Patterico's Pontifications

7/15/2011

Does the debt ceiling blame game matter?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:00 am

[Posted by Karl]

A number of politicians and pundits on the right (e.g., Sen. Mitch McConnell, Charles Krauthammer — though the latter is singing a different tune this morning) tend to view the current standoff between Pres. Obama and Congressional Republicans over raising the debt ceiling in large part through the prism of the blame game. (Oddly, Karl Rove claims Obama owns this problem, even though he was fearing a government shutdown would boost Obama a few months back.) The GOP — and elements of the right more generally — remain haunted by the ghosts of 1995, when legend has it Bill Clinton vanquished Newt Gingrich in a standoff, destroying the GOP brand and easing the path to Clinton’s re-election.

To be sure, you don’t have to look far to find a public opinion poll showing the public will blame the GOP if the debt limit is not raised. But does it matter?

Political scientist John Sides reminds us that it’s the economy, silly:

Assume there is no deal and then assume, as [Treasury Secretary] Geithner and others have warned, that there are serious consequences for the economy when the debt ceiling isn’t raised. This will hurt Obama. And it will hurt him more than it will hurt the Republican Party. Presidents suffer the consequences of a bad economy. Divided government does not change this. Beware pundits who see silver linings for Obama in this scenario.

Read the whole thing, with all the graphs and such. Liberal Nate Silver tells his readers to question these models. That might seem odd, coming from the former sabremetrician, though it’s not the first time he’s done it since the economic data started looking truly bad for Obama. TNR’s Jonathan Chait prays the business elite will intervene, or that more soaring oratory from Obama will make the difference (just like during the debate over ObamaCare, when the president moved public opinion to his… oh, wait). I apologize for being skeptical of the assertion that “we’ve never seen this before” when the right could make the same sort of arguments. Our national debt is increasing at a rate even the Obama administration admits is unsustainable. Nevertheless, as Jake Tapper, Allahpundit, Ace and Verum Serum have all noted, Obama seems to prefer no deal to a even a short-term deal; what amount of speechifying obscures that?

Moreover, the sui generis assertion contradicts the original establishment claim that we have seen this before in 1995-96. And what about the 1995 example in particular? Dan Laughlin and David A. Graham can give you plenty of reasons why 2012 won’t be 1996. The economy is worse (for which Obama will take much of the blame; he can blame G.W. Bush, but Obama hasn’t pulled us out of the ditch and he’s The One on the ballot). Obama is not as skilled as Clinton; Boehner is not the high-profile target Gingrich was.

Moreover, the impact of the 1995 government shutdown was much less than the legend suggests. As Clinton rode the economy to a less than 50% victory, the GOP lost nine seats in the House, but picked up two Senate seats. In gross numbers, 15 GOP freshmen lost or quit in 1996 (57 were re-elected). That’s hardly a catastrophe, especially in context of the period. Republicans won control of both houses of Congress in 1994 for the first time since the Great Depression in an enormous midterm wave. The demographics of the 1996 election were always going to be more favorable to the Dems, especially in a decent economy. Most of the House seats lost in 1996 were in blue (or blue-leaning) states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon. Was anyone shocked that Michael Flanagan lost Dan Rostenkowski’s old seat in Chicago to Rod Blagojevich? Not really. Given how far the pendulum swung in 1994, the fact that the House GOP lost only nine net seats with an incumbent Democrat presiding over a good economy does not suggest voters were out to punish Republicans over the government shutdown (unless they lived in places prone to punish Republicans on general principle).

Of course, it does not necessarily follow that people on the right should not care about raising the debt ceiling. If a failure to raise the limit precipitated a financial panic or a double-dip recession, higher interest rates or lower economic growth would only make the national debt a bigger problem. Sen. McConnell seems motivated by those concerns as well as partisan ones. But Mark Tapscott, Kevin D. Williamson, William Kristol, Byron York and others have all identified actions Congressional Republicans can take that are better solutions than McConnell’s contingency plan. Ace is probably correct in surmising that McConnell’s plan would not cause Obama to own increases in the debt ceiling. Fortunately, voters will almost certainly force Obama to own the economy. If Obama wants to risk a financial panic or double-dip by insisting on massive tax increases, people may tell pollsters they blame the GOP… and maybe they will. But the blame will fall more heavily on Obama at the ballot box.

–Karl

139 Responses to “Does the debt ceiling blame game matter?”

  1. 1996…
    Not only was it a net pick-up for the GOP on The Hill, it was the first time since 1928 that the GOP had retained control of Congress in an election. The two previous GOP Houses (1947-49, and 1953-55) had seen the Dems regain control as the country turned away from the stirling leadership of Joe Martin, who was a little charisma-challenged – especially when compared to Sam Rayburn.

    AD-RtR/OS! (7d3578)

  2. Well argued, thanks.

    __t_i_m_o_t_h_y__ (fe9ffd)

  3. Krauthammer has the correct plan. The difference between now and 1995 is the internet.

    Cheshire Cat ^..^(____)~~~ (0cd6a2)

  4. 80% of Republicans want tax increase, Karl. Teh One said so, so it must be true.

    JD (318f81)

  5. Let’s also not forget that Dole was a horrific candidate (a very old, moderate republican with a bad temper and a penchant for falling off stages) and with Ross Perot on the ballot more people voted against Clinton than for him.

