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The Debt Ceiling

May 23, 2023

As I think I’ve made pretty clear in my past blogs, politics drive me insane.  The debt ceiling crisis is constantly in the news, causing stress for those who depend on government programs to pay their bills every month….and it’s strictly due to political posturing.  Yes our debt is too high, yes we need to start cutting some of our spending just like any other financial plan.  However, the American people, and particularly our retired seniors, should not be the pawns to accomplish this.  Do you want to know why government debt is so high?  In my town we have something called a “Shade tree commission.” That’s a real thing.  There is actually a department where people get paid, and get a pension, to tell me what color, what kind and where we can put a tree in my town.  Start by cutting that and maybe we will see some progress.  I know, that’s at a local level and this is federal but hopefully you see my point.  The amount of wasteful spending is everywhere. 

The bottom line is that this is not a new circumstance.  Since 1960, Congress has acted 78 times to either raise, temporarily extend or revise the definition of the debt limit.  It’s happened under both Democratic and Republican presidents.  It also does not authorize new spending, it simply authorizes more money to meet existing obligations.  If the government were not able to reach an agreement, yes, the result would be disastrous.  We are supposed to be the most powerful country in the world, but we would default on our debt obligations and would be immediately downgraded.  Janet Yellen has been writing letters to Congress and beating this drum since January of this year, yet here we are, a little over a week away from defaulting.

I want to be very clear, I am supremely confident that an agreement will be reached.  So, for everyone stressing about receiving your social security payment next month, I firmly believe it will be there.  It’s just ridiculous that we got here.  So now we have a bunch of politicians meeting in the White House who’s combined brain power falls somewhere between an ostrich and a sloth (they aren’t smart you can google it.), in charge of making sure 69 million people get their SSA checks next month.  I do believe they will figure it out, our “leaders” have shown in the past they can’t allow this limit to be reached.  It’s just ridiculous that we are here once again.  In the meantime, be careful where you plant your next tree.