WASHINGTON, DC–Reacting to President Trump’s vocal support for abolishing the some-of-the-debt ceiling, House Speaker Paul Ryan was outraged and defiant, telling reporters he would absolutely oppose the president on this issue.*
The some-of-the-debt ceiling places a statutory cap on certain types of liabilities of the federal government. As the name implies, it does not place a limit on the total amount of liabilities the federal government can have. This explains why, even though the government actually reached the some-of-the-debt ceiling in March of this year and has been routinely spending more money than it has collected in taxes since then, the government somehow still has been able to borrow money and pay for things up until this month.
Critics allege that this aspect of the some-of-the-debt ceiling makes the measure confusing and amounts to little more than a symbolic gesture.
However, Speaker Ryan disagrees, “The only way we’re ever going to get spending under control in this country is if we set an arbitrary limit on an arbitrary subset of federal liabilities and then periodically vote to ignore it. The some-of-the-debt ceiling is essential.”
Fellow Republican, Senator Ted Cruz also voiced his support for keeping the debt ceiling but offered a slightly different rationale, “The Democrats are at war with our history and our traditions. First they want to tear down our statues. Now they would ask to end our biannual rite to raise the some-of-the-debt ceiling, ask for forgiveness, and promise to do better next year. What will they come for next, Christmas?”
*This is a satirical post, and all quotations within are fictional. However, it is true that the oft-described “debt ceiling” covers only a subset of the actual debt, increasing uncertainty and confusion while producing no discernible benefit.