"It isn't fiscally irresponsible to raise the debt limit, I think it would be rather irresponsible not to raise the debt limit because we have already incurred the bill."
That quote, from Concord executive director Bob Bixby, is one of many from our new videos highlighting some of the key points driving fiscal discussions in Washington.
We recorded the videos because the Senate is set to begin debate on increasing the debt ceiling while all of Congress awaits the President's budget proposal, which will purportedly contain the Administration's ideas for how to reduce the country's budget deficits.
The first shows a discussion about the basics behind increasing the debt limit and how there are a few key budget process reforms tied to fiscal responsibility that have become part of the debate as the Senate approaches a difficult vote. We talk about the possible Senate amendments to restore statutory Pay-As-You-Go (paygo) rules and discretionary spending caps, as well as an amendment creating a fiscal commission devoted to attacking the long-term fiscal challenge.
The second video examines the paygo and commission issues more thoroughly, and how the Bush tax cuts and their treatment in the President's budget loom large over 10-year deficit projections.
The third video has a more general discussion of why the debt is important and why those concerned about fiscal responsibility are so focused on its long-term growth.
Together, these videos should give a good preview of what Washington's focus will be as the debt limit vote passes and we approach budget season. Also, be sure to check out our fiscal commissions page and our new commission Questions & Answers page.
Late update: Jackie Calmes has an article in Wednesday's New York Times discussing President Obama's thinking on a deficit commission that tracks with our video discussions.