Team Obama’s Debt Limit Scare Tactics Are Getting Old — Fast

John Lott by John Lott on May 20th, 2011

This is article 87 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

Wasn’t the world supposed to end on Monday? No, I’m not talking about May 21. But on Monday, the U.S. government officially hit its debt limit, but where are disasters that the Obama administration have been predicting for months? We were warned that hitting the debt limit would be “deeply irresponsible” or “insanity” or “abrupt contraction would likely push us into a double dip recession.” But Americans woke up today to find nothing really changed from last week.

The Obama administration’s scare tactics are getting old. Unfortunately, they keep on getting away with this and aren’t held accountable when their scare stories prove false.

Take the warning Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made on January 6th. He wrote Congress a letter asserting: “the debt limit will be reached as early as March 31, 2011, and most likely sometime between that date and May 16, 2011. . . . it is strongly in our national interest for Congress to act well before the debt limit is reached” (italics added). Failure to act before this deadline would lead to “default on legal obligations,” “catastrophic damage to the economy, potentially much more harmful than the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.” Spending will be “discontinued [or] limited” on everything from Social Security and Medicare, U.S. military salaries, Medicaid payments to states, to “forced default on legal [interest] obligations.”

The debt limit increase was so critical that President Obama has long opposed any attempts by Republicans to use the debt limit increase to cut the debt, claiming that it had to be a “clean” bill. White House Budget Director Jack Lew told lawmakers in March that it had to be “clean — it’s irresponsible to do anything but extending the debt limit.” . . .

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