The next looming government shutdown has been moved up for an earlier-than-expected arrival. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday warning that measures to staying behind the debt limit would be exhausted by late February. The previous projected deadline was early March.
The Treasury can take measures to extend the debt limit, but in his letter to Boehner, Lew specified the availability of those measures were more limited than in previous debt limit crises, partly because of borrowing capacity limits and partly due to the payment of income tax refunds that will begin in February.
Last fall’s shutdown delayed the payment of income tax refunds until after February 7. The payment of refunds will increase government spending by about 5 times the normal amount for other months of the year
“Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the responsibility of Congress, because only Congress can extend the nation’s borrowing authority,” Lew wrote in his letter. “No Congress in our history has failed to meet that responsibility. I respectfully urge Congress to provide certainty and stability to the economy and financial markets by acting to raise the debt limit before February 7, 2014, and certainly before late February.”
To Lew I would have to say no Congress in history has ever had to deal with a president who spends so much money and demands a blank check with no qualms over increasing the national debt.
In addition, the President has consistently refused to negotiate over raising the debt limit in past fiscal standoffs.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel responded to Lew’s letter stating that “The Speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a ‘clean’ debt limit increase simply won’t pass in the House,” Steel said. “We hope and expect the White House will work with us on a timely, fiscally-responsible solution.”
Quite obviously another standoff is in the making. On the one hand we have a President who wants unlimited spending, while on the other we have a Congress who wants spending cuts (and some of them are harmful to seniors who have worked and paid their dues to this country). Other proposed cuts are common sense and justified in the opinion of many Americans. But neither party is tackling the REAL problem behind the budget shortfalls, the loss of American jobs.
The following are my thoughts on our President and Congress’ responsibility to our nation’s debt, our nation and our people:
- Holding our nation ‘hostage’ to your differences is irresponsible. Your duties are clear, pay our debts, increase commerce and trade and stop spending on pork and waste. It has been said by a congressman that Congress has the authority to choose what debt it pays, use this authority if in fact that is true. You have a guide, it is called the Constitution.
- It takes two to make a team and as long as you hold office you are required to be a team with the single goal of ensuring our nation’s prosperity and common defense. In the former you are failing miserably.
- The American people are not subjects, we are your employer. It is upon our backs that you live and work in luxury. Show some respect! After all, a true leader serves the people and not themselves.
- Being in office has nothing to do with what you, as an individual like or don’t like. It is about upholding the law and representing your constituents who aren’t limited to your biggest campaign contributors. We the people have spoken and some of you have chosen to ignore it. You are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution that some of you have publically proven to disdain by consistently attempting to nullify the parts you don’t like. You are unworthy of your office and are a disgrace to all Americans past and present. Why those of you who are guilty are still in office is beyond my understanding.
- I don’t know of anyone who gets an income tax refund. The hard working people I know work 45-90 hours per week but are only paid for 40, and government does absolutely nothing about the labor law violations. They can barely survive yet they receive no refund and no government assistance. Nor can they afford their health insurance any longer…
- The world we live in is a far different one than a few decades ago when threats were dealt with and our nation flourished. Today, our nation faces some the most deadly and ruthless enemies ever. In a time when our nation should be at its strongest to face this threat, we are instead being divided by our own government.
Your priorities are out of line, it is time for government, as well as some citizens, to learn a new word-accountability. Make that two words and add responsibility to the list.
The fact that this division is being promoted by activist groups trained to spew propaganda makes me question if the NSA shouldn’t be focusing on these activists.
We are Americans, and as a people we historically deal with those threats that endanger our nation, our people and our freedoms with a united front. Our government works to protect us from those enemies, both foreign and domestic, who would destroy our nation and subjugate us in a means few Americans can even imagine. Our nation’s defense should never be risked by budget squabbles, not even for an hours’ time.
I call for the President and the members of Congress to utilize the tools available to them. Those tools are compromise and wisdom, and have served nations well throughout history. Furthermore, if government would look into the cause of our economic shortfalls, and correct the problem, we likely wouldn’t be having this conversation. Perhaps if more of you had listened to the citizen you would already know the causes. Do your job gentlemen and do it responsibly.
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