Rachel Alexander

Obama has failed to explain why 2011 is any different than 2006. If anything, it is even more irresponsible now to increase the debt ceiling since spending has dramatically increased. If the debt ceiling is increased, it will increase our debt to an unaffordable 100% of GDP within a decade. The debt is now over 14 trillion, a 70% increase since 2006. That is $45,300 each for every person in the U.S. Government has expanded by 36% since 2007, a reflection of Obama’s term in office. We are currently at the highest levels of deficit spending since World War II, and we are not even at war. The government is borrowing nearly 40 cents of every dollar that it spends.

There will need to be $1.5 trillion in cuts made in the 2011 budget in order to stay within the existing debt ceiling. The Democrats are claiming that seniors dependent upon Social Security and Medicare will be hurt by cuts. Obama has just threatened that Social Security checks may be withheld beginning August 3. In reality, making cuts to those entitlements does not require hurting those who really depend upon them. Cuts could be made that would only affect younger generations that have not planned to be reliant upon them in their later years. Our older generations currently receiving benefits, or who are about to start receiving them and have planned upon them being there, would still have those entitlements in their current form. The Democrats won’t tell you this, because it pulls the rug out from under their sky is falling argument.

Think tanks like the Heritage Foundation have proposed realistic ways to reduce the costs of Social Security, Medicare, healthcare, transportation, education, and many other areas in government.

Congress called Obama’s bluff this year when he called for a debt ceiling increase without any accompanying spending cuts. The House voted it down 319-97, and the Senate did not even bring it up for a vote.

So far, Republicans are mostly standing strong, refusing to accede to Democrat threats over the debt limit. Republican Senators are proposing a balanced budget constitutional amendment, which Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) says is a requirement before voting on raising the debt ceiling. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has introduced a constitutional amendment to limit the size of spending in relation to GDP. Unfortunately, Republicans have not always been this principled about the debt limit. Former president George W. Bush proposed increasing the debt ceiling in 2006 and most Republicans voted in favor of it.

There must be spending reductions and spending caps put into place to prevent this from happening again in the future. This predicament is not about running out of money, it is about runaway spending. More regulations and taxes will not resolve this. Taxes will only enable the runaway spending to continue. The Heritage Foundation now only ranks the U.S. ninth in the world for economic freedom, due to factors like high rates of government spending, regulations and taxes. Geithner has it backwards; it is raising the debt ceiling that will send the U.S. in the direction of economic collapse. There needs to be a change in societal attitudes regarding the responsibilities of government. Government cannot survive if we continue the bankrupting, wasteful and outdated programs that have been implemented over the years.

Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative. She also serves as senior editor of The Stream.