Unseriousness from Marco Rubio

Via the WSJ: Why I Won’t Vote to Raise the Debt Limit

To quote George Will:

I know of no other developed nation that has a debt ceiling. This is a purely recurring symbolic vote to make people feel good by voting against it.
The trouble is it’s suicidal if you should happen to miscalculate and have all kinds of people voting against it as a symbolic vote and turn out to be a majority. Because if the United States defaults on its sovereign debt, the markets will be — well, it will be stimulating.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Jay Tea says:

    Does the esteemed Mr. Will know of any other developed nation that has a national debt that represents as high a percentage of GDP as we do? And that isn’t on the verge of economic catastrophe?

    We are, in many ways, unique in the world. Consequently, we have unique problems and circumstances. It’s a shallow parallel.

    J.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    One way to look at the problem is that for a quarter century Republicans, as a whole, have refused to pay the bills for the expenses they have incurred. Two wars, huge new social subsidies, but tax cuts instead of taxes raised. No wonder the public is unwilling to cut anything – because of Republican borrowing they have no way to know the true cost.

  3. DC Loser says:

    I think Japan’s debt to GDP ratio is higher.

  4. @Jay Tea:

    Your response is a non sequitur. The issue of debt to GDP ratio or even coming economic catastrophes will not be solved by not raising the debt ceiling.

  5. Hey Norm says:

    @JT
    OMG…the verge of economic catastrophe? LOL
    Shame the Tea Baggers weren’t concerned when the so-called republicans were running up this debt.
    Shame the Tea Baggers couldn’t support conservative health care reform that reduces the debt passed by democrats.
    Shame the Tea Baggers have done nothing but increase the debt.
    I know your cult leaders tell you that economic end of days are just around the corner…curious that the markets seem not to be concerned. Why do you think that is? Maybe the cult leaders have their heads up their arses?

  6. Jay Tea says:

    Steven, that debt’s gotta be paid off eventually. First rule of holes.

    Unless the long-term plan is to default. In that case, then, by all means run it up first.

    keeping government spending in check leaves more money available for other matters — and as long as we keep the “in case of emergency, we can raise it” option open, there’s no reason to keep jacking it up just because no one feels like being fiscally responsible.

    J.

  7. Jay Tea says:

    Norm, back to your beer. The grownups are talking.

    J.

  8. Moosebreath says:

    Jay Tea,

    We rank 36th in the world, behind not merely Japan (with a debt to GDP ratio roughly 3.5 times ours) but France, Germany, UK, and many others. link

  9. @Jay:

    But not raising the debt ceiling does not fix any of the issues you are concerned about. All it does is potentially create a series of serious problems.

    The notion that not raising the debt ceiling actually stops more debt is a misunderstanding of the situation. It is cheap symbolism with little to no positive purpose and yet quite a lot of potential downside. This is why I deem Rubio’s position to be “unserious.”

  10. Jay Tea says:

    James, as I see it, the refusal to raise the debt limit is saying “OK, we’re not kicking this down the road any further. We’re dealing with this now, while it’s — theoretically — still manageable.”

    When further borrowing is eliminated as an option, there are only two choices left: increase revenues, or decrease spending. We gotta do one or the other — if not both.

    J.

  11. @Jay:

    Not raising the debt ceiling neither cuts spending nor raises revenue. But raising it signals an unwillingness to pay already existing bills. This is problematic and, as a bonus, accomplishes nothing.

  12. mantis says:

    Asked:

    Jay Tea: Does the esteemed Mr. Will know of any other developed nation that has a national debt that represents as high a percentage of GDP as we do?

    Answered:

    Moosebreath: We rank 36th in the world, behind not merely Japan (with a debt to GDP ratio roughly 3.5 times ours) but France, Germany, UK, and many others. link</a>

    Ignored:

    Jay Tea: ……..

    He does share with us what not raising the debt limit means in wingnut fantasyland, though, so that’s nice.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    The basic tea party repub attitude on this seems to be “We agreed to take on these debts, but now that it’s come time to pay for them, we are having second thoughts.” Someone who decides that fiscal responsibility starts with not paying the credit card bill is a deadbeat, not a hero.

  14. Hey Norm says:

    @JT
    The debts gotta be paid off eventually?
    Tell me when the last time we didn’t carry a debt was?
    It isn’t a household it isn’t a business and it isn’t a state. Decisions and opinions based on a poor understanding are just that.
    And folks who have to boast about being adults generally aren’t.

  15. wr says:

    Standard Jay Tea: Make a stupid, easily disproved claim. Get knocked down in seconds flat. Stick fingers in ears and claim you’re a grown-up, while those who actually know anything are children. Repeat.

  16. Jay Tea says:

    For the peanut gallery: I didn’t make any claims — I asked a question. It wasn’t rhetorical, and I appreciate the answers.

    Let me elaborate a bit on my previous answer: the individual obligations in the debt have to be paid off. Yes, we can cycle through them and keep the actual debt level at a sustainable level, but I’m damned nervous that we’re approaching the point where that model is no longer sustainable. It was bad enough under Bush, but it’s skyrocketed since 2007 (coincidentally, when the Democrats took over both Houses of Congress) and there has to be a point where someone has to say “this hole’s deep enough.”

    Here’s an interesting quote that I’m planning on recycling on a posting of my own:

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

    Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

    Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities.

    Senator Barack Obama
    Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
    March 16, 2006

    Unlike Obama, I still agree with his words from then. But then, my statements don’t come with secret expiration dates.

    J.

  17. Rick Almeida says:

    Yes, we can cycle through them and keep the actual debt level at a sustainable level, but I’m damned nervous that we’re approaching the point where that model is no longer sustainable.

    Jay, can you provide an economic model that shows this point and the impacts on what you call “sustainability”?

  18. mantis says:

    I didn’t make any claims — I asked a question.

    And when your question was answered, you ignored it. So tell us Jay, what does it mean to you that the US is ranked 36th in the world for debt as a percentage of GDP?

    It was bad enough under Bush, but it’s skyrocketed since 2007 (coincidentally, when the Democrats took over both Houses of Congress)

    There might be another coincidence you are conveniently ignoring there, chuckles. And btw, it wasn’t 2007. It was 2008. I know rewriting and ignoring history is essential to supporting wingnut policy stances, but you don’t have to make it so obvious.

    and there has to be a point where someone has to say “this hole’s deep enough.”

    You do realize that doing so would actually make matters worse, right? Oh, I forgot; that’s the Republican plan for America.