The cost of the debt ceiling crisis has now begun to be counted, and it looks bad for the Republicans. The fight, which was to attempt to ignore the US Constitution and the 14th Amendment by refusing to pay our obligations, resulted in long-term harm to the US Credit rating, for the first time in recorded history. This action by irresponsible children now has a monetary figure attached to it.
In the report by the Government Accountability Office released Monday, it turns out that the “Fiscally Responsible” Republican party has now taken another $1.3 billion out of the collective pockets of the American taxpayers. That is larger than the entire operating budget of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, the Smithsonian, the National Endowment of the Arts, even the federal budget allocated to the Post Office. This childish behavior of the elected officials from the Republican Party has resulted in severe damage, and demonstrates fiscal irresponsibility. Their continued efforts to violate both US Law and the US Constitution results in more and more money being wasted in these pointless ventures.
The New York Times comments on the waste created by the Republicans in this way:
The fight last summer over whether to raise the debt ceiling increased the Treasury’s borrowing costs by about $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011, and the bill is expected to climb, according to the Government Accountability Office.
In a report released on Monday, the investigative arm of Congress found that the battle between Republicans and Democrats over the conditions to increase the debt limit to its current level of $16.4 trillion led to uncertainty in the debt markets and higher borrowing costs. It said that a full accounting would be available later. “Further,” a summary of the report read, “according to Treasury officials, the increased focus on debt limit-related operations as such delays occurred required more time and Treasury resources, and diverted Treasury’s staff away from other important cash and debt management responsibilities.
The Republicans have never had such a fight over the 89 previous times in which we raised the debt ceiling, 2/3rds of which have happened under a Republican president. But now, they have decided that this is the new normal and that House Speaker John Boehner has declared that he will do it again, considering it a success.
In other words, they plan on costing us even more money, in order to get their way.
But this time, the Democrats have begun to play hardball. Their strategy to take the tax cuts off of the cliff is already rippling through the Republican psyche. But while the Republicans are playing to waste money, the Democrats are playing to raise money.
The Republican party has lost any credibility in claims of fiscal responsibility.