KIDNAPPERS: Right-wing lawmaker has a startling admission about debt ceiling

KIDNAPPERS: Right-wing lawmaker has a startling admission about debt ceiling

A key conservative says the Republican House caucus will tie and gag the debt ceiling until their right-wing terms are met.

On Tuesday night, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted that the GOP is using the debt ceiling as their “hostage,” tossing aside all concerns about fiscal responsibility and smaller government.

At issue is a House bill that serves as an extremist Republican “wish list” — a sign that the GOP will not release their hostage until they get all their demands.

These demands include cuts to popular programs directed at assisting the poor, demands to lower SNAP benefits, work requirements for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and cuts to the healthcare insurance market.

From one of the most juvenile members of Congress comes one of the most juvenile statements ever made about an adult concern:

“I think my conservative colleagues for the most part support Limit, Save, Grow & they don’t feel like we should negotiate with our hostage.”


Gaetz is the one that just admitted that they were holding the world’s economy “hostage,” and that’s not hyperbole.

Gaetz’s statement will, humiliatingly, also be heard around the world.

The admission resulted in a stupified and furious response.

Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-NY) stated that it’s the Republicans’ responsibility to pay the trillions of dollars of debt incurred by Trump and the GOP tax cuts for the wealthy.

Goldman also threw an elbow by noting that the GOP raised spending limits 3 times during the Trump administration, every one of them without concessions.

The liberal Center for American Progress think tank, said,

“Rep. Gaetz said the quiet part out loud ― this was never about fiscal health, and always about holding our economy hostage to enact an extremist economic agenda that experts predict would push the economy into recession.”

The Republican bill spares the Defense Department and some veterans’ accounts from any cuts while also forcing the government to spend “less than last year.”

The result is that every single other program, almost all of them consisting of assistance for the poor or Biden’s green infrastructure plans are now – literally — being held hostage by the GOP.

The White House offered a spending freeze that McCarthy immediately rejected. They would get nothing for letting the victim go!

McCarthy cavalierly said, “[Democrats have] got to acknowledge that we’re spending too much.”

Or what?

Or the GOP retains its hostage past June 1st and the results will be as immediate as they are horrific.

On June 1st, doctors awaiting reimbursement checks from Medicare will get nothing.

But June 2nd is “D-Day” with respect to “immediate” impacts.

People who receive social security benefits will not get their money. Veterans won’t get their checks. And 1.8 million government employees won’t get paid for the work they’ve done.

It doesn’t take an economist to see the ripple effect from there, rents unpaid, power bills, gas, groceries… and the longer it goes, the bigger the wave.

Interest rates rise on credit cards, mortgages get more expensive, market downturns, a probable recession…the debt ceiling isn’t the actual hostage, the hostage is the global economy.

Perhaps the biggest impact in the long term is the hardest to quantify.

The United State’s credit rating will take a brutal hit and countries around the world that tie their currency to the U.S. dollar may switch to a more stable financial position, the Chinese yen.

There are no Republicans in the Chinese government.

The chaos that would ensue likely motivated Donald Trump to tell Republicans on May 10th:

“I say to the Republicans out there — congressmen, senators — if they don’t give you massive cuts, you’re going to have to do a default.”

This advice comes from a man, who, according to Politifact, has controlled companies that have declared bankruptcy six times with $1.8 billion in default.

It is also exactly what one would expect from a candidate who wants the country to burn to the ground so he can blame President Biden.

Ironically, Snopes notes that 25% of the nation’s total debt was incurred during just four years under Trump and his tax cuts.

To bring the situation back to where we started, the hostage takers already have their money. They borrowed billions from 2017 to 2021.

Now that it’s time to pay some of it back and they’ve got the gun to the world’s head.

Perhaps the White House should use the FBI’s best hostage negotiator to talk to Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy.

The negotiator could call from a van parked outside their offices.

This article is based in large part on reporting from Huffington Post’s Jonathan Nicholson, and the Associated Press’s Paul Wiseman.

I can be reached at and @JasonMiciak

Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing.