deficits, is effectively raising the debt ceiling. Of course, who knows what those bozos would rule?