Don't Raise the Debt Limit!

By Joseph Farah

January 24, 2011 5 min read

I have a simple idea to save America from fiscal calamity. I don't know why anyone else is not proposing it.

It makes me sad that Republicans are so unwilling to use the power they have with control of the House of Representatives.

Do you want to know how easy it would be for Republicans, controlling only one house of Congress, to dictate massive cuts in the federal budget? All they have to do is not raise the debt limit. That's exactly what they should do.

Both houses of Congress need to approve the raising of the debt limit or the federal government has to live within its means.

Why would Republicans even be talking about making deals on raising the debt limit in exchange for budget cuts? They would have to get Democrats to agree to those budget cuts — something that will never happen if they are going to be as big as they need to be to address the No. 1 economic problem America faces: massive and even overwhelming debt.

Raising the debt limit, of course, gives permission to more spending and more debt — debt that is totally unsustainable and that is already leading our country to the precipice.

Republicans in the House don't have to bargain and negotiate with Barack Obama or the Senate. All they need to do is refuse to vote for raising the debt limit. In other words, all they have to do is nothing. If they do nothing, the out-of-control spending must stop — and massive cuts in the budget will have to be made.

Isn't that easy? Why am I practically alone in calling for this?

Why is the House leadership already waving the white flag of surrender by telling the Democrats they will have to agree to massive cuts in the budget in exchange for Republican votes to raise the debt limit? Republicans trade a winning hand for a losing hand by making such a deal. That's why I have referred to this strategy as the Republicans' "nuclear option."

If Republicans really want to address the fundamental economic problems we face in America — namely too much government spending and too much government debt — the easiest, fastest, neatest, cleanest approach is to just say no. They don't even have to pass a bill. They just need to defeat one with the majority they hold in the House.

Do I expect them to listen to me? No, I don't. Why? Because they are afraid to look like obstructionists. They're afraid how they will be portrayed in the media. They're afraid how this will look to their constituents.

But I'm telling you, this is the way for Republicans to be real heroes in 2011. They have the power to do something more radical than Ronald Reagan did with his tax cuts in the 1980s. All they have to do is stand together on true fiscal conservatism.

As I have suggested in previous columns on this subject, the major obstacle to this common-sense, can't-lose option is posed by those claiming to be fiscal conservatives.

Just watch those phonies sell out on the debt limit. Already, they are waving the white flag of surrender and negotiation with the Democrats on what cuts they can make to the budget in exchange for raising it.

Why bargain? By definition, the cuts that will have to be made to the budget if the debt limit is not raised will be bigger than any package they can sell to the Democrats.

Raising the debt limit ensures one outcome — more debt. Who needs it? Debt is the problem. You can't fix debt with more debt.

If you agree with me on this, e-mail this column to everyone you know. Let's see if we can't get the House leadership in Washington thinking about making a real impact this year.

Just imagine: If we don't raise the debt limit, Obama can't spend any more money. He can't event enact Obamacare. He's done governing like a drunken socialist sailor. The Democrats who control the Senate can't spend any more money, either.

The Republicans hold all the cards! Why are they willing to deal away a winning hand? Where am I going wrong on this? Can someone enlighten me?

To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

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