Debt Ceiling “Compromise”

Ellen Lichius, Staff Writer

Oftentimes, greatness results from compromise.

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they incorporated the interests of all parties at hand.  More recently, NFL coaches and player came to a collective bargaining agreement that ended a four and a half month lockout. However, when reflecting on the 2011 United States Debt-Ceiling Crisis, it becomes apparent that compromise does not always yield optimal results.

United States law forbids the Department of Treasury from acquiring debt beyond the ceiling that Congress sets each year. In a situation where the Department of Treasury surpasses its budget for the year, Congress steps in to raise the ceiling, or modify the budget. With Congress’s solution, the Budget Control Act, the government would be unable to pay for the actions and services already approved by Congress, leading to default.

Fear and confusion spread throughout America earlier this year when the House of Representatives and the Senate, dominated by the Republicans and Democrats respectively, failed to reach an agreement to amend the matter at hand in a timely manner. In the eleventh hour, both parties pulled through and agreed on a plan to raise the current ceiling and lower future spending, in order to decrease the current debts of the country.

On paper, the Budget Control Act looks enticing to both parties.  Has our nation really solved the problems it was faced with? Congress’s “compromise” failed to eliminate excessive governmental spending. The Budget Control Act contradicts itself, as the bill should be eliminating excess costs.

Is a bill that continues to allow governmental spending, ultimately placing our country in more debt, a solution? Is a bill that presently increases costs and promises to eliminate them a true compromise? The obvious answer is no.