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YOU SAID IT: Should Congress Raise the National Debt Ceiling?

Perry Hall community members shared their opinions.

Congress has until Aug. 2 to reach a compromise on the national debt ceiling. After that, without the ability to borrow more money, any number of government services could go unfunded.

Some Republicans refuse to support any increase in the debt ceiling, while others will only agree to a budget plan without increased taxes. Some Democrats say they will only agree to a plan that raises the debt ceiling and raises taxes for some Americans.

Patch asked members of the Perry Hall community outside the what they thought about the recent debate, if they were worried about it and how it affected them. 

Watch the video and join the conversation.

Ryan July 14, 2011 at 02:33 AM
The debt limit doesn't need to be raised to pay off some theoretical future debt, it's just needed to cover obligations that both Dems and Repubs have already made in the past. It's all well and good to take a moral stand for a balanced budget, but there are also serious moral, economic, and political consequences to putting ideology before reality.
Mark Patro July 14, 2011 at 11:29 AM
By not raising the debt limit there will be no money to pay Social Security checks and those depending on Disability. By not raising the debt limit the cost of business loans will go up. And consumers will have to pay with higher prices. Businesses find it more difficult to borrow short term money to meet payroll unless they are able to pay higher interest. Home buyers will find it even more difficult to borrow money to purchase a home, further stalling the housing market recovery. The recovery from recession will ultimately take longer and middle class people will suffer even more if the debt limit is not raised. Now, with all that being said... Yes, spending should be reduced, except in the area of putting people back to work doing meaningful work like repairing our ailing infrastructure which is currently 40% deficient. When are we going to do this? When bridges start falling down and killing people? When water and sewage systems fail? The Electric delivery grid is over 50 years old. Yes the debt limit needs to be raised. Look at the total picture.
Rick July 14, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Very well said. Raising the debt limit seems unavoidable, especially if economic recovery is to continue. Spending definitely should be cut, but the smaller picture for real people - the elderly, the sick, or the unemployed - would definitely not be good. It would not be good for those people or for the rest of us.
Devin July 14, 2011 at 02:21 PM
I wish it wasn't so, but yes, the debt limit does need to be raised. For the sole purpose of preventing those interest rates and prices from going up. Our government has been living beyond its means for a long time and they need to cut spending (much like the Maryland state government) and raise taxes/close tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans. BOTH of these things will be necessary to balance the budget and get things rolling again. Yes, things like medicare should be on the table for reform and cutting, but the GOP needs to get off their high horses and allow their rich campaign funders to be taxed a little more. What's worse though, it's unfathomable to me that other entitlement programs like Welfare and Unemployment haven't even been mentioned as things for cutting or reform. These programs only create freeloaders who inevitably abuse the system and become a drain on the government and economy. But oh well, we all know Congress and the Pres will pass some last-minute deal that kicks the can down the road and doesn't really solve the problem, just like they did with that whole government-shutdown fiasko a few months ago.
Tim July 14, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Only a portion of my thoughts on this - I've spent (arguably) way too much time on this issue researching things. First off, as a fiscal conservative - I honestly side with President Obama with his view of not only how to set it up (cuts + taxes on the wealthy) but also the scope he wants to see (4 trillion over 10 years). - The "Republicans" have exposed themselves as not only out of touch with reality, but at this juncture they are nothing more than a political military for the wealthy of this nation. Also, they are the side that has not compromised one bit. Democrats - begrudgingly - have brought nearly 2.5 trillion (of the 4 proposed by Obama) of cuts to the table. Republicans have brought...nothing. - The idea of the country actually 'defaulting' is in actuality a red herring. Make sure there's an understanding on what it actually is, versus what the rest of the world will perceive it to be. There's a difference. The US technically cannot default as a country. However, the rest of the world's investors will see it as possible and real - so this is the world our leaders live in. Additionally, default is not equal to unable to pay all your bills as a country (which Mark notes). As far as the world is considered, you only default when you are unable to make the 'minimum payments' on outstanding debts - in this case the interest on loans we've taken. However, as a nation unable to pay for EVERYTHING is effectively a default - even if it actually isn't.
Tim July 14, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Ran out of space unfortunately. There's no easy way to explain it all. Wrapping up my views, if we don't get revenue streams of roughly 1.5 trillion pulled from the wealthy(corporations and individuals) combined with the agreed upon cuts from the Democrats, then NO I don't want the ceiling raised. The "Republicans" already got the Bush tax cuts extended un-necessarily last year. I honestly think if the Republicans don't budge - and agree to what's effectively a plan that is relevant and still involves 62.5% (give or take) of the deal as cuts...then the blame will ultimately fall on them - and they'll deserve every bit of it. They are playing this terribly. It may all just be kabuki theater though. I hope so.
