Rep. Honda calls the events leading up to the government shutdown a “dysfunctional, irresponsible game of brinkmanship” and is apparently relieved that “cooler heads ultimately prevailed.” Those “cooler heads” did indeed procure an 11th-hour deal which saved face politically. But Congress accomplished nothing legislatively that would protect Americans from the ravages of Obamacare, and the hefty debt that will result from it in the coming years. Recall, by 2013, just a decade from now, the U.S. will sink $250 billion into Obamacare annually, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Fiscally responsible? Not at all. But I digress.
The Heritage Foundation and other conservatives have explained that U.S. has much more tax revenue coming in on a daily basis than it has to pay each day on interest payments; this means the U.S. has the financial means to cover its debt obligations without incurring more debt. Heritage notes:
The Obama Administration argues that failure to raise the debt limit would lead to a default on federal debts, causing unacceptable harm to the economy. But the President has ample discretion to prioritize debt payments and avoid default. The President has failed to address the more fundamental risk of default: unconstrained increases in entitlement spending.
This is definitely not a surprise; conservatives, researchers at the Heritage Foundation among many others, have been warning politicians about this for years.
Back in 2012, Heritage’s Alyene Senger noted that Obamacare’s entitlement spending will make this problem dramatically worse in the years ahead:
Obamacare’s major provisions begin to kick in in 2014, and this will result in federal spending for health care programs other than Medicare and Medicaid rising from $26 billion this year to $161 billion in 2022.
But the first debate Thursday will be the threatened filibuster led by Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. Lee said a filibuster would allow “three more days to assess how the bill would impact the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
“This debate is not just about magazine clips and pistol grips,” he said on the Senate floor. “It’s about the purpose of the Second Amendment.” Such far-reaching legislation should be subjected to a 60-vote majority to ensure bipartisan consensus, he said.