America will not default on its debt absent a “clean” debt limit increase, Heritage Foundation President-Elect Jim DeMint said Wednesday on Fox News.

Instead, we need to couple a debt limit increase with spending cuts and other reforms that put us on a path to a balanced budget, he said.

“The only way the federal government would default on its debt in the event the debt ceiling remains unchanged is for the Treasury to choose to default—an utterly implausible eventuality,” Heritage expert J.D. Foster explains.

In addition, raising the debt limit without spending reforms would be irresponsible, Heritage Vice President Derrick Morgan writes:

Would you give your spendthrift teenager a higher limit on his credit card if he did not have a plan to live within his means? No way! Instead of helping, you’d be giving that irresponsible teen more borrowed money to spend, making his situation worse. . .

Increasing the debt ceiling without reforms would be an unfortunate step toward a Greece-like meltdown at some point. Thankfully, the debt ceiling debate gives Washington policymakers a chance to get to much happier outcome: a balanced budget over time.

What do you think we should do about the debt limit?

Comments (67)

Olin Lacy - January 18, 2013

I don’t think the debt limit should be raised at all, spending cuts or not. Call Ozero’s bluff and see who gets paid. He does not control the payments.

Larry - January 18, 2013

Don’t raise the USA credit card limit. If we don’t, we will still be able to pay all the important bills until the US government gets a budget together that is actually balanced – with no new debt!!!

Robert Reinhold - January 18, 2013

It is important that we stop raising the debt limit. We must instead reduce spending to the point of a balanced budget. We need to reduce our military presents in foreign lands. We cannot afford the cost and I cannot see that it is helping us.

skip hill - January 18, 2013

No increase in the debt limit, period!!
There are so many places to stop the spending and waste in our government which would more than cover any reason for raising the debt limit. You could start with just cleaning up medicare fraud! And on and on and on!!

Roy Fisher - January 18, 2013

I tend to agree with Lacy…Fighting meaningful spending cuts and in fact asking for more is Treason on the part of Obama and his followers in the House and Senate. What Obama is doing is no different than any other ed.Treasonaous act except that it is subtle. Comon sense says it is a disastrous policy. There are many things to impeach Obama on and this is just one of those items. He will destroy the economy and chaos will result if spending is not decreased.

Alma Engel - January 18, 2013

I tried to post a single comment, and got the message that I am posting to fast–slow down????

Author Nathaniel Ward - January 18, 2013

Sorry for the trouble. I have asked our technical team to investigate.

Jeff Littmann - January 18, 2013

No spending reform came from the attempt to reach a “grand bargain”, obviously no spending reform emanated from the budgets that were not produced and the fiscal cliff deal actually increased spending. So, how else are going to get this done? We need checks and balances, not just checks.

Tom McDonald - January 18, 2013

Make it clear to the nation that the Republicans cannot and will not allow the irresponsible liberal spending to continue. Then raise the debt limit for two months with the understanding that there must be “x” billion $ cut from the budget before they will allow another two month raise. Then continue this until we arrive at a place where the Gov’t spends no more than it takes in. Then demand a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Cut welfare and Obamacare before you cut Defense (neither welfare nor health care are Constitutionally the concern of the Federal Gov’t).

Janet Carson - January 18, 2013

The debt limit should NOT be raised. Remember the comment Obama made when President Bush requested an increase? Unpatriotic – well I am calling you Obama not being a patriot! It is long overdue for budget cuts to be presented by the Congressin this session.

Elaine Dumont - January 18, 2013

NO RAISE!!!!!… but immediate cuts to frivolous programs and to as much PORK as possible. Also, I think the names of those who request (& usually GET) all that pork should be published…if that was done on a permanent basis, I believe much of this ‘scam’ would stop! Our debt limit is already way beyond more! The HOUSE controls the purse: just LOCK it & tell Obummer there’s no more ‘easy pickins’…..

Edgar Tucker - January 18, 2013

According to speaker Gringrich,never take a hostage that you cant shoot,if you hold up the debt limit Mr.Obama can and will say the social security checks might have to be heldup,game over,, wait for the sequester then you can get tough over spending cuts.

