Going Deeper and Deeper Into Hock
Posted on Mar 16, 2006
Congress just raised our debt ceiling—the amount we’re allow to borrow—by $781 billion. It was either that or default on our treasury notes. This is the fourth debt-ceiling increase since Bush took office—some $3 trillion in total.
Dick Cheney may have said that deficits don’t matter, but try telling that to the next generation of Americans, who are going to have one helluva credit card bill to pay off.
Congress raised the limit on the federal government’s borrowing by $781 billion yesterday, and then lawmakers voted to spend well over $100 billion on the war in Iraq, hurricane relief, education, health care, transportation and heating assistance for the poor without making offsetting budget cuts.
On vote after vote in the House and Senate, lawmakers demonstrated the growing gap between their political promises to rein in spending and their need to respond to emergencies and protect politically popular programs. The votes followed last weekend’s GOP leadership meeting in Memphis, at which virtually every speaker called on the party to renew its commitment to fiscal discipline and to control federal spending and the deficit.
The House voted 348 to 71 to approve a $92 billion measure to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing hurricane relief, after members rejected calls from conservatives to pay for at least some of that spending with budget cuts. On the other side of the Capitol, senators considering a budget blueprint for fiscal 2007 voted to effectively breach their own firm limits on spending by at least $16 billion to boost programs they said have been starved for funding.