In the current news cycle, we have this headline: Obama: Not raising the debt ceiling 'is absurd'.
Oh, but I agree on that thought completely - not raising the debt ceiling would be stupid, idiotic, moronic, and a host of other names that signify how ignorant things could wind up, which is precisely why the debt ceiling will be raised. The question is by how much, and how fast will that raise in the ceiling come.
It's there that Mr. President will wind up having to slow down. Well, him and his friends on the Democrat side of the aisles in Congress. There will be an increase, but having bent the GOP over the proverbial log when it came to the revenue side of the Fiscal Cliff issue of a few weeks ago, the GOP won't be so quick to capitulate here and they very well may wind up forcing some serious debt reduction (otherwise known as, or also known as (a.k.a.) spending cuts) through for everyone to suffer through.
Yeah, yeah, I know the GOP (members in the congress) doesn't want to look like cruel, evil, heartless bastages that leave Grandma with no money (social security), and they certainly don't want to be the cause of cuts in military spending, but they do recognize that the nation has a spending problem that it just can't stop. If the only way to force cuts in spending is by holding the debt ceiling hostage, then I think we're finally going to see the GOP take advantage of their own status and position in the governance of this country.
If the Democrats controlled both houses a raise in the debt ceiling would likely be a mere formality. They've already gotten the revenue increases they demanded (basically). While they might not have been as high as they wished, or gotten funds from people at levels they wished (as it really seemed that they were always looking for funds from individuals making more than $200,000 - $250,000 per year) but they got close enough to bring in a lot more revenue -- or so they claimed -- than had been flowing into the government coffers in prior years. Fortunately for the country though we have a split government, with the GOP controlling the house of representatives and with enough members in the senate to keep anything from being rammed down the throats of the country without at least some input from the GOP.
I don't claim to be happy about how things went with the earlier fight. While I somewhat encouraged the GOP to just let the President and his pals drive us right on off the cliff, it was, all along, with the thought that the only way to really get our fiscal house in order was going to be via serious cuts in spending. Those cuts aren't likely unless the President and his pals are forced to make those cuts and the only real leverage that the GOP has had is the mandated goals and deadlines that the fiscal cliff was forcing upon us all, and soon the debt ceiling that we are likely to go bumping up against. Without automatic tax increases (or, technically, as it seemed that the Democrats wanted all along, tax-cuts extended for all but the wealthiest of U.S. citizens) there as a potential hit upon the country, the threat against the tax-paying public is so significantly reduced that the GOP can afford the luxury of forcing concessions from their Democrat counterparts.
Hang in there and stay tuned. The next few weeks are going to get very interesting, at least in this area.