Editorial

Don’t touch that lever!

Friday, September 8, 2017

At the end of the 1935 horror classic “The Bride of Frankenstein,” the enraged monster rampages through a lab and approaches a large wooden lever. One of the characters in the film shouts, "Don't touch that lever! You'll blow us all to atoms!"

The scene raises the never answered question, “Why would anyone have a lever in their lab that would blow the lab to atoms?”

Such a lever is available to U.S. legislators in the form of a debt ceiling. The concept behind a debt ceiling is to provide a way to restrain government spending. It hasn’t worked.

When the president was a Democrat and Republicans controlled the Congress, the threat of the government defaulting on debt created dangerous uncertainty. According to the U.S. Treasury, actually failing to raise the debt ceiling would have “catastrophic economic consequences.”

Now the Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches of government.

Although those who currently call themselves conservatives pay lip service to spending responsibly, that objective is far down the list of their priorities which include cutting taxes, fighting futile wars, expandind a bloated military, locking up criminals for longer periods, deporting immigrants and cutting more taxes.

We need to eliminate the debt ceiling lever.