Randy Collier - January 18, 2013

Move this debate to cutting spending. Pass a plan to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending. Then blame it on the president, all he had to do was sign the bill.

bethalene white - January 18, 2013

The spending has to stop. We cannot afford anymore spending. It will destroy our families and our Country.

Gloria Elam - January 18, 2013

What would happen if we all were able to raise the debt ceiling on our credit cards. We the people know the absurdity of going further into to debt to pay our bills. Why hasn’t Congress gotten the point–better yet–why haven’t the Democrats gotten that point? Have they ever? No, don’t raise the debt limit.

Gary A Patterson - January 18, 2013

NO INCREASE PERIOD. Make them cut spending and waste period. Start with their bloted salaries and all their perks. They should have to work 60+ hours a week like the rest of us. And above all they need to wake up and remember they work for us.

Amelia Rego - January 18, 2013

The debt limit should not be raised.As stated, there is sufficient revenue to pay the interest on our debt, plus the important outlays ie- S.S., military pay,medicare, etc. We must stop giving this administration and others a free credit card with no limit, and a path to complete chaos & destruction of our nation.

Jean Counts - January 18, 2013

You are talking about not (NO WAY!) increasing a credit limit on an irresponsible teen, and then comparing that with an increase in the debt limit IF there were reforms promised. Those are two different approaches.Which do you support? Most teens would promise reforms, but still overspend.
I don’t think our government has acted responsibly in most of it’s actions. I would use the same reasoning for our government as I would the teen. NO WAY!

Joe DiSabato - January 18, 2013

Debt limit must be increased or GOP loses! Goal must be to take control of senate in 2014!! Thus all GOP members must all agree on single/simple plan for the short and long terms on the debt limit increases and spending cuts. 10 years to balance the budget. This plan must be sold every day in the media … How? Simple agruments…job growth. opportunity, FAIRNESS, etc. Keep saying this every day for the next 10 years.

Lou Affeldt - January 18, 2013

Conservative view and logic must be carefully explained to the American as to our plan of placing restrictions and immeadiate trade-offs to any increase in the debit limit. Payments of current debt obligations first will ensure we do not “default.” Next, placing priorities on payments of current obligations of pay to our troops and those receiving SSI and other mandated entitlements should be made prior to 100% payments of foreign aid and congressional salaries. Any future increase will only be considered after the passage of a balanced budget which includes debit reduction.

MaryAnn - January 18, 2013

Balanced budget? What budget?
So if there’s no budget, why should an increased debt ceiling even be considered? And if it were considered, it should never be approved, anyway. Why give these irresponsible people any more opportunity to spend money we don’t have?

Frank E. Vincent - January 18, 2013

The debt ceiling is a non enforceable ‘line in the sand’. It draws attention to the serious debt and spending that will eventually detract from America’s honor and commitments. We won’t have a choice but to extend the debt ceiling, but there is no excuse for further spending without appropriate cuts. If we cannot meet the fiscal requirements then we must agree to increase taxes but we cannot and should not accept more spending unless we have the resources to pay.. That should be the House’s objective and they should NOT waiver. They should cut all departments that are not considered an emergency. And all department’s and positions that have not been agreed to or approved by the House. This is an emergency. It should be considered and treated and acted upon as an emergency!
Frank E. Vincent
Senior Citizen

Mac Echols - January 18, 2013

Can we sue to impeach the President on several accounts?
It seems that for any action against the administration that refuses to submit the constitutionally mandated responsibility must be taken in our court system as Congress seems unable to carry out their responsibility.

Robert Gast - January 18, 2013

No more increase to the debt ceiling under any circumstance!! The Obama spending machine will not be stopped until the majority of citizens raise up as one voice and communicate to our Congress enough is enough…stop the wasteful spending and fraud, beginning with welfare, medicare and Obamacare.

