DAVE ROSS

Ross: The wealthiest nation in history is again toying with the idea of not paying its bills

Sep 23, 2021, 5:30 AM | Updated: 9:20 am
debt...
A visual aid of a blank check is seen during a news conference with Senate Republicans on the debt ceiling at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 22, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The debt drama is going down to the wire. The warnings are flying, the air is thick with blame – but I remind myself that this is exactly how it’s supposed to work. Our constitutional process requires that every big decision has to get past 535 opinionated Type A personalities, PLUS the Senate Parliamentarian. So it’s a miracle anything passes at all.

And when things get as confusing as this story has, I try to think in terms of what would happen to an ordinary person in this situation.

Me, for example.

I have some debt. In fact, I get a daily text from my VISA account so I know exactly what I owe. Currently, it’s around $4,000. Groceries, some donations, new computer because Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7. It adds up. My plan is to always have enough cash on hand to make the payment.

But – suppose I could just declare a debt ceiling?

Let’s say I set my debt limit at $2,000. And then when the VISA bill comes, I just tell VISA: Well, VISA, I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do, I have set a firm debt ceiling of $2,000, and so you’re just going to have to wait for the rest of your money until I convince myself to raise my debt ceiling!

My guess is VISA would probably reply, “Well, Mr. Ross, you already incurred these debts, perhaps you should not have bought so much.”

Then I would fire off a letter on my official personal letterhead saying, “Dear Sirs, Nice try. But if a debt limit is good enough for the United States Congress, it’s good enough for this free American citizen!”

And about a week later I would probably get a notice saying, “Dear former customer, your credit score is now -3, and we want our card back.”

So the question is: Would America’s lenders dare to do that to the United States Treasury? And if so, is the prospect of financial disaster enough for Congress to rise above politics on this issue? Let’s check with the Senate Democratic leader:

“Should Republicans careen our country towards a default, our country could actually be plunged into recession, laying off millions,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.

OK. What about the Senate Republican leader?

“Since Democrats decided to go it alone, they will not get Senate Republicans’ help with raising the debt limit. I’ve explained this clearly and consistently for over two months,” said Senator Mitch McConnell.

Which is why I have my emergency water bottles and freeze-dried camp food standing by.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Vaccine...
Dave Ross

Ross: May we live long and prosper with our vaccine choices

Talk show host Dennis Praeger decided to put it all on the line to prove he’s right about vaccines.
23 hours ago
Flu vaccine...
MyNorthwest Staff

A new ‘universal’ flu-COVID shot on the horizon, says local MD

Mercer Island’s Dr. Gordon Cohen discusses how future iterations of the COVID mRNA vaccine could also treat seasonal flu.
2 days ago
Crypto power plant...
Dave Ross

Ross: The troubling downside behind megawatts of crypto-power

Power plants feeding Bitcoin miners will create jobs, but they’ll do it by pumping CO2 into the air in service of creating more of the currency.
2 days ago
unemployment...
Dave Ross

Ross: The real reason people don’t want to return to work

The extra unemployment benefits were cut off in September and most states elected not to continue them. Yet, millions of workers are still holding out.
5 days ago
Shatner, space...
Dave Ross

Ross: Shatner’s emotional response over trip to space exactly what we needed to hear

Space travel is a trip that every billionaire who thinks he’s a master of the universe needs to take as soon as possible.
6 days ago
Airlines...
Dave Ross

Ross: Choosing the fully-vaccinated airline that makes you feel safest

Two airlines – Southwest and American –both based in Texas, have decided to stick with their plans to require employees to get vaccinated.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Ross: The wealthiest nation in history is again toying with the idea of not paying its bills