Debt Ceiling Reaching 11th Hour: GOP Most To Blame, Data Shows, For National Debt

Here we go, again.


The debt limit caps the total amount of allowable outstanding U.S. federal debt. For people reading along that took place back on August 1st. Since that time the Treasury Department has been taking as the newspapers remind us “extraordinary measures”. But that can only last so long.

As Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reminded Congress today that if the debt ceiling is breached, “it is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments” after October 18th. In other words Congress and that also mean Republicans, need to be adults and either raise or suspend the debt limit or the Federal government will lack the cash to pay all its obligations.

That has never happened before.

What are front and center is the Republican desire to get something for their vote. Instead of just doing their job, the conservatives want to be bought off for their votes. As noted on this blog last week the Republicans mimic Ferengis on Star Trek.

Why we have every reason to be cranked with conservative Republicans is that raising the debt limit has no direct impact on the size of the national debt. It has no impact either for more spending or freezing or restricting spending. The only thing that increasing the debt limit does is pay expenses previously authorized by presidents and Congress.

But the Ferengis in Congress will fight and pontificate and try to force their way to get something before they will do what is simply the only logical action to take.

This week Steve Rattner, who loves to use charts to drive home the points the nation needs to know, made a perfect point at the time Senate Republicans are making markets jittery.

Republicans like to blame Democrats for all this borrowing. But the facts show otherwise. Five of the six presidents who incurred the most debt relative to the size of the economy in the past 60 years were Republicans. While Donald Trump faced the need to counteract Covid effects, his tax cuts and spending increases also played a major part. And Barack Obama had to deal with the financial crisis. But the fact remains that of the 57 percentage point increase in the debt to GDP ratio since 1960, 52 percentage points – all but five percentage points – were incurred with a Republican in the White House. (Note that Republicans and Democrats held the White House for roughly equivalent periods over these decades.)

What this blogger simply can not condone is the attitude expressed by Republicans that this issue is one to be played for partisan advantage. NO ONE would win if the nation defaulted on the debt. Look at how the markets have reacted to the high-wire act by conservatives.

As we know Republicans had a huge hand in amassing this debt. They must simply put the need of the nation before their playground antics.

And so it goes.

Madison’s WMTV Responds To Racist Chief Wahoo Mascot Airing Twice On Sports Report

Over the past week, I have posted twice about Madison’s WMTV sports report where an anchor was standing in front of a screen with the Brewers spelled out but with the racist Chief Wahoo mascot used to represent the Cleveland Indians. The team itself retired this graphic years ago because of its stereotypical and minstrel show-like features.

A reader had complained to the station, did not get a reply, and then contacted the FCC. Throughout the process, he contacted me and hoped this little place on the internet might highlight the issue. Having my mom’s family tree extending back to Cherokee Chief John Ross and the Trail of Tears meant the request was met with absolute acceptance.

This week WMTV did respond to the Madison viewer.

Good evening, Rick. I apologize that we did not acknowledge that you reached out to us earlier this month. I should’ve done so as the newsroom manager.

Our weekend on-call news manager for Sept. 11-12th alerted the newsroom (and sports team) to the error; and I followed up with our team when I was back in the office that Monday (I had been traveling over the weekend). In my follow-up, I learned this error of showing the old logo was isolated to the 9 and 10 p.m. sportscasts on the 11th. During that series of play between the two teams, the correct logo aired on Friday and also Sunday.

The person who made the mistake regrets doing so and understands the impact. So do I. I expect better. We understand that the images we use are as meaningful and important as the words we choose in our storytelling. We want to get it right and strive to do so.

We’ve taken steps to purge this particular graphic from our system, so it isn’t used again. We’ve also used this time to double check other team logos—and I can confirm we did not have the old Braves, Redskins or Illini logos in our system.

I appreciate your viewership and that you took the time to write us. I apologize again for not getting back to you… and I apologize also that the old logo was used.

Jessica Laszewski

News Director