Call us Scrooges if you like, but we believe that a $12.1 trillion debt limit is more than enough leeway to run the United States federal government.
Yet, this past week Congress was discussing ways to raise the national debt ceiling — the amount government can legally borrow — by nearly $2 trillion to a more politically accommodating $14 trillion.How to corral the deficit? For starters I'd make sure the silver-tongued squanderer of trillions gets to be a one-termer.
The same week, according to CBS News, the national debt as posted by the Treasury Department already had surpassed the statutory limit approved by Congress. At the time, it showed the nation's debt at nearly $12.135 trillion, which would be illegal. (That means each citizen's share of the debt is $39,459, if you're counting. And we are.)
Fortunately, some moderate Democrats decided this was too much for them and balked at a long-term increase, instead supporting a short- term raise of $300 billion to $12.4 trillion, which allowed Washington to fund existing budgets and revisit the issue at a more convenient time — namely, after the mid-term elections in 2010.
A group of moderates also demanded, in exchange for their vote, that a bipartisan commission be set up to look at various tax increases and spending cuts that would help get control of the federal deficit...