On January 19, 2023, the United States officially hit the debt ceiling established in the previous session of Congress. As a result, the Treasury Department must now start taking extraordinary measures to continue to meet the nation’s prior obligations and avoid a catastrophic default. It is estimated that those measures will only delay a fiscal nightmare for a few months.
With that economic disaster looming, Fox News is predictably siding with the forces of evil who support crashing the U.S. economy, particularly during the Democratic presidential term of Joe Biden. To that end, Sean Hannity invited Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-QAnon) on to plot out their plan to hold the nation hostage in order to slash the safety net programs that many Americans rely on (video below). That would risk a severe economic meltdown. Not that Hannity or Greene care. It’s what they and their Dear Leader, Donald Trump, have been hankering for.
Hannity’s harangue began with his ludicrous assertion that Democrats are only “ginning up” the debt ceiling issue because they “desperately want to distract from the issue of the president and the classified top secret documents.” Really? You mean it’s not because Democrats recognize that the GOP is purposefully risking the full faith and credit of the United States in an effort to extort a few items on their right-wing wish list? And does Hannity really believe that Democrats want to distract from the issue of stolen classified documents, an issue for which Trump is far more vulnerable? Hannity went on to display his pitifully ignorant “understanding” of this issue, saying that…
“My understanding is that really won’t be an issue for a number of months. But when it is an issue, what will Republicans do? Will they be united? What are the things that they will demand in exchange for going along with the debt ceiling because the hyperbole, I’m sure, will be out of control.”
So Hannity is deliberately downplaying the consequences of the U.S. government defaulting on its debt, which would result in a government shutdown that would cripple the country and tank the economy worldwide. And he admits that all he’s interested in is what Republicans can get for their sabotage. He falsely claims that checks for Social Security and Medicare, and military operations and many more vital government services would still proceed without interruption. Republicans have brought us to this brink before, so he knows that isn’t true.
Greene weighed in with a bizarre reference to the number of years that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have served in Congress. First of all, she’s conveniently leaving out the longest serving members, such as Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley in the Senate, and Hal Rogers and Chris Smith in the House – all Republicans. The she adds…
“It’s a serious issue and the spending in Washington that’s happened for decades now with both parties is the reason why we’re in this terrible place. And Republicans are committed to work on the budget. We want to get it under control, we want it to be balanced and we want to reduce the national debt. […] I, for one, will not sign a clean bill raising the debt limit.”
Who wants to tell Greene that members of Congress do not “sign” bills, clean or otherwise? Does she think she’s the President? However, she appears to be willing to sign a dirty bill, which is a good description of the muddy legislation that the GOP is likely to produce.
Greene knows, or ought to know, that raising the debt ceiling has no impact whatsoever on spending. If she’s serious about being “committed to work on the budget,” there is nothing stopping her from doing so after voting to increase the debt limit, which applies only to financial obligations made in the past.
Greene can also continue her pursuit of the perennially preposterous idea of a balanced budget. It’s funny that Republicans have long insisted that the government should be run like a business, but don’t seem to know that businesses do not have balanced budgets. They operate on credit, just like the government and most American households.
If Hannity and Greene were truly interested in reducing the debt, they would do what Biden and the Democrats have been doing that resulted in the deficit declining by $1.4 trillion last year. And for the record, Trump increased the debt by nearly $8 trillion dollars – much of that was due to his tax cut that benefited corporations and the wealthy – and ne’er a word of criticism was heard from the GOP or Fox News. And Republicans still haven’t proposed any spending cuts, except to programs that benefit middle and lower income Americans, and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Homeland Security.
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"I for one will not sign a clear bill raising the debt limit" — Marjorie Taylor Greene thinks she's president, apparently pic.twitter.com/ZWCOMWZqM2
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 19, 2023
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