Republican Stupidity has Run Amok as Senator Says “There’s No Such Thing as a Debt Ceiling”

Tom CoburnRemember when “facts” were actually based on—facts?  Some days I wake up, get online, read what some of these Republicans say and feel that I must still be asleep.  There’s no way some of these people can be this ignorant, can they?

We’re apparently at a point in our society, specifically as it relates to Republicans, where reality and facts no longer matter.

Our debt ceiling is probably one of the most basic things to understand in our government.  The “why” we have it might be a little complicated, but what it does isn’t.

Yet, many Republicans seem unable to grasp this concept.  Sure, I get why regular conservative voters might be confused.  If all someone watches is Fox News or other right-wing propaganda news sources, then sure, they’re not going to hear the truth about the debt ceiling.

But when a Republican Senator sits there on national television and claims the debt ceiling doesn’t exist (and don’t forget House Republican Ted Yoho who ridiculously said not raising it would bring “stability” to the world markets) then that’s either willful ignorance, or dangerous deception to play to a conservative base by telling them what they want to hear instead of laying out the facts.

The debt ceiling isn’t a partisan issue, it’s real.  Someone might want to tell Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn this little fact because he seems confused.

Recently, he went on record as saying:

“There’s no such thing as a debt ceiling in this country because it’s never been not increased, and that’s why we’re $17 trillion in debt.  And I would dispel the rumor that’s going around that you hear on every newscast that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we’ll default on our debt, we won’t.  We’ll continue to pay our interest, we’ll continue to redeem bonds, and we’ll issue new bonds to replace those.”

And that’s how you prove you’re an idiot.

The debt ceiling isn’t a partisan issue — at least it shouldn’t be. Almost every reputable economist from both sides of the political spectrum have said that not raising the debt ceiling could spell economic catastrophe for not just our economy, but the global economy.

This isn’t up for debate.  If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, defaulting on our debt for the first time in history, nothing good will come from it.

And once again, all raising the debt ceiling does is allow the government to pay its bills.  It’s not about new spending — at all.  It’s about letting the government pay bills on money we’ve already spent.  That’s it.

Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t add to our deficits or our national debt.  However, not raising the debt ceiling could very well add to our debt.  If we crash the economy, put more people on government programs (or trigger higher interest rates) our national debt will most likely increase.

It’s just baffling that any member of Congress could sit there and say to the American people, “There’s no such thing as a debt ceiling,” and justify it by saying that since we have $17 trillion in debt, we don’t have a limit.

Our ability to accumulate debt has nothing to do with the debt ceiling because, once again, our debt ceiling has nothing to do with new spending!

I’m so sick of having to repeat this.  It’s one thing to have ideological differences about the role of government in our lives, abortion or gun rights because topics such as those can be subjective.

But on something like our debt ceiling, there is no debate.  Anyone who thinks there is, is a damn fool.

And anyone who says there’s no such thing as a debt ceiling, as Senator Coburn stated, really has no business being a part of our government.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Michael Siever

    Ow! The stupid! It burns!

  • joebloggs4president

    The term “debt ceiling” is incorrect because Congress has already incurred these debts with the laws they have created. It should be changed from “debt ceiling” to something like “debt payment ceiling”.

    • Stacy

      I would just call it paying our bills from last year. That is literally all it is.

      THIS Congress, this House of Representatives and Senate spent more than we brought in. Why are we even -allowing- this conversation to go on?

      Senators, Representatives… pay your bills or get out.

  • bamcintyre

    This all comes from those who only listen to the bloviators on Faux News. Fox, the only news organization that went to court to prove they had no reponsibility to not lie, or to fabricate “news” stories knowing they were false.

    • waltinseattle

      and won the case!

  • bamcintyre

    And if the government obeys the constitution and pays legal debts, then the GOP will take ’em to court saying they were not obeying the law.

  • Rob Mendonsa

    What these idiots are espousing is to make sure the interest and big bankers are paid first, then if there’s anything leftover we’ll pay the social security and other useless programs like feeding the poor and medicare.. their argument is, as long as the interest is being paid we’re all good! This is exactly what the GOP has been salivating over, forever.. screw the poor, as long as the bankers are getting theirs!!

    • waltinseattle

      not all republicans dear liberal partisan. not conservatives… just the fake ones.

  • Shannon

    I’m a lib, agree with 98% of posts on this site. Yet, you’re being a bit disingenuous. The senator intended to mean there is no limit to the debt our government will take on. He’s still off base in his understanding, but you’ve exaggerated his stance for the purpose of an article.

  • david

    When he said “There is no debt ceiling” obvoiusly he didn’t mean that litearlly. He has voted on many, many debt ceilings.

    The point is that a ceiling is supposed to be something that stays put. If we keep raising it, we probably shouldn’t call it a ceiling.

  • Carol

    the $ has already been spent by Congress in allocations…can we just get on with this? Who is there in Congress who does not understand this? Sick of games.

  • Tempest Rose

    When we resort to their tactics, we become them. And that’s exactly what is happening. How about we stop writing articles filled with name-calling, mean remarks, taking their words out of context, or only paying attention to the few that make no sense on their own (yet actually do make sense when coupled with the rest of what they said), and report facts. I’m fine with opinions as well, as long as they’re based on something real. People call me a ‘bleeding heart liberal,’ yet I am embarrassed to be called one at this point because they’ve all become just plain mean. No longer can I read an article to find the truth, I have to read a liberal-biased one, a conservative-biased one, and then either fact-check both sides or try to find a neutral one. Let’s not even get started on headlines or captions, as they’re all simply outrageous. Come on people, let’s do good again, instead of grasping at strings to bad-mouth the competition. Let’s open peoples’ eyes to who they really are, instead of writing about stuff that only makes us look bad.

  • Sometimes it’s just Nuts

    Last couple of weeks….the media was portraying him as a “moderate” republican. ANY who says there are still Moderates in the republican Party, tell them to prove it. Then pull up all their votes for the last 5 years, then their votes from the last 12 years. THERE ARE NO MODERATES IN THE GOP!

    • waltinseattle

      a few. most grew up and realized they were social libertarians. ..then realized the duopoly was dead set against that view being at the table. thus the great grind and dispersal of centrists.

      • Sometimes it’s just Nuts

        Unprincipled and standing for whatever sounds good at the moment is how to describe most of them. I honestly think that we are letting them off the hook, ENABLING for that matter by letting them say they have this new belief that lets them simply not stand for anything unless they are told to. The GOP has gone from one party to another and now they stand for nothing and those moderates stand for just that….but those wannabee called moderates still call themselves republican because they vote with these extreme 95% of the time. they think they will prevail if they keep enabling, protecting, them and shaming and hating the left. If they were truly moderates they would have stood against them 85% of the time. It’s convenient and we need to stop enabling their flip flop, wavering in the wind, stand for whatever sounds good actions.

  • skyewalker

    It should just be called “Budget Expansion” or “Automatic Bills Payment” coz that’s what it is!