michelle July 14, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Easy solution to me is to just stop paying all the politicians, then I bet they'd find a solution. Look at all the waste they spend and who winds up paying for it in the long run, us. Let them pay into social security and I bet a solution to that would be real quick. It must be nice to have a job where you get paid for retirement and not have to pay into it. As Devin stated, look at the unemployment and welfare program. There is alot of waste there. I personally know someone who was so lazy for 2 yrs not looking for a job and getting paid to do it. No one checks these people out. How abou the people on welfare out there buying steaks and seafood on foodstamps.
Rick July 14, 2011 at 03:36 PM
'Easy' solution is to stop paying salaries? Has that ever happened before? Please... no easy solution to this complex problem. I personally know disabled people who depend on Social Security and other assistance. I also know of people who were unemployed for over a year and were not lazy. What do you do about this?
Mark Patro July 14, 2011 at 03:54 PM
I believe Congress' salaries along with all other federal employee's salaries would also not be paid. As for Unemployment and Welfare, these programs are always demagogued when our economy is struggling. We greatly reduced the number of folks on welfare during the Clinton administration. These programs are meant to be temporary safety nets. Both programs apply time-limits to how long an individual can collect benefits. The problem is that our economy is not producing jobs. Its not that ALL these people are lazy. It may be that some refuse to accept a lower wage then they are accustomed to until they can get back to where they were, but this too is blown out of proportion.
Tim July 14, 2011 at 04:07 PM
Don't forget Social Security - you know that cash cow that our government has been shamelessly borrowing from for 40 years (and not paying back). Now all of a sudden Social Security needs to be "reviewed" by the army of the wealthy. Right...bunch of hypocrites. One area I agree with the Repubs though (unrelated) is on is the "Obamacare" or Patient Protection Act. Instead of actually fixing medicare/aid, and addressing the actual problem with insurance today (skyrocketing costs), instead the Democrats of the 100th house just added untold weight to that albatross. Fiscal responsibility would be repealing this at least for now, and using much of that money to attack the cost inflation issue. We all know the prices are well above what the market could bear. Everyone involved wins except for Joe Q Public, and occasionally doctors when they get squeezed by said insurance companies. It's not that I want Medicare done away with or reduced by any real measure - it's that I firmly believe our government is not addressing the core problem with our money. In fact, I feel as though they are making matters worse. Really, it's a problem age regardless, it just hurts our seniors the most unfortunately.
Devin July 15, 2011 at 01:10 PM
I'm really not saying that everyone on welfare and unemployment is a worthless, lazy bum. But regardless of whether or not these people are looking for jobs, it is a fact that these programs reduce the motivation to do so. If people are getting paid to be unemployed, they stay unemployed. Thereby extending the time people are unemployed and driving up the number of unemployed people. These programs are counter to a growing economy. And Mark, I understand they always come under fire when the economy is struggling, but I have always opposed these programs because of the problems they cause whether the economy was good or bad.
Tim July 15, 2011 at 01:20 PM
Devin, unless you are "single and unattached", I really don't see how unemployment de-motivates ANYONE from looking for employment. It's not enough money to just sit at home. If you are married and especially you have a young child then this isn't your answer. Devin, you also assume (wrongly) that there are actually enough jobs out there - much less for people's respective skill sets. Moreover, have you ever tried to get a job (while unemployed) that was "beneath your education level"? They don't hire you either. I know - back in 2004 I tried. They know better. If you want to argue the single person in his 20's is not gainfully looking for employment because he lives with his parents (or sig other who makes decent money and doesn't mind having a sycophant) then sure, I agree with that scenario. It just doesn't apply to most folks. Not to mention, the older you are, the proportionally more difficult it is to get employed in many fields. The only thing that truly demotivates people from looking for work is being able to maintain their lifestyle while collecting. Unemployment itself is not doing this, though. The last time I was unemployed in 2004, I wasn't motivated early on because I had almost 3 months severance.
Tim July 15, 2011 at 01:22 PM
Edit: "They don't hire you either. I know - back in 2004 I tried. They know better." This was actually back in 2000, not 04. I had severance in 2004. 2000 was the last time I was actually "out on my ass". seems you can't delete your own posts here now on Patch.
Devin July 15, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Tim, you make good points, and I understand that unemployment is not much money. But ask any economist, it is a demotivating factor. I'm not just spitting out rhetoric here, I went to college, I've talked to them. Getting paid to do nothing is going to increase the chance that you continue to do nothing. Also, go to any Section 8 housing development. Some of them are living completely government-sustained lives. Welfare, unemployment, food stamps, whatever. Maybe the occasional minimum-wage job. And by the way, I never assumed that there are currently enough jobs out there for everyone, I'm not sure where you got that. But if people have no free support while unemployed they will be infinitely more motivated to find a source of income. That creativity and innovation will benefit everyone in the long run. Maybe we don't need to cut the programs altogether, but here's a thought: set them up like student loans. Requiring people to repay part or all of that money would certainly grease the wheels a little. Reform here is necessary.
