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OPINION

Debt Ceiling Discipline Is Good Medicine

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Mark Tenally

Biden’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen forecasts a catastrophe if Republicans do not increase the debt ceiling, but average Americans seem unimpressed by Democrats’ demands for another blank check on runaway federal spending. New polling shows Trump easily defeating Biden in their expected matchup next year.

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Debt ceiling discipline is good medicine for the illness that plagues the federal government. Holding the line on the debt ceiling would force those who profit most from our federal government to help end its irresponsible spending.

It is difficult to see much value in the trillions of dollars being expended by the federal government annually as it has run up a $31.4 trillion national debt. That amounts to nearly $100,000 in debt for every man, woman, and child in America.

The agenda of radical environmentalism is costing more than a trillion dollars a year in federal regulations, electric car subsidies, solar and wind energy boondoggles, and limits on cost-effective energy. Ending all that should be near the top of the demands by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as he meets with Biden at the White House to discuss fiscal accountability.

At first Biden indicated that he would not negotiate with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling, and then Biden reversed himself and asked McCarthy to sit down with him. Next, perhaps feeling the heat from radicals on the Left, Biden reversed himself again and said he would not agree to any spending cuts sought by Republicans in exchange for increasing debt.

But if anyone thought the more liberal Republicans in the Senate would resolve bumping into the debt ceiling, they were mistaken. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly unable to muster even 9 Republican votes there to increase the debt ceiling without concessions by Biden to reduce spending.

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The liberal media used to claim that government shutdowns have helped the Democrats, and Republicans should not dare to allow the feds to run out of money again. But that Chicken Little talk is apparently scaring no one now, when the political winds are blowing strongly toward unplugging Washington, D.C.

For the past two years the news from the Capitol has been a stream of harassment by the federal government of Trump, his supporters, average Americans, and now even Biden himself. The breaking story Tuesday was about Mike Pence having some classified documents at his Indiana home, for which the FBI showed up in person to retrieve as though there were any significance to some old paperwork.

The Senate is uncharacteristically deferring to House Speaker McCarthy to negotiate with Biden, perhaps because McCarthy is more charismatic and tougher than the leadership in the Senate. McCarthy consistently has higher approval ratings than McConnell, whose record-low polling made it more difficult for Republicans to regain their majority in the Senate.

Much of the federal government debt is owned by foreign governments, including communist China. Like the stock market and every other investment, the free market should be the guiding principle and those that want perpetual funding of the federal government should bear some risk, too.

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Federal spending is doing more harm than good. Millions are currently being spent to interfere with the upcoming 2024 presidential election, which should be decided by voters rather than by Merrick Garland as Attorney General.

Harmful federal programs far outnumber helpful ones. Federal spending on the Covid pandemic totaled trillions of dollars, but the outcome was worse here than in poor countries where their governments spent almost nothing on the issue.

Federal spending on education has resulted in rampant illiteracy, leaving most high school graduates ill-prepared to do college-level work. Student achievement has declined significantly in recent years, as the federal government spends billions pushing an ideological agenda rather than teaching Johnny and Janey how to read.

Last weekend the federal government did nothing to protect Atlanta from the fires set by Antifa protesters. Last week Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp was hobnobbing with globalists at their annual conference at a Davos, Switzerland ski resort, before his state capital was looted and at least one police car set ablaze.

Federal spending is devoted to the cushy Deep State jobs in D.C., with their lavish pensions that are driving up the federal deficit, rather than safeguarding our cities. Most federal workers look forward to early retirements that will pay them most of their annual salaries for the rest of their lives as they do nothing.

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The astronomical costs being imposed by Biden’s opening of the southern border to millions of illegal aliens should be part of McCarthy’s negotiations. The debt ceiling should not be raised unless and until Biden secures the southern border to end the tidal wave of illegal migrants, who are adding trillions of dollars in future new costs.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.

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