"Blank check"

The latest buzz phrase among some Republicans seems to be "blank check."

Specifically, they insist that the debt ceiling must be raised only a little bit -- just enough to hold us through December and make us go through this same awful mess all over again at Christmas. Anything bigger, they say, amounts to "giving Obama a blank check."

Of course, raising the debt limit by any amount doesn't authorize even one penny of additional spending. It simply authorizes the Treasury to issue bond to pay for spending already authorized by both houses of Congress.

Don't forget that the next budget, covering the next fiscal year starting October 1, hasn't been passed yet, and that the Republicans control the House of Representatives and filibuster pretty much everything in the Senate. There are no "blank checks" floating around anywhere, and claiming that there are is either ridiculously uninformed or pretty blatant political lying.

I'm not sure which is sadder, that the people acting so irresponsibly might be doing so because they're completely out of their depth, or that they simply care less about the truth than about politics and think the American people are too ill-informed to realize they're being lied to.

Not that I want to harsh or anything...

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