On Friday the Democratic leadership of the Senate — Majority Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin, Conference Chair Charles Schumer, and Conference Secretary Patty Murray — wrote to President Obama urging him to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling in the event that Republicans either block such an increase or attempt to pass one “as part of unbalanced or unreasonable legislation.”
“We believe that you must make clear that you will never allow our nation’s economy and reputation to be held hostage,” the Democrats wrote. “We believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without congressional approval, if necessary.”
Put aside the picture of leading lawmakers, usually so jealous of their constitutional prerogatives, asking the president to ignore Congress. What is striking about the letter is that every one of its signers — Reid, Durbin, Schumer, and Murray — voted against raising the nation’s debt ceiling just seven years ago.
Obama called raising the Debt Ceiling (when Bush was President) as sign of leadership failure.
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.