Rep. Greg Walden (R. OR) Explains the Debt Ceiling. Good For Him!

Either that or he means that the public understands what the debt-ceiling statute actually is, and will never support Congress’s authorization of payment of already-incurred expenses earlier authorized by none other than Congress itself.

Obama and the congressional Dems should take the ball Walden has handed them and run with it.Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, signed on to the trillion-dollar coin plan, telling Capital New York: “It sounds silly but it’s absolutely legal. And it would normally not be proper to consider such a thing, except when you’re faced with blackmail to destroy the country’s economy, you have to consider things.”

But he might find resistance from Representative Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon, who said he would introduce legislation to close the loophole and end the debate once and for all.

“My wife and I have owned and operated a small business since 1986. When it came time to pay the bills, we couldn’t just mint a coin to create more money out of thin air,” Mr. Walden said.

A Trillion-Dollar Coin Brings a Jackpot of Jests, Annie Lowrey, New York Times, Jan. 9 H/T Dan Crawford, below

Presumably, Walden and his wife therefore paid the bills their small business had incurred via contracts he and his wife entered into on behalf of the business, such as utility bills for past months, bank loans, labor costs, rent, and inventory or raw-material purchases.  Unless, that is, they decided not to authorize payment of those bills and lost their business, necessitating Walden’s career change.

Walden ought to explain those basics to his party’s House leader, John Boehner, who as recently as two days ago reportedly said the public will never accept a debt ceiling increase without an accompanying spending cut.  

By which, I assume, he means that as long as the Republicans keep playing on the public’s lack of knowledge about what the quirky debt-ceiling statute actually concerns, and keep telling the public falsely that an increase in the debt ceiling is an increase in future spending appropriations rather than an authorization to allow the Treasury to pay already-incurred expenses, the public will never support Congress’s authorization to pay the federal government’s already-incurred expenses and prevent what would be the small-business-analogy causing the collapse of the business for failure to pay its already-accrued operating expenses.

I’m pretty sure he’s wrong even about that, since polls indicate that a majority of the public does not want the types of spending reductions that the Republicans want. Which, of course, is why the Repubs are refusing to actually specify to the public what, exactly, the do want cut, and by how much. But this much is certain: the public will support congressional authorization to pay already-incurred financial obligations. Just as Walden and his wife thought it best for them to pay their small business’s bills rather than default on them and lose the business.  Even if that meant taking out a small-business bank loan in order to do that.  

And here’s betting that, at times, it did.