The one thing that can be worse than partisan squabbling is when the two parties come together on something. Neither party has the best interest of the country at heart, so many bipartisan deals are decisions that represent the mutual political interests of the parties rather than the long-term well-being of the American people.
A case in point can be found in the latest deal to increase the debt ceiling:
President Donald Trump and bipartisan congressional leaders clinched a sweeping two-year budget agreement that would produce hundreds of billions in new spending and take the threat of a fiscal crisis off of Washington’s plate for more than two years.
The deal, which came together in a burst of urgency during a period of two weeks amid a steady stream of phone calls Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, would eliminate — for good — the budget caps put into place in 2011 and suspend the debt ceiling until July 31, 2021…
In total, the agreement would lock in a $1.3 trillion budget deal, which includes $320 billion in additional spending over the course of two years.
The bipartisan agreement means more massive out of control debt and playing kick the can with America’s long-term fiscal problems to get the President and Congress past the 2020 elections.
I’m sympathetic to the idea not raising the debt ceiling would have serious consequences such as default on the national debt or immediate reductions in spending with limited ability to target them. It’d be like a sudden stop of a runaway train or truck and decelerating it immediately from ninety to zero.
However, a sane course of action would be to apply the breaks. Any increase in the debt ceiling should be coupled with efforts to slow down and eventually stop the madness of runaway debt.
This deal serves as another a reminder the Republicans are not the party of fiscal responsibility. Despite promising to eliminate the national debt in 8 years, President Trump was shown the massive increases in the debt coming down soon back in 2017 and responded, “Yeah, but I won’t be here.”
As horrible as the President’s statement was, it’s hard to be too outraged as it reflects the short-term attitude of both parties based on their actions.
What America needs is to have a serious conversation about our priorities and how we get our debt under control. That’s not going to happen until we have a new party that can challenge and compete with the Democrats and Republicans.