Here is how the process actually works:
Step One: Congress decides how much money to spend and passes bills so the rest of the government can spend it.
Step Two: since Congress rarely considers whether or not we can afford all of the spending they authorize, there is usually a budget deficit, which increases the national debt.
Step Three: the Congress allows the treasury to borrow more money to cover the spending that Congress ordered. That is called “raising the debt ceiling”.
Pretty simple, and you may have noticed something: the word “President” appeared nowhere in the process. That is because the Executive cannot and does not allocate the vast majority of Federal funding. The Prexy has damn-all to do with the funding levels established by Congress. All he can do is execute the funding (which is why it is called the “Executive Branch”).
So why does Congress ask the Prexy for “concessions” or “reforms”, whenever the debt ceiling need lifting? The answer, Gentle Reader, is this: Congress is too scared to admit that they are responsible for our massive budget and the resulting red ink, so they play “pin the blame on Obama”. If the taxpaying public knew that Congress was to blame, they might vote their legislators out of office.
And the one thing no Senator or Congresscritter can bear is the idea of having to actually work for a living. So they pretend that it is the eeeeevil Obaminator who is responsible for the deficit. And the “News” media plays chorus to the Teapublican lies.
Remember this when you next cast your ballot. Congress owns the budget, the deficit and the debt. It’s time for those lazy, cowardly millionaires on Capitol Hill to nut up and accept responsibility for their actions, and to stop lying to us about who is to blame for the consequences of said actions.
Mr. Blunt and Cranky