Raise the Roof!

From Holden:

The party in Washington continues as Republicans plan to raise the debt ceiling — AGAIN! This will be the fifth year in a row that the Republican leadership plans to borrow more than leagally allowed.

A $2.7 trillion budget plan pending before the House would raise the federal debt ceiling to nearly $10 trillion, less than two months after Congress last raised the federal government’s borrowing limit.

The provision — buried on page 121 of the 151-page budget blueprint — serves as a backdrop to congressional action this week.


Leaders also hope to pass a package of tax-cut extensions that would cost the Treasury $70 billion over the next five years.


With passage of the budget, the House will have raised the federal borrowing limit by an additional $653 billion, to $9.62 trillion. It would be the fifth debt-ceiling increase in recent years, after boosts of $450 billion in 2002, a record $984 billion in 2003, $800 billion in 2004 and $653 billion in March. When Bush took office, the statutory borrowing limit stood at $5.95 trillion.

Democrats will harp on those statistics not only in the budget debate but also when the House takes up tax legislation expected to finally emerge from House-Senate negotiations today. The legislation would extend for two years the deep cuts to tax rates on dividends and capital gains that Congress approved in 2003. It would also slow for one year the expansion of the alternative minimum tax, a parallel income tax system designed to hit the affluent but increasingly pinching the middle class.