Conservative??? I Think NOT

The debt ceiling will soon become a crisis by any definition.  Too many people are under the misconception that raising the debt ceiling gives way to new spending – it does not.  Raising the debt ceiling simply allows the U.S. government to continue to function, to pay the debts and obligations it has already incurred.  Full stop.  The ‘House Freedom Caucus’, a group of some of the most radical Republicans, claims to be ‘conservative’ in nature, but they are not.  The definition of ‘conservative’ is averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.”  Seems to me that paying your debts is a traditional value.  As Taegan Goddard of Political Wire tells us, the intention to stall the process of raising the debt ceiling, thereby throwing the U.S. government into chaos and destroying our alliances, is anything but conservative.

There’s Nothing ‘Conservative’ About the Freedom Caucus

Taegan Goddard

17 January 2023

If you pay strict attention to what House Freedom Caucus members say they want, you might see why they’re so angry.

Over the last 40 years, the Republican Party has completely failed in its promise to make government smaller.

David Hopkins explains:

“There is a simple reason why there aren’t large-scale spending reductions or the permanent closure of multiple federal departments and agencies when Republicans take power: The votes to do it are never there. The public’s fondness for small government in the abstract seldom translates into support for eliminating specific benefits or programs.

Incumbents in competitive seats are understandably reluctant to cut popular services. Moreover, the fact that appropriations legislation is subject to the Senate filibuster ensures that yearly spending bills are always the product of bipartisan compromise in at least one chamber of Congress.”

To overcome this political reality, the Freedom Caucus is now setting up a dangerous showdown over the nation’s debt ceiling in an effort to force spending cuts.

The problem with this argument is that the debt limit doesn’t authorize any new spending. Congress does that with its annual appropriations bills.

What the debt ceiling does is allow the federal government to pay off existing obligations that past Congresses have already passed and funded.

So in the name of “conservatism,” the Freedom Caucus is suggesting the government renege on those promises. That’s hardly conservative.

Of course, these same “conservatives” voted for massive tax cuts during the Trump administration — when the Republicans controlled both the House and Senate — without offsetting them with spending cuts. That’s not conservative either.

As Charlie Sykes writes:

“Indeed, it’s hard to imagine anything less conservative than defaulting on the debt you are obligated to pay and shutting down the government you are entrusted to run.”

There must be a better word to describe them.

I can think of a few better words to describe them, but I’ll just bite my tongue … for now.

8 thoughts on “Conservative??? I Think NOT

  1. Jill, good post. I am a huge believer that we must do something about our deficit and debt, but how we go about it matters. Once again, the Republicans have pretended to care about the deficit when not in the White House by trying to alter our credit limit not our pocketbook cash flow. The expenditures have already been made, so we need more money and less outflow. The last time our debt limit was held hostage by Senator Ted Cruz, he would later go on to vote for a tax reduction to increase the debt by about $2 trillion, so he obviously did not care that much about it. It should be noted that when Cruz did this, it took ten female senators from both parties to avoid the United States from defaulting on debt less than 24 hours before we did. These female lifeguards told Cruz and his cronies to get out of the pool, it is time for an adult swim.

    Democrats are by no means perfect, but as a group have done more than the Republicans on addressing the deficit and debt. Let me again state the obvious math equation per the nonpartisan Committee on a Responsible Federal Budget – we cannot solve our deficit and debt with just tax increases or spending cuts – we must have both. If we did not spend one more dime except the interest cost, we need over ten years to eliminate the debt. The problem is in a normal year, we have roughly $4+ trillion in expenses and roughly $3+ trillion in revenue.



  2. I don’t know enough to give anything but an opinion, but if you try to renege on your debts, lenders stop lending, or they raise interest rates. Even a 1% raise on a trillions of dollars debt translates to 10s of billions of dollars in extra added fees. No government can sustain that, especially if their wealthy citizehs are not paying their fair share of taxes. That way lies insanity.
    The so-called Freedom Caucus needs a lesson in basic Arithmetic. Their salaries will not be paid!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You can’t be an Insurrectionist and a conservative at the same time. McCarthy’s gang of traitors unfortunately don’t care about simple things like the full faith and credit of the US, threatening an economy in which inflation seems to be coming down at last, and destroying the US’s credibility in world markets–as well as those world markets. As the President can’t negotiate with these terrorists, we are left to hope that some of the invertebrate Republicans who went along with McCarthy and voted for the questionable rules will somehow find their way toward reality.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It seems as if it’s all a game to them … a game with human lives at stake. If the debt ceiling is not raised by mid-June, this has the potential to be worse than the financial crisis of 2008, not only nationally, but globally. I ask, are the Republicans really so stupid, or since most of them have hundreds of millions in their investment portfolios, do they simply not care? I suspect that at the last possible minute, they will capitulate and expect us to praise and thank them. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


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