The GOP’s war over America’s debt ceiling is not about America’s debt, it’s about President Obama. The debt ceiling debate can’t be separated from the GOP’s never-ending hunt for any issue that can taint, embarrass, and ultimately weaken the Obama presidency. The GOP’s goal is as it has always been: to make Obama a one-term president. The issue of whether America can pay its bills or not, or reneges on its financial obligations, which would be the catastrophe that would result from failing to raise the ceiling, is secondary to the GOP’s cynical political ploy.
The proof is how the debt ceiling jumped to center stage in political debate and the public’s awareness of it. The debt ceiling was an absolute non-issue during George W. Bush White House tenure. It was raised ten times in those years with barely a peep that the U.S. was in mortal danger of a fiscal crash and burn under its great weight of debt. This debt was incurred almost exclusively by Bush’s two wildly costly and wasteful wars, his two behemoth tax cut giveaways to the rich, a relentless gut of regulations that made banks’ and corporations’ tax liability fall to historic low levels, and then capped by a taxpayer giveaway to Wall Street banks and financial houses. The debt that would be hiked to near astronomical proportions if Congress ever approved the House GOP’s budget plan, drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, which would add $6 trillion in to the national debt over a decade. Strangely, there’s no debt ceiling squawk from the GOP on this horrific prospect.
But the GOP didn’t acquiesce in turning the debt into a non-issue solely to appease a GOP president. Congress jumped the debt ceiling 64 times since 1962 before Bush took office for Democratic and Republican presidents alike. The ceiling was raised even in election years without any public fanfare.
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