June 24, 2018
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Blaine Richardson: A ‘compromise’ to raise the debt ceiling will hurt Mainers

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Blaine Richardson
By Blaine Richardson, Special to the BDN

The partial shutdown of the federal government continues. Now, the National Security Agency is still reading our emails and listening to our phone calls, and the Internal Revenue Service is still collecting taxes, but memorials and national parks are being closed to remind Americans who really is in charge in the land of the free.

Rest assured, a deal will be reached, and the usual suspects will call it a great day for bipartisanship. Spending will rise, and the debt will continue to grow.

The can will be kicked as the debt ceiling will be lifted, with promises of cutting the rate of growth in spending by some inconsequential percentage in the year 2022.

The expensive and counterproductive war in Afghanistan will continue. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue to harass Maine farmers at the bidding of Big Agriculture. Planned Parenthood will still receive subsidies to carry on abortions.

Obamaphones will still be handed out. No-bid contracts will still be awarded to defense contractors. The former strength of the U.S. dollar will continue to erode under inflation, which will raise the cost of food and heat for Mainers with fixed incomes.

Only in the halls of government is this called a compromise.

What I can assure you about this deal is that the powerful and the connected will have nothing to complain about, while the citizenry and their families will be driven further into debt.

Do not be fooled. There is no reason to raise the debt ceiling.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., supports a plan, which was originally introduced by former Rep. Ron Paul, that would instruct the Federal Reserve to cancel out the roughly $2 trillion in Treasury debt held by the Federal Reserve — debt the government owes itself.

This remarkably simple act would negate any reason to raise the debt ceiling during a manufactured crisis and give Congress plenty of time to get its spending priorities in order and delay a default.

One thing is for sure: Any compromise that raises the debt ceiling will mean more bad news for Mainers and more good times for the entrenched interests who already have plenty of representation down in D.C.

Blaine Richardson is a 30-year Navy veteran and a builder of coastal Maine homes. He is a Republican candidate to represent Maine’s second district in Congress.

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