Chuck Hinners - January 18, 2013

Cut up the credit card!
Abolish FICA tax and income tax withholding.
Abolish Social Security for future benefits and run off the accrued benefits, thereby forcing taxpayers to be responsible with their own money. A century of unconstitutional diktat is enough

richard labrecque - January 18, 2013

treat government like any borrower who is over extended, cut off all credit. No hike, should have been decreasing spending all this pass year.

Pat - January 18, 2013

What does a family or corporation do when they can’t pay their bills? I’m quite sure they don’t go out and get their borrowing limits raised, they analyze their spending and make the painful but necessary cuts and try to BALANCE THEIR BUDGET!!!!!! Novel idea, right?

Ruth - January 18, 2013

Congress controls spending, right? The House needs to refuse to allow any more spending until spending cuts are made. We need the Republicans to stop allowing the President to behave as a dictator and obtain everything he wants!! They need to quit worrying about the media and do what is right for our country and it’s future.

Leo Deas,111 - January 18, 2013

How can anyone not see the need to cut debt? I don’t see what is so hard. Why can ‘t we reduce Foreign Aid by 5 to 10% across the board. What is wrong with a national 1 cent sales tax on everything? What is wrong with taking 25 cents off every dollar the government spends? There ways to do it. Just do it!!

Allan - January 18, 2013

I would like to see the House of Representatives pass no legislation that requires an appropriation for any reason. I would send the President the message that he has run out of money to spend and force him to cut spending. I understand this would be very difficult as in 21 months we go to the polls and elect new congressman, but when are our elected officials going to exhibit some courage and do the right thing to protect the nation?

I agree also with Mr. Lacy, no debt limit increase. Call the Emperor’s bluff and take away his money.

gary r. heiser - January 18, 2013

tell obama to kiss off /hope the republicians have the backbone / and are not afraid of the first half breed president / he does not love this country / he wants to destroy it. obama should be impeach / along with members of his administration/ going after the US Constitution period.

Eliz - January 18, 2013

No increase on the debt limit, we get enough revenue to pay the bills, they need to do a logical budget. Congress holds the purse strings and O can just stop scare tactics to get his way

Jack Baker - January 18, 2013

Simple: 1. Raise the debt limit just enough to give us 1 year to plan. 2. Pass a law that will not allow another debt limit increase. 3. Within 1 year pass a binding budget and stick to it.
Make the Federal government live within it’s mean and stay out of state business.

Robert L. Dunn - January 18, 2013

Without a budget, Obama can continue to spend any amount on anything he so desires. He is using the principles described by the Liberal radicals Professors Clourad and Piven to bankrupt America. When our economy collapses our liberals in charge have a Socialist Constitution waiting to “save” America and give Obama a lifetime presidency.

Write a resolution of reprimand demanding the impeachment of Sen. Harry Reid for his refusal to allow the Senate to vote on a budget.

Obama is not to receive one single red cent until a budget is passed. And not one red cent above that specifically called out in the budget.

Sharon Minton - January 18, 2013

I firmly believe if we could repeal ALL contributions to any and all congressional representatives, we would see a spending drop of billions of dollars. In addition, if we repeal the pay raises of each individual in the Congress, we would see much more care for the individual rather than the handout groups. Further, honesty and integrity would return to legislation written, and power returned to the states if we would ban all campaign contributions from corporations, financial institutions, and bar any and all overseas contributions to any campaign, … remember those years.

Mike Nugent - January 18, 2013

Obama has grown non-productive Government jobs and is shrinking private sector productive jobs through his regulations This Progressive goal is destroying America..This debt limit is his tool to make all people dependent on Government, that is why he does not want a budget. We must wake up and vote out all Progressives, both parties.

Linda Marr - January 18, 2013

One good beginning would be to limit the “trips” the President and all his enterouge take at our expense…another would be to limit how many people he can take with him on those trips.
Then, someone needs to proof read all the invoices the treasury receives, before paying the bill!
No, we don’t need to raise the debt ceiling, we need to conserve some of our revenue and get our debt paid off..

Robert McWain - January 18, 2013

Lets be nice,to the LIBERALS and vote NOT to raise the DEBT Limit.

