Government Shutdown Rand Paul Sarah Palin The Daily Banter

In Which I Explain the Debt Ceiling and Financial Apocalypse to Rand Paul and Sarah Palin

My Wednesday column:

The Republican misinformation geyser continues to erupt unabated. Today, let’s focus on a pair of statements from tea party champions Sarah Palin and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who seem to completely misunderstand the deficit, the debt ceiling, the economic status of the United States and what would happen if we default on the debt (spoiler: it’ll be very bad).

Yesterday, Rand Paul tweeted that the solution to the debt ceiling crisis is for the United States to “cut up the credit card and balance our budget.”

Interesting, considering how since 2009, the budget has been balanced more rapidly than at any time in modern history. A congressman from Florida, Dennis Ross wrote yesterday, “For the first time since the Korean War, total federal spending has gone down for two years in a row.” Ross is a Republican who supports a the passage of a clean continuing resolution, and Politifact declared his statement to be unequivocally “TRUE.” Of course it is.

The deficit, specifically related to Paul’s call for a balanced budget, has declined by more than 50 percent and, by the end of the president’s second term, it will have dropped to around two percent of GDP. That’s superb especially considering the deficit was a record $1.4 trillion four years ago.

As for the debt, do we really need to do this dance again? Yes, the debt is high, continues to rise and long-term debt will eventually become problematic. But why is the current debt so high? Several things, according to CBPP and Bloomberg: two wars during the Bush years; the Bush tax cuts; the Great Recession; and the bailouts (TARP, the stimulus, etc). So if the GOP is this radically against long-term debt, why didn’t they speak up years ago? A question for the ages.

So, yeah, I realize numbers make Rand Paul’s brain itch, but there they are.

Speaking of itchy brains, former half-term governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, tweeted the following… [CONTINUE READING]