Dumbass Doocy: Fox News Still Doesn’t Understand What The Debt Ceiling Is

As the nation approaches another showdown over the raising of the debt ceiling, Fox News continues to prove that either they don’t understand economics or they are dedicated to misinforming their gullible viewers – or more likely, both.

On Friday’s episode of Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy and his couch potato pals reacted with surprise to President Obama’s remarks about raising the debt ceiling. The President correctly described the function of this routine economic procedure by telling the Business Roundtable what it actually entails.

Obama: Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy. All it does is it says you’ve got to pay the bills that you’ve already racked up, Congress. It’s a basic function of making sure that the full faith and credit of the United States is preserved.

Concerned that a succinct and coherent explanation might make Fox viewers aware of a small bit of reality (something Fox works diligently against), Doocy stepped up to make sure that his audience remained blissfully ignorant. He played two videos of Obama, one talking about the risks of high debt and the other advocating raising the debt ceiling. Doocy then said that Obama was talking about the same thing and had flipped his position. However, the debt is not the same thing as the debt ceiling. But this is a subject that is apparently way over Doocy’s head.

Doocy: So the first sound bite was from the president a couple of days ago at the Business Roundtable where he really got people thinking, “Did he just misspeak?” because he said essentially that raising the debt ceiling does not increase our debt. I know he studied law, and not economics, but increasing the debt ceiling indeed raises the debt.

Well, I know Doocy studied journalism at the University of Kansas and not economics, while Obama got a B.A. in political science from Columbia University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School, but Doocy clearly knows nothing about either economics or journalism. Raising the debt ceiling does not raise the debt one penny. Just as the President said, it merely authorizes the government to pay bills that Congress has already incurred.

Allow me to spell it out. Let’s say the national debt is $10 trillion and the debt ceiling is $9 trillion. If the ceiling is raised to $11 trillion so that it can accommodate the outstanding obligations, the debt is still $10 trillion. There is no change except for the fact that bills can now be paid which, ironically, would have the effect of lowering the debt. Failing to raise the debt ceiling would result in default which would cause the ratings services to lower the nation’s credit worthiness. That would increase the interest that we pay on the debt which, of course, increases the debt. Which is exactly what happened last year.

So Doocy, and most of the Tea Party right, have everything exactly backwards – as usual. There is only one real reason that Fox and the GOP are obstructing the debt ceiling increase, and that is to harm Obama by attempting to blame him for the economic debacle that would ensue following a default. And they regard the devastation that the American people would suffer as merely collateral damage. As evidence, take a look at this chart that I created a couple of years ago illustrating the Republican support for raising the debt ceiling until a certain event occurred:

Debt Ceiling

And the same dishonest, partisan, hackery is in full effect today.


23 thoughts on “Dumbass Doocy: Fox News Still Doesn’t Understand What The Debt Ceiling Is

  1. How about a neologism: to DOOCY vt-make a fool of oneself by saying something ridiculous on national TV

  2. Fox continues to damage this country with their intentional spread of disinformation and ignorance. It’s bad enough that their ignorant audience supports republicans in congress who are willing to destroy the economy of this country and the world to get their way. It’s like the suicide bomber who is willing to kill himself and as many other people as he possibly can for his ignorant religious cause, thinking he will go to heaven where he will be greeted by 72 virgins. That any republican who thinks shutting down govt. is good, especially after what it did in the 90’s when last tried, and defaulting on the debt can be a good thing shows you they live in this alternate reality supported and partially created by the ignoramuses at Fox, just like the fanatical suicide bomber.

  3. Fox News is owned by a foreigner (Rupert Madocks) and may be a deliberate effort to destabilize the United States. They found supporters in the Tea Party whose members are uneducated. Why are we surprised that Fox is anti progress and anti America?

    • It’s actually Rupert Murdoch Doug.

    • Do they find or fund these uneducated Tea Party members? I’m confused.

