Democrats Want to Use Debt Ceiling to Stop Tax Cuts

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Remember how the Dems and the media intimidated Republicans from using the debt ceiling to negotiate? That’s over!

Republican leadership refused to consider using the debt ceiling vote as leverage for winning concessions from President Barack Obama despite the results of the 2014 election. The Democrats and the media treated the very idea of not allowing the government to borrow more money as an outrage. But now that a Republican is President, suddenly the debt ceiling is a tool that the minority party can consider using.

While many will be outraged at Democrats, they really ought to be outraged by earlier Republican cowardice. Bloomberg reports, “Democrats Weigh Using Debt Ceiling Debate to Thwart GOP Tax Cuts.

Congressional Democrats might abandon their calls for raising the nation’s debt limit without any conditions, with House and Senate party leaders now discussing whether to use their leverage to try to prevent Republicans from enacting tax cuts for wealthy Americans.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi signaled the shift Friday, telling reporters that “we’re not there to raise the debt ceiling to throw a few crumbs to the middle class” and provide big cuts for the wealthy.

It’s unclear how this would work in practice, but Democratic aides in both chambers said they are discussing possible strategies to tie the debt ceiling to blocking tax cuts.

Such an approach would be a significant change for Democrats, who have spent the past eight years arguing that debt ceiling increases should be free from conditions, and could further complicate efforts to raise the government’s borrowing authority when the current limit is reached later this year.

Failing to extend the debt ceiling could lead to the U.S. government defaulting on its debt, which may trigger a financial crisis. 

Read the rest of the Bloomberg story.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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