Last Tuesday, Barack Hussein Obama held another rare news conference. It was notable, not only because of the stunning failure by the assembled seekers of truth to ask a single question about the disastrous Obamacare rollout, but because he took the opportunity to say the following about his current battle with Speaker John Boehner:
And because it's called raising the debt ceiling, I think a lot of Americans think it's raising our debt. It is not raising our debt. This does not add a dime to our debt. It simply says you pay for what Congress has already authorized America to purchase, whether that's the greatest military in the world or veterans' benefits or Social Security. Whatever it is that Congress has already authorized, what this does is make sure that we can pay those bills.
The federal debt limit, or debt ceiling, if you prefer, is a limit on the amount the federal government can borrow. If it is not increased, all that means is that the government can only spend as much as they have coming in. You may be familiar with this “spend only what you have coming in” concept in your own personal life, although I concede that most of your aren’t suffering from the East Coast Brain Rot ™ that afflicts not only most democrats in Washington, but also establishment Republicans and many “conservative” pundits. The debt ceiling means that the federal government must--I hope you’re sitting down--balance its budget! Oh the humanity!
But wait, you may be thinking, what about the horrors of “default” that Barack Obama solemnly warns about? Won’t it bring flood, famine, pestilence, death of the first born and the end of civilization as we know it? If not that, won’t it at least mean that we can’t “pay our bills,” as in spending Congress has already “authorized?”
No. For the fiscal year that started October 1, 2013 and ends September 30, 2014, the federal government will collect nearly $3 trillion. Interest on the debt is approximately 10% of that or $240 billion. (You can find the numbers here.)
Veterans’ benefits cost $140 billion at current levels, so there’s enough to make these payments.
What about Social Security? It pains me to remind you that Barack Obama has continued in the proud tradition of democrats since time immemorial of scaring senior citizens for political advantage. Back in 2011, he, shall we say, dissembled in an interview with CBS’ Scott Pelley, saying that if the debt ceiling issue weren’t resolved, there might not be enough money in government coffers to send out Social Security checks.
But as one time Teri O’Brien Show guest Prof. Thomas Saving notes in this must-read piece, that’s also not true. Noting that Barack Obama is forgetting about the Social Security Trust Fund, which is by no means a “lockbox,” and does not stop the federal government from spending surpluses in the amount collected by the payroll tax, but does hold promises by the federal government to repay any money borrowed from these surpluses, he writes:
By law the Treasury is bound to redeem any bonds presented to it by the Social Security Administration. And when the Treasury does, total government debt subject to the debt limit falls by the amount of the redemption—thus freeing up the Treasury's ability to issue new bonds equal in amount to the redeemed Trust Fund bonds.
Therefore, meeting Social Security obligations in August, September and all future months in this fashion would add nothing to the gross government debt subject to the debt limit. Not, at least, until the $2.4 trillion Trust Fund is exhausted in 2038.
Unless Barack Obama decides to spend that money on something else, the Social Security checks go out.
So, what are those essential bills that we need to pay? In 2012, the Washington Times reported that since Barack Obama took office, federal welfare spending grew by 32%! Look no further than he explosion in the number of people on food stamps since 2008, and you can see that there is room for some adjustment in spending, unless of course you are determined to create dependency and expand the size of the government, all the while telling us that the economic recovery is humming along.
To summarize, here’s what the current fight over the current “government shutdown,” which is actually a shutdown of approximately 17% of the federal government, and the larger looming fight about increasing the debt ceiling, is really about: confiscating more of the earned wealth of the producers’ in this country and using it to buy other people’s votes by throwing it down every “social welfare” and crony capitalist rathole that Barack Obama and the democrats can find to feather their political nests. More spending, more debt, more taxes, and an ever-larger federal government. Raising the debt ceiling allows the federal government to continue spending more money than it takes in. Here’s what it’s not about: not “paying our bills,” depriving Granny of her Social Security check, or keeping veterans from getting their well-deserved benefits. Anyone who tells you otherwise just might be--dare I say it?--lying.