A growing number of right-wing lawmakers have expressed opposition to raising the debt ceiling, a normally noncontroversial action that Congress has to take every few years to prevent the government from defaulting on it debt and potentially shutting down. Despite the dire consequences, conservatives are attempting to hold the debt ceiling vote hostage to extort draconian cuts to federal programs, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has even launched an ad campaign to stoke public support for her plan. Bachmann — whose office confirmed today that she is seriously considering a run for the presidency in 2012 — is demanding that Congress go “cold turkey” to eliminate the deficit before the debt ceiling comes up for a vote.
With a vote coming as soon as February or March of this year, even conservative stalwart Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who says he is a fan of Bachmann, calls her plan a “silly position,” noting, “there’s no turkey cold enough to enable us to avoid raising the debt ceiling”:
When you click on the ad, you’ll read that Bachmann is asking us “to personally tell Congress not to increase the amount of money the government can borrow” by adding our names to the “Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling” petition.
This is irresponsible. I’ve seen no plausible plan that would enable us to go “cold turkey” (to use her term) fast enough or dramatically enough that we could reduce the deficit to zero in a few months — which is what would be required if Congress were not to authorize an increase in the debt ceiling. […]
But there’s no turkey cold enough to enable us to avoid raising the debt ceiling.
While Kristol’s comment is directed specifically toward Bachmann, it could equally apply to numerous other far-right lawmakers like Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) who are demanding equally harsh and nonsensical cuts to government spending. Already, House Republicans have conceded that they can’t even find the $100 billion they promised to cut from the budget, and as Kristol suggests, Bachmann and her comrades’ position on the debt ceiling just more rhetorical nonsense, but with very real consequences.