The looming breach of our debt ceiling triggers a new round of Republican demands for reductions in government spending. Their threat of destroying our nation’s creditworthiness to extract budget concessions is irresponsible. Equally distressing is their insistence to achieve some of those reductions by cutting key components of President Biden’s clean energy initiative.

The problem with budget deficits is the harm to future generations of government borrowing, which attracts funds that would otherwise be used for productive capital formation or which must be repaid to foreign creditors. The problem with greenhouse gas emissions is the impoverishment of future generations caused by the global warming, through the myriad ways a degraded climate threatens health, productivity, property and Earth’s ecosystem. A failure to sacrifice now to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy is no less reckless than a failure of our government to match its expenditure with its revenue.

If Republicans truly cherished the quality of life of future generations, they would devote as much effort to paying off our climate obligation as they give lip service to servicing our national debt.

Michael Jones

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