To the editor:
It is time for the political theater to end and for governing to begin. Stepping back into history, we discover that Congress raised the debt ceiling seven times while Bush-Cheney were in office. Looking even further back to Reagan's presidency it was raised 17 times.
In 2001, the debt limit was $5.95 trillion. By 2004, after the Bush tax cuts took effect, it was $7.38 trillion. It rose to $8.18 trillion in November of 2004 as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan got underway. It hit 11.31 trillion in October of 2008 as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, famously known as TARP, began. The month after Obama was sworn in as president, Feb. 17, 2009, the debt limit was set at $12.10 trillion dollars. Without any to do it was raised to $14.29 trillion in February of 2010 where it stands today. This has nothing to do with a sudden turn toward fiscal responsibility on the part of Republicans; it has everything to do with politics and elections. The only goal of this debt debate is to score points against the president. If you do not believe me, look at the comments the lead Republican in the Senate Mitch McConnell made.
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president," McConnell told the National Journal.
Their list of goals should then be: 1. Make sure Obama doesn't get reelected; 2. Think of ways to make sure Obama does not get reelected; 3. Attend a fundraising event; 4. Pass a debt ceiling increase; 5. Think about jobs (since that's what we campaigned on in 2010); 6. Think of ways to make sure Obama is not reelected; 7. Make sure Obama isn't reelected. It seems the goals of our leaders are inconsistent with the goals of the people. Perhaps it is time for a refresh?