“Common Sense Conservatism” has been the closest to a policy position Sarah Palin has been willing to articulate.  Even though she has embarrassed herself by referring to our “North Korean Allies,” a Blood Libel committed against her in Arizona, giving birth to Trig in Anchorage, and Ronal Reagan attending college in California, Sarah Palin is usually careful not to attempt to offer any policies.  Since she is no longer a politician she is not required to vote on anything, or sign into law any bill.  She is free to criticize the President without offering any solutions to the many challenges facing the President.  In an unusual move for Palin, she appeared at a luncheon before the Long Island Association, which bills itself as the state’s largest business organization.  The format of the appearance was a question and answer session with the President of the Association, where the topics to be covered in the questions were provided in advance to Palin.  Of course her fee for the event was “undisclosed.”

In a mocking tone, Palin was quoted as saying: “It’s no wonder Michelle Obama is telling everybody you need to breast feed your babies,… The price of milk is so high!”   At least she didn’t suggest that the First Lady was requiring mothers to breast feed.

However the more revealing comment came when talking about the economy.  Palin explained that in her opinion Congress shouldn’t vote to raise the debt ceiling.  “All that’s going to do is create this allowance for more big spenders to get in there,” she said.  “It doesn’t necessarily have to result in a government shutdown.”  http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0211/Palin_talks_debt_budget_in_Long_Island_performance.html. She said that “the government receives so much revenue” every day that she doubted the money would run out to pay for critical operations.  . Once again Sarah Palin demonstrated her failure to understand or appreciate the challenges of running the federal government.  A quick search of information on the internet of the “debt ceiling” reveals:

Unless Congress acts, and soon, the United States could face “a worse financial economic crisis than anything we saw in 2008,” warns Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers (and former Slate contributor). Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a stern letter to Congress: Inaction would cause “catastrophic damage to the economy, potentially much more harmful than the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.” … What would happen if Congress failed to up the ceiling? Goolsbee and Geithner have it right: It would be a catastrophe. The Treasury would no longer be able to issue new bonds, meaning that the United States would eventually start failing to pay its bills (like Social Security payments) and to service its outstanding debt (paying bondholders interest). The world bond market would likely panic, raising borrowing costs for all individuals and businesses. Moreover, the United States’ borrowing costs would never fall as low again—investors would never fully trust the United States to pay back what it promises.  The White House is warning of financial Armageddon this spring if Congress fails to raise the Treasury’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.  Here are some basic facts about the debt ceiling:

What is the debt ceiling exactly?

It’s a cap set by Congress on the amount of debt the federal government can legally borrow. The cap applies to debt owed to the public (i.e., anyone who buys U.S. bonds) plus debt owed to federal government trust funds          such as those for Social Security and Medicare.  The first limit was set in 1917.

How high is the debt limit right now?

The ceiling is currently set at $14.294 trillion. As of Jan. 31, the debt subject to that limit totaled $14.079 trillion — or $215 billion shy of the cap. But the total can fluctuate up or down daily.

 

How is the ceiling determined?

Based on policies in place, such as the $858 billion tax cut compromise passed in December, lawmakers determine how much the government will have to borrow over a given period of time. They then set the debt limit           accordingly.”Congress has already passed and the President has already signed legislation that increases spending or decreases revenues. Those decisions have already been made,” said Susan Irving, director for federal           budget issues at the Government Accountability Office.

 

In that sense, much of the political rhetoric is misleading because the money has already been committed and lawmakers are arguing over whether to pay the bill, according to former Congressional Budget Office Director Rudolph Penner.

When will the debt ceiling be reached?

The Treasury estimates U.S. borrowing could hit the debt ceiling sometime between April 5 and May 31.  The amount of debt subject to the limit can fluctuate on a daily basis. Plus there are steps the Treasury Department        can take to stave off the day of reckoning. But Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said such measures could only buy “several weeks.”

 

What happens if Treasury hits the limit?

No one knows for sure since it has never happened. But the going assumption is that no good can come of it.  Treasury would not have authority to borrow any more money. And that can be a problem since the                    government borrows to make up the difference between what it spends and what it takes in. It uses that money to help fund operations and pay creditors.

 

In conclusion it would likely result in catastrophic economic turmoil if the debt ceiling was not increased.  Since the budget has already been approved by the Republican lead House of Representatives, the increase in the deficit has already been mandated by the Republicans in Congress.  To fail to increase the debt ceiling would be like refusing to pay a debt you have already incurred.  It would be like telling your loan officer that even though you took out the loan, and spent the money, the loan exceeds the amount you feel comfortable paying, and therefore you aren’t going to pay.  Your loan officer would never loan you any money again, but of course you would still owe the debt.  Maybe Sarah Palin doesn’t understand this concept since she has millions of dollars in her personal account, and since she is no longer a politician.  In spite of the First Lady’s advocacy of breast feeding for health reasons, Sarah Palin mocks the First Lady’s efforts.   She mocks the economic experts working so hard to address the multitude of economic problems facing the country.  Palin should stick to those subjects about which she is an expert: hiring a babysitter to feed a baby, and choosing a paint color for someone else to paint on her ceilings.

 

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