A politician who votes for the spending and tax measures that produced the deficit but against a debt ceiling consistent with these is deliberately wasting taxpayer dollars.
By James Hamilton, Econbrowser
The decision to raise the debt ceiling will be the first test of whether the Republicans can move from tree shaking to jelly making.
Some, like Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), don’t seem particularly keen on making jelly just yet, declaring: “Raising the debt ceiling to me is absolutely irresponsible.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has an online petition in which people are asked to agree that:
Which inspires me to reproduce a statement I made four years ago:
When I first wrote those words, many readers responded with passionate objections. And I expect the same this time, only with the partisans trading hats.
But I stand by my statement in both cases. If you have a concrete proposal to raise tax revenue or cut spending, then put it on the table. But if you simply want to grandstand on the debt ceiling as if it were a stand-alone issue, it is clear that you have nothing but contempt for the voters.
And if so, then you deserve the same in return.
James D. Hamilton is Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego.