When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drops a bill next week to raise the national debt ceiling by $1.925 trillion she will push America one more large step toward a fiscal and economic catastrophe unlike anything previously seen in this nation. If the Pelosi move is approved, as expected, the national debt will have exploded to approximately $14 trillion, or 30 percent higher than it was less than a year ago when President Obama took office. The debt burden on every American family will go up $1,500 annually.
Amazingly, Pelosi's top deputy, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., talks as if Congress is merely along for the ride on federal spending, powerless to stop its ever-steepening increases. Hoyer even told The Examiner's congressional correspondent Susan Ferrechio that "There is no doubt the debt ceiling will have to be at that level in order to meet our financial obligations at this time next year. This is not creating new debt."
Not creating new debt? Who does Hoyer think he's kidding? The same day he talked to Ferrechio, Hoyer and Pelosi rammed through the House a $447 billion annual spending bill that includes a record level of spending via earmarks, the most readily controllable form of pork barrel spending. There are more than 5,000 earmarks in the spending bill approved last week, which, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, brings the total for the year to 7,577. Total cost of all those earmarks is at least $6 billion, according to the group. Discretionary spending under Pelosi and Hoyer -- that is, spending that is not mandated such as Social Security and Medicare -- has increased 25 percent.
And what has America gotten for that 25 percent spending increase? Pelosi, Hoyer and every other member of the House got an 8.4 percent raise in their office spending accounts, meaning they will have millions more to spend on things like flowers, food, and gifts for friends, political contributors, and favored lobbyists, and to hire more staff members to figure out additional ways of collecting and spending tax dollars.
Meanwhile, ordinary Americans have responded to the fiscal crisis in a very different fashion. For more than a year now, America's consumers have been paying down their debt. In fact, according to the Federal Reserve, America just experienced the largest quarterly decline in household debt in history. Taxpayers know that now is the time to pay off existing debts, not adding new debt at every turn.