Edward Watkins, LTC, USA, Ret. - January 18, 2013

Republicans and Conservatives (Note: I mention two categories that sometimes overlap.), should not fight on the debt limit, directly. They will lose. I say again, THEY WILL LOSE. However, the three month limit contingent on the Senate passing a budget is a good idea. I wonder how Pres, Obama can demogogue that? One thing Republicans and Conservatives need to do is teach the public. Where is the truth squad, a la former Sen. Phil Gramm? Why are they silent? Someone enlighten me.

RG Schmidt - January 18, 2013

How many times do these brilliant economists in our government think MasterCard or Visa would raise the limit on their credit cards if they could not demonstrate an ability to pay the minimum? If you owe more than you can pay, MC or Visa won’t raise your limit, they’ll raise your interest rates, and that’s where the USA is headed.

Dewey Switzer - January 18, 2013

No new debt. Period. No other tool exists to stop the runaway spending.
Stop the nice things, the special interests and do truly necessary things only!!!

Gerald Eddy - January 18, 2013

We now BORROW BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY DAY to cover expenses and are seriously asking ourselves if we should raise our debt limit? Well of course not! What we should do immediately is freeze ALL Federal Services and pay back to 2010 levels. Then we do two things to insure “We The People” are the ONLY class the Federal has to concern themselves with. Add an amendment to the Constitution limiting each new year’s Federal budget to a percentage = LESS THAN100% of the annual average of the previous 2, 4 or 6 years actual revenues. Then add another amendment to the Constitution assessing a minimum monthly Federal tax of 5%, to a maximum of 16%, of all earnings for every individual over the age of 18.

Jim - January 18, 2013

Our country does not have a REVENUE problem, we have a SPENDING problem. Liberals can not handle the TRUTH.
Facts are facts. CUT spending now.

Bob Sharib - January 19, 2013

How about these for limits:
Limit ALL elected positions to a single 4 year term; 50% of congressional seats replaced every 2 years.
No special perks for elected officials; if they want to be in ‘public service’ then let them serve not rule! No ridiculous travel, retirement, medical bodyguards staff etc. if it is good enough for the US taxpayer then it should be good enough for the clowns in office.
Elect supreme court judges by popular vote for a 5 year term.
If they can’t put out a balanced budget (without taking advantage of working Americans) they should be removed from office immediately.

John Stewart - January 19, 2013

We should have a balanced budget. Any corporation with a Board of Directors would require a budget that is balanced against receipts. They would make quarterly adjustments against changes in receipts and productions based on their quarterly financials. Our government should be held to the same standards. We need to make changes. No more raising debt limit

jack sommerfield - January 19, 2013

I think Congress should refuse to increase the debt limit until we get meaningful spending cuts. We must address the medicare, social security,and the hundreds of entitlement programs immediately. Tell Obama we will authorize none of his giveaway programs until we have a balanced budgit!

curtis limerick - January 19, 2013

Have elementary children write O’bama personal letters asking why they are going to grow up in a country where their freedom of choices will be overshadowed by an unbelievable dept they going to inherit due to this government’s apathy. Invite him to select a few “good ones” to use as a photo op on his campaign trail.

Roger Lile - January 19, 2013

Unfortunately, what should happen in our Democratic Republic under the Constitution does not have a chance of occurring in view of the disfunctional Senate and its leader who have deferred acting in favor of the Executive’s personal ideology which includes posturing his efforts for a rout of the opposition in the 2014 elections. I think the Republicans should keep the debt limit in sight in every quarter for the next two years and attempt to educate the public regarding the very real danger of the intolerable debt we have accumulated.

Glenn7 - January 19, 2013

In order to avoid a default on the Sovereign Debt, and to take that question out of the discussion on more debt:

By whatever means – immediately pass a bill out of the House that woThe Congress must sooner or later deal with the default, and Obama and Democrats hold this card over your heads.uld allow the Treasury for the next two (four?) years to borrow additional funds to be used only to pay the interest* on the Sovereign Debt.

