WASHINGTON - GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack appeared skeptical of raising the federal debt limit for fear that he that the federal deficit is growing out of control. During an interview with MPR's Cathy Wurzer, Cravaack said he has big concerns that the federal deficit is growing out of control. He said he has concerns about passing a continuing budget resolution or a plan to immediately raise the debt limit.
"If we don't watch what we're doing, we will go by the way of Iceland," Cravaack said. "Our stock market will crash, our currency will be devalued to zero if we continue on this path."
Cravaack doubted that there will be an economic fallout if the federal government doesn't raise the debt ceiling. He said "that's not true" regarding criticism that the U.S. could default on its loans.
"We'll have revenues coming in," Cravaack said. "There will be a time period that we can play with but this is extremely serious what we're about to do."
People may say that we'll lose our AAA bond rating. That may be true but if we raise the debt limit above our GDP we won't have to worry about our AAA bond rating anyway because we become less of a firm type of risk to investors."
Cravaack said "you have to" look at cuts to Social Security and Medicare to help the deficit. He emphasized that people over the age of 55 won't see any cuts in benefits but he said there are ways that people under that age could see some changes to their benefits.
"We can stair step it down, tier it down. That's one of the things that you can take a look at. I'm not saying that's the model but this is something that we have to take a look at but we have to protect the promises that we made at the same time..."
Cravaack also said today that he's not sure where he plans to sit at today's State of the Union.
"I'm a freshman. I'm lucky to get seated. I might be in the back standing," Cravaack said about attending his first State of the Union.
Seating at the State of the Union is on a first come, first serve basis but says he has a full day of meetings scheduled right up to President Obama's address. He says that will make it difficult to find a prime slot in the House Chamber.
Cravaack didn't invite anyone to the State of the Union but he said he hopes, if possible, that he can sit with some of the members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation tonight.
You can listen to the full interview here: Listen
On not allowing the deficit to be increased: I have heard dire predictions on the ramifications of not allowing it to increease, but am keeping an open mind, hoping to trust you know what you're doing (and not just following your party line). May be that the dire ramifications don't come about, as they've been fostered by the Democrats and aren't as "truithful" as they seem on the face of things to be.
Before Chip Cravaack cuts my social security benefits, I ask that he cut his retirement benefits that accrue from his military service and his retirement benefits that accrue from his legisaltive service.
Then I'll take his calls to cut my government benefit as genuine and serious.