Dispelling Myths: The Debt Ceiling Deal

Submitted by kvaughn on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 01:00

The debate over raising the debt ceiling has been filled with many false accusations. I thought I’d correct the record on some key points.

The Tea Party does not want the government to default on its debt
One of the three core principles of the Tea Party movement is fiscal responsibility. We believe that the government should make repaying its debt its #1 priority. It was the President who repeatedly threatened to not pay our bondholders and to unilaterally veto bills that did not meet his conditions.

Simply raising the debt ceiling will not prevent a default
Virtually all economists have said for months that our current deficits are unsustainable and put our credit rating at risk. This is why the Tea Party wanted to pair the increase in the debt ceiling with deficit reduction measures that would lead to a balanced budget. The final bill failed to achieve this, and as a result, Moody’s and Fitch joined S&P in giving the U.S. credit rating a negative outlook. S&P is now considering an actual downgrade in our credit rating – a step that would force us to pay higher interest rates and push us closer to a real default.

Excessive spending is damaging our economy
Record-breaking government debt is hurting our economy and creating uncertainty. In the past 8 days, in response to the emerging debt ceiling deal, the S&P 500 has fallen more than 6% and the price of gold increased 3.5%. In short, investors in the market moved their money away from businesses and towards safer investments because they are concerned about our excessive spending.

Career politician Rep. Gerry Connolly wants to spend even more
My opponent, Rep. Connolly, claims to be fiscally responsible, but he not only voted for the recent debt ceiling deal, which still allows for $7 trillion in deficit spending, he also demonstrated that he is in the most liberal half of the Democrat party by voting for a “clean” debt ceiling increase, which would have raised the debt ceiling without any spending cuts or budgetary reforms. This position would have been stunningly irresponsible.

We are making a difference
Even though we did not win this battle, we forced the establishment to make some key concessions. In 2012, we have a real opportunity to add even more votes for fiscal responsibility and Virginia’s 11th district is a key swing seat to make that happen.


Ken Vaughn