Three members of Congress, including Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, are offering President Obama, who yesterday suggested that Social Security beneficiaries might not get paid if he doesn’t get the debt ceiling increase he wants, advice on how to pay the bills with the money that the government gets.
Bachmann today joined with Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, to propose the Payment Reliability for our Obligation to Military and Investors to Secure Essential Stability Act. It’s known as the PROMISES Act.
Introduced by King, it “ensures spending is prioritized in the case the federal government exceeds its ability to borrow,” the members of Congress noted.
The plan, H.R. 2496, “will direct the Treasury to pay down the interest on our national debt and ensure the armed forces are paid for their tireless service.”
Bachmann quickly joined the team supporting the measure.
“The PROMISES Act is about priorities,” she said in a statement. “Even if we reach our borrowing limit, both the president and Congress still have a responsibility to pay the interest on our debt and provide paychecks for members of our military. ”
WND Managing Editor David Kupelian today explained in a commentary how the comments by Obama amount to little more than extortion.
“Obama is threatening to withhold old people’s Social Security checks if he doesn’t get his way in the current extortion – I mean, negotiation,” he wrote.
He cited the comments from Obama who, when asked if he could assure that Social Security checks due to be sent Aug. 3, still would be sent if the debt ceiling increase he wants isn’t granted by Aug. 2, said, “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
However, Kupelian quoted investment adviser Kurt Brouwer, who wrote in Marketwatch that that simply isn’t reality.
Krouwer explained that the U.S. Treasury needs to pay about $15 billion to $20 billion in any given month in interest on debt. But the government takes in about $200 billion a month.
“Ask yourself, what government expenditures do Americans consider most important? To most people, paying our current Social Security recipients, just like paying our troops, would be pretty darn near the top of the list, right?” Kupelian wrote. “Well above, say, some of the ‘economic stimulus’ projects like the ‘eco-passage’ in Florida to protect turtles from being run over by cars, or the skylights in Montana’s state-run liquor warehouse, or the removal of crickets in Utah, or the removal of tattoos from gang members in California, or the very important ‘swine odor research’ in Iowa.
“There is enough money,” he wrote. “There’s just not enough money to pay our rightful obligations and maintain an insanely large, cancerous government.”
That is the focus of the new legislation.
“In April, I learned that, in the event of a government slowdown in operations, our military may not be paid. This is not acceptable. The men and women in our armed forces sacrifice so much to keep our country safe; the least we can do is provide a paycheck so they can pay their bills,” Bachmann said. “When we faced a looming slowdown in government operations I spoke out in favoring of ensuring our troops are paid. So now too, I will not allow our troops to be used as political pawns.
“I also am appalled at the president’s recent use of scare tactics in his attempt to force Congress to raise the debt ceiling. He wants us to believe that if we do not raise the debt ceiling by up to $2.5 trillion, we will default on our debt. This is simply not true,” she continued.
“We have enough revenue coming in to continue to pay down the interest on our national debt regardless of whether or not we raise the debt ceiling. We cannot afford a blow to the reputation of the full faith and credit of the United States. As we continue to pursue a plan to cut our debt, we must do everything in our power to pay down the interest on our horrendous national deficit,” she said.
The legislation would specify that “in the event that the debt ceiling is reached, the United States shall prioritize the payment of pay and allowances to members of the armed forces, including reserve components thereof, and the payment of obligations on the public debt, and to appropriate such funds as may be necessary to ensure that members of the armed forces, including reserve components thereof, continue to receive pay and allowances.”
The proposal provides that funds in amounts the secretary of defense determines to be necessary to continue to provide pay and allowances for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard shall be provided.
The same would be provided for paying public debt interest.
Joseph Farah, CEO of WND and the organizer of the grass-roots “No More Red Ink” campaign, which is lobbying to simply cut off the government’s credit card, said the House Republicans have it within their control to simply stop the borrowing and force the federal government to reduce spending.
“The only reason to raise the debt limit is to continue business as usual in Washington,” said Farah. “There is no necessity to do it. The prudent and responsible move would be to run the government with the trillions in revenues it takes in. No individual, no business and no state or local government can just keep borrowing to justify uncontrolled spending. It’s time the federal government starts operating like the rest of us do.”
In recent weeks, a number of high-profile commentators also have come out in favor of simply calling a halt to the borrowing – estimated at some $5 trillion since Obama took office.
Radio host Michael Savage blasted House Republicans for even considering allowing the Obama administration to pile up more debt.
“Where did all the ‘fiscal conservatives’ go?” Savage asked in a recent email to WND. “Of course we should not extend the debt limit! What kind of insanity is this?
“If a family is broke and dependent on loans,” Savage continued, “what bank would extend a new credit line until the family 1) sold assets; 2) worked out a repayment plan for existing loans? We will become a bigger ‘banana republic,’ like Argentina 20 years ago, if we increase our national debt.”
Members of the media who would like to interview Joseph Farah about this story can email [email protected]