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Paying Bills with Borrowed Money

President Obama insists Republicans must allow government to borrow more money so “America can pay its bills.” But Senator Marco Rubio insists “if you need to borrow even more just to pay your bills, then you’re headed for financial disaster.” Senator Rubio is right, of course: the phrase “paying your bills” usually means paying down debt, not recklessly adding to it.

The president says that blocking an increase in the debt ceiling is like refusing to pay for a restaurant meal after you’ve eaten it. Actually, it’s more like taking away a teenager’s credit card after he’s shown he has no real intention of even paying down the bills he already placed on the account. No one wants economic turbulence or potential default, but linking debt ceiling increases to sweeping spending cuts is both appropriate and necessary.

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