The U.S. House yesterday voted down legislation that would have raised the nation’s debt ceiling. It was for all intents and purposes a proposal that had little chance of passing and was decried by some Democrats a “sham” vote.
But two members of the state’s congressional delegation - U.S. Reps. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City, and Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City - voted for the proposal. And Cleaver even wrote a lengthy Facebook post explaining why raising the debt ceiling is necessary, noting “we must now increase the debt ceiling to avoid economic cataclysm:”
Judging from the nutbuckets on television these days, you would not think that the debt ceiling and the debate on whether or not to raise it was a bipartisan issue. Congress has raised the federal debt ceiling limit 10 times in the past 10 years—under both Republican and also Democratic-led Congresses.
Without another increase, the government will either default on its bonds or have to slash spending by about 40 percent. All economists—at least those who are not engaged in quackery—agree that we must raise the debt ceiling. My colleagues across the aisle are using the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip—they say they will not vote for an increase without big additional cuts in spending. We need to raise the debt ceiling. Until we do, the Department of the Treasury will do its best to ensure that we meet our obligations, but this can only go so far. On August 2, 2011, we will start to default. And defaulting on our financial obligations, for the first time in history, as President Ronald Reagan once said, would be “unthinkable.”