KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: Nobody in D.C. is actually going to stop the debt crisis

May 24, 2023, 7:12 AM | Updated: 9:22 am

stop debt crisis...

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Figures of Grief and History on the Peace Monument stand near the U.S. Capitol building July 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. As the United States approaches the possibility of a default, the congressional leaders and the White House try to reach an agreement on measures to lift the debt ceiling. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

(Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

I think I’m going to have to accept that the debt crisis is just not as big a deal as all the news coverage is making it out to be.

Let me remind you what I asked New York Times reporter David Farenthold on Tuesday.

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Who’s doing the serious work to address the federal debt in a constructive way?

“Nobody. I mean, nobody on Capitol Hill, the Republicans are showing some interest in this, but it’s not the animating feature that a Republican thought that that was in 2011,” Farenthold said. “It’s kind of a sideline. I mean, Trump busted a budget when he was president. But they’re focused on culture war issues. They’re not focused on this at all.”

So, he’s saying this is just showbiz on the Republican side, and who can blame them? Because here’s what CBS congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane told me.

“I talk to a Maryland Republican who had never before voted to raise the debt ceiling and doesn’t believe in taking that vote,” MacFarlane said. “He says he still gets no calls from his constituents complaining about it. No calls from his constituents inquiring about this current crisis. So at this point, the public’s either apathetic or blind, or they don’t feel empowered or inspired to bother their legislators about it.”

Why should any member of Congress feel pressure to fix the problem when their supporters back home don’t seem worried? No reason!

And remember what budget expert Maya MacGuineas said in the clips I played Tuesday.

“They are negotiating on probably the least important part of the budget in terms of really generating long-term savings,” MacGuineas said.

This means even when this is “solved,” in fact, nothing is solved. Even if Republicans get all their cuts, just the interest payments on the national debt will be higher than the entire defense budget.

So, once again, it comes down to who we vote for. Do we vote for at least a few people ready to do the tedious work of really controlling federal spending? Or do we keep electing candidates to fight about religion, history books, pronouns, and bathrooms?

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Nobody in D.C. is actually going to stop the debt crisis