Today on FoxNews Sunday, Trump administration Treasurery Secretary Steve Mnuchin was featured on the the topic of the White House’s plans to ask Congress for $7.85 billion in “immediate aid” and $6.7 billion in “additional funds” for the disaster relief effort in Texas.
Chris Wallace raised remarks made by members of the House Freedom Caucus that relief funds should not be tied to a debt-ceiling increase, and asked for Mnuchin to offer guarantees that wouldn’t happen. He responded:
No I can’t; quite the contrary. The president and I believe that it should be tied to the Harvey funding, that our first priority is to make sure that the state gets money. It is critical, and to do that, we need to make sure that we raise the debt limit. So, if congress appropriates the money, but I don’t have the ability to borrow more money and pay for it, we’re not going to be able to get that money to the state. So we need to put politics aside and we’re going to be urging congress to get both of those things done as quickly as they can.
Well, it seems we’re done with our altruistic come-together moment and it’s back to politics at its most cynical and destructive. Do you remember a time not so long ago when Republicans fervently railed against Obama’s deficit spending, rightly pointing out his hypocrisy on the issue and that it was imperative that we stop doing it? Well, the GOP is in charge now, and they’re quickly putting campaign arguments like that back in the drawer to save for the next campaign!
Setting aside for the moment the fact that Texas pays around $300 billion in taxes to the federal government each year and is more than paid-up on it’s disaster insurance to Uncle Sam, the federal government still has an obligation to not do further harm to the Union by increasing the national debt. However, that’s exactly what they intend to do, and they’re trying to exploit Texas to do it.
Our national debt is bigger than our GDP, threatening the stability of our economy and the value of the money in our pockets. Appropriating money for Harvey is necessary, but it should be done responsibly, through cuts (in lieu of a rainy-day fund), and not by exacerbating an already volatile situation. The federal government’s prescription for Harvey effectively treats the flu, but metastasizes a cancer.
Washington seems incapable of doing the right thing no matter which party is in charge. If Texas wants to avoid an even greater calamity than Harvey, the collapse of the U.S. economy, then they will have to do so on their own, as an independent republic. We’ve wasted too much time already, waiting on Washington to change; it’s time to do for ourselves.