GAO: Allen's 'Leverage' Cost Taxpayers $1.3 Billion
Richmond, VA -- On Monday the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a study putting the cost to taxpayers of last summer's delays in raising the national debt ceiling at $1.3 billion.
That price tag is important because it is the cost that Republicans like George Allen helped incur by cheering on GOP and Tea Party Congressmen to obstruct the debt ceiling vote in order to accomplish their partisan political agenda.
As the U.S. headed toward a debt default that could have crippled our economy, Allen urged Republicans in congress to use that looming crisis as "leverage," to achieve budget cuts. The GAO reported yesterday that the extra time it took for congress to pass a deal forced the federal government to pay a premium on the money it borrowed during that time, costing American taxpayers an unnecessary $1.3 billion in the process.
"Yesterday the GAO told us what we already know - we simply cannot afford another six years of George Allen's partisan obstructionism," said DPVA Executive Director David Mills.
"That $1.3 billion could have gone to support veterans, pay for schools or pay down the national debt - instead it was wasted because Republicans like Allen would rather play chicken with our economy than accept a balanced approach to deficit reduction that protects our core priorities.
"As a former senator who helped add $3 trillion to the national debt, $1.3 billion in extra charges to taxpayers might not seem like a big deal to George Allen, but as families and businesses continue to recover from the last fiscal mess he made, we just can't more of his fiscal recklessness."
Government Accountability Office: "Delays in raising the debt limit can create uncertainty in the Treasury market and lead to higher Treasury borrowing costs. GAO estimated that delays in raising the debt limit in 2011 led to an increase in Treasury's borrowing costs of about $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011." [GAO, 7/23/12]
Allen: "This Debt Ceiling Vote is a Key Place Where We Have Leverage." At a campaign event in Staunton, Allen said: "This debt-ceiling vote is a key place where we have leverage. . . . I think it has to be coupled with truly ironclad reductions in spending. If they don't, then they're not going to get the votes. And so I look at this as a really important leverage point." [George Allen at Staunton Campaign Event, 5/2/11]