We Hit the Debt Ceiling — Now What?

The United States hit the debt ceiling on Monday, surpassing $14.3 trillion in debt owed to pay for super important things like the stimulus that was going to keep unemployment from going over 8 percent. It’s totally cool though, because Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner suspended investments in federal retirement funds to buy us a few months to figure out what the heck to do.

Congress has until August 2 to raise the debt ceiling (think of this as a credit card limit — there’s only so much you’re allowed to borrow) or balance the budget.

This has happened numerous times since 1917, when the first limit was set. The idea was a good one: Congress could only borrow so much money before it had to figure out a way to balance the budget and pay back the debt. In theory, it works as a permission slip to borrow and spend, because Congress gets to decide whether or not to increase the limit.

Read the rest at The Stir

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Will the 112th Congress Bring Fiscal Responsibility to America?

There are a lot of new congressmen in Washington, and many of them were voted in on a campaign promise of fiscal responsibility. The accumulatednational debt is rapidly approaching the debt ceiling, and unless federal spending is curbed, we’re going to spend ourselves into poverty.

The message is simple: Spend within your means. The application is much more difficult, since no one wants to see his or her piece of the pie shrink. Combine that with any given politician’s number one priority (not getting fired by being voted out at the next election), and we have a recipe for economic disaster.

On one side of the equation, we have constituents that like their entitlements. “The government isspending too much!” they cry, while at the same time opposing cuts to Social Security, one of the biggest money hogs in existence, and other programs like MedicareMedicaid, and the Pigford reparations.

Read more at The Stir

All Profeshenal an’ Schtuff

Look at me taking notes on appropriations from Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam. This IL (Republican!) Representative sits on the House Ways and Means Committee (those tax-writing people) and is vice-chair of AmericaSpeakingOut.com. Congressman Roskam was very gracious in inviting us MomThink.org bloggers into his office and answering our questions about the national deficit and debt.

I tried to look smart by writing down stuff he said so that I could share it with you.

Too bad I left my notepad* at the hotel this morning. D’oh!

Taking Notes in Congressman Roskam's Office

Photo by Ms. Blissdom herself Allison Worthington

*Update: My uber fabulous fellow blogger and roommate Molly Teichman picked up my notebook and is sending it to me. She’s my hero today.

New Nonpartisan Website Educates Moms About National Debt

I’ve been in Washington, D.C. this week with a group of ‘mom’ bloggers to promote a super cool new project called MomThink.org. The whole political spectrum was represented, from the ultra conservative (yours truly) to the deep blue Momocrats, but we all had two things in common: Motherhood and a concern for the national debt.

MomThink.org is a nonpartisan campaign with the goal of “educating mothers about important issues that will impact their children today and in the future.” The number-one issue on everyone’s mind right now (politicians and moms alike) is the national deficit and debt, and how to overcome it.

Out of control spending is one of the few topics that both political parties seem to be able to agree on these days. We can’t agree on how to balance the budget, but there’s no denying that it needs balancing. The beauty of MomThink.org is that it isn’t about the hows of balancing trillions of dollars as much as it is about bringing facts and information to moms so that they can develop their own informed opinions.

Read more at The Stir