    So, in addition to the reasons you outline, the 1996 electin can hardly be called a referendum on the gov’t shutdown.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  6. what bumble doesn’t understand is that people don’t want to have to keep one eye on their government at all times for so it doesn’t lunge at them and rape them or their loved ones

    we just want to live our lives like how we used to

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  7. 2010 was different from 1994. The conservatives are far more connected to what’s going on.

    Do the moderates even know which party controls which house of congress? Do they even know what a debt ceiling is?

    That’s the peril of Obama permitting a disaster in hopes of sharing blame. Those who know enough to understand the roles of the different branches will understand the situation too well to be easily manipulated. Those who do now know enough will simply think this is Obama’s watch, and the economy is screwed up worse than ever in their lives, and Obama is not much of a uniter.

    The House needs to go ahead and pass a limited debt ceiling increase with provisions for spending cuts. More Americans want spending cuts than tax increases. Tax increases would ruin the economy.

    If Obama is going to insist he can’t accept a limited debt ceiling increase already passed by the House, I just don’t see how the GOP gets blamed. CNN and the rest of the MSM weren’t able to stem the 2010 wave.

    So long as the economy sucks, the heat is 99% on Obama. There is no amount of spin that can relieve that. Only saving the economy can.

    BTW, I love how Karl always includes so many links.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  8. Do you think anyone in the White House or the Democrat establishment has been following this story from Illinois? You may recall that Democrats in the Land of Lincoln pushed through a tax increases last year which they started collecting this year. What happened to all that new income? Quoting from the article:

    A 67 percent increase in the personal income tax rate and 46 percent hike in the corporate tax rate enacted by the state in January has been absorbed by Medicaid and public pensions and were not helping to pay bills, according to Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

    This quote needs to be sent to every single legislator, editorial board, university professor, lobbyist, blogger, or TV talking head who thinks that we can tax our way back to prosperity.

    JVW (39c649)

  9. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who insists on anything unreasonable is to blame, and the fact that somebody else may in some respects be unreasonable, or be made to look unreasonable (made to look because the issue is really irrelevant and unnecesary) doesn’t make the other people NOT unreasonable.

    President Obama insisting on the August 3rd date, if he can avoid it, is unreasonable.

    Presiednt Obama saying that he would veto a small debt limit extension is unreasonable. Does that include even a plain one that ushes off teh issue for 4 or 5 months?

    President Obama insisting that some trivial tax changes be included is unreasonable.

    House Republicans insisting on no tax raises at all is unreasonable. Not that they might not want them – refusing to raise the debt ceiling if that’s included is unreasonable.

    House Republicans insisting on spending cuits without understanding what they mean is unreasonable.

    It is quite possible for both sides to be unreasonable. Some positions are unreasonable whichever side is stubborn.

    The proposal to match debt limit increases changes with equal spending cuts is a non-sequitor. I guess maybe the House Republican leadership did that because they think the Tea Party people won’t notice it is non-sequitor.

    There is no logical connection between the two numbers.

    The Senate majority not taking up the bill to prioritize sopending in the event of cash flow problem, or not taking up other bills is unreasonable.

    The Republican Presidential candiates just avoiding the issue, or even worse, endorsing something that is unsound is no credit to them.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  10. I wrote this proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1992. I had to change the amendment number a bit after I wrote this because of the 200 year amendment about Congressional pay which was at long last ratified in 1992.

    This is not a balanced budget amendment. It is a budget process amendment. It is designed to make agreement possible and it doesn’t foreclose any options. It just would make things work. The only problem is this is not completely worked out. It needs bit more work. It doesn’t deal with what to do when two contradictory laws pass simultaneously (using the same money for two different purposes)

    What this does actually is it gets rid of the budget process. It gets rid of the Congressional budget Office and disagreements about the course of the economy and the effect of changes in tax and a spending laws.

    If some people think something will cost less than others say they can vote on that basis. if some people think changes in tax laws will raise more revenue than others do they can vote on that bass. They can gamble. They will lose only of they are wrong.

    Above all, it makes it possible to reach a decision.

    I might note that a balanced budget amenembnt could never get ratified. This thing could get ratified, though.

    At this stage I think people would be ready to toss out the whole Congressional budget process and go with this instead.

    Here it is:

    Article XXVII

    Section 1.

    1. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury unless a source of income for it has previously been received, but the Treasury may issue notes for a term no longer than 270 days against future receipts. This
    debt shall not be valid except against those particular receipts assigned to that debt, but Congress may pay it anyway.

    2. No bill appropriating money to be drawn from the Treasury shall become law unless it provides an income stream for that expenditure, which may be any receipt of money that comes into the U.S. Treasury,
    including borrowing.

    3. No other source of revenue may be used but that specifically provided by law.

    4. The same source of revenue may not be simultaneously tied to more than one purpose, but any individual income stream may be split or assigned in any way prescribed by Congress.

    5. The sources and expenditures may be replaced and abolished any number of times before the money is spent, and it shall always be in order in both Houses for any Amendment to a bill that is proposing any
    expenditure to use a source of revenue already assigned, except that whenever it shall turn out when a bill becomes law, that the money has already been spent even though the income has not come in, enough must be collected to cover the expenditures before it can go to another purpose.

    Section 2.

    1. Both Houses of Congress shall maintain a running tally of proposed expenditures and sources for them, separately both for those that have passed into law and those that have passed that particular House, which shall also be available for inspection by the public.

