Kevin McCarthy’s Debt Ceiling Incompetence Will Ruin Us All
Tick tock. That’s the seconds counting down until the entire country is out of options on our debt and we default which will send the global economy into disarray. Nobody really knows when—it’s estimated either this summer or early fall—but it’s guaranteed to happen unless the House votes to raise the debt ceiling. If you’re wondering, yes, it will affect you. It will affect everyone. Literally, the fate of the world rests on one man’s shoulders: Kevin McCarthy. So basically, we’re f*cked.
Here’s the deal. Normally raising the debt ceiling is a boring procedural vote done without fanfare. Fun fact, since 1960, it’s been raised 78 times! All it is is the House recognizing that they need to allow the U.S. government to take on more debt than is currently allowed by law, so they raise the limit. Except now the House Republicans have said they will not raise the limit unless they get spending cuts in the budget.
So, a quick aside. First and foremost, the debt in our debt limit? It doesn’t belong to the Biden administration. Per The White House:
It is also important to note that the debt limit is not a forward-looking budgeting tool that reveals what policymakers think are ideal levels of spending and revenue. Rather, it reflects the spending and revenue decisions debated and enacted in prior years by prior Congresses and Administrations; in fact, 97 percent of the current national debt stems from policy choices made before the Biden Administration took office in January 2021—choices made by both parties on their own and in a bipartisan fashion. The debt limit is the amount that the U.S. Treasury can borrow to pay the bills that have become due based on these prior policy decisions.
Another fun fact: The Biden Administration released its budget on March 9th. Over a month ago. Do you think the Republicans have released theirs yet? No! They’re too busy fighting each other, we’re so boned.
See, as House Speaker, McCarthy has decided that the Chair of the Budget Committee, Jodey Arrington, is incompetent (pot, meet kettle) because most likely Arrington didn’t support his speakership run (Arrington was for Steve Scalise) and has taken to trashing him, so now everyone is at an impasse. Per The New York Times:
Mr. McCarthy has told colleagues he has no confidence in Mr. Arrington, the man responsible for delivering a budget framework laying out the spending cuts that Republicans have said they will demand in exchange for any move to increase the debt limit.
Aside from the perceived disloyalty, Mr. McCarthy regards Mr. Arrington, a former official in the George W. Bush administration, as incompetent, according to more than half a dozen people familiar with his thinking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.
I say this with as much disrespect as I can muster: we handled our disagreements with more dignity when we were wasted in college at 2 am, fighting over men who did not deserve our attention or time, gentlemen.
It gets even better. Arrington is trying to do his job, and McCarthy is out in public basically saying “I don’t know him.” Per the above source:
After Mr. Arrington told reporters he was preparing a “term sheet” detailing a formal list of spending cuts Republicans would demand from the White House in exchange for their support in raising the debt ceiling, Mr. McCarthy publicly undercut him, telling reporters, “I don’t know what he’s talking about.”
So on the one hand, any budget these ghouls put together will be horrific for all but the billionaire fatcats that walk among us (Hey Elon, you’ll never be funny) but on the other hand, if they don’t ever put a f*cking budget together, the entire world will fall apart, so really, what’s the worst outcome here?
In addition, McCarthy basically made multiple deals with the devil to even get elected, by promising the most batshit GOP members some heavy budget cuts, so he has to make good on that, too. In short, whatever budget the Republicans come up with, it will be a fascist’s dream, our living nightmare, and probably won’t even get agreement within McCarthy’s own party.
To put a cherry on top of the apocalyptic sundae, his number two, Steve Scalise, the House Majority Leader (you know, the one that’s supposed to lead the party and get them to rally support while the Speaker of the House does all the big stuff?) well, according to The New York Times, he’s checked out and useless, too!
Mr. McCarthy has told colleagues and allies that he cannot rely on Mr. Scalise, describing the majority leader as ineffective, checked out and reluctant to take a position on anything, according to three Republican lawmakers with direct knowledge of his private comments who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss them.
Now, McCarthy has even abdicated his position on the debt ceiling negotiations, instead appointing one of his “loyalists” to the task, Garret Graves, from Louisiana. Should this inspire confidence? According to an op-ed at MSNBC, absolutely not! That reads:
Instead, McCarthy has tapped Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., to be the point person on the debt ceiling negotiations. It’s also a weird choice, one most likely based more on McCarthy’s personal loyalty than on any particular skill Graves brings to the table. It’s unlikely to win him any points among the rest of the rank and file, nor is the perception that he’s trying to find someone else to catch the blame for the failure to produce a budget.
Look, we all knew when it took 15 votes for this incompetent, malicious buffoon to get his speakership that we were in for rough waters ahead, but I think we all engaged in some magical thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be this bad. We were wrong! McCarthy has his power, has no idea how to use it, and doesn’t seem inclined to do anything with it other than steer us all off a cliff. McCarthy may be officially the worst export from the state of California, and I have seen the movie Cool as Ice.
There is no budget from the GOP. The Republicans clearly have no plan, and let’s be honest, it’s in the Democrats’ best interest to let this play out exactly as it is, because maybe the people who keep voting for these incompetent ghouls will stop and let the grownups lead again. I got nothing, and I keep hearing this clock ticking down the seconds until time runs out, and we’re all in deep trouble.
(featured image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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