Before the Tea Party made US politics really scary by using the nation’s credit rating as a bargaining chip to extract unrelated policy concessions from the President, there was never any question that Congress would pay what we owe. But now, it’s conventional wisdom with Tea Party types that Congress shouldn’t ever raise the debt ceiling, even though the hostage situation they created last summer materially harmed the recovery and turned out to be a political black eye for the Republican Party.
If you want more of the scary games and brinksmanship, vote for Tom Smith. He’s promising more of it:
During his primary campaign, Republican Tom Smith ran a television ad saying as a U.S. senator he’d “never vote to raise the debt ceiling.”
But now Smith is less definitive, unwilling to say he’d never increase the nation’s borrowing limit. Smith says that if Congress puts forward a “serious” plan to cut federal spending and address entitlement reform – big debt drivers like Medicare and Social Security – it wouldn’t have to worry about hitting the debt ceiling.
“We know simply raising the debt ceiling without long-term reforms will not suffice,” Smith said in a recent interview. “In the U.S. Senate, I will focus on cutting spending, reducing the debt, and restoring America’s economic prosperity.”