America pays its bills. It always has. It always will. The fact that Washington is now debating whether to honor its debts and obligations, then, should come as a surprise. But playing political football with a necessary vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling has become as predictable as a Twitter rant from Charlie Sheen.
You know, I think when you are unemployed, especially for a long time, it's hard to be inspired or hopeful almost about anything. So it's tough, especially when there has been such gridlock here in D.C. You know, when we are fighting and can't get anything done, whether you are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, no one wins.
I represent a rural state and live in a small town. Small merchants make up the majority of Vermont's small businesses and thread our state together. It is the mom-and-pop grocers, farm-supply stores, coffee shops, bookstores and barber shops where Vermonters connect, conduct business and check in on one another.
If you ask the question of Americans, should we pay our bills? One hundred percent would say yes. There's a significant misunderstanding on the debt ceiling. People think it's authorizing new spending. The debt ceiling doesn't authorize new spending; it allows us to pay obligations already incurred.
Last night, I had a telephone townhall for my constituents back in Vermont, and we had 11,500 people on it. And I had people on Social Security saying if getting fewer benefits will help us on the debt, they're for it. And I had a farmer saying that he's had subsidies for 35 years but we can't afford them anymore.