January 23, 2013

Brad Wenstrup (R, OH-02) Votes to Increase the Debt Ceiling

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:17 pm

I’m not going to be instantly unfair to the guy and say that Brad Wenstrup’s vote to raise the debt ceiling today was a wrong vote.

I AM going to say that freshman congressman just did what he criticized his predecessor for doing.

Wenstrup today voted to increase the country’s debt ceiling after acting during last winter’s GOP primary as if EVER-EVER-EVER voting to do so is an automatically and unconditionally bad thing.

The roll call vote was 285-144, with Republicans supporting by a 199-33 margin and Dems opposing 86-111.

That breakout seems comforting until you see some of the truly conservative GOP names in opposition:

  • Bachmann (MN) — to be clear, I criticized her for her opposition to any form of debt ceiling increase in 2011 (see Update 3 here), but the issue is whether the conditions imposed in the House bill, primarily the pretense that congresspersons’ salaries won’t get paid if there’s no deal, are sufficient to meaningfully rein in the government. If she thinks not, that’s worthy of note. If she won’t vote to raise it for any reason under any circumstance, that’s just unrealistically foolish.
  • Gohmert (TX)
  • Huelskamp (KS)
  • King (IA)
  • McClintock (CA)
  • Massie (KY, i.e., Northern Kentucky Tea Party favorite who replaced the retiring Geoff Davis)
  • Rohrbacher (CA)

One would have expected based on Wenstrup’s huffing and puffing last year that if these seven voted against John Boehner’s latest gambit, he would have voted “no” as well. But he didn’t.

I would suggest that Mr. Wenstrup’s constituents (of which I am not one) deserve an explanation so they can evaluate his thought process, if any (so does Steve Chabot in OH-01, as I am now one of his constituents). “John Boehner said it was a good idea” is not a thought process, and silence is not acceptable.

The big story, though, is that Wenstrup has done something he clearly indicated he would never do a year ago as he was dishonestly tarring his opponent.



  1. I agree that what Wenstrup did was wrong, but I respectfully disagree about what you said about Bachmann, she is still right and you are still wrong. I disagree also with the implication that sometimes raising the “debt ceiling” is good and needed.

    Raising it is like giving a bad kid a raise in allowance and expecting good to somehow come out of it. Now that’s unrealistically foolish. And the nonsense that we will default if we don’t raise the ceiling is simply that, nonsense.

    2011 accomplished not a single good thing.
    Increasing the debt ceiling in 2011 was disastrous, it encouraged more spending, plunged us even more in dept, emboldened Obama and his cronies, and allowed the government to avoid making any hard decisions. Everything that was going wrong was allowed to get worst via the increase in the debt ceiling. Raising debt ceilings *is* always automatically and unconditionally wrong, and is also unconstitutional to boot. The government can’t be allowed to plunge us into massive long-term debt and then go further into debt because they want to. They shouldn’t have been allowed to in the first place.

    We need to stop giving Obama more money and power to push his agenda and push the nation toward bankruptcy.

    Comment by zf — January 23, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

  2. As I pointed out in 2011, if you do that, the next question is how would you as the President respond.

    Even if you’re totally constructive, which Obama isn’t, depending on the which month the government had to begin to operate operate without being able to borrow (considering results of the past three or so years of spending and collections, you would have to cut spending across the board (except interest, which you must pay, because defaulting is NOT a constitutional option) by anywhere from about 7% to 50%. The average over the course of a year would have to be about 30%. If you start saying don’t cut this or that (e.g., Social Security, Medicare payments, soldiers’ pay, etc.), you force the across-the board cut on everything else even higher.

    If we were dealing with annual deficits of $100 billion or so, a debt-ceiling cutoff could work, as it would require 3% across the board cuts over the course of a year. But 30% is not feasible. That’s the evil in Pelosi and Reid allowing it to get this far in 2009 and 2010, and fighting any attempt to right the ship in 2011 and 2012.

    Oh, and since Obama isn’t constructive, he’d cut the important stuff as much as he could and cut entitlements as little as possible — not to mention that he might unconstitutionally not pay the interest due on the debt and dare anyone to impeach him over it.

    Comment by Tom — January 23, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

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