Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Opinion | Those who would throw us on the glittering fire

Regarding Catherine Rampell’s Jan. 18 Wednesday Opinion column, “Republicans care about deficits — sometimes”:

So, anticipation of the coming power play is high. But if we rub the headlines out of our eyes for a moment, we will see the machinations of breathtaking, self-serving hypocrisy at work. Because guess who voted to raise our debt ceiling multiple times under the Trump administration? The very same members of Congress who now broadcast their intentions to hold our economy hostage by threatening a financial cataclysm that will affect the lives of every American. (In the Trump administration, they increased the national debt by $7.8 trillion.)

Have there been spending miscalculations made by the current administration? Of course. Saving the U.S. economy from pandemic collapse and coping with a devouring Russia have demanded policy strokes that have colored way outside the lines of known financial wisdom. Still, this fight staged at the precipice of the fiscal cliff reveals one thing alone: The men and women who are publicly getting ready for this grown-up game of chicken are concerned only with their own status, power and being reelected by their MAGA base.

I hope members of the Freedom Caucus will sit down with Democrats and negotiate how we can reduce spending and increase revenue — such as through pulling back the plutocrat tax cuts that their boss put into place. But should they try to take the United States hostage, we must make sure that the struggling and angry folks they duped to get into power know exactly who has put them — put all of us — on their glittering, savage bonfire.

Peter Guttmacher, Cheverly

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