Last Friday, in a letter to Congress, the United States Treasury Secretary stated that unless our elected officials act to raise the federal debt limit he will run out of cash to pay our nation’s bills by Feb. 27. Once again this is a battle of theme songs in Washington.
“Running on Empty” the Treasury Department’s theme song, their version of the Jackson Brown hit, versus Congress theme song, which is their rendition of Aerosmith’s “Same Old Song and Dance”
The Treasury Secretary says his department will be running on empty to pay the bills because unlike the same old song and dance that Congress has performed previously, which has led to accounting strategies known as “Extraordinary Measures” it seems those measures will not buy him much time.
All of which brings us to this week’s trivia question. Who is the Secretary of the Treasury?
A. Jude Hammond
B. Mr. Mooney
C. Jack Lew
D. Lewd Jack
The answer will appear later in this column.
It is now later.
The answer is not Jude Hammond, who is school treasurer here, there and everywhere. Nor is it Lucille Ball’s TV banker boss, Mr. Mooney or Lewd Hoefert, err, Jack.
Coincidentally the Feb. 27 date Jack Lew has given Congress as the drop dead do or don’t debt date is also the one-year anniversary of the senate confirming him as U.S. Treasury Secretary.
Secretary Lew has said if the government has to stop borrowing once the debt ceiling is reached, it will continue taking in money from taxes. Somehow I doubt the debt will be met with just our taxes, and it might be time for Congress to consider other sources of revenue:
The National Candy Bar Sale
Just like schools that send home boxes of candy bars for students to sell, with prizes for the top sales student, Congress can send boxes of candy home for Senators and Representatives to sell to their constituents and earn prizes like a Super Pac.
Oh wait, all of them already have that prize.
The National Bake Sale
The sales on this could be high. Especially with brownies made in Colorado and Washington being sold by Congress in states that don’t have marijuana sales.
Oh wait, all states already have marijuana sales. Just not legal sales like Colorado and Washington.
The National Car Wash
With Congress scheduled to be in session a whopping 113 days this year (Wow! They really are the 113th Congress.) I’m sure they could find the time to hold a car wash. Perhaps the people here in Ohio would pay extra to have their vehicle washed with home state Reps. Marcy Kaptur and John Boehner in their bathing suits.
Oh wait, that would definitely boost the Colorado and Washington brownie sales.
The National 50/50 Twice Daily Ticket Drawing
Oh wait, most states already have versions of twice a day lotto drawings proving a profit can be made without giving it all away.
Other money makers that could provide a source of revenue to help pay our nation’s bills might include a National Spaghetti Dinner, a National Rummage Sale or a National Telethon.
Oh wait, C-Span’s low ratings have proven the only people watching politicians on TV are politicians themselves.
What Congress needs to do with the remaining 96 working days they have scheduled for this session is to figure out a way for future generations of elected officials to pay our bills without raising the debt by borrowing from foreign countries and adding to the bill.
Because right now we are not borrowing from Peter to pay Paul; we are borrowing from Peter to pay Peter.
If we keep that trend up, we might have a National “Country for Sale” Day.
We already do.