The debt limit has been raised seven times since President Barack Obama took office, adding $43,000 in debt for every U.S. household in just the last four years, says the Heritage Foundation's Amy Payne.
"And now the debt limit deadline is looming again," Payne wrote on The Foundry on Thursday. "Treasury will run out of tricks to keep paying the bills on Oct. 17, Secretary Jack Lew announced yesterday."
She was referring to Lew's letter to Congress on Wednesday, in which he wrote, "On Aug. 26, I wrote to inform you that the extraordinary measures we are employing to preserve borrowing capacity would be exhausted in the middle of October. We estimated that, at that point, we would have approximately $50 billion to fund the government — an amount insufficient to cover net expenses for a meaningful period of time."
Payne, an assistant director at the Jim DeMint-led foundation, said, "Instead of pursuing significant spending cuts and entitlement reforms that are desperately needed to get spending under control, House Republicans reportedly are proposing to suspend the debt ceiling for more than a year, which would add $1.1 trillion to the debt.
"So, take that $43,000 per household that was added in the last four years and tack on another $8,800 per household."
Payne also argued that the last time Congress suspended the debt ceiling, from Feb. 4, 2013 through May 18, 2013, it added $300 billion to the national debt without accomplishing any meaningful spending cuts.
"This is unacceptable," said Payne, quoting her colleague Romina Boccia, who wrote Wednesday, "Congress should implement spending cuts and entitlement reforms before — or as part of — an increase in the debt ceiling. Lawmakers still have time to put forth a plan that puts the budget on a path to balance and avoids a debt crisis today and in the future."
"The clock is ticking," she warned.
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