Members of South Carolina’s congressional delegation were deeply divided on yesterday’s big vote to suspend the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling – a move critics say does nothing to address the underlying fiscal irresponsibility which created the mountain of debt in the first place.
Actually, our nation’s fiat money mountain is more on the order of $31.8 trillion – as yesterday’s agreement simply puts the federal imprimatur on all of this new red ink (and trillions in deficit spending to come).
Nonetheless, the leaders of both major political parties praised the agreement – which the mainstream media breathlessly insisted was necessary to avoid a “catastrophic default” on or about June 5, 2023.
“This agreement is good news for the American people and the American economy,” U.S. president Joe Biden said in a statement. “I urge the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible so that I can sign it into law.”
Embattled U.S. House speaker Kevin McCarthy – who negotiated the deal with Biden – also praised the measure, saying it “put the citizens of America first.”
“The House just passed the biggest spending cut in American history,” McCarthy tweeted.
Did it, though? According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Biden-McCarthy deal would reduce federal deficits by $1.48 trillion over the coming decade – with $1.3 trillion of that coming in the form of caps on discretionary, non-defense spending and another $188 billion coming in the form of interest payments tied to that spending.
Here’s the problem, though: Limiting future deficits is not the same thing as “cutting spending.” And it’s certainly not “the biggest spending cut in American history.” Our government is still spending trillions of dollars it doesn’t have. Assuming Congress sticks to this agreement (a big “if”), government will continue to grow beyond its means and the national debt will continue to expand.
Only in Washington, D.C. is that considered a “spending cut.”
Nonetheless, the measure passed the GOP-controlled House by a 314-117 margin – with 71 Republicans opposing the agreement.
“This bill had no limit on the debt ceiling at all,” Mace said in a video recorded after her vote. “It also put into law record high levels of spending created during the Covid pandemic era. To put that into law as your baseline spending going forward – I just can’t even imagine how we sold out our kids and grandkids.”
Mace called the bill a “shell game with your tax dollars,” saying the promised cuts will likely never materialize while the bill adds $4 trillion in new debt.
“As a fiscal conservative – as someone who wants to be and has been fiscally responsible with your tax dollars – we can do better and we should have,” Mace said.
Mace was joined in opposing the deal by congressmen Russell Fry, Ralph Norman and William Timmons. GOP congressmen Joe Wilson and Jeff Duncan voted in favor of the bill – joining the state’s lone Democratic congressman, minority whip Jim Clyburn.
Duncan’s vote surprised – and enraged – many conservatives in the Palmetto State.
“Very disappointed in Jeff Duncan,” one tweeted late Wednesday.
“While I would have preferred much steeper spending cuts, the legislation represents the first year-over-year cut in discretionary spending since 1948,” Duncan said by way of explaining his vote. “Having voted against the past six consecutive debt limit increases, I understand exactly what is at stake for our nation if we don’t address spending. I believe this legislation represents an important step in the right direction, which is why after spending days wading through the information and disinformation surrounding the bill, I ultimately felt comfortable supporting it along with conservatives like Jim Jordan and Newt Gingrich.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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