Mar 082006

Treasury Secretary John Snow notified Congress yesterday that the administration had taken “all prudent and legal actions” to keep from hitting the $8.2 trillion national debt limit. In urging Congress to raise the debt ceiling, Snow said the Treasury had already hit a crisis point because it had exhausted the $15 billion Exchange Stabilization Fund and is now tapping the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund which should provide a “few billion” dollars in extra borrowing money. Should Congress ultimately agree to raise the debt ceiling, as it is expected to do, it will be the fourth increase in the last five years. The fact that the administration increasingly depletes its funds and seeks to extend its credit line is a direct result of a host of “imprudent” actions over the past five years, namely overseeing a rapid increase in government spending while also handing out huge tax cuts for the rich. According to the Government Accountability Office, the estimated fiscal exposure — i.e. the increasing government spending liabilities — has more than doubled during the Bush presidency. Meanwhile, Bush has failed to veto a single bill passed by Congress and has instead called for more tax cuts which have played a leading role in fueling the deficit.

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