    2. No more than 15% of the possible expenditures of the Treasury during any given calendar year,or such other period that Congress may by law provide,shall result from the adoption of one bill and no more than
    30% from any three bills,nor 40% from any 8 bills. In calculating how much of an expenditure extending over a longer period or overlapping the calculated period belongs to a particular period,a pro-ratio formula
    shall be used unless in the bill appropriating money a different timetable for spending it was mandated. All appropriation bills and laws shall always be valid, but no more money may actually be spent than would fit into this formula. [Note, this clause needs more work]

    3. No two or more appropriation bills may be tied together by any rule of either House and the President must be given the opportunity to
    veto any one.

    Section 3.

    1. The government of the United States shall not been be bound by any other budget requirements but those that result from this Amendment, except for other provisions of the Constitution.

    2. The Federal Budget and all laws relating to it are hereby abolished, but all trust funds are to be deemed already assigned in accordance with
    the provisions of this article.

    Section 4.

    1. Whenever money is appropriated Congress may direct that it all be spent before a certain date and lay down any other regulations down with respect to time, and Congress may extend the time period for spending the money at any time.

    2. The time periods for the various sources of revenue and expenditure for different purposes need not be the same length nor start at the same date in the same year.

    Section 5.

    1. Any member of Congress or a state legislative body shall have standing to sue and claim that this Amendment has been violated.

    2. This article shall become effective on the second October 1st following its ratification.

    3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states within seven years from the
    date of its submission to the States by Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  11. Sorry for typos.

    Some of this should go:

    If some people think something will cost less than others say they can vote on that basis. If some people think changes in tax laws will raise more revenue than others do they can vote on that basis. They can gamble. They will lose only if they are wrong.

    Above all, it makes it possible to reach a decision

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  12. The proposal to match debt limit increases changes with equal spending cuts is a non-sequitor. I guess maybe the House Republican leadership did that because they think the Tea Party people won’t notice it is non-sequitor.

    There is no logical connection between the two numbers.

    Huh? How could any two numbers be any more logically connected? The only thing that made us hit the debt ceiling in the first place is the unrestrained spending. How can you justify borrowing more money without coming at least half way by matching it in spending cuts?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  13. I disagree with Obama os that must make me a racist hatriot.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  14. so*

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  15. Stop fearmongering you POS.

    Oh wait that phrase only applies to the right.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  16. angeleno, I gotta love their photo with their article.

    Cantor and Boehner.

    No Harry Reid? What’s up with that? No Nancy Pelosi? He’s pretty loud lately. No Geithner or Obama? That’s just bizarre.

    Strange that they provide Geither and Obama’s views, do not provide Cantor or Boehner’s beyond ‘could provoke a catastrophe’ generalities, but the photo next to the doom scenario is those two latter fellas.

    Someone wanting to know what the real controversy would have no idea Obama is refusing to accept a small debt hike because he demands tax hikes and a bigger ceiling increase to take him beyond the election season.

    My favorite part of the article is when they repeat the claim Obama wouldn’t touch soldier pay. They don’t refute this with the fact he tried to very recently.

    It’s very interesting watching the MSM spend their ever waning credibility. Every time they do it, more people turn towards new media.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  17. Anyone seen one of them wonderful Chevy Volts?

    ropelight (416004)

  18. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who insists on anything unreasonable is to blame

    Except who gets to define “unreasonable”? Given what you bleated about Republicans following the above, I don’t think I want it to be you.

    I don’t want my taxes raised. I pay too much in taxes already. I don’t even want to talk about raising my tax rate until all unnecessary spending has been cut. I don’t want to talk about raising anyone’s tax rate until that happens, in fact.

    If you consider me “unreasonable” for believing that, then you can kiss my a**.

    Darth Venomous (c8614a)

  19. Perhaps Geithner will wave his magic wand again and authorize an extended “debt issuance suspension period. Only this time the administration gets to loot IRAs.

    http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2011/07/the-looters.html

    cap'n john's nephew (d29614)

  20. Karl, this is indeed well argued, and I really want to be persuaded to agree with your conclusion.

    I’m not persuaded, though.

    The margins are what’s important: Something close to or north of 40% of U.S. voters are already effectively committed to vote either for or against Obama in 2012 regardless of what happens on the debt ceiling, the deficit, and the economy in the meantime. Obama’s margin of victory in 2008 came from those who made irrational projections onto him. All of them are susceptible to — and many of them desperately crave — a reason to do so again in 2012.

    Demagoguery is so popular precisely because it’s so effective at changing results on the margins. You’ve persuaded me that it ought not work here, but not that it won’t.

    Beldar (3895f0)

  21. “Republicans won control of both houses of Congress in 1994 for the first time since the Great Depression…”

    Minor correction: The Republicans controlled both houses of Congress after the 1946, and 1952 elections. Not for long though.

    “This will hurt Obama.”

    Good.

    Dave Surls (959254)

  22. Beldar:

    All of them are susceptible to — and many of them desperately crave — a reason to do so again in 2012.

    Ann Althouse comes to mind.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  23. Charles Krauthammer concedes they’ve lost the battle and the war:

    “The Republicans are being totally outmaneuvered. The House speaker appears disoriented. ”

    Also

    “Maybe the debt ceiling was the wrong place to pick a fight, as it related to trying to get our country’s house in order,”
    –Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

    The GOP is crumbling, they don’t represent Americans

    Rupert (16d6d6)

  24. Rupert represents kool-aid drinkers.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  25. Comment by Rupert — 7/15/2011 @ 8:08 pm

    Ahh… answers/Power/etc, why do you hate black people?

