Monday, July 18, 2011

What's Changed In The Last 5 Years?

Every Democrat in the Senate voted against raising the debt ceiling back in 2006, and every Republican but one voted to raise it (votes shown here). Today the roles are reversed. Is there hypocrisy at work on both sides? Perhaps, but I argue that the lion's share of that hypocrisy rests with the Democrats.

It's not necessarily hypocritical to support spending more money when debt is lower, but oppose it when debt is higher and spending is now seemingly out of control. That's the position the Republicans are in.

I can't come up with a reasonable explanation for the Democrats' position, which was to oppose a debt ceiling increase when debt is lower but support it when debt is higher--except for the big difference in the last 5 years, which is the party that runs the White House.

I'm not so naive as to think that the Republicans would be opposing a debt ceiling increase if a Republican president were asking for one today; rather I'm saying that the Republicans are on stronger ground with their current positions than the Democrats are, hypotheticals notwithstanding.


mazenko said...

Those symbolic votes - as many have been for each side over the years for a party with no control of Congress - had no ability to force the US to default on its debt obligations. In 2006 there was no warnings from Moodys and S&P about a potential downgrade that would for the first time in history question the full faith of the public in the Treasury and potentially kick off an economic calamity.

It seems fairly obvious what changed in the past five years.

Darren said...

For those of you on the Blame Republicans First side of the aisle, I'm sure you can come up with some "interesting" reasoning. Oh look, I'm correct!

mazenko said...

I absolutely accept the title of the Blame-the-GOP side, though I am fiscally (Burkean) conservative, politically moderate, and have no allegiance, or even any great respect, for the Democrats.

Darren said...

At least you admit it. That's something, I guess.