Jim Crawford: Here we go again

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 23, 2023

The new Republican majority in the House has discovered that the United States has a huge national debt, and, in a massive turnaround since the Trump presidency, these Republicans want to balance the budget and cut spending. 

The same Republicans who embraced the creation of $8 trillion in national debt during the four years of the Trump presidency now hate debt so much, they are willing to default on the national debt, creating a fiscal crisis that will affect every American.

They intend to force the Biden administration to cut Social Security and Medicare and reduce the defense budget significantly. More broadly, these Republicans seek to reduce the social safety net until it is invisible and this “socialism” is destroyed.

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They abhor Medicaid because free health care creates dependency. Those too lazy or careless to find the money to purchase health care should suffer the outcomes of failure. The same is true of every social support in this Republican agenda.

So their plan is not to threaten default, but to actually default. This way, Republicans can later blame the Democrats for cutting Medicare and Social Security to end the default.

Lacking the power to enact any legislation without Democratic votes, Republicans see this strategy, forcing the Democrats and President Joe Biden to make massive spending cuts in popular programs as the path forward.

Of course, this plan denies the ethical component of accepting responsibility by Republicans for a significant portion of the national debt, 60 percent over the last five decades and $8 trillion over just two years ago. And it hopes to create spending cuts forced by a minority in this Congress.

Their plan will be expensive to the nation. The default will raise high-interest rates, making home buying considerably harder for all Americans. The default will also increase the national debt significantly as the debt’s interest rate will double when we do not pay our bills.

And default will force parts of the government to close. Our military may be on the list of benefits our Republican friends think can prosper even if paychecks are delayed or stopped entirely as the default process takes place.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.