President Obama is calling on Congress to raise the nation’s borrowing limit to avoid a potential debt default. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley was asked about the possibility of that happening in the coming weeks, along with the idea to avoid the debt ceiling by having the U.S. Treasury mint a platinum coin worth one-trillion dollars.
“I think the latter one would fall into the category of a quick fix that doesn’t solve any problems,” Grassley says. “We’ve got a spending problem. We’ve already raised taxes, so now we go to the expenditures side of the ledger.” Grassley says there will be two ideal opportunities coming up to address the debt ceiling — during the next “fiscal cliff” date of March 2nd or when the continuing resolution sunsets on March 27th.
“Both of these, we’re going to have to not necessarily cut spending but we can’t grow spending,” Grassley says. “That’s why the president yesterday, in his news conference, talked about he couldn’t ‘cut, cut, cut.’ We aren’t going to probably cut anything but just freezing the levels where we are will make a big, big impact down the road.”
Grassley, a Republican, says action is desperately needed on this issue which will determine the magnitude of the “legacy of debt” we’ll be leaving for our children and grandchildren. “The debt limit brings attention to it because $1.6-trillion of debt and increasing that X-number of dollars brings the people’s attention to something they expressed in polls,” Grassley says.
“At the very same time they thought we ought to be taxing the wealthy, and that’s done, 89% of the people in the poll said you’ve gotta’ do something about spending.” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner predicted Monday the U.S. will hit its borrowing limit between mid-February and early March — that’s earlier than forecast a few weeks ago.