A discussion about the debt ceiling heated up rather quickly on Tuesday night when television host Sean Hannity was joined by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA). The three clashed intensely over budgets, deficits and the national debt.
While Hannity argued that the debt ceiling deadline is “artificial,” Smith disagreed and warned that a default would leave the U.S. government unable pay some of its obligations.
There would be enough money coming in to handle the interest on debt already incurred, Smith said, but other needs would simply not be met.
“The federal government has a lot of bills. Social Security, veterans pay,” the congressman maintained. ”Maybe we won’t be able to pay workers, maybe we won’t be able to pay contractors. We will not be able to pay the bills we have incurred.”
Hannity, though, said that this isn’t entirely true and that there would be enough money to pay the big bills associated with Social Security, Medicate and interest on the debt.
The host admitted that some cuts might need to be made, but noted that not all of the government’s functions are essential and that living temporarily without the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for instance, wouldn’t derail the nation.
Smith, of course, shot back that it wouldn’t be right not to pay government employees who might be trimmed if cuts are made.
“How would you like to run a business where you said … I’ve just decided not to pay a third of my employees this month?” the congressman rhetorically asked.
While Smith agreed that America has “a deficit problem” and said that it needs to be addressed, he said that a simply not paying the nation’s bills isn’t the answer.
“Let me get this through your liberal head. Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing from our children and grandchildren,” Hannity responded.
Smith obviously found this “insulting.”
Watch the clash, below: