Clean Debt-Limit Increases are for Suckers or, Tomorrow We Scrimp But Tonight We Spend Like There's No Tomorrow!
Earlier in the week, the House and Senate passed a "clean" debt-limit increase which allows the federal government to borrow more money without even pretending to restrain future outlays.
Last October, when talk of government shutdown was in the air, I recorded the video above arguing the only good debt deal was a dirty debt deal.
Click above to watch "3 Reasons We Need a Dirty Deal on Debt Ceiling." Here's part of the argument:
As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warns, "increased borrowing by the federal government would eventually reduce private investment in productive capital" while also increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis spurred by jumpy investors worried about the ability or willingness of the feds to pay back lenders.
None of this is controversial. Indeed, back in 2008, Candidate Obama was pretty eloquent on the need to "break that cycle of debt" created by Republican government under George W. Bush."we've lived through an era of easy money," he crooned in one of his stump speeches, "in which we were allowed and even encouraged to spend without limits; to borrow instead of save." And what was it he used to say about increasing the debt ceiling when he was just a wet-behind-ears senator? That raising the debt limit signaled "a failure of leadership" and "reckless policies" that were "shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren."
But today, all Obama can talk about are "clean" CRs and "clean" debt-limit increases. This is what my colleague Matt Welch calls "junky logic," the sort of magical thinking particularly strong among addicts who are always "gonna kick tomorrow". Really, man, this is the last time.