I was going to leave this alone today, but it’s just too egregious to resist. Check out the BBC’s Q&A page for the debt crisis. We’ll just go Q by Q, as it were.
What is the proposed deal?
Under the the agreement, the US deficit will be reduced by at least $2.4tn over 10 years. The ceiling for US borrowing will be raised by about the same amount in two stages. A new Congressional committee to recommend further deficit-reduction measures is to be set up and report by November. Congressional leaders are hopeful the compromise will win the backing of both houses, but some Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives remain opposed for different reasons.
Even the White House’s own talking points have the debt reduction as $1.5 trillion. The BBC is using a worst-case (for Keynesians and Socialist fantasists) scenario. Funny, they’re usually much more accurate when parroting the White House dicta. In reality, the actual agreement doesn’t even hit the $1 trillion mark, and the rest of the spending cuts are hardly written in stone and may not even happen. All we know is that, like the People’s Front of Judea in a crisis, it will call for immediate discussion. So the BBC here is selling a molehill as a mountain. It’s more sexy that way, I guess.
What is the debt ceiling?
There is a legal limit on the total amount of debts the US government can can run up in order to pay its bills – including military salaries, interest on existing loans, and Medicare. The current limit is $14.3 trillion (£8.9tn).
The cap was reached in May. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was able to extend the expected day of reckoning to 2 August, by various tricks such as postponing payments into government pension schemes, and thanks to better-than-expected tax revenues.
Geez, BBC, why not just say the government bills include paying to keep puppies from being killed? How about mentioning all the various wasteful schemes like subsidies for cronies, instead of emotionally charged programs like Medicare and pensions? The way they have it, it makes all government spending seem absolutely vital.
Why can’t the Obama administration borrow more?
Because it is not in Mr Obama’s power. The debt ceiling is set by statute and can only be raised by Congress.
An overall borrowing cap was first introduced by Congress in 1917 to make it simpler for the government to finance its efforts in World War I.
Since then the ceiling has been raised dozens of times, and it is usually a formality.
Wrong answer. But the problem lies in the attitude behind the question. The BBC is asking this from the perspective that He should borrow more, full stop, no (other) questions asked. Instead, the question should be coming from the perspective that we’re deep underwater when it comes to debt and why shouldn’t He borrow more money, rather than why is He unable to save us all. This betrays the inherent far-Left mindset at the BBC.
And notice the tiniest, almost microscopic acknowledgment that there’s a fact outside of what they’ve been telling you about how raising the debt limit has been “routine”, and Mark Mardell’s lie on air that there has never been a vote against doing so. It’s now “usually” a formality. They still cannot bring themselves to tell you that every single Democrat – included The Obamessiah – voted against doing it in 2006 when Bush wanted to do it again. Come on, Beeboids, both the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have admitted they voted no as a political ploy, as have others. How about it, BBC? Oh, wait, not helpful to His cause right now, is it? And it would put the lie to how the BBC told you He would be above all that partisan ugliness and bring peace and harmony to Washington, etc. And it would reveal that they’ve been lying to you the whole time. BBC censorship still in force when they really need it.
But that’s not even the whole BBC answer. Here’s the best part:
Perversely, Congress also sets the government’s spending commitments and tax-raising powers.
This puts the Obama administration in the impossible position of being required to spend more than it earns, while also being prevented from borrowing the difference.
“Perversely”. Ever heard of Checks & Balances, BBC? The system was created for the exact reason that no branch of Government, especially the Executive, should have unfettered power to do things like this. There’s a reason Congress makes these decisions and not the President. This isn’t Parliamentary Britain. So the BBC thinks it’s mean. But guess what? It’s not the system which put the President in the position of being unable to borrow as much money as He desires: He and the Democrats and Ben Bernanke did. To the BBC, of course, He can do no wrong, an agnus innocentus trapped in a world He never made. They really, tragically, do not understand how the US system works, never mind why it was made that way.
The Government isn’t obligated to throw money around until the end of time, for heaven’s sake. We are in this position largely because of choices made by a series of Administrations and Congresses. It’s not an accident, and it’s not the system that put us here. But since it makes their beloved Obamessiah look bad, blame must be shifted. Again, this is all written from the singular Keynesian perspective that we simply must borrow more and it’s never going to be a problem. The debt ceiling has only become an abstract concept seemingly without consequences because a series of Congresses and Presidents have screwed it up that way.
What is the problem this time round?
The financial crisis and the US’s fragile economic condition have caused government spending to soar, while tax revenues have suffered.
This has caused a big rise in the government’s deficit – its rate of borrowing.
The Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, say they want to bring the deficit back under control, and have threatened not to raise the debt ceiling unless a deal is reached.
Wrong answer again. Some might say we should never have jacked up spending so many times to keep expanding government that we’ve had to raise the debt limit so many times. But that would never occur to a Beeboid, because they are Keynesians and Socialist fantasists who simply don’t understand the reality of what’s been happening. Their belief system is pie in the sky. And who caused all the spending increases, plus the massive economic burden of ObamaCare, which will hit us after next year? The Democrats, who were in charge of both Houses of Congress until last November. And they never passed a budget the whole time, which is why we’re here now. Which the BBC keeps forgetting to tell you. But here they mention only nasty Republicans as a cause for strife.
What have been the positions of both sides?
Both sides accept that cutting the deficit is vital. In recent weeks several plans have been floated by one side or another and been batted down.
The chief sticking points have been Republicans’ resistance to tax rises and calls for much bigger spending cuts than the Democrats favour, and Democrats’ desire to shield healthcare programmes for the poor and elderly and the Social Security pension programme from cuts.
A number of House Republicans – mainly newly elected staunch Tea Party fiscal conservatives – oppose raising the debt limit in any form.
Again, the whole thing is framed as if we must borrow and spend more, and only Republicans are the problem. How about the chief sticking point that the Democrats and the President want a ginormous tax increase, and not just on the evil rich? How about the chief sticking point that the Democrats want to spend, spend, spend, more than what’s physically possible? Nope, it’s all emotional shibboleths again, more images of Republicans holding a shotgun to the head of a cute kitten. What about the far-Left Democrats we’re hearing about today who want only more spending and are considering rejecting any plan if it cuts spending in their darling projects? Can this be any more one-sided?
The last three questions are hypotheticals about what would happen if we defaulted, etc. No need to go into that, as my real point here is the BBC’s bias about where we’re at now, and not in a hypothetical future. And it’s too aggravating to continue anyway.