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  • Writer's pictureDavid M. Rubin


In her newsletter e-mailed to the community dated October 15, Rep. Nancy Mace led with this gem:

"On Tuesday, I flew into Washington, D.C. to vote on raising the debt ceiling. I was a hard no. For years, both sides have raised the debt ceiling without a plan to balance the budget or cut spending. I refused to open the door for trillions more wasted on the backs of hard working Americans."

Let's quickly dispose of the most obvious argument refuting Mace's nonsensical rationale for her vote.

A vote to raise the debt ceiling permits the Treasury to raise the money it needs to pay debts it has already incurred. Treasury must issue new bonds (or debt) to fund thousands of programs that cost far more than tax receipts can support. These programs include Mace's beloved military weapons systems, veterans benefits, Medicaid, and a lot more. These are obligations we promised to pay to American companies and civilians for products and services rendered.

To state the obvious, although apparently not obvious to Mace, raising the debt ceiling is meant to pay old bills, not pay for future programs.

Mace's supposedly courageous "hard no" is just a stunt. It's a cheap political shot at proposed Democratic Party infrastructure spending. And she is right. If passed into law, these bills could cost trillions of dollars in new spending.

Her "no" vote on raising the debt ceiling, however, has nothing to do with future spending. She is disingenuously linking two concepts that are not linked, except in her own mind.

The time for Mace to act on her stated goal of balancing the federal budget will come when she is asked to vote on future spending programs, including the infrastructure bills, not when she is voting to raise the debt ceiling. And those votes on the two infrastructure bills are looming.

Presumably, in order for Mace to realize her stated goal of balancing the federal budget, she will vote against both bills in lockstep with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and most other Republicans.

If she does, she can then explain to all of us why she is voting against the one trillion dollar bricks and mortar infrastructure bill that has been praised by her Republican colleague Lindsey Graham for what it will bring to South Carolina: improved roads, bridges, ports, broadband access, and the like. (Senator Tim Scott has promised to be another "no" vote, as he reliably is.)

If she does vote against the bricks and mortar bill, will she then try to take credit for its passage---and the billions of dollars it brings to South Carolina---or will she continue to rail against deficit spending by the Federal Government, even though it's helping her constituents?

I think we know the answer. She will vote "no" to appease the know-nothing MAGA Republican base, and then take credit for the money once it starts to flow into her congressional district. By then she is hoping her constituents have forgotten her vote against the bill, and she is betting that journalists will fail to remind them about her vote in every infrastructure story they write. (Sadly, she is correct about that assumption.)

The debt ceiling issue will be coming back to Congress in December, because the recent fix was temporary. Mace can gleefully vote against raising it once again.

On the extreme off-chance that Democrats themselves, without Republican support, cannot raise the limit in December and the U.S. technically defaults on its debt for the first time in history (thanks in part to Mace and her ignorance of the economic consequences), here are a few questions her constituents might want to put to her about the fallout from her vote:

"Why are we in a recession all of a sudden?"

"Why are people losing their jobs?"

"Why is the stock market falling, and what is happening to my IRA?"

"Why are interest rates going up for mortgages and car purchases?"

"Why is the Federal Government having to pay more in interest to sell its bonds, making government more expensive to operate?"

"Why are payments promised to South Carolina families being cut?"

Perhaps Mace will choose to address these questions in her newsletter after her next "no" vote on the debt ceiling. Or perhaps someone will give her a basic tutorial in economics and she will wise up and vote "yes" to raise the limit so the U.S. does not become a deadbeat nation.

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