McClaughry: Leahy’s debt limit confusion

By John McClaughry

A fellow Vermonter shared with me Sen. Patrick Leahy’s reply to his letter expressing concern about the national debt surpassing the value of the entire US economy.

Writes Sen. Leahy: “In a misguided and damaging attempt to address the national debt and government spending, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011. This law placed artificial and unrealistically low caps on federal spending and inflicting arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts known as ‘sequestration.’ The Budget Control Act of 2011 expires this year.”

Vermont Secretary of State's Office

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

“Should the federal government reach the debt ceiling without action from Congress to raise or repeal it, the Treasury would lose much of its ability to repay existing debt. This would force the United States to default on its debt for the first time ever. As a result, credit markets could freeze, the dollar could plummet, interest rates could rise, and our economic circumstances would severely deteriorate. This must not happen.”

“As Chairman of the [Appropriations] Committee, I remain committed to leading the Committee in a methodical, ethical, and transparent manner. Please know that I will continue to advocate for responsible spending legislation and work to address the pressing challenges that our country faces.”

What’s wrong with this? When the national debt hits the debt ceiling, nothing prevents the Treasury from refinancing existing debt. What it can’t do is pump out more debt to finance more spending. Sen. Leahy apparently hasn’t figured this out after 47 years in office.

And oh yes, the Senate passed the Budget Control act of 2011 by a vote of 74-26, and Sen. Leahy voted yes.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Images courtesy of and Vermont Secretary of State's Office

8 thoughts on “McClaughry: Leahy’s debt limit confusion


    China To Build 43 New Coal-Fired Power Plants

    China is planning to build 43 new coal-fired power plants and 18 new blast furnaces — equivalent to adding about 1.5% to its current annual emissions — according to a new report. The new projects were announced in the first half of this year despite the world’s largest polluter pledging to bring its emissions to a peak before 2030, and to make the country carbon neutral by 2060.

    The news shows that at least some in China are prioritizing economic growth over emissions reductions — although some analysts say they are still optimistic that China will reach its climate targets. “There is this desire in the Chinese political and economic system to keep on building, to continue the infrastructure fever,” says Li Shuo, a senior global policy adviser for Greenpeace in Beijing.

    The report on China’s new coal plants was written by the Helsinki-based research organization the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the U.S. group Global Energy Monitor (GEM) and released on Aug. 13. It came just days after the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published an alarming report that concluded human-caused climate change is an “unequivocal” reality. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the IPCC report a “code red for humanity.”

    China is leading the world in new coal power plants, building more than three times as much new coal power capacity as all other countries in the world combined in 2020. It isn’t alone in its reliance on coal, however. China and four other countries, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam, account for more than 80% of the coal power stations planned across the world, according to a June report by the think-tank Carbon Tracker.

    But it’s not all bad news. China has pledged to reduce its energy intensity — measured by comparing total energy consumed to GDP — and its carbon intensity — the carbon-dioxide produced per dollar of GDP — by 2025. Chinese President Xi Jinping said in April the country will also reduce coal use beginning in 2026.

    Despite the development of coal power plants, China is a renewable energy leader,accounting for about 50% of the world’s growth in renewable energy capacity in 2020

    The gullible greens still try to convince themselves that China really is going to cut emissions eventually. They cling on to the pledge of reducing energy and carbon intensity, but they really ought to realise that this is a meaningless promise, as all maturing economies do this as they expand into consumer goods and services. This does not mean though that energy consumption will actually decline, simply that the economy will grow faster than energy use does.

    Then there is the nonsense about China being the world’s leader in renewable energy. Naturally, given the size of their economy, everything thing they do is big. But the sad reality is that wind and solar power still only contributed a paltry 4% of China’s energy last year.

    As for Xi’s “promises”, we might recall that Senile Joe actually believed the Taliban.

    The report reckons that these new coal plants and blast furnaces will add 150 million tonnes to China’s CO2 emissions. This is roughly half the UK’s total emissions.

  2. Remember when Saint Patrick Leahy was all up in arms when Bush pushed through the Patriot Act? I remember his emails pontificating the violations of our Constitutional rights. Twenty years later, there he sat over a sham “unconstitional” impeachment trial, which later turned out the FBI is now burying like cat feces in a litter box to protect Nancy Pelosi’s direct involvement in that Jan 6th operation. Sure Pat, whatever you say Pat. Peter, Pat and Bernie are treasonous traitors and they have the bank account balances and stock options to prove it.

  3. Yeah, Leahy the head Amigo All 3 of them Leahy, Sanders, and Welch are millionaires, all 3 had their hands in the EB-5. Why didn’t Leahy or the other 2 voted NO on the Infrastructure bill.. They don’t give rats azz about anything but their bank accounts. The left wants to destroy this country. For almost 50 yrs Leahy has been in the government and truthfully he’s done nothing. All 3 will say and write whatever they think we want to hear.. All 3 are nothing but liars. Sorry but we Vermonters know what they are up to.. they are part of the deep swamp, If they really cared about Vermont they would do a lot more than they do.. Leahy lives in Va,, how can he care about Vt living somewhere else???

  4. It’s obvious the head stooge of VT Representatives don’t give a crap about the laws they pass to control the budget.
    They call this a Infrastructure bill yet only spend 23 Billion of it on Infrastructure, somethings wrong with this picture and Leahy needs to resign as he’s failed his position on the budget committee… The youngins got to learn not to vote D as they don’t care about monetary value for future generations only that they can spend like drunken sailors…

  5. Responsible spending doesn’t get you 25 trillion in debt. One trillion is 1,000 Billion, try to wrap your head around that! $25,000,000,000,000.00 Now add another $4 trillion as proposed for budget and infrastructure spending all supplied by loans on future income by China and other foreign investors.

    Now add to this all other obligations magically hidden under the radar and the total is more like $100 trillion. Old Pat won’t be around to see any of this paid back, but future generations will have to deal with this monstrous debt. They can thank all of these so called smart, elite politicians for there corruption, graft, insider trading, backroom deal and BS to ensure that all these hacks have lived and enjoyed the good life while killing the host, America! Thank you Pat, now retire Please!

    • Oh, and what I forgot above. We just gave the Taliban $80 billion dollars worth of high tech weaponry, Blackhawk helicopter gunships, Armored Humvees, 40 or more airplanes and millions in small arms and ammunition’s and who knows what else. This is Pat’s Democratic party pResident brain trust. No wonder the debt and resulting death will be so high. And people didn’t like President Trump. What a bunch off morons more concerned with diversity and critical race theries than running our country. Fed up much, I can’t count the wats.

  6. The government is now officially bankrupt and can only exist by foreign countries propping it up in the form of loaning money to fund the Ponzi scheme. If a private citizen or company did this a lengthy jail sentence would be given.

  7. What’s wrong with this?
    I have a list…too long to print.
    Suffice it to say Leahy’s assurance that he “will continue to advocate for responsible spending legislation” is of no comfort to his constituency.

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