A Beginner's Guide to the Debt Ceiling Debate


The Talmud says: "One should not extravagantly distribute more than one fifth of one's income to charity." Are the sages saying there’s a ceiling cap on giving charity? Yes they are, because if everyone were to give too much away there would be too many mouths to feed.


If you have been getting information from the mainstream media you may think tea partiers are forcing Republicans in Congress to; cut the budget so much people will be forced to push grandma’s wheelchair off a cliff or, are trying force the country into default guaranteeing Obama won’t be reelected.

Not true! It’s all about not having too many mouths to feed.

The debt ceiling’s the congressionally approved amount the federal government can borrow. The ceiling is currently set at $14.294 trillion. The country's debt hit that figure on May 16 and we are currently approaching $14.6 trillion in debt. Thanks to some “re-arranging,” the Treasury Department says we won’t “run out of money” until August 2.

The MSM and progressive politicians report if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2, a biblical-type disaster will occur, wrath of God type stuff; fire and brimstone falling from the skies! Rivers boiling! Earthquakes, volcanoes, Human sacrifice, nothing but Dennis Kuchinich speeches on your TV set ... mass hysteria (that premise is false)!



The Treasury has enough incoming money from taxes to pay interest on the debt, Social Security, Medicare, military salaries, etc., without raising the debt limit. We would have to cut back about 40% of spending, not enviable but also not the disaster we’re being warned about.

Some claim this would never have happened if Republicans didn’t gain control of the House in the 2010 elections. They’re absolutely correct, because no one wanted to deal with the issue.

We’ve had this major debt problem for years. The problem accelerated when George Bush took over as President but that was nothing compared to the past two and a half-years under the administration of Barack Obama. Our present Chief Executive is spending money faster than Imelda Marcos at a shoe store.

In eight years as President, George Bush increased the national debt by $5.038 trillion dollars, a record which is only surpassed Barack Obama who’s responsible for spending which increased the debt by $3.9 trillion, he is asking for an increase of another $2.4 trillion taking us through Obama’s first term, a total of $6.3 trillion. It will take just four years for Barack Obama to increase the federal debt by 25% more than George Bush did in eight years.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported if we don’t fix our debt fast, it’ll become so burdensome our lawmaker’s ability to make tax and spending priorities will be limited, as will their reduce flexibility to deal with recessions, adding our high debt will make recessions more likely and long term growth less likely.

Our debt problem has been kicked down the road by both parties for too long, if not fixed soon according to the CBO; there will be “too many mouths to feed.”

The debt has become a big issue, not solely to the tea party but for the mainstream voting public.

Rasmussen reports 85% of likely voters are closely following the debt issue. By a margin of 52%-37% voters believe it would be worse for Congress not to significantly cut the deficit than not to raise the debt limit. A margin of 55% -34% voters oppose fixing the debt even partially via taxation feeling increased taxes will slow the economy.

A “perfect storm” has caused the debt issue to blow up now.



Many Congressional freshmen were elected based on promises to fix the debt problem. Until these freshmen insisted on keeping their promises no one in Congress or the administration agreed to discuss major spending cuts.

The GOP-controlled House passed a budget for the next fiscal, however for the second straight year the Democratic-controlled Senate hasn’t offered a budget. It’s hard to negotiate when the other side hasn’t made a counter-offer. Obama’s original budget was a budget-buster and was voted down by the Senate 97-0.

The House offered to increase the debt limit, if each dollar of increase was matched by a dollar of spending cut. They’re also looking to pass a balanced budget amendment feeling that legislators will never have the political will to balance the without the constitution forcing them (based on the track record, that’s a good bet).

The only thing Obama offered was vague promises. During his recent press conferences he refused to offer any specifics of his plan. The reason behind his refusal is there aren’t any specifics

Obama threatens to veto any plan not including tax increases (or closing loopholes which in effect is the same thing). He added he won’t sign a short-term debt limit increase, but that’s he offered.

This brings us to today.

Most Americans of either party are proud that our government offers safety nets for the sick, aged, needy, etc. However the federal debt has so large soon the system will collapse as the Talmud warns, because there will be too many mouths to feed.

The GOP is offering a solution which seems to comply with the public’s wishes; the progressives are refusing to present a plan. They’re simply using the GOP offering as an opportunity to take political potshots. Whether you agree with the GOP or not, logic dictates in order for them to “compromise,” the other side has to present an alternative.

That’s what this debate is about, not a refusal to compromise, but a refusal to lay one’s cards out on the table.

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