By: De’Sean Markley, Columnist
With multiple hurricanes devastating our country, issues regarding our economy and
national debt have emerged into the spotlight. In recent news, President Trump has formed a compromise with Democratic leaders to ultimately revoke the idea that Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling, thus removing an unnecessary step to monitoring our economy. The debt ceiling is often misconceived as the United States government’s ability to run deficit or incur obligations, and thus its removal has been highly controversial. However, the debt limit is solely related to what the United States government pays on already incurred obligations. The debt limit is not needed and is entirely redundant.
Refusing to raise the debt limit would be synonymous with refusing to pay back debt.
Individuals do this all time, but for our government, such a strategy would be unacceptable, as bonds would ultimately lose value because they no longer have the guarantee of being paid back. Any congressman with a shred of fiscal responsibility would never refuse to the raise the debt ceiling, meaning that the only true benefit of the debt ceiling is to allow politicians and congressmen to use it to their benefit as power play in Washington.
Recently, Congress passed a Harvey Relief Aid Bill, yet some GOP members opposed it.
Congressman Barton of Texas, for example, criticized the Harvey Relief Aid Bill for being
paired with a Debt Limit raise that he believed would make it easier to incur debt. Senator Cruz also stated that he wished the Harvey Relief Aid Bill was not tied into the debt limit raise, because of this some people would vote against it. This, is exactly what I mean about power playing in Washington.
Ultimately, however, this becomes an issue beyond the debt limit and more about the
general perspective of economics in Washington, which I continue to have a fundamental issue with. Rather than worry about the citizens of Houston who do not have access to water, food, shelter, clothes, and a variety of other necessities, our lawmakers are heavily focused on what this means for the national debt. Does it truly matter how much debt the United States incurs when it is to the benefit of our citizens? When our social services help provide food and housing to individuals who may not be able to afford it, does it matter how much money is being funded into those programs and people? It is a similar principle with Hurricane Harvey. These people
have lost everything, and so I ask again, should our lawmakers be worried about the issue of national debt? Even if you have the most perfect, functioning economy, but if only thirty percent of our populace are capable of affording housing, health care, food, etc., then is it really worth it?The fundamental issue that I believe politicians everywhere must face is whether or not we will continue to allow our economy to be a goal, instead of an instrument and tool to benefit our citizens.