When is extending the debt ceiling not a debt ceiling crisis for Republicans? When they are the party in power, when scuttling the economy worse than their normal policies do might be a political depth charge.
Except for some show-boaters, GOP legislators raise the debt ceiling as needed during Republican administrations. But, let a Democrat occupy the White House and the national debt hits center stage – with a lot of bad actors using it as an excuse to punish poor people .
Republicans – whose big donors record profits display the robustness (and inequities) in the economy – hope to create an economic crisis before the 2024 elections as a weapon against Democrats.
As James Carville pointed our 30 years ago, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
And, as Kerry Eleveld at Daily Kos reported earlier this month, “Under Biden’s stewardship, the U.S. economy has generated 12.7 million jobs over 27 months,” continuing the trend of more job creations under Democrats than Republicans: “Since 1989, the U.S. economy has netted 49 million jobs. Ninety-six percent of those jobs have been created while Democrats controlled the White House.”
Which party is best for the economy?
Furthermore, Eleveld writes: “The Biden economy is creating opportunities for all, not just the few: “The Black unemployment rate was 4.7% in April 2023, the lowest ever recorded and an incredible comeback from 16.8% in May 2020, according to The Washington Post’s Heather Long.”
Eleveld also points out that “In the first quarter of 2022, the national uninsured rate reached an all-time low of 8%, with about 5.2 million people – including 4.1 million adults ages 18-64 and 1 million children ages 0-17 – gaining health coverage since 2020.”
And, for good measure, he adds: “New business applications have soared during the first two years of Biden’s administration, with 5.4 million new business applications filed in 2021, the highest of any year on record, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”
But, a robust economy right now and going forward is bad for GOP politics. They want to throw a monkey wrench into the prosperity – regardless of how many of their own adherents they hurt. (Heck, they encouraged pandemic deaths among their followers. Unemployment represents a minor inconvenience in comparison.)
In January of 2021, Pro Publica reported: “The national debt has risen by almost $7.8 trillion during Trump’s time in office. That’s nearly twice as much as what Americans owe on student loans, car loans, credit cards and every other type of debt other than mortgages, combined, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It amounts to about $23,500 in new federal debt for every person in the country.”
Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA adds, “Trump and Republicans increased the month-to-month deficit by 66% from May to June 2018. In August of 2018, Trump and House Republicans created deficit that was twice as big as any month in the previous year.”
He points out the obvious hypocrisy that, “Republicans are asking Biden and the American people to pay for the bills they ran up in considerable part by cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations with cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security.”
Many Republican retirees depend upon Medicare and Social Security. We might say they deserve their calamitous consequences for voting for such reprobates. But, the rest of us don’t.