Hooray, it's almost time for Republicans to hold a gun to the United States economy and threaten to shoot if we don't let them starve some poor people. Again.

After four years of cheering as That Horrible Man added nearly $7 trillion to the national debt, the GOP waited exactly 10 minutes before suddenly remembering that they care deeply about putting it all on the national credit card. You could set your watch by these filthy sumbitches.

"What keeps me up at night is our national debt and how much we're paying right now. So it is a huge concern," Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall tut-tutted to Politico, promising that he and his fellow Gippers will put their foot down on this issue of vital national importance when the vote to authorize raising the debt ceiling comes up again this summer. "We're certainly going to dig in on those issues."


The national debt did not keep the senator up in 2017 when he was a Member of the House. Or in 2018 either. And he was only delighted to pass that idiotic tax cut in 2017 based on the fantastical idea that collecting less tax money would somehow increase government revenue.

Spoiler Alert: It didn't. In fact it added about $2 trillion dollars to the national debt. Thanks, Roger!

In fairness, once Speaker Nancy Pelosi took back the gavel and Republicans could throw a tantrum safe in the knowledge that Democrats could be counted on to take responsibility for the health of the American economy, Marshall went back to registering token opposition to what should be a pro forma debt ceiling resolution. But now this man of integrity finds himself again in the minority, and with a Democrat in the White House to boot, so naturally he's warming up to play another round of chicken with the nation's credit rating in hopes of fending off a tax increase.

Put simply, the federal government spends more every year than it collects in taxes, and it borrows money to make up the shortfall. And however you feel about that — honestly, it's fine, chill out — that money is already spent by the time we get to negotiating about the debt ceiling. The only issue is whether we're going to cut a check to our creditors to pay for what we already bought, or burn the whole thing down and dare them to come after us. It's kind of like telling Mastercard to get fucked, because you're not even going to pay the minimum this month. Sure, you can do it, but you really shouldn't.

Because if you stiff the credit card company, your credit score takes a hit, the way the US government's bond rating did in 2011 when Republicans tried to use the threat of crashing the US economy to extort massive spending cuts from Barack Obama. Don't ya just hate it when you're trying to save money and your histrionics just wind up making it more expensive for you to borrow and crashing the stock market in the process? Ugh, so annoying.

And yet! Republicans are gearing up to do it all again.

"I think people agree with me. I think Republicans agree that we have too much debt and that we have to figure out how to live within our means," Florida Senator Rick Scott insisted. "The American public is scared to death of all this debt and what's happening with inflation."

He left out the part where he's the one trying to scare the shit out of them, helped by his good buddies at Fox News pretending that we'll be hyperinflating like Weimar Republic-era Germany by Memorial Day.

So we need to "live within our means" and not add to the debt, but heaven forbid we do it by raising taxes. Ye gods, how will we grow the economy if rich people have to contribute to the common weal? What is this, Cuba?

"This isn't something that Republicans are going to want to get involved in," Wyoming Senator John Barrasso told Politico, insisting that tax increases are "not something people in Wyoming say they want to have happen." And if 580,000 Wyomingians are against it, then the rest of America better fall in line!

But Democrats have danced this dance before, and they're not about to let the Gippers step on their feet.

"Republicans clearly get religion on deficits and debt when they're in the minority. They don't give a crap about it when they're running the place," Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy scoffed. "I don't know that the American people are going to be that interested in austerity."

"They were not deficit hawks by a long shot when they were in control, but I'm realistic about what they are going to say now," Virginia's Tim Kaine said.

And in case you're wondering if Democrats are going to waste 2021 reaching across the aisle only to get our hands cut off the way we did in 2009, let Oregon's Ron Wyden reassure you that shit's not happening.

"This is a page from the Obama-era economic sabotage playbook, and I'm not going to let Republicans play games with the economy for their political benefit," he huffed.

Not this year, assholes. We'll try to bribe 10 of you with pork (AKA earmarks) to get over the filibuster hurdle, and if that doesn't work, we'll do what needs to be done via reconciliation.

But what we're not gonna do is negotiate with terrorists.

[Politico / WaPo]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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