Tell President Biden: Demand a clean debt ceiling increase!

Before the election, Republican leaders in both the House and Senate declared their intentions to hold the debt ceiling hostage to demand cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits.

This would be a disaster. Failure to increase the debt ceiling would wreck the global economy, producing a recession or even depression, and would weaken America’s standing in the world.

Failure to increase the debt ceiling would not do anything to limit future debt, it would simply force the United States Treasury to default on its existing bonds.

Why are Republicans making this threat? Because they have spent nearly a century resenting that Social Security works. It is a model of a simple, universal, and overwhelmingly popular government program. Our Social Security system puts the lie to Republican insistence that private corporations are more efficient than what we can do together.

Social Security and Medicare are overwhelmingly popular. So while Republicans have wanted for decades to cut, privatize, or otherwise destroy them, they have never been able to overcome the significant popular backlash to those cuts. That’s why they’ve hidden behind fast-tracked commissions, committees, and processes like the one Mitt Romney proposed in his TRUST Act. They want to cut Social Security behind closed doors, without Republican fingerprints.

President Obama attempted to negotiate with Republicans in order to raise the debt ceiling in 2011. Those negotiations yielded an agreement that prolonged the Great Recession, led to the downgrading of the United States’s credit rating, and nearly resulted in cuts to Social Security and Medicare. America is a democracy―we should not allow government-by-hostage-crisis to become routine.

President Biden must make it clear: Raising the debt ceiling is the basic minimum that we expect from Congress. There can be no negotiation over a necessity.

Tell President Biden: Demand a clean debt ceiling increase!