Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson, FloydReports.com
Once again it’s time to talk about raising the statutory limit on the U.S. government’s debt—the so-called “debt ceiling.” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has estimated that Uncle Sam will reach the debt ceiling before Tax Day, possibly even before the end of March.
Even earlier, on March 4 to be precise, the current appropriations resolution that is funding government spending will expire.
Are these two stories giving you a sense of déjà vu? They should. These two closely related issues are perennial events. Congress has raised the debt ceiling 74 times in the past 70 years, and, of course, passing an annual budget is necessarily an annual event.
The same two sides square off against each other on both issues. On the one side are the (relatively) fiscal conservatives, the so-called “deficit hawks,” the belt-tighteners; on the other are the budget-busters, the “deficit doves,” the big spenders.
The big spenders are riding a long winning streak. Every time federal debt has reached the debt ceiling, Congress has raised it.