Treasury secretary proposes infinite debt limit

Hey, when you’re trying to run an expanding federal government, seeking permission from the people to spend more and more money we don’t have is a bloody inconvenience. When asked if we should ditch the debt limit all-together, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner agrees with Alan Greenspan – spend away!

“Well, this is something only Congress can solve,” Geithner said. “Congress put it on itself. We’ve had 100 years of experience with it, and I think only once–last summer–did people decide to use it to threaten default on the American credit for the first time in history as a tool for political advantage.  And that’s not a tenable strategy.”

Hunt then asked: “Is now the time to eliminate it?”

“It would have been time a long time ago to eliminate it,” Geithner said. “The sooner the better.”

What? Is the debt limit and the national debt such a “pure” economic concept it should not be discussed within the political arena?

I understand you can derive a debt limit using a dollar figure like we do now, but we could also set a debt limit based on a percentage of GDP or something could we not? But note the attitude of Geithner … he thinks the entire idea of a limit is stupid.

A question for Geithner. What is wrong with the limit? Is there some sort of economic issue with having a limit? If we got rid of the limit, would that somehow improve the economic outlook of the United States? Is that looming debt limit holding us back in some way, shape or form?

I’ll argue that having a limit – even if Congress has to discuss raising it at regular intervals – certainly does not hurt the economy and it brings forward the spending discussion to the American people on a regular basis. That’s a good thing.

But people like Geithner do not like that idea simply because the unwashed masses don’t understand economics like he does…

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on November 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Infinite debt limit = infinite spending = infinite debt.??? Cloward?? Piven?
    Geithner is incompetent.

    • Plainvillian on November 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm


    • Dimsdale on November 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      No more than I am that pols don’t know the meaning of the word “limit”….

  2. yeah on November 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Watch Geitner pull the trigger to bail out FHA in 3….2……1…..

  3. Lynn on November 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    This has got to be a joke. That was a great knee slapper , Timmy boy.

  4. JBS on November 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Timmy couldn’t pay his taxes . . . but, he wants infinite spending . . . which really means, infinite taxes.

  5. Tim-in-Alabama on November 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    We should eliminate the income tax all together. I’m sure he’s for that, too.

    • stinkfoot on November 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      Why stop at the income tax?

      Since the level of debt is not an issue I see little point in collecting any any level- even for states that should rightly expect a cheerful bail out from a federal government whose actions have only supported Geithner’s and Greenspan’s position that there’s no debt level that is too deep.

  6. sammy22 on November 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I have a debt/credit limit on my credit cards. It does not really matter much (to me) what the limit is because I make sure I do not go near it. The “real” problem with the national debt limit is that the spenders (both Senate and House, they do the appropriations) have no fiscal discipline.

    • Shared Sacrifice on November 20, 2012 at 2:09 am

      Pull harder!? The Debt Limit is a living and breathing document which grows and changes as quickly as Nancy Pelosi changes her underwear! ?

    • Plainvillian on November 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Do we know Nancy Pelosi changes her underwear? Do we want to get close enough to Nancy to know, any more than we would want to know the results of unlimited debt?

    • yeah on November 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

      c’mon crystal, surely you can find a way to blame it on bush and all the warmongering and completely neglect to consider that entitlement spending is on track to consume the entirety of tax revenues taken in!

  7. JBS on November 20, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Paul Krugman waxed nostalgic about the pre-Kennedy days when there was a 91% income tax on t he wealthy.? And a 52% corporate tax. Ahh, those were the days. (The rates were graduated on dollar amounts; highest tax rate wasn’t paid on all income.)
    Timmy would fit in very well there. Or not.
    President Kennedy reduced the rates . . . “to help the economy grow and prevent a recession . . . reform was “long-needed” because both “logic and equity” demanded tax relief for Americans . . . the dollars released from taxation would create new jobs, new salaries, and spur economic growth and an expanding American economy, thereby creating more jobs and higher tax revenues. ”
    An ever expanding debt only retards growth. It demands ever increasing taxes. Timmy doesn’t get it.

    • stinkfoot on November 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      You’re assuming that Geithner’s true objective is to fix the economy- which would include job creation. So many in the regime talk a mean streak about such things but everything they do speaks of a far different agenda. Lip service to economic fixes and employment are stalling tactics… effective ones too… buying these demagogues time to create a perfect storm of dependency on government handouts in order to perpetuate the leftist agenda.

    • Lynn on November 21, 2012 at 7:23 am

      Well said, I totally agree.


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