Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is dealing with a GOP primary challenger in his bid for reelection this year. That challenger is businessman Matt Bevin, who is running on a Tea Party platform. For the most part, Bevin has not fared well in most polls in the state, as it appears that Republican voters still prefer McConnell over the ultra-conservative neophyte Bevin. Still the fact that a powerful Senator like McConnell is even dealing with a primary challenger shows just how vulnerable he is for the general election.
Now, Bevin does have some powerful friends in this campaign, as conservative groups like FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund have backed him in this race. This week, Bevin decided to release an attack ad against McConnell regarding his vote on the debt ceiling increase that took place earlier this month. While McConnell didn’t actually vote to increase the debt ceiling, he did vote to allow the measure to come up for a vote. This all occurred due to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) threatening to filibuster the bill.
Below is the video of the ad:
In the video, the narrator says the following:
“Matt Bevin opposes raising the national debt. Period. The choice is clear. Conservative Republican Matt Bevin for U.S. Senate.”
I think somebody needs to explain to Bevin what the national debt is and how it is calculated. See, raising the debt ceiling doesn’t give the federal government a ‘blank check’ to spend money however they want. What it does do is it allows Treasury to pay the bills that have already been determined and racked up via prior legislation. Agreeing to raise the debt ceiling just permits the Treasury Department the ability to take the necessary steps to payout the already authorized spending of the US government.
Increasing the debt limit does not mean that Congress is authorizing the nation’s debt to go higher. That is beyond their control at that point. As long as there is a deficit in the yearly federal budget, the national debt will continue to increase. The only way to get the nation’s debt to reverse course and decrease is to bring in more revenue than what is being spent. That is done on the budgetary scale. When you have a deficit, debt will continue to accrue. When you have a surplus, you are able to eat away at the national debt.
Voting against raising the debt limit is basically like advocating for our nation to be a bunch of deadbeats. We already know what needs to be paid out and have the ability to repay it, but we are just deciding that we don’t want to do it anymore. It is the epitome of irresponsible governing.
Of course, it shouldn’t surprise many that Bevin either doesn’t understand the national debt or is just being dishonest. Throughout his campaign he has hammered McConnell for his support of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), saying that we need less people in government who support bailouts. However, in 2008, Bevin wrote and signed a letter to investors supporting and praising TARP. He essentially wanted to let his firm’s investors know that TARP would help them all out.
Bevin doesn’t really have a chance against McConnell. However, he is forcing the Minority Leader to focus his energies and funds on defending attack ads and dealing with a GOP primary challenger. This can only bode well for Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has been either even or ahead of McConnell in most recent polls. If McConnell gets beat up a bit in this primary and has to take on extremely conservative positions to defend himself, it could hurt him dearly in November.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).