The Daily Beast is ramping up the attacks on conservatives who don’t believe a catastrophe would result if the United States reaches its debt limit. On Monday, the Beast churned out a story ripping debt-ceiling “denialists,” and on Tuesday, another article slammed debt-ceiling “truthers.”
Patricia Murphy’s Monday article, titled “The GOP’s Top 10 Debt Ceiling Denialists,” was a sort of opinion/straight news hybrid infused with more than a hint of derision. Murphy essentially mocked the “denialists” in her opening paragraph:
"Worried about the looming debt ceiling crisis and possible default of the nation’s debt? Don’t be! According to more than a few GOP lawmakers, conservative donors, and Tea Party activists, the nation’s debt ceiling doesn’t really exist and the chances of a default on the United States’ sovereign debt lie somewhere between unlikely and impossible."
Murphy went on to list 10 comments from “naysayers” that included conservative legislators, donors, and organizations. The list included this common-sense observation from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah): “We collect money every day; it just depends on how you spend it.”
Murphy also included these words from the Tea Party Patriots: “Is hitting the debt ceiling ideal? No, of course not, which is why Tea Party Patriots has long demanded Congress be responsible and balance the budget instead of raising the ceiling.” That right there is the conservative position in a nutshell.
Tuesday’s piece, written by Jamelle Bouie, was titled “Republican Debt-Ceiling ‘Truthers’ Are Risking Financial Disaster.” It was more opinionated than Murphy’s article. Bouie found an insulting way to issue a dire warning: “Indeed, it’s fair to say America’s “fiscal conservatives” are threatening to turn us into a deadbeat borrower, with terrible consequences for countless people.”
But Bouie got even more brash in his final paragraph: “Like the insane, nuclear bomb-worshipping mutants who live beneath the Planet of the Apes, the debt-limit truthers and denialists are willing to risk disaster in a last-ditch attack on Obamacare.”
Both of these articles focused on the horrors of a potential default, but they ignored the central issue in this whole debate. The reason we are approaching the debt limit again so soon after raising it in August 2011 is because our national debt has continued to skyrocket in the meantime. And the debt has continued to rise because government spending is out of control.
But of course, The Daily Beast doesn’t want to talk about out-of-control spending or rapidly escalating deficits. Instead, we got a lecture from Bouie about how the U.S. is such a “credible” borrower because it has always paid its obligations (which are the bare minimum of what must be paid). No word on the absurdity of the idea that we need to continue to borrow money to pay interest on the money that we’ve borrowed.
This all seems like nothing more than an effort to clear the way for our government to continue spending, borrowing, and racking up debt with no apparent consequence.