Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola suggests on Twitter that it would be irresponsible for America to reduce the national debt.
“The benefits of millions of Americans are on the line if we don’t raise the debt ceiling. Our health care, prescription drugs, Medicare, and Social Security are all on the chopping block. Not raising the debt ceiling is reckless and irresponsible. We have to do it,” she wrote in her policy statement about the money owed to foreign governments like Japan and China.
It’s borrowing for benefits: Raise the nation’s debt ceiling, which is already $31.4 trillion, so we can keep borrowing more to spend more on programs, putting America in a debt spiral. Peltola offers no cuts, only spending.
The United States hit the debt ceiling last month, which forced the Treasury Department to take extraordinary steps to keep the government from going into default. Some Republicans say that lifting the borrowing cap must be tied to budget reductions. President Joe Biden says that the matter is not negotiable at all — there will be no cuts to federal spending, a position that Peltola has appeared to adopt.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Thursday, informing him that the nation’s outstanding debt is at its statutory limit of $31.4 trillion and that the agency will implement extraordinary measures so it doesn’t default on its debt, which would have enormous consequences on the US economy, global financial stability and many Americans. She said the measures would last through June 5. Since she wrote to Congress, the U.S. debt is even bigger — it’s $31.544 trillion. The amount of debt per citizen (taxpayers and non-taxpayers) is over $540,000.
In plain language, the national debt is like using a credit card for purchases and not paying off the full balance each month, the U.S. Treasury explains on its website. The cost of purchases exceeding the amount paid off represents a deficit, while accumulated deficits over time represents a person’s overall debt.
On Dec. 16, 2021, the debt ceiling was raised by $2.5 trillion to $31.4 trillion, the largest dollar amount increase in the national debt in history, done under the trifecta leadership of Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House.
The largest holder of U.S. debt is Japan, followed by China.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is in a tight spot because his majority is so slim, and he could be rolled by just about anyone in the majority. But in January, he stated the need for a change in course with the national debt.
"We're six months away. Why wouldn't we sit down and change this behavior so that we would put ourselves on a more fiscally strong position?" he said.