Arianna Huffington: ‘This is a completely artificial crisis’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington says that the showdown over raising the debt ceiling is a false crisis which is taking time away from the many real crises America faces.

“Well first of all, Christiane, I think this is a completely artificial crisis,” Huffington said on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” Sunday. “Most countries have no debt ceiling. We started the debt ceiling in the First World War. It’s been raised dozens of times. There is no reason to cap on it with handling our long-term debt and deficit crisis. It is a crisis because they made it a crisis. We have many, many real crises. We have a job crisis. We have a growth crisis. We have a deficit crisis. We have a human capital crisis. We have an infrastructure crisis. We are not handling this crisis right now. We are handling a completely artificial crisis.”

Huffington argued that even if a debt agreement was reached today, it would not do anything “to solve our real problems.”

“It’s not good we’re talking about it in this context,” Huffington said. “Even if we get a deal this afternoon, even if we get that grand bargain, it will not solve any of our problems. We’ll still have massive unemployment and we’ll still have kids graduating from college unable to get jobs and we’ll still have crumbling bridges. So we’re not doing anything to solve our real problems and that’s what politicians are supposed to be doing.”

That statement led to this exchange between Huffington and Fox Business Network correspondent Charles Gasparino. According to Gasparino, it is good to see the debt problem at least being discussed. Huffington dismissed the contention:

GASPARINO: Arianna, $14 trillion of debt is a big problem and it’s growing.
HUFFINGTON: But you’re not addressing it. You know perfectly — if you don’t address our growth problem we’ll never resolve our deficit problem.
GASPARINO: Absolutely, I’ve always said that but we do have to get a handle on it. At least we’re debating it.
HUFFINGTON: But we’re not getting a handle on it.
GASPARINO: We are talking about cuts.
HUFFINGTON: One more percent of growth would actually do more to solve our problems than any cuts in entitlements.