Don’t Fall for the GOP Lie: There is No Budget Crisis. There’s a Job and Growth Crisis.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
A friend who’s been watching the absurd machinations in Congress asked me “what happens if we don’t solve the budget crisis and we run out of money to pay the nation’s bills?”
It was only then I realized how effective Republicans lies have been. That we’re calling it a “budget crisis” and worrying that if we don’t “solve” it we can’t pay our nation’s bills is testament to how successful Republicans have been distorting the truth.
The federal budget deficit has no economic relationship to the debt limit. Republicans have linked the two, and the Administration has played along, but they are entirely separate. Republicans are using what would otherwise be a routine, legally technical vote to raise the debt limit as a means of holding the nation hostage to their own political goal of shrinking the size of the federal government.
In economic terms, we will not “run out of money” next week. We’re still the richest nation in the world, and the Federal Reserve has unlimited capacity to print money.
Nor is there any economic imperative to reach an agreement on how to fix the budget deficit by Tuesday. It’s not even clear the federal budget needs that much fixing anyway.
Yes, the ratio of the national debt to the total economy is high relative to what it’s been. But it’s not nearly as high as it was after World War II – when it reached 120 percent of the economy’s total output.
If and when the economy begins to grow faster – if more Americans get jobs, and we move toward a full recovery – the debt/GDP ratio will fall, as it did in the 1950s, and as it does in every solid recovery. Revenues will pour into the Treasury, and much of the current “budget crisis” will evaporate.
The GOP has manufactured a budget crisis out of the Republicans’ extortionate demands over raising the debt limit. They have succeeded in hoodwinking the public