In a move that should surprise no one who understood who Donald Trump was before the 2016 election cycle commenced, it seems the President is actually open to working with Democrats to eliminate the “debt ceiling” altogether. This would, ostensibly, allow the U.S. government to do what it does best – spend money it doesn’t have thereby racking up more debt – with no corresponding vote by Congress to allow it.
A violation of the Constitution’s Article I designation of Congress as the branch that controls all government spending? Yes. A violation of basic fiscal morality? Absolutely. The exact opposite of everything conservatives have been saying for decades now about the irresponsible, out-of-control debt accumulation of Washington, D.C.? Uh-huh. An economic death sentence for our children and grandchildren? You bet.
And Donald Trump seems totally open to it:
“It could be discussed,” Trump said. “For many years, people have been talking about getting rid of [the] debt ceiling altogether.” … Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has suggested scrapping the existing debt-limit process and replacing it with one that automatically lifts the borrowing limit every time Congress appropriates future spending.
This gleeful Washington Post report subtitle read, “Trump confounds conservatives by siding with Democrats.” The only conservatives confounded by it are those who willfully suspended their principles and reason during the campaign. The rest of us saw this coming a mile away.
If you want a good understanding of the inanity and shameless ignorance that rests behind this train wreck proposal, consider a helpful analogy. Imagine a state that is plagued by a rash of underage drinking arrests. To combat the outbreak of this irresponsibility happening at colleges, the state legislature makes the bold move of lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18.
Then, when the problem shifts from 18 and 19 year olds to a marked increase in 16 and 17 year olds, the legislature moves the drinking age down to 16. Then when the problem shifts to 14 and 15 year olds, they just decide to scrap the drinking age altogether.
Does that solve the problem? Or does it just signal a government unwilling to try to restrain bad behavior any longer?
The same is obviously coming true for a federal government drunk on spending money. Like a compulsive shopper who has been given the dangerous ability to raise his or her line of credit without limit, there are fewer and fewer elected officials even willing to keep up a pretense of caring about fiscal morality.
If anyone was honestly counting on President Trump restoring some financial sanity and economic discipline to our monetary crisis, it’s perfectly clear now that you were totally played for a fool.