Debt Ceiling Acrobats

Debt Ceiling Acrobats

I had a nice conversation with a Twitter follower on the flipping and flopping may Democrats have done on the whole debt limit issue. They were very much against raising it until one of their guys is sitting in the White House. What a difference an administration makes! I was pointed to a quote by Dick Cheney saying that “deficits don’t matter” as an example of Republicans changing course as well. But that quote is categorically different than what Democrats are saying today. (And Cheney is not what anyone would really consider a conservative.) (And at the time he said that, I disagreed with him.)

Dave Ramsey recently did a segment on the math of ObamaCare. Never mind the politics of it all (and he certainly lets both conservatives and liberals have it on spouting talking points rather than “original thought”), the math just doesn’t work out. Math isn’t political; it’s just math. If you respect Dave, you should watch the video. Like my podcast, it’s less than 10 minutes.

Mentioned links:

My Twitter conversation with Andrew James

Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq? (source of Cheney quote)

Political Cartoon: Spending, Then and Now (personal blog, “Considerettes”, on the Cheney quote)

Dave Ramsey Destroys Obamacare

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Show transcript

My Twitter account is typically used to send out links to interesting stories that come out between episodes. Sometimes those stories wind up as subject matter for the next episode of the podcast. Recently, it turned into a good conversation with Andrew James, whose Twitter user is @OneWhoSeesDimly. And thus comes [tada] the first Twitter feedback! Now yes, others have occasionally tweeted me back before, but this conversation was more along the lines of actual feedback. I’m not dissing those of you who may have replied to a tweet in agreement. It’s just that this was something that made for an interesting segment on the show.

I had tweeted a picture of 4 Democrats who were against raising the debt ceiling before they were for it. I had quotes from Nanci Pelosi and Charlie Rangel in 2004, and Harry Reid and Barack Obama in 2006. Obama’s quote you would recognize from last episode’s Name That Quote segment. Andrew replied with this, “So now the roles have reversed does that really surprise anyone? Dems and GOP play games and America takes the hit. Good times” I replied “While Dems sound like GOP now, GOP has (far as I know) never sounded like Dems do now.”

Andrew replied with a link dating back to 2004 when Dick Cheney said that “Regan proved that deficits don’t matter.” That wasn’t in reference to a specific debt ceiling issue, but it is something that matters to conservatives. Indeed I replied that Cheney was wrong, and that he’s never been what one would consider “conservative”. OK, yes, I did move the goalposts a bit, going from saying that the GOP had not sounded like current Democrats to saying that conservatives didn’t sound like that. I should have been more specific the first time, but two things in my defense. One, “GOP” takes less space in the Twitter 140-character limit than does “conservative”. And two, Cheney wasn’t saying what Democrats are now. He said deficits don’t matter. Democrats, led by Obama himself, are now saying that raising the debt limit doesn’t increase the debt. Cheney said a rising debt is no big deal. Democrats are saying there is no rising debt. (I guess it’s all a game the Matrix is playing with us; there is no spoon. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I mean.)

To show that I’d been consistent in this, I noted a post on my personal blog where I said just that, and highlighted it with a political cartoon by (the excellent though unfortunately retired) Chuck Asay. All these links are in the show notes, including the cartoon. Amazing what a difference an administration makes.

Andrew and I closed the conversation on good terms, though I don’t think it was ever on bad terms. I appreciated the comment and the follow-up, and so Andrew, thanks so much for your thoughts.

Dave Ramsey is a very popular radio talk show host, specializing in economic issues. Specifically, he concentrates on getting individuals and families out of the crushing weight of debt. In addition to his radio show, he has books like “My Total Money Makeover”, his Financial Peace University DVD classes, and even has an organization to do personal financial counseling. He does speaking tours around the United States. He’s trusted by millions, because most of them have reduced or removed their debt using his methods.

I say that to say this. When it comes to debt, the federal government could really use a Dave Ramsey intervention. Recently, he discussed an action that the government has taken that will make it harder to stay out of debt for many of us. It’s bad enough that the government can’t stay out of debt, now it’s inflicting it on us. Here are just some excerpts.

[ Excerpts from the above Dave Ramsey video ]

Ya’ get the impression that it’s all about the math? Not the politics; the math. If you respect Dave Ramsey, I encourage you to head to the show notes where I have the full video of this less-than-10-minute segment. There is so much more he has to say, explaining that these are not just glitches that need to be fixed; they are a foundational problem with ObamaCare.

Filed under: Budget & SpendingEconomics & TaxesGovernmentHealth Care