Tim July 15, 2011 at 01:44 PM
"Maybe we don't need to cut the programs altogether, but here's a thought: set them up like student loans. Requiring people to repay part or all of that money would certainly grease the wheels a little. Reform here is necessary." That's the beginning of a great compromise my friend. Much like the vast majority of our government's programs - reform is absolutely neccessary.
William Capps July 17, 2011 at 01:12 PM
No we should not, we have options. The first kick start to our economy would be energy. We need to open oil exploration nation wide and use the royalties to pay down the debt. This will create jobs and reduce the cost of energy because the market price will go down. It will also reduce the price of goods and service’s.We have to come to the hard truth that free trade with China and the third world nations have depleted our industrial base. Thus reduced the standard of living in the US and increased the demand for the social service programs. Thus taxes went up to pay for it. We need to drop the corporate tax rate to 20% and off set the loss with tariffs. This will spur investment in the US. It will force companies like Apple who went to china as reported by USA today to open its factory to 500.000 people, to decide if the risk is higher! Because new industry will start up in our country and be the newest competitor. We must demand E-Verify nation wide, to insure illegal’s do not take the jobs of Americans and those who are lawfully in the US. We must allow the freedom to open a business and not stopped because the EPA is concerned about a rat, bird or insect. William Capps For US Senate
Tim July 18, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Increasing oil exploration and drilling not only hurts the environment, it's not a sustainable solution long term. Ever hear of the concept of peak oil? For those unfamiliar, peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. Now, there's loads of debate as far as where that point is. Optimists generally believe we've got another 15-20 years to go before we reach it. Pessimists think we're at the peak now. Either way, there's no disputing the fact that continued over-reliance on a fossil fuel will ruin the global economy in the medium range future, while continuing to almost require this country to drop trillions of dollars into a part of the world that could care less for us. If you are serious about running for the Senate Mr. Capps, I respectfully suggest you consider thinking forward on your energy plank, rather then backwards.
Mark Patro July 18, 2011 at 04:47 PM
If the oil companies in this country were exclusively American companies I would agree with you that getting more out of the ground and available for American consumption would lower the price. But this argument is invalid because oil companies are international companies and will take advantage of the tax incentives we give them and then sell the oil where the demand is the highest which will ensure them the highest profit margin.
Paul July 18, 2011 at 07:16 PM
"Cuts" + taxes on the wealthy?! I would imagine that those taxes on the wealthy will get you the $0.1 trillion so just what are those $3.9 trillion in "cuts" you are siding with? Pretty sure everyone in America realizes that we need to make "cuts", including those Republicans that have brought nothing and are out of touch with reality. Spare me the partisan jargon.
Tim July 18, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Paul: Mind clarifying your comments for me? I want to respond but I'm still not sure what your point is.
Paul July 19, 2011 at 07:12 PM
The National Debt Ceiling number is a political toy and has been modified many times in the past. The lack of job creation and massive job outsourcing allowed by this and many previous administrations will continue to drive up that debt number or drastically reduce the quality of living in America. I find it sadly amusing how the national and local administrations use the term "jobs saved or created"! They have created NONE so I guess they are talking about the people who still have a job as having their job "saved". The local administration can thank their close proximity to Wash DC for MD being one of the wealthiest states in the nation. Without the tremendous number of federal jobs and support companies, MD would be as poor as Mississippi. Despite our wealth, our leaders in MD still can't balance the budget without taxing their citizens to death!
Tim July 20, 2011 at 08:03 PM
There'd be no tax increases on anyone but the wealthiest 1% of the country from an individual standpoint. The wealthiest Americans today pay what amounts to about 22-24% in taxes each year. Look it up. It was recently confirmed by Politifact.com. Additionally, they should have already been exempted from the Bush Tax Cuts Extension - but Obama folded on that one last year. Secondly, understand that the "Grover Norquist Republicans" - of which the vast majority of first term Republicans are members - basically support no tax based revenue increase at all. That means no taxing the rich, that means no closing of any "tax loopholes" for the same mega corporations who make billions every quarter while shipping our jobs overseas for half the cost. No closing subsidies for oil companies. I could go on. This has nothing to do with the average citizen. On the contrary, what the Repubs of today push screws us all much, much worse. Attempting to cut Social Security is the biggest joke/load of hypocrisy I've ever seen. Social Security was real convenient to both parties when it was raking in profits for the past 40 years. Profits that instead of saved, were largely borrowed (and never paid back) by various Presidents and Congresses since. Only President Obama and some of the more centrist Republicans and Democrats talk of "Shared sacrifice". Republicans plan today shares nothing, but only takes more from those who already have less.

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