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  26. Jeez, Yelverton.

    I’ll throw some coins under the bridge for you next time.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  27. “The House speaker appears disoriented.”

    You would be too, if you had to sit there and listen to Obambi spew, while trying to keep a straight face.

    Dave Surls (959254)

  28. Comment by Dave Surls — 7/15/2011 @ 7:36 pm

    1996 was the first time since 1928 that the GOP held their majority on The Hill.

    Gene Eric (7d3578)

  29. Obama allegedly stormed out like the petulent kid he is.

    /Farlefturds.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  30. McConnell says since elections, ultimatums and attempts at blackmail have failed, a Constitutional amendment is necessary to force America to obey the Republicans.

    The Tea Party/GOP platform this election cycle revolves around things that have nothing to do with fixing the economy they destroyed in eight years under Bush. And while they claim they are “fiscal conservatives”, what this really means is that we should be spending money on what THEY want to spend it on – generally further enriching the rich and on war.

    McConnell says it’s time for a constitutional amendment forcing a balanced budget. What’s hilarious about this is that President Clinton managed this without an amendment.

    So much for Democracy. When it doesn’t get you the desired result, they suspend the two-party system and then democracy itself. Pay close attention, America. The Republicans are not even pretending to be American patriots anymore.

    Rupert (16d6d6)

  31. :roll: Please go back to LGF you retard.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  32. Rupert is the same POS who thinks Obama and the left can do no wrong.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  33. Yelverton lies – Krauthammer concedes nothing:

    “It’s time to act. Time to call Obama’s bluff.

    A long-term deal or nothing? The Republican House should immediately pass a short-term debt-ceiling hike of $500 billion containing $500 billion in budget cuts. That would give us about five months to work on something larger.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  34. “What’s hilarious about this is that President Clinton managed this without an amendment.”

    Rupert – What is hilarious is you claiming Clinton should get any credit for it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. Why doesn’t the House pass a specific spending bill for the month of August. In the bill allocate funds specifically for Debt Service, Social Security, Medicare, Essential Defense (especially military paychecks), Veterans benefits and retirement checks.According to published figures this leaves about $34 billion of revenues over spending (or $44 billion short of what we need to cover all that months purposed spending). Leave it up to Obama where to cut the difference of $44 billion. Do the same for September. And so on and so on. That leaves the Democratic Senate with the choice of going along or trying to pass something different over Republican Opposition. Obama can veto if he has the gonads. I doubt that.

    Mike Giles (24401c)

  36. Rupert fails to acknowledge that though Congress passed a “balanced” budget during the Clinton Presidency, the actual performance was less than stunning.
    The smallest addition to the National Debt during the Clinton Years was FY-2000, when $18-Billion was ADDED to the National Debt.
    If increasing the National Debt by $18,000,000,000.00 is “balancing the budget”, there is no hope (or change) for this country.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6696ac)

  37. “McConnell says it’s time for a constitutional amendment forcing a balanced budget. What’s hilarious about this is that President Clinton managed this without an amendment.”

    No, he didn’t. There was never a balanced budget while Slick was president, though we came pretty close one year (2000), thanks to a Republican controlled Congress (which at least managed to slow the growth in the ever-rising debt), and no thanks to totally irresponsible liberals…like Slick.

    The debt rose every single year he was in office…leftoid lies notwithstanding.

    I think the last time we actually had a federal government surplus was in the 1950s. In FY 1956 the feds owed $273 billion, and in 1957 they actually reduced the debt to $271 billion…and that was the last time we ever had a surplus.

    Federal government debt figures can be found here:
    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

    Dave Surls (f3aff3)

  38. Barack O’Bluffer’s, the science is settled, 80% of the public prefers a balanced approach to deficit reduction citation, was apparently cherry picked from a Public Policy Polling poll of four battleground states commissions by MoveOn.org and other progressive groups. No reputable polling group has reported anything similar and in fact most report a majority or plurality supporting a spending cut only approach.

    More mush from the wimp.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  39. “1996 was the first time since 1928 that the GOP held their majority on The Hill.”

    Yup. And that’s why we’re in the fix we’re in.

    Because between 1933 and 1995 the Democrats have basically owned Congress. And, man, did they screw everything up.

    Dave Surls (f3aff3)

  40. Yelverton is on about his 5th sock, just this week, and is clearly in one of his manic phases.

    JD (2da347)

  41. I can see why Rupert is so upset.

    On the one hand, his one bullet in the democrat’s favor is Clinton’s balanced budget. A budget Clinton fought tooth and nail against. A budget that wasn’t even balanced except on paper (a lie, then, Rupert is lying).

    But hey, it’s much better than what Obama’s doing.

    Obama’s deficit is about one hundred times worse. So why is Rupert giving Clinton credit for a low deficit, while ignoring Obama’s responsibility for his? Most of Obama’s deficit came in an era of democrat control of congress, and he’s certainly responsible for the current one too.

    If Rupert really likes the low deficit of the Gingrich Clinton era, again, the product of defeating Clinton on policy, then why is he supporting Obama’s back breaking deficits now?

