Washington, DC, January 19, 2022 – Today, the United States officially hit its $31.4 trillion debt limit. The Treasury Department will now resort to using “extraordinary measures” over the next few months to prevent an economically catastrophic default.
In response, Morris Pearl, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., released the following statement:
Hitting the debt ceiling today brings us one step closer to economic catastrophe. A default would trigger a wholesale global financial crisis and bring untold economic suffering to millions of Americans.
It doesn’t have to happen. Congress can simply raise the debt ceiling like they’ve done 78 times in the past. Better yet, they should eliminate it entirely. The debt ceiling serves no purpose aside from giving radical politicians the opportunity to hold the world economy hostage.
And that’s exactly what’s about to happen. Congressional Republicans are planning to use the debt ceiling as leverage to extract massive spending cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.
We have a mechanism for dealing with spending. Congress passes laws directing federal spending. The Republicans know that they will not win a vote to spend less money on federal programs that actually help people, so they are trying to create a crisis about the overall level of spending.
It’s like if your spouse sent you to the store to buy something with a specific budget on how much to spend, and then when the credit card bill came due, said that they were going to refuse to pay it unless you agreed to spend less on your monthly prescriptions.
Republicans will rant and rave in the name of “fiscal irresponsibility,” but don’t be fooled – the fight they pitch is a ridiculous one. The debt ceiling and federal spending are two entirely different things and instituting new spending cuts will do quite literally nothing to stop a default. The only thing that would be “fiscally irresponsible” would be to risk the entire American economy in an attempt to cut what’s left of our already dilapidated social safety net.
President Biden and the Democrats say they’ve learned their lesson from previous, equally nonsensical debt ceiling fights with Republicans and won’t give an inch in terms of spending cuts in negotiations. This is the right course to take. There’s nothing to “negotiate.” Democrats must do whatever it takes to prevent Republicans from destroying the global economy or cutting Social Security and Medicare.
Members of the Patriotic Millionaires are high-net worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about historic levels of inequality and the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America. The mission of The Patriotic Millionaires organization is to build a stable, prosperous, and inclusive nation by promoting public policies based on the “first principles” of equal political representation, a guaranteed living wage for all working citizens, and a fair tax system. You can find out more at http://patrioticmillionaires.org/about/