5. To give the appearance that politicians care how much they spend.
Congress deciding when to raise its debt-limit embodies absolutely no check and balance on which our government was founded. I suppose one could argue that the President has to sign it into law, affording an Executive check on a Legislative measure, but in reality, both the Executive and Legislative branch always benefit from a larger credit card; they can do more with less push back. So, it seems the check and balance is vacuous.
I believe the problem is that it's in the interest of every politician to have a larger budget, so no intra-politic system of checks and balance will effectively work. To handle it in the current system, we'd have to continue to not vote for "spenders" (regardless of whether they're "taxers"), but we can only do that after the spendings happened, and often after the debt ceiling is raised, so there's no way to effectively lower the spending.
I wish people would understand that "tax and spend" is better than "spend," but neither is smart. I wish people would demand that budget and spending being part of campaign platforms. Their really doesn't seem to be an fiscal conservative faction at work anywhere in the government, and -- you guessed it -- I wish there was.
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