Any additional borrowing authority will be specific and included in a Budget Bill.
This approach will take away any pressure on Congress to raise the debt limit to avoid default, or bankruptcy. Deal with it on Congress’s terms – not Obama’s.

Glenn7 - January 19, 2013

The Congress must sooner or later deal with the default, and Obama and Democrats hold this card over your heads
In order to avoid a default on the Sovereign Debt, and to take that question out of the discussion on more debt:

By whatever means – immediately pass a bill out of the House that would allow the Treasury for the next two (four?) years to borrow additional funds to be used only to pay the interest* on the Sovereign Debt.

Any additional borrowing authority will be specific and included in a Budget Bill.

This approach will take away any pressure on Congress to raise the debt limit to avoid default, or bankruptcy. Deal with it on Congress’s terms – not Obama’s.

Barry - January 19, 2013

Do not increase debt ceiling. If we can’t pay for what we spend now how can we pay in the future for even more spending now? There must be immediate cuts in spending programs and radical reductions in unnecessary agencies – ie Education and Energy followed by attacking fraud in all other programs and then instituting cuts to benefit recipients and other reforms in the various ‘welfare’ systems

Dee - January 19, 2013

Only with spending cuts should the debt limit increase.
Only, Only with spending cuts! Do these elected people know what spending cuts are? If not, the voters will let them know.

Shirley Benton - January 19, 2013

Heritage Please Help!! The Republican Party is in so much trouble. This is what we need and we need it now!
* Marketing Strategist
* Real Spokesman for the Republicans…hold a news conference everytime the Dems do (do a better job than Jay Carney). Invite all the press (they will attend because they want to know what’s going on). This will get us on the mainstream media because MSM want to be seen.
* Have a clear message as to “Who” and “What” the Republican Party is. For the past 5 years, we’ve let the Democrats identify who we are…they’ve lied and demonized us…and they have won twice now.
* Communicate a clear message as to how Republicans will lower taxes, reduce the deficeit, turn the economy around, increase employment, international defense, cut waste,cut spending. We have done a lousy job at getting our message across.
* Improve and enhance internet communications to our base, Latinos, Independents. Forget the blacks…we’ll never get them…except for a few smart, free-thinking ones.

The way things are going the Dems will control the House at mid-term election. We must take action NOW!

Robert Garrett - January 19, 2013

I’ve worked at 2 different companies that had poor financial results due to over leveraging themselves with expensive buyouts i.e takeovers. Their answer was to get employees to take pay cuts and benefits to keep their jobs. I think Washington D.C. should start the process by cutting their own pay and benefits and have to balance their own household budgets with less!! Maybe this would get their spending frenzy a reality check!!

Mike - January 19, 2013

Leave it at its all-time (I hope) high! The two guilty parties need to work toward a balanced budget NOW!

Larry Anderson - January 19, 2013

Do not increase the debt limit. There must be cuts in the
spending and a budget passed to put us on a path to
reduce our debt. We are way over spending our tax
money on our national debt. I

Howard Woods - January 19, 2013

If in any year the total amount spent, including so called “off budget” spending, exceeds total revenues, then one-half of payroll for all federal employees is forfeited, and applied to pay off the debt. Also 100% of retirement benefits for the preceeding 5 years. Make Congress responsible for all their buddies’ pay and benefits and watch how quickly the over-spending gets fixed!

jon anderson - January 19, 2013

Conservatives need to take over the RNC, remove tired old RINO leadership, elect new young conservatives who can articulate the Conservative Agenda to the American Citizens. Limited information voters who elected “O & B” really need to be deprogrammed and to hear the Truth vs. Obama/Liberalism/DNC talking points; The RNC needs to use $ to purchase prime time 15-30 minute timeslots on drive by media outlets to counter the progressive liberal bias and propaganda regularly with spokesmen statesmen like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul. Change the Congress with conservative landslides in 2014. Never give up. Double down on $ contributed to conservatives and increase volunteer time locally, state, and nationally. Let’s roll!

