The debt ceiling debate is a political charade. Democrats are simply doing what they’ve previously done. The threat about a government shutdown is an empty political bluff. No reasonable person can claim the government hasn’t acquired too much debt. So, extending the debt limit means the government’s credit card doesn’t run dry.

This opinion of the debt ceiling debate sounds like a synopsis of the Rush Limbaugh Program. But it’s not. Actually, California Rep. Pete Stark provided this analysis of the debt ceiling debate. And just so there are no misconceptions, let’s affirm that Rep. Stark has no political commonality with Limbaugh. 

If governing left is described as walking westward, Pete Stark has one foot in the Pacific Ocean. A brief review of his record provides all the testimony required to convict Pete Stark as one of Congress’ most fervent liberals. He is a man in love with his position; a man superior to his great unwashed constituency. In short, he is the kind of politician we would expect to manipulate the debt limit extension for personal gain. 

This is Pete Stark, who once quipped to an ObamaCare opponent, “I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg. It wouldn’t be worth the waste of urine.” This is Pete Stark, who believes the federal government faces few, if any, constitutional restraints. Rep. Stark is a Washington insider, thoroughly versed in political grandstanding and gamesmanship. For him to call the debt limit debate a “political charade” is like Bill Clinton declining a bimbo’s phone number. 

Pete Stark’s candor confirms what the astute observer has long believed about the debt ceiling. Political chicanery is driving this crisis. The Beltway establishment, at work in both political parties, is using the debt ceiling to sow doubt and fear in the American public. Politicians are defending their turf, forecasting calamitous ruin unless their way is followed. The elderly will die, the nation will default and ruin our bond rating, and total chaos will ensue. It’s all spin, a dastardly charade. 

Debt ceiling or not, revenue will remain available for the federal government’s essential obligations. Federal revenue averages $180 billion to $210 billion per month. Debt interest and Social Security payments consume about $100 billion per month. Moody’s threat to lower the United State’s AAA rating is tied more to Washington’s failure to reduce deficit spending than failing to increase debt. So, if the debt ceiling isn’t raised and the projected calamities ensue, we should blame government demagogues (mostly liberals) whose political security depends on creating public fear and paralysis. 

Only Pete Stark knows if he intentionally exposed Washington’s manipulation of the debt limit debate. Purposeful or not, he was right on target. What we’re witnessing is a charade, pure political theatre. Americans are being led down a primrose path by blind guides whose only concern is spinning the situation for favorable media play and campaign talking points. That is the debt ceiling debate’s stark reality.