1) Myth: The United States will stop paying interest on treasury securities if the debt ceiling is not raised, forcing a default on its debt.
Fact: The Treasury Department will shortly detail a plan for paying the bills if the ceiling isn’t raised, preventing a technical default.
2) Myth: The Republicans in the House won’t allow a vote on a “clean” bill to raise the debt ceiling. This myth was recently perpetuated by Elizabeth Drew at Politico and by Congressman Elijah Cummings in the video below.
Fact: The GOP already held a vote on a clean bill, and it was denied by both Republicans and Democrats.
3) Myth: The debt ceiling deadlock is the Tea Party’s fault. Sen. John McCain mocked the Tea Party as “hobbits,” and House Speaker Boehner told GOP freshmen, “Get your ass[es] in line.”
Fact: McCain and Boehner are asking the Tea Party to continue business as usual, but the American people voted in 2010 for major change in the way business is done in Washington, D.C. The American people want reductions in the debt; 80% say any surpluses should be used to finance those reductions.
4) Myth: The status quo is just fine. Congressman Elijah Cummings said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program that the crisis was “manufactured,” and that, “the easiest and best thing to do is what has been done over and over again without all this controversy.”
Fact: The crisis was manufactured by doing the “easiest” thing over and over again for many years.
5) Myth: Congress is running out of time.
Fact: This would appear not to be true. In a situation that would seem to demand all-hands-on-deck, the Senate over the last two weeks has made numerous confirmations, and appropriated money for such obscure purposes as “To require evidence of causal relationships for presumptions by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents.” Meanwhile in the House, there have been 61 votes. This would not appear to be a Congress that is running out of time, but instead a Congress that is using its available time poorly.