    It makes no logical sense.

    It’s not possible to sanely support Obama anymore. He went on and on about how horrible it would be to lead exactly the he leads now. The things he said to get elected caused naive or dishonest partisans to insist he would go exactly in the opposite direction.

    Is Beldar right? Can the same dupes be fooled again? Could George W Bush convince America he’s the anti war president? Could Reagan convince America he’s a communist? That’s what it would amount to for Obama to convince us he’s honest, or interested in reducing the deficit.

    But as best as I can tell, Rupert isn’t trying to convince us. He’s contradictory thoughts indicate he might be trying to convince himself.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  42. Beldar (20),

    An interesting argument, but I’m not sure I buy it. I would argue the true marginal voter does not have an irrational attachment to Obama, but voted for him in ’08 because the economy was bad. They’ll vote against him in ’12 if the economy is bad. (They may also vote against their GOP Rep, if they have one, but those marginal losses get diffused nationwide.)

    Karl (1c1b70)

  43. They’ll vote against him in ’12 if the economy is bad.

    I’d suspect 90% of moderate swing voters have no idea which party controls with house of congress, let alone what’s going on with the deficit in the past few years.

    Sadly, if they knew this stuff, most of them wouldn’t be swing voters anymore.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  44. So, what’s new here? Tax-and-Spend Democrats are running true to form. Tax extortion is their stock and spending is their trade. Manufactured crisis is not only their preferred operating environment, it’s also the clarion call to close ranks and yelp in unison.

    Taxing and spending is in their DNA, it’s reinforced by decades of brainwashing in union controlled propaganda mills, and it’s been celebrated on TV and in movies all their lives. Raising taxes and spending public funds to buy enough votes to keep them in power is their way of life, it’s all they know, most of them have never had a real job.

    Barack Obama and his extortionist mob of Tax-and-spend Democrats are addicted to a parasitic existence, they feel entitled to live off the money others have earned, they don’t give a damn what you think, and they’ll kill off Uncle Sam before they’ll allow anyone allowed to interrupt their banquet.

    The way Democrats see it is all the money belongs to them by right of conquest, and you haven’t got the guts to do anything about it.

    ropelight (e96858)

  45. Dustin, if it wasn’t for Cognitive Dissonance, the Left would have no cognition at all.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6696ac)

  46. I am completely and absolutely confident that no one knows with any certainty what is going to happen, except that some get a paycheck when they give their opinions.

    What causes wars? In one sense miscalculating what your opponent will do.

    In spite of totally inadequate experience, a background filled with heavy baggage, and a fight against the Clinton Machine, Obama won the nomination. Then, in spite of confusing his importance and power with that of God (the oceans and healing the sick speech), he was elected. Furthermore, the press even now fails to mention that the Dem Senate (and the Pres is a Dem, too, BTW) hasn’t bothered to pass a budget in over 2 years and goes along broadcasting Obama’s blame shifting “all you folks need to learn to eat your peas” near daily press conferences to obfuscate the truth.

    Karl, you have done a great job bringing together many of the potential scenarios being discussed, but I think truth is stranger than fiction and will bet only that everybody is wrong in their predictions.

    BTW, there is a book Senseless Panic that talks about no matter what you think of the underlying causes of the economic crisis in 2008, it was made much worse than it needed to be by the folks in charge. It is written b a fellow named Bill Isaac who was head of the FDIC in the 80′s. I actually got ot hear him speak a few weeks ago in his little home town of Bryan, Ohio, population <10,000.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  47. Is Beldar right? Can the same dupes be fooled again? Could George W Bush convince America he’s the anti war president? Could Reagan convince America he’s a communist? That’s what it would amount to for Obama to convince us he’s honest, or interested in reducing the deficit.
    Comment by Dustin

    I am hoping one day there will be a Geico commercial with the line, “Is Barach Obama a hard-core anti-capitalist who wants the US to disappear into the mediocrity of history?”

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  48. Is Beldar right? Can the same dupes be fooled again? Could George W Bush convince America he’s the anti war president? Could Reagan convince America he’s a communist? That’s what it would amount to for Obama to convince us he’s honest, or interested in reducing the deficit.

    With a pliant media, yes.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  49. As long as the LSM is allowed to set the narrative, their masters on the Left will control the debate.
    It is up to the Alternative Media to challenge, and overthrow, the hegemony of the Established Media Culture, so that an honest debate can commence on the future of the country, and society.
    Krauthammer, on Washington Week (sic) last night was relentless on the subject of just what cuts had been advanced by Obama in the back-and-forth of the Debt Talks.
    He couldn’t get any answer to his question from the likes of Totenberg, etc.
    Eventually, his hectoring was so relentless, the “moderator” had to announce “Let’s move on”, because there were no answers forthcoming, as there were no answers –
    Obama has not advanced any program that he is willing to reduce in the face of the demands of the House Majority for real reductions in Federal spending.
    It is all so typical of the Left, that they speak in grand concepts, and are completely incapable of dealing with the minutia of reality.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6696ac)

  50. Sorry, that was “Inside Washington” (all those PBS shows look alike after a while), and the report is here:
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/07/15/charles-krauthammer-accuses-press-accepting-every-leak-out-white-hous

    AD-RtR/OS! (6696ac)

  51. They* will not vote repub in 2012 sorry to say.

    They meaning the obots.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  52. How many times did we raise the debt ceiling under Bush, again?

