On Friday, Mike Huckabee repeated his claim that Congress should end federal funding to Planned Parenthood by linking it to a future measure to raise the debt ceiling, floating the catastrophic idea in an interview with Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson.
Huckabee said that Republicans in Congress should tie Planned Parenthood funding “to the debt ceiling rather than to the budget, because we can continue to function even if we don’t keep moving the debt ceiling.”
He told Republicans to stop “surrendering” to President Obama and instead adopt his plan as a way to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood while also curbing the national debt.
Of course, Huckabee’s plan would also have disastrous consequences for the U.S. economy.
As the Wall Street Journal reported back in 2013, when Republicans nearly refused to raise the debt ceiling, that such a move would have severe reverberations around the world:
Even a temporary failure of the U.S. government to pay its bills would have a “catastrophic” impact on the U.S. and global economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.
U.S. officials warn that the government could run out of cash to pay its social security and military obligations by the middle of next month if lawmakers fail to reach a deal to raise the amount of money the country can borrow, called the debt ceiling.
Even if it was temporary, the IMF estimates that such a shock could shave around a half-percentage point off growth around the world at a fragile stage in the global recovery.
The U.S. treasury had a similar assessment at the time:
And if Congress does not raise the debt limit, raising the possibility of default if the government is unable to meet its bond obligations, Treasury said the results could be worse than the 2008 “Great Recession.”
“In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not just financial markets but also on job creation, consumer spending and economic growth—with many private-sector analysts believing that it would lead to events of the magnitude of late 2008 or worse, and the result then was a recession more severe than any seen since the Great Depression,” the report states.
Politifact points out that “raising the debt ceiling allows the United States government to borrow funds that cover the obligations the government has already incurred” and does not “prompt any new spending.”
Either Huckabee doesn’t understand how the debt ceiling works, or he knows the devastating consequences of such a maneuver but thinks it is worth it just to defund Planned Parenthood.