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The debt ceiling will be lifted … again

The debt ceiling will be lifted … again

One of the built-in thrills of a circus act is the rehearsed near miss – when that trapeze artist looks as if he is about to plunge to the earth or that lion is about to attack the trainer.  Those moments are designed to build anxiety and drama.  Seasoned circus goers know the outcome, of course.

So it is with the periodic raising of the debt ceiling.  For days ahead of the deadline, politicians speculate, and the news media reports as if there is any doubt about the outcome.  The news is riddled with terms like “pending economic disaster,” “economic collapse” and “a cliff-hanger.”  All that is nothing more than a political version of Kabuki Threater.

There are seemingly endless stories of what it would mean if the debt ceiling were not raised.  The longstanding “good faith and credit” of the United States would suffer a serious blow.  After all, it is only the belief that the United States will pay its incurred debts that keep folks and foreign nations buying America’s government bonds.

The United States has never defaulted on any debt – never stiffed any creditors.  And … it will not this time.  If you can trust anything that relies on the actions of politicians in Washington, raising the debt ceiling would be at the top of that very short list.

So why all the drama?

Basically, it is political posturing and the natural tendency of the new media to seek out drama, whether real or illusional – or even create drama where none exists.  It is also an opportunity for the media to get into the partisan political game.  

According to the left-wing news reports, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to vote to lift the debt ceiling is not only dangerously reckless and hypocritical since he voted for raising the ceiling in the past – calling that an essential action.

McConnell did that in the past.  And he still says that the debt ceiling must be raised.  BUT … he knows that the Democrats have sufficient votes to do it all on their own.  They do not need any Republican votes.  In one sense, it is payback time for what Democrats did – the same thing in reverse – in 2011.  Hypocrisy is a bipartisan constant in politics.

Why would McConnell draw such a line in the sand over a necessary procedural issue?  Why would he make what had been bipartisan now partisan?  Very simple.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has kicked McConnell and the Senate Republicans to the side.  There has been no consultation on the BIG Biden so-called human infrastructure bill costing $3.9 trillion.

McConnell also knows that the American public is getting weary of the tax-and-over-spend policies of Congress.  Come 2022, he wants the voters to know that Democrats voted again to cover excessive spending – and the GOP did not.  

It is not likely to be the central issue that motivates voters in 2022 but is a bit more straw on the proverbial camel’s back.  McConnell wants the people to focus less on the need to raise the debt ceiling and on the overspending that requires it.

Republicans are lucky to have McConnell.  Whether as Senate Majority Leader or Minority Leader he has proven to be the most effective guy on Capitol Hill.  And Trump is badly mistaken to call for his replacement – which will be the subject of a future commentary.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Dan Tyree

    Both parties have been guilty of raising the debt. We will never get out of it

    • Anita

      McConnell needs to go. All he does is play the Democrats games sick of him.

  2. Joseph S. Bruder

    And why should Schumer consult with McConnell on anything? McConnell stated during both Obama and Biden presidencies that he’s not going to cooperate AT ALL. He’s blocked cabinet and judicial appointments, and when he has said he will support something he’s gone back on his word. At this point, McConnell’s “word” doesn’t mean shit. McConnell promised votes for the second COVID bill, and then pulled them back and even ordered other Republicans to withdraw support. And then they went around bragging what “Congress” passed, without mentioning to people that they voted against it.

    There are a few reluctant Democrats to drag along, but there is no reason or incentive to work with Republicans. Democrats already know what McConnell is going to do. Republicans are continuing to lose support because of their machinations. Fine. When the other side is screwing up, let them.

    • Dan Tyree

      Why cooperate with communist?

  3. frank stetson

    Because the communist, who really is not really a communist, you are a liar in this, there are only 10,000 communists in America, you have more chance of catching covid than meeting an American communist…. But the “communist” is an American, one who is a duly elected official, and we are a nation based on ideas, not ideologies that just happens to use the same concept to allow foul-mouthed, potty-talking, name calling, schleps spout off and be heard as well.

    Just saying.

    • Dan Tyree

      No, you’re a damned liar. People can and do embrace Marxism without carrying a membership card. Communism is more of ideology in America than card carrying members. But then comes the government enforcement of Marxism. But many of us would fight to the bloody finish. So go ahead and kiss commie asses. That’s your business.

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        Danny Boy, you confuse socialism (which means the government exists to help all members of society) with Communism (the government owns everything), and God-only-knows what you think Marxism is… And yet, you’re ready to embrace fascism and authoritarianism (which we fought against in WW2 against Hitler) in order to stave off Marxism and Communism, neither of which is advocated by anyone in government.

        • Dan Tyree

          Joey boy fascism is alive and well in your party. Isn’t the cancel culture fascism? And threatening to change the courts to get your way? And weaponizing the race card to bully people? You people are the true fascist.

          • Joseph S. Bruder

            Nobody practiced those things more than Trump – he railed against anyone who didn’t follow him blindly. He (and McConnell) conspired to get two SCOTUS nominees that should have gone to Democrats. And he constantly demonized Mexicans, Blacks, and Muslims. You’re imagining what you think the Democrats are doing through the lens of what Trump did on a regular basis.

  4. frank stetson

    FYI — raising the debt ceiling really has nothing to do with the debt. The money is already spent, the ceiling just allows us to write the checks for things we already bought, are using, etc. Procedural artifact from Wilson adamantly being against the war, winning the election on that premise, and then entering the War creating the Debt Ceiling process as a means to make folks feel they were in better control of War time spending. They weren’t but the process made them feel better about not being in control…..

    It’s basically as useless as Mike Pence certifying the election; really has nothing to do with the election which has already been certified, and only a total fucking idiot would think differently and attempt to disrupt the certification as if said disruption would actually change the election results. Oops, sorry, forgot, same crowd of people against both I guess. Hey, on this one I agree —- get rid of both the vice Presidential election certification and Congressional debt ceiling processes as historical artifacts not needed anymore in the current world.

  5. frank stetson

    Wait…. are the evil guys communists? or Marxists? or Marxist communist Marxists?

    “where have all the socialists gone?
    Long time passing.
    Where have all the socialists gone?
    Long time ago.
    Where have all the socialists gone?
    The girls have picked them every one.
    Oh, When will Dan ever learn?
    Oh, When will Dan ever learn?

    where have all the young men gone?
    Long time passing.
    Where have all the young men gone?
    Long time ago.
    Where have all the young men gone?
    Dan has picked them every one.
    Oh, When will Dan ever learn?
    Oh, When will Dan ever learn?”
    (Peter’s Paul is Merry)

    • Dan Tyree

      You probably like Paul’s Peter better

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        Sounds like the voice of experience…

        • Gary boyd

          I asked your mother

  6. frank stetson

    Tell us what you think.