Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has made it quite clear that he intends to use the debt ceiling — which needs to be raised in the next few months — to extract cuts to popular programs like Social Security and Medicare. “I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling unless we get serious about keeping the country from becoming Greece, saving Social Security and Medicare,” he said.
Graham clearly does not understand the nation’s finances, because the Greece comparison makes no sense. And it’s questionable whether he understands the debt ceiling, as yesterday he tweeted:
President Obama will NOT get a blank check to raise the debt ceiling.
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) January 8, 2013
Raising the debt ceiling does not give the President authority to do anything except pay the bills that Congress has already accrued. And once upon a time, Graham understood the consequences of not increasing the debt limit, as he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer last year that allowing the government to default on its obligations would mean “financial collapse and calamity“:
BLITZER: How realistic are those conditions? Because you know what’s involved if the U.S. creditworthiness is evaporated.
GRAHAM: Let me tell you what’s involved if we don’t lift the debt ceiling: financial collapse and calamity throughout the world. That’s not lost upon me.