Earth to MSNBC executives: your anchor, your reporter, and your editors do not know what they’re talking about. They just badly misinformed your viewers.

The “debt ceiling” is a limit on debt, not spending. The “ceiling” is an artificial limit set by Congress; it can be raised, even repealed, with zero harm to the Republic. There is no intrinsic reason why the US cannot raise its level of debt above current levels. There are, however, many reasons why it should raise this arbitrary limit to avoid serious harm to the credit of the United States. Your report explained none of them.

Mr. Lui’s tee shirt is mislabeled. Spending is not debt. In the simplest terms, the total debt is the accumulated difference between revenues and spending. Mr. Lui’s tee shirt, by itself, is meaningless, and his explanation is misleading.

You might have explained that there are no spending cut proposals from Republicans that would not require raising the debt ceiling by from several hundred billions to over a trillion dollars. That’s because the additional debt from this year’s budget, never mind next year’s, is over a trillion dollars. Treasury says we’ll likely hit the current arbitrary ceiling by March or so. The ever-shrinking Republican proposals would cut less that $50 billion this year. So under the Republican proposals, the debt ceiling must be raised by several hundred billions this year and more next year.

So ditch the clowns, MSNBC, and explain this correctly. You owe your audience a correction. Jeez.

[h/t TPM]