Thursday, October 7, 2021

All The Same Old Lies and BS

As we go through the kabuki theater of another "debt ceiling crisis" the same old tropes are showing up all over again.  Same old lies.  Same old bullshit.  Same old charade, drama-llama, attention-grabbing, media whore-fest as always.

I've been hearing them saying that not raising the debt ceiling means the US is going into default.  Check your favorite corporate media outlet (CNNNY Times?).  Pick one; all of them are running stories about looming default.  It's an old lie.  Some cursory searching shows the first time I blogged this was in July of 2011, about a 1-1/2 years into the life of the blog. 

No it's not default.  By definition, the debt ceiling means they're not allowed to borrow more money.  They're not allowed to issue bonds and spend more than the insane amounts they've made up already.  Read that again: it's not even a balanced budget, it just can't be more unbalanced than it is now.  Not being able to borrow is not default   Default is to not pay their mandatory payments and among the most important of those obligations is the interest on the debt they already have.  That interest, estimated as $300 billion, is a small percentage of Federal revenues, on the order of 10%.  

Only a government can be stupid enough to think that not being able to borrow means ignoring their obligations.  Rather than default, this would be better called "living within their means" or "being responsible."  We won't default unless the administration chooses to.   

You'll also hear them talking about a tough, temporary deal to put off facing the debt ceiling and (gasp!) shutting down the government.  There's a cartoon I've been running for years, almost every reference to the debt ceiling, that I really think sums up the whole story.  

Yup.  They drag it out as long as they want, make it sound as dire as possible, all so that they can look like heroes, as in the last panel.  I went to the credit, in the lower left of the cartoon and the web site appears to be gone, with just a place holder there.  

Let's be honest about this.  The other way of saying "government shutdown" is "paid vacation" for the lucky 's nonessential workers.  The longest government shutdown ever was 35 days between December of '18 and January of '19, under President Trump.  The essential workers had to work without pay until the deal was made and their pay could be issued and that must have been tough.  The result, though, was that while they suspended the ceiling, the debt kept going up (see below).

The biggest lie, however, is that there's really a debt ceiling at all.  There hasn't been one time since the debt ceiling became law in 1917 that the ceiling has been reduced.  It's either raised, or suspended - which pretty much means ignored - every time the limit seems like a hard limit.  If every time the ceiling becomes a restraint the ceiling is raised or ignored, how can they claim to have a ceiling?  Does it create even the smallest amount of restraint of spending in the congress?  

It took me an unusually long time to find a plot of the debt ceiling this time. 

I was only able to find two graphs of the debt vs time.  This one (from Sherman research) goes farther back and does a better job of showing the congressional debt ceilings as blue steps.  That difference at the right, where the blue line stays at $22 trillion while debt goes up to $28.4 trillion is the deal from the end of the second Trump shutdown until this year.  


  1. That graph tells it all.

    Extrapolate the line from 2000-2008; then extrapolate the line from 2009-2017.
    That's the only difference between a Big Government RINO, and a Big Government Commie: how fast the spending increases. And Trump, with a hostile Congress, managed to increase it more in 4 years than Obozo did in 8.

    Let it burn.
    It can do no other, and the sooner it all goes down in flames, the sooner we can work our way back to something sane and rational, after some decades in the woodshed.
    $28TRILLION ?!?!?
    That's only $85K for every man, woman, and child in the country, which is only 2½ times the median US salary, so if everyone everywhere just works for free for 3 years and we raise the tax rate to 100%, we're back in the black, right?

    Every congressweasel who votes for raising the debt ceiling should be executed or sold into slavery, and their entire personal fortune liquidated, and that should be the penalty for ever trying it again until the budget is balanced.

    Then we start cutting government staffing and salaries 10% per year, until the top rate is the median US salary, and government employees comprise <1% of the population, including the entire military.

    If that means the secretary of State or HHS comprises their entire department, and works for $35K/yr., so be it.

    We should also make a law that requires that once the budget is balanced, all tax rates to decrease by the same percentage the debt ceiling is raised, in perpetuity, and any shortfall comes directly from the government payroll.

    Government would become so parsimonious and efficient it would embarrass the Swiss.

    Instead, we're going to get a massive worldwide financial collapse and Depression, the likes of which will make the "Great" Depression look like a bad payday, with no jelly for the rolls, and making due with paper napkins instead of fingerbowls.

  2. Thankfully we can just mint 28 coins and pay it all off!

  3. And yet, the dollar is apparently the least shitty currency on the planet.
    Our electeds are working diligently to make that no longer true.
    I'm with the
    Let it burn guy above. And his ideas about how to deal with those who vote for MOTS, too.

    More Of The Same.

    Fifth grade, teacher had a graph of the debt. It hung up next to a black board. I'm pretty sure I was the only one who ever looked at it. I asked her why we didn't just pay it off. Naive little sucker I was didn't know that even teachers sometimes had to admit they don't frikkin know.
    The fedrull reserve has destroyed everything.

  4. You MIGHT want to ponder the Fed's interest in "Stable Coin" a Electronic soon to be backed by the FDIC (what a JOKE, less than 1% able to back current banking accounts) as an "Safe" alternative to the US Dollar.

    Actually they are just running the SCAM a little longer as the deck chairs start slipping down the deck of the USA Titanic and the Band Plays On....

    Short Fiat, Long TRUSTED FRIENDS, raised bed gardens, seeds and tools including squirrel stopping ones.

  5. Thank God cocaine mitch saved us from ourselves .

  6. The days of revolution get closer. There is no other way. Its either surrender or fight. The country cannot survive the next 3 years of a Communist Biden Regimes