Let’s start with a simple question: If conservatives had a choice, would we choose to balance the budget now or follow Obama’s model of catastrophic debt instead? For conservatives, the answer is painfully obvious. And the quickest way to a balanced budget is to let the US government hit the debt ceiling.
When we reach the debt limit we can only spend what we take in; quite a novel, radical idea in Washington. Of course, how the revenue gets spent gets complicated, but one thing is certain. Upon hitting the ceiling, the executive branch chooses how revenue is allocated. The US government would only default if the President ordered the Treasury Secretary to not pay our debts. It’s practically impossible. It’s less likely than seeing a fish ride a bicycle.
CBO estimates the US government will take in $2.6 trillion this year. It costs approximately $220 billion to service the debt and prevent us from defaulting–just 8.5 percent of revenue. In other words, if we hit the debt ceiling, we still have plenty of money to pay the essential bills.
In fact, according to the CBO, we have enough to pay all “mandatory spending” (Medicare, Social Security, veterans benefits, debt payments, etc.) and defense spending, plus have more than $300 billion to use for “discretionary” spending. That’s right. Not only could we run all absolutely essential functions of government, we would still have $300 billion to spare.
Obama’s math doesn’t add up, yet the President and his buddies in the media have convinced people that the government will “default” if we hit the debt ceiling. They say our economy will tank. Explain this: How is a balanced budget bad for the economy? I mean, God forbid we only spend what we take in…
To President Obama and the media, nothing is more frightening than a balanced budget. Just listen to their rhetoric on the debt ceiling. It sounds like they’re talking about the Mayan Apocalypse. It would be “catastrophic,” “cataclysmic,” or worse. It’s almost comical, really.
As conservatives, I think we can win the PR battle by fighting for this balanced budget. If President Obama is unwilling to negotiate and write a budget with real entitlement reform, I say we don’t negotiate with him either. Let’s hit the debt ceiling and force President Obama to immediately balance the budget. My intuition is, from there, President Obama might be willing to negotiate. I say we settle for nothing less than a budget which balances in 10 years. If Obama doesn’t want to talk, at least our kids will be saved from billions and trillions of debt.
Now, of course, the Left will counter that the debt ceiling just stops us from being able to pay our bills. They’re wrong–it’s much more than that. The debt ceiling, duly passed by Congress, is there to stop Washington from robbing future generations. It should be used as such.
By Ned Ryun, President and CEO of American Majority Action