Raising the debt limit is necessary to preserve the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
We cannot as a Congress pass spending bills and tax bills and then refuse to pay our bills. Refusing to raise the debt limit is like refusing to pay your credit card bill — after you’ve used your credit card.
The time to control the deficits and debt is when we are voting on the spending bills and the tax bills that create it. Raising the debt limit is about meeting the obligations we have already incurred. We must meet our obligations.
And the following:
Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. 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. ... I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.
It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.
Now both sides sound completely sincere. So then, why should we think (as we must) that this whole debate is nothing more than political circus? Well, maybe because the first statement above wasn't made by President Obama, nor by Harry Reid or Chuck Schumer. And the second wasn't made by John Boehner or Chuck Grassley. Nope. As a matter of fact, the first statement was made by a Republican senator. That's right, a Republican pleading President Obama's case for raising the debt ceiling. And the second statement came from a Democratic senator. That's right, a Democrat making the Republican House's case for not raising the ceiling without exercising some real fiscal responsibility.
So how does this prove my point? Aren't there always a few dissenters within each party? Yeah, I suppose. But the thing is, the above quotes were recorded in 2006, when the Bush Administration was bumping up against the debt ceiling. And the Republican was none other than Senator Charles Grassley, a presently passionate opponent of increasing the debt limit. And the Democrat was none other than Senator Barak Obama.
Yes, political circus!