    Leviticus (c5f76d)

  53. no one’s saying not to raise the debt ceiling it’s just we shouldn’t raise it until America resolves to behave like a right proper country with a bit of dignity and good sense and stop this galavanting around like a spendy spendy dirty trollop

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  54. How many times did we raise the debt ceiling under Bush, again?

    Comment by Leviticus

    Too many times. I believe nine times, though what really counts is how high we raised it. And I recall conservatives complaining about it. Though not nearly as clearly and accurately as Obama did when he explained how doing so is wrong, and a failure of leadership dooming our country by kicking the can down the road.

    In Bush’s eight years, the ceiling increased from 5.7 to 10.7 (the debt itself was not that high yet at the end of Bush’s term. Obama said 10.7 trillion was too much too fast. Now Obama has already exceeded 14.2 trillion in a hell of a lot fewer than eight years.

    Sorry, but it’s not actually hypocritical to say enough is enough when something keeps going up.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  55. And happyfeet has a point as well, Leviticus. Can you acknowledge the GOP is willing to increase the debt ceiling if Obama can keep his damn promise to cut spending? We need to get this under control.

    Obama is refusing to make a sane, limited deal.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  56. Also, not only would raising taxes in a recession/depression be asinine, but the GOP pledged specifically not to do that. The voters extracted that promise.

    It is profoundly undemocratic and a cynical game of undermining your political opposition to require the GOP to agree to a tax increase. There’s no reason for it either, as spending has ballooned ridiculously in the past 10 years.

    the sane, moderate solution is a very small debt ceiling adjustment tied to spending cuts. Obama can get what he needs in exchange for fulfilling his pledge to cut the deficit.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  57. It’s no use Dustin….
    It’s all Booosh’s fault;
    he held a gun to Obama’s head and forced him to spend:
    Booosh forced him to circumvent normal BK procedures in reorganizing GM and Chrysler;
    Boosh forced him to spend $800B of stimulus money on “shovel ready” state and local govt payrolls;
    Boosh forced him to have the Fed go through QE-I and QE-II, borrowing money from ourselves that will probably (if it already hasn’t) ignite a raging bout of inflation, if not stagflation, and prompting a downgrading of U.S. debt instruments from their AAA rating;
    Boosh forced him to pass ObamaCare that will destroy the medical insurance industry, forcing Americans into a National Health Service with all of the great care we currently see in the UK and Canada;
    it’s Boosh, Boosh, Boosh, don’t you realize that?
    (did I leave anything out?)

    AD-RtR/OS! (6696ac)

  58. Bush hacked Obama’s blackberry. You can tell because he’s got a German IP address. A lot of germans moved to that part of Texas.

    If you don’t believe me you are a sheeple.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  59. Not just Obama, but every single senate Dem voted against raising the debt limit in 2006. Will the moderators on any Sunday morning show ask about this? Yeah, the Dems said they were protesting the cost of the wars then, but hey, how many wars are we (still) in, now?

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/07/debt-vote-flashback-every-single-dem-voted-against-raising-the-debt-in-2006/

    elissa (775109)

  60. Laurence Tribe has a guest post up Volokh Conspiracy on the constitutionality of the debt ceiling. It’s required reading.

    ropelight (8b6994)

  61. Bush was a progressive lefty on Amnesty and spending but still do you really think he hacked Obama’s blackberry?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  62. McConnell says it’s time for a constitutional amendment forcing a balanced budget.

    You mean like a constitutional amendment forcing an income tax?

    Another Chris (c983db)

  63. If, and it’s one heck of a big if, the House and the Senate can pass a balanced budget amendment (BBA), the proposed amendment would then be sent to the states for debate and approval. It would take approval by 3/4ths of the state legislatures for a BBA to become the law of the land.

    It’s reasonable to expect that process to take many years, say about 10 or so. During that time the virtues of a balanced budget would be a prominent, and recurring topic for public consideration. For years, candidates for both local and national election would find focus on the issue central to their success.

    All in all, win or lose, a national BBA debate would be healthy and informative. It’s a good idea, and it deserves a fair hearing.

    ropelight (8b6994)

  64. “You mean like a constitutional amendment forcing an income tax?”

    Another Chris – No, it would be more like a constitutional amendment freeing the slaves.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  65. “What really counts is how high we raised it.”

    - Dustin

    No, what really counts is a consistent adherence to a principle, which is what this whole fight is supposedly about.

    It seems that the argument I’m hearing the most from conservatives objecting to raising the debt ceiling is something along the lines of “What’s the point of having a debt ceiling if you’re just gonna raise it every time you run up against it?” Which makes sense – valid objection, valid grounds for refusing to raise the debt ceiling.

    But the argument was just as valid eight years ago – way, way more valid, in fact, because eight years ago the people making the objection (then and now) hadn’t swallowed their ideological qualms for the greater good nine times in a row under a Republican president. So how is this not a load of hypocritical partisan bullsh*t, again?

    Leviticus (4fc254)

  66. But the argument was just as valid eight years ago – way, way more valid, in fact, because eight years ago the people making the objection (then and now) hadn’t swallowed their ideological qualms for the greater good nine times in a row under a Republican president. So how is this not a load of hypocritical partisan bullsh*t, again?