  4. How many votes were cast against raising the limit while Bush was President, and who cast those votes?

    • “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. … I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
      — Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

  5. I agree that Doocy is an idiot, but this explaination is not what is seems either. Think of it like getting your credit card limit raised. Yes, it doesn’t raise how much you owe, but it DOES allow you to owe more. That is what the republicans are fighting against. Of course, this country has enough income to pay off this debt in just a few years if we would actually ask the rich to pay their share. We could leave the tax rate the same and just remove loopholes. Doocy’s problem is that he Dr. Suess’ the facts.

    • Actually, raising the debt ceiling is not at all like raising the credit limit on a credit card. Only Congress can increase the debt through its spending authority. They have no credit limit. Raising the debt ceiling allows the government to pay for debt that has already been incurred by Congress. It has no affect on the money owed.

  6. Nice chart. Wish it was accurate so I could repost, but I know my Republican friends will bash it to pieces given that it skips 2005 and lists 2008 twice.

    Any chance you can fix it?

    • The years listed are the years that the debt ceiling was vote on. In 2008, they actually raised it TWICE and not at all in 2005. The chart IS accurate in it’s depiction of VOTES TO RAISE THE DEBT CEILING.

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  8. Raising the debt ceiling does not incur more debt, but it potentially can. It’s a bit of a game in terms of what part of the conversation one has – for example if you have 10 dollars in debt and the debt ceiling is 9, one raises the ceilng to 11, you still only have 10 dollars in debt. BUT, you can now borrow an additional dollar WITHOUT getting Congressional approval or requesting that the ceilng be raised, because the additional dollar (going from 10 to 11) needs no approval. That’s what the issue for fiscal conservatives is, in a nutshell. Of course, as economies grow, debt and capital always increase – otherwise the economy would cease to grow and begin to collapse. Therein lies the trick, or the misrepresentation of fiscal conservatives. If we want to pay off the existing debt we have to grow the economy. The optimal situation is where the profit portion of the economy outpaces the debt portion. Right now (and for the last few years), its been the debt portion that’s been leading the growth.

    • “…BUT, you can now borrow an additional dollar WITHOUT getting Congressional approval.”

      Sorry, but that is absolutely not true. The Constitution mandates that all spending be initiated by Congress. It doesn’t matter if the debt ceiling is a quadrillion dollars. No money can be spent without Congress allocating it in legislation that is drafted and passed in the House, affirmed in the Senate, and signed by the President.

      • Actually that is true.

        A budget hasn’t been passed by congress since Obama took office so if what you’re saying is true than no money would have been spent since Obama took office. We all know that isn’t true. You are correct that the Constitution mandates that all spending be initiated by Congress, the problem is Obama hasn’t followed that up until now so what makes you think he will start now.

        If the debt ceiling is raised the money will be spent. Why do you think we continue to need to raise the debt ceiling? Congress needs to CUT spending drastically and stop racking up bills that cause us to raise the debt ceiling. The democrats (Pelosi as recently as this week) claim there are no further cuts that can be made in spending. Really? I bet I could cut 10% without even looking that hard…

        • Will you people please do some research before commenting? I’m getting tired of explaining these things to you.

          Congress does not need to pass a budget bill in order to allocate spending. They have other procedural mechanisms like the “Continuing Resolution” that serve this purpose.

          And your assertion that “Obama hasn’t followed” the Constitution is absurd. Obama has nothing to do with it. It is a legislative branch responsibility.

          Finally, you say that “If the debt ceiling is raised the money will be spent.” Actually, if the debt ceiling is raised, bills will be paid. The money has already been “spent” in the sense that the goods and services have been bought and used. We just haven’t paid for them yet. Not doing so will throw us into default and financial disaster.

          • Isn’t that how drug dealers operate?

  9. Wow no conservative response on this article shocking. check and mate in one.

    • Shooting downward isn’t worth the time
      The mere fact that you buy into this ridiculous notion that we can’t reduce spending and have to spend our way to FULL FAITH CREDIT is why no CONSERVATIVE responds
      If you tell me the oceans dried up do I really need to tell you they haven’t?
      Lastly, you use a one celled organism as a messaging platform and wonder why nobody is here? It seems you watch Doocy just to see what moronic comments he will make so you can scream from your keyboard?! Good luck garnering those comments you’re hoping for!

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