By most accounts, fiscal disaster will ensue if Congress and the president don't raise America's debt ceiling this summer. U.S. debt will be downgraded, plunging America into a double-dip recession. Constitutional confusion may follow. But tea party activists argue that raising the debt ceiling will guarantee fiscal disaster, because spending will continue to grown rampantly.
Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman who has recently become a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination, counts herself in the latter camp.
Bachmann tells viewers "I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling" in her first TV ad of the presidential race, which will begin airing in Iowa today:
The congresswoman is now the second Republican presidential candidate to air a TV ad. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor who hails from her state, has aired two ads in Iowa already. No one has yet aired any TV ads outside the Hawkeye State.
Bachmann has said she would vote to raise the debt ceiling, if it came with the right spending cuts, but that she doesn't think that will happen. "Unless there are serious cuts, I can't" vote to increase the limit, she said on June 13 in CNN's nationally televised New Hampshire debate, suggesting that Obama "needs to direct his treasury secretary: pay the interest on the debt first, then we won't have a failure of our full faith and credit from their prioritized spending." In an interview with Wolf Blitzer four days later, she reiterated that stance but added, "I think it's highly unlikely, Wolf, that we're actually going to get the kind of serious cuts that I'm looking for."