Imagine a year from now when it’s time to raise the debt ceiling or default on the loans the United States has around the world.
In the past, Congress has always agreed to raise the debt ceiling.
But if Republicans win control of the House in the upcoming midterm elections, it certainly sounds like they intend to hold the nation hostage and demand cuts to Social Security in exchange for an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.
HuffPost reports that the fear of such a move comes from remarks made by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the leading candidate to be Speaker of the House if the GOP wins control the House.
“You can’t just continue down the path to keep spending and adding to the debt,” McCarthy told Punchbowl News in an interview published Tuesday.
“And if people want to make a debt ceiling [for a longer period of time], just like anything else, there comes a point in time where, OK, we’ll provide you more money, but you got to change your current behavior,” McCarthy said. “We’re not just going to keep lifting your credit card limit, right?”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) echoed McCarthy’s remarks:
Other Republicans have also suggested that both Social Security and Medicare would be on the chopping block if they happen to regain control of the House, with Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), saying that he wants to at least raise the eligibility age for both programs, which would in itself be a form of cutting by making people work longer to receive their benefits.
In case you’re wondering what might take place if indeed the the U.S. defaulted at debt, consider what Forbes reported last October:
In fact, an analysis by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi estimates that defaulting on the national debt would wipe out as many as 6 million jobs and erase $15 trillion in household wealth.
“We can’t emphasize enough how disastrous it would be for Congress to consider a government shutdown if consensus cannot be met in advance of the funding deadline. Small businesses are especially vulnerable and many would not survive a government shutdown at this time due to the pandemic, particularly with the rapid spread of the Delta variant, and trying to move from crisis to recovery,” wrote Candace Waterman, President and CEO of Women Impacting Public Policy, in a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership.
Of course, President Joe Biden could veto any cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but if the GOP decides to play a dangerous game of chicken and wreck the economy with their demands, all of us will wind up paying the price, and that price would likely be steeper than anyone can possibly imagine.