Debt ceiling crisis in full gear as deadline nears | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Debt ceiling crisis in full gear as deadline nears

Posted: January 15, 2013 - 5:09pm

Once again President Obama’s administration is locking horns with the Republican controlled House of Representatives.

This time it’s over the debt ceiling. The administration wants to increase the debt ceiling without having to consult with Congress. He’s in favor of doing it by executive order.

House Republicans are saying, “Not so fast, Mr. President.”

That leaves the rest of us in a quandary over whether our nation will default on its debt or a last minute deal can be worked out between the White House and the House of Representatives.

The debt ceiling has been increased on 90 different occasions since the Dwight David Eisenhower administration, back in the 1950s. It was increased 18 times under Ronald Wilson Reagan.

So why is this administration facing such staunch opposition in raising the debt ceiling?

It may have something to do with the level of debt the United States is saddled with now versus the years of Ike or Reagan.

During Eisenhower’s first term as president, the U.S. had a $3 billion surplus. The debt was $3 billion when he left office. Reagan inherited a $128 billion debt load in 1982. When he left office the nation’s debt was $153 billion.

Surpluses were rung up again during the William Jefferson Clinton years, when he inherited a $203 billion debt and gave America surpluses from 1998 through the end of his term in 2001, when the surplus hit $128 billion.

America crossed into trillion dollar debt when George Walker Bush left office. Our nation’s debt was $1.16 trillion. During 2009, President Obama added $253 billion to the nation’s debt with a stimulus package, making total debt for the year $1.416 trillion.

Obama’s first term racked up $5.073 trillion to our nation’s debt. Total debt as of Jan. 15 sits at $16,452,163,985,369 and counting.

So, what’s the solution? We’ve already increased taxes. Now is the time to stop spending money on things we don’t need. We may need to look at projects and services we think we need, but cannot afford.

It’s time to stop playing games with our nation’s economic future.

Keith Hansen