Merle - January 19, 2013

We must cut spending! We haven’t had a budget for 4 yrs. The government just keeps printing money. There is no control on executive orders, on wasteful spending. We give foreign aide to countries who don’t like us. Government agencies such as EPA totally out of control. It is not the Federal Governments responsibility to solve everyone’s problem. Conservatives in Congress and in our country must stand up and speak out for what is right and true. We must stop raising the debt limit and start figuring out out to live within our means.

Brian Shiffman - January 20, 2013

Do not raise the debt limit! Our President and the vast majority of our elected representatives have forgotten that America has typically run surpluses and that most of the past Presidents and legislators have been committed to retiring the national debt as quickly as possible. From 1791 – 1931, America had annual surpluses over 70% of the years. For 28 years after the Civil War we had surpluses and the national debt that arose from that war was slashed in half by 1916 until the debt of WW I caused the national debt to increase. The American people need to insist that Congress and the President stop violating Constitutional principals and focusing on their own personal interests and enrichments and follow the example and character of our founding fathers who were committed to Liberty and to untold future generations of Americans. We are never really free as long as we have debt.

Robert McGrew - January 20, 2013

Pass a balanced budget AMENDMENT To THE US CONSTITUTION effective retroactively to 1-1-2013! No extensions! Face the consequinces of Congressional and Presidential past/present refusal to do their job now! Get it over with,we are already over the fiscal cliff!

Robert McGrew - January 20, 2013

Adopt the gold standard. Eliminate the Federal Reserve. Do not increase the debt limit under any circumstances! CUT SPENDING!

Alan Green - January 21, 2013

The more alarming issue w/ debt limits is the attempt to refocus attention away from the abuse of govt pensions and lack of any real govt reforms to down size or eliminate govt agencies that need to be eliminated.

It seems when ever an agency is created, whether it has constitutional standing or not, it will never be laid to rest.

The Federal Dragon needs to be cut back severally or all will be lost. Also, the concept of failure needs to be installed into the banks and level playing field needs to be put center stage. This especially applies to brokage houses that are destroying retirement accounts w/o any consequences. The small investor is getting killed by these scum bags !!!!!

In my estimation FINRA is just a cover to allow brokerage houses to rob people and get away w/ it. They even ignore outrageous practices by both Brokerage firms & their brokers when direct evidence is given to them and they just slap the hands of these criminals and ignore little guy’s losses at their hands. FINRA hides behind the excuse of their job is just to enforce the rules. God help anyone who gets run over by a car and the police just site the driver for running the Red light and ignore the dead body in the road !!!!!!

Kathleen - January 22, 2013

NO DEBT CEILING INCREASE AT ALL!!!!! Force Obama to cut spending. Don’t fold like a bunch of simpering sycophants! Let the government shut down. The important things will still happen in a shut down. LET IT BE! Even if Obama comes forward with spending cuts, NO DEBT CEILING INCREASE! And still cut spending — real cuts, effective IMMEDIATELY

Melvin Hignight - January 22, 2013

Don’t raise the debt limit.

If you raise the debt limit aare you not being oxymoronic?

Henry Vance - January 23, 2013

We should stop paying the Executive Branch and both houses of Congress until they provide the American people with a budget signed by the President that will show the way we will not only reduce the borrowing but will also start to pay back the federal debt – starting with Social Security and continuing to Medicare. The Constitution says that the Federal Government is to be run from tax revenues approved by Congress – not by borrowing.

Holly Chapo - January 26, 2013

I wish we had a strong, resolute leadership in the House that realized the power of their Consitutional responsibilities regarding spending, borrowing, taxing and appropriations. If they did, they would refuse to raise the debt limit (my wish), would defund out of control departments and agencies, would withold funds from the executive branch and would require significant spending cuts and entitlement reform. And if they had an ounce of courage, they would develop their own bully pulpit and go to the American people with straightforward explanantions of where we are fiscally and what needs to be done to solve these enormous problems. All of this is possible, but sadly, not with the weak members and leadership of the House who are more concerned with their personal power and their re-election than with the welfare of the country.

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