    Of course, it begs the question that a debt ceiling is even relevant. This is a device that is almost 100 years old now, and it’s been inflated to the point that now politicians can’t just pretend anymore that running perpetual deficits isn’t a big deal.

    If there wasn’t the threat of a credit downgrade, I doubt there would be as much attention on this, since it was never an issue before. But now there has to be an acknowledgement that the party’s over and austerity is coming whether its forced by legislation or the markets.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  67. Another Chris – No, it would be more like a constitutional amendment freeing the slaves.

    I realize that. But with Yelverton chimping out equating Team Red proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as a subversion of democracy, it’s prudent to point out that there are amendments which fall in line with what he likes.

    The Constitutional ignorance he displayed in that comment was just an added bonus.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  68. “It seems that the argument I’m hearing the most from conservatives objecting to raising the debt ceiling is something along the lines of “What’s the point of having a debt ceiling if you’re just gonna raise it every time you run up against it?””

    Leviticus – With respect, if that’s what it seems like you’re hearing, then you are not listening hard enough or to the right people. Look for the spending as a % of GDP arguments, debt as a % of GDP arguments projected out over the next decade – that shows the real abyss we are standing over. You have missed the real point if you think the above is what the debate is about.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  69. Another Chris – My tongue was firmly in my cheek.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  70. Leviticus is a tax and spend liberal.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  71. daley,

    I understand those arguments, and they’re good ones; frankly, I’m not sure I want the debt limit raised anymore than I was sure I wanted the TARP bailouts. I think I’d rather deal with the chaos now than put if off til later. But a lot of talking heads are making the other argument, the one I objected to, and that one kinda pisses me off.

    Leviticus (52cacf)

  72. I think the GOP will get blamed because several of them are saying they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling at all. If they act as if it is all a hoax and then things really do get bad…well they are the ones who get blamed. I blame the Democrats more than the Republicans because they control more of the government and are in a position to do more about the debt. But of course, they haven’t.

    I understand those arguments, and they’re good ones; frankly, I’m not sure I want the debt limit raised anymore than I was sure I wanted the TARP bailouts. I think I’d rather deal with the chaos now than put if off til later. But a lot of talking heads are making the other argument, the one I objected to, and that one kinda pisses me off.

    Comment by Leviticus — 7/17/2011 @ 11:22 am

    I was not crazy about TARP either, but the thing is it worked and it is on track to make a profit. I think it could and should have been handled differently, but the truth is the debt we face now is the result of TARP. That money has been paid back. And while people might think it would have been better to do nothing and let things fall apart, it is worth noting that government helped create the financial crisis..it was not just some normal down turn.

    Robert J. Samuelson is not some lefty economist, in fact he said that social security was welfare and he has been arguing against farm subsidies for years. He said that without TARP unemployment would be even higher today than it is now. That would mean a bigger deficit, not a smaller one.

    If there is a default, there could be all kinds of people hurt by it. Hospitals, clinics and health care agencies…individuals who depend on those services as well. Interest rates could shoot up and not only would that hurt the economy it would make it more difficult to pay the debt off in the long run.

    It is one thing to ask for cuts and work to cut spending, it is another to flirt with disaster.

    Terrye (3d4bc9)

  73. I don’t see any reason to argue with Leviticus.

    It would have been better had we not raised the debt ceiling many times in the past.

    One could argue that Bush was trying to protect us from terrorism, but frankly that’s kinda a load of crap. We should have seen the long term fact we face more than one problem. We should have funded our war efforts while stripping out entitlements to something within the realm of reason.

    Obama was right in 2007. The democrats all voted together swearing raising the debt ceiling as a horrible thing to do. Of course, they were shameless unpatriotic bastards who were playing games with this country’s welfare because they hate Republicans. That’s stupid. But they were ultimately right anyway, and I’m not afraid to admit it. kicking the can down the road gets worse every single time you do it.

    Leviticus is complaining that the GOP raised the debt ceiling above 5.7 trillion $. He says we shouldn’t have done that. Now it’s 14.2 trillion, and the democrats want to raise it again, and while it’s certainly ridiculous to claim hypocrisy is proven by the GOP, I’m not concerned with the partisan blame game. I’m concerned with how overburdened we are with debt.

    It is absolutely beyond acceptable at this point. Wherever you draw the line, surely we’re past it by now. If Obama wasn’t lying about the 10.7 trillion debt (I realize he was lying) then he can’t really demand it be increased above where it now.

    At some point, we need to stop trying to prove hypocrisy. I realize the GOP has the better argument there, since their votes were for lower ceilings, and the dems provably have flipped for no reason but partisanship, but who cares?

    End of the line, we can’t keep raising the debt ceiling without spending cuts now. The GOP is actually doing a pretty good job handling some cynical BS, and unlike some, I do not think the MSM can fool this country. It’s too easy to see what’s going on.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  74. I think I’d rather deal with the chaos now than put if off til later. But a lot of talking heads are making the other argument, the one I objected to, and that one kinda pisses me off.

    Good point, Leviticus.

    Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t actually solve anything.

    Like I said, there’s no reason to argue against you. We just need to accept that we shouldn’t have raised the debt ceiling to this point, and raising it further is not a panacea.

