he forth coming Debt Ceiling debates and subsequent vote are an ever pressing issue in the eyes of the concerned voter. For this reason, we must look not only to the history of previous debt ceiling increases, but to the future concerns of American sovereignty in order to ensure continuing the history of debt ceiling increases is in the best interests of our constituents. After closely analyzing past trends and comparing them to the future insolvency of the federal government, it is my direct recommendation that debt ceiling not be increased.
The debt ceiling was established as a tool to aid the federal government to control spending. However, according the Congressional Research Service, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since 1962. (Austin and Levit) Since 2001, the debt ceiling has been raised ten times.
As it is now “customary” to increase the debt ceiling, special attention must be granted to U.S. Treasury reports of the last ten years. The Treasury Direct section of the U.S. Treasury Department has reported that on September 30, 2000, the national debt was $5,674,178,209,886.86 while on September 30, 2010, the national debt was $13,561,623,030,891.79. (Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual 2000 – 2010) Despite federal spending increasing at rates which have almost tripled the national debt in the recent decade, the most recent two reported years of spending are of grave concern. From September 30, 2001 to September 30, 2008, the net debt increase was .5 trillion dollars per year. However, a disproportion increase in federal spending can be directly attributed for the period of time ranging from September 30, 2008 to September 30, 2010. In this period of time, the national debt increased some 3.5 trillion dollars, more than tripling that of the net increases of previous years. While the national spending trend is of grave concern, it is currently accelerating at unprecedented rates. Today’s national debt, according to Treasury Direct is 14,293,242,770,354.82. This indicates that the federal government is now spending beyond its means to sustain itself at a rate of 100 billion dollars per month. Current runaway spending has drawn sharp criticism from federally appointed leaders, elected officials and constituents alike.
Pros and cons
The current debate centers on whether or not to increase the debt ceiling to accommodate the fact that the current administration has already spent over the limit. When it comes to assigning credit to those whom both support and oppose the initiative to increase the debt ceiling, we must consider the value of the act itself and its impact upon the American people as a whole. As with most political issues of today, division lies in Republicans and Democrats. Where the Democrats are correct is in the concept that the damage has already been done and perhaps the responsible thing to do is increase the debt ceiling to authorize payment for accumulated debt beyond that of the current debt ceiling. Unfortunately, this is about all we can attribute positive credit with the understanding that some Democrats do not support the spending habits of the last few years. Profound criticism can be applied the Democrat due to the egregious fiscal strategies.
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