The debt ceiling will be the first real test of Kevin McCarthy’s “leadership” skills. It will be interesting to see if he can bring his chaotic House in order. For now, senate Republicans are saying: “It’s all you, Kevin.” As Politico reported, the Republican senators who helped to raise the debt ceiling twice are now leaving it up to Kevin McCarthy to do his job. It didn’t help that Kevin McCarthy was one of the loudest critics of the passage of the latest bipartisan spending plan, and they have no desire to help McCarthy. It’s a shame that these people want to play games with our lives, but it is also understandable that they’re sitting back and watching whether McCarthy will be able to “man up.”
Most MAGA Republicans are nothing but blowhards. They talk a big game, but when the time comes to do the work, they’re nowhere to be found. It’s easy to sit back and criticize others when you have no right to do so, but actually getting involved in the work it takes to run the country is over their heads. Politico reported that four of the Republican senators who helped raise the last two debt ceilings said they “have no intention of stepping in.” Thom Tillis (R-NC), who often works across the aisle, told Politico: “What matters is really what the House can create. They have the gavels. We have to see what sort of strategy they think works to a successful outcome.” In other words, they want to see what McCarthy is made of, though most of us already know the answer to that question.
Joe Manchin appeared on “State of the Union,” and he discussed how House Republicans are trying to hold the debt ceiling hostage to get what they want. He said that in his state, 60% of retirees live on social security and Medicare, and they’re scared to death that Republicans want to tap into those programs as a compromise for raising the debt ceiling. Manchin said: “That’s not going to happen. Take that off the board right now and look at ways that we have wasteful spending that we can be held accountable and responsible for.” He is correct. Neither social security nor Medicare should ever be used in any sentence with the word “spending.” No one is spending anything on either program; we paid into them from our paychecks. It’s not “spending;” it’s giving back what people have put in, as the program was intended to do. They are not “entitlements,” nor are they “charity” in any form. Money was taken out of people’s paychecks for forced retirements. Those people’s employers also had to pay. The government did nothing but collected the funds, and the government is not entitled to anything having to do with those funds.
The proverbial ball is in McCarthy’s court. He can sit down with President Biden and work this out or he can be the bad guy who allowed our country to default on its loans. The next move is his; let’s see what he does with it.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years