    I think the GOP will get blamed because several of them are saying they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling at all. If they act as if it is all a hoax and then things really do get bad

    Here’s what you don’t understand: it will get really bad even if we raise the debt ceiling because we have too much freaking debt. It’s just that we’re going to kick that can down the road for your kids to suffer with.

    there’s no “if” it gets bad. it’s bad. We have to deal with it somehow. Baby boomers need to have some of their goodies eliminated. Kicking the can down the road until they have sucked up every last cent is not ‘truth’ and saying the debt ceiling is no solution is not a ‘hoax’.

    Furthermore, conflating the point that we can service our debt without raising the debt ceiling with saying there will be no negative consequences of raising the debt ceiling is fundamentally wrong.

    Of course not raising the debt ceiling will mean the fed is spending less of your money. Of course that means some of the people who are stealing your money won’t get as much and will be upset about that. We should follow that path as much as we can bear, limiting spending in every direction we can manage. This will of course cause a lot of sob stories. Those stories will inevitably be painted as proof Obama was right and we should have stolen more of our kids’ money.

    Screw that.

    But the only way to avoid a financial meltdown is for this government to stop spending so much more money than it has. Raising the debt ceiling can’t actually fix it. It might be able to push the collapse off a few years, but the collapse would be much worse.

    I think Leviticus is right to be annoyed the GOP raised it about 5.7 trillion. We had all the power and wasted a chance to do something about it. It would have been really hard. I recall Bush trying to reform social security and it was impossible. But either way, we need to stop kicking the can down the road.

    Terrye and Leviticus are justified in their frustration with pundits, but perhaps it’s best to put all that talk aside and look at the cold truth that we’re out of money.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  75. “Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t actually solve anything.”

    Dustin – Correct. Reforming and reducing government spending does. Obama and Democrats have repeatedly proved they are not serious in this area. I’m not focused on any hypocrisy arguments, I’m focused on getting people serious on reducing spending.

    If not now, when?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  76. “Terrye and Leviticus are justified in their frustration with pundits”

    Dustin – Pundits don’t vote in Congress.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  77. Comment by Leviticus — 7/17/2011 @ 10:51 am

    I think that most of the people in Congress making the argument of what good is a ceiling if you just keep raising it, were not in the Congress during the Bush years.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  78. I bet I could have said all that in 1/4th the words. Daley practically did it in 1/20th.

    My new excuse is that I’m always succinct, but hackers add in lots of secret instructions for their botnets by hacking my comments.

    Obviously.

    Anyway, if you want to look at this as a political problem alone, I don’t think the GOP can win Leviticus’s support by caving. If they can hold true to limited government, now and consistently in the future, they will slowly win more support for responsibility.

    There’s no future in a GOP that plays along with dooming this country. We’ll just have a new conservative political party take over. That’s what Obama sees. If he asks for tax hikes, the GOP is caught between low info voters who want everyone to get along no matter what, and informed voters who will reject a GOP that is useless.

    We’re fortunate it’s 2011, and some politicians are working around the MSM’s firewall.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  79. “…it is another to flirt with disaster.”

    Yes, we just saw how MN imploded when the govt shut down over an argument over the rate of increase in state spending.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  80. AD, that’s just it. I’m not sure I’ll care that much of most of the fed shuts down any more than most MS residents care that their government is apparently shut down.

    I’m trying to think of the last time the federal government actually helped me. I don’t need mail anymore. I don’t need FEMA since I’m in Texas and they hate me. I don’t need Mexican drug lords invading my state with ATF supplied fighter planes or whatnot.

    I would prefer we pay our military. I have no illusions I’ll be collecting social security.

    Obama is bluffing. A whole lot of people would be relieved if much of federal government took a nice break.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  81. The changing game, and face, of DC:

    “Re-election is the farthest thing from my mind,” said Representative Tom Reed, a freshman Republican from upstate New York. “Like many of my colleagues in the freshman class, I came down here to get our fiscal house in order and take care of the threat to national security that we see in the federal debt. We came here not to have long careers. We came here to do something. We don’t care about re-election.”
    H/T- Hot Air

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  82. End of the line, we can’t keep raising the debt ceiling without spending cuts now. The GOP is actually doing a pretty good job handling some cynical BS, and unlike some, I do not think the MSM can fool this country. It’s too easy to see what’s going on.

    Comment by Dustin — 7/17/2011 @ 11:40 am

    I am not arguing with anyone, I am just pointing out that there will be repercussions if the debt limit is not raised.

    I don’t think it is bs to say Bush was trying to protect us. In 2006 our budget deficit was $167 billion a year. We run that each and every month now. To say that we should have stripped entitlements while we funded our war efforts is easy to say now..but people would never have tolerated it. It would not have happened. And you could say the same thing about Reagan as far as that is concerned. After all, he ran deficits and raised the debt limit too.

    Yes, there is too much debt, but refusing to raise the debt limit will not just magically make all that debt go away, in fact it could it make it more difficult to pay it off. I am just saying that while I support spending cuts, I do not think it would be a good idea to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Terrye (eec529)

  83. The changing game, and face, of DC:

    “Re-election is the farthest thing from my mind,” said Representative Tom Reed, a freshman Republican from upstate New York. “Like many of my colleagues in the freshman class, I came down here to get our fiscal house in order and take care of the threat to national security that we see in the federal debt. We came here not to have long careers. We came here to do something. We don’t care about re-election.”
    H/T- Hot Air

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 7/17/2011 @ 12:23 pm

    Nice talk, but in real life what does it mean? If interest rates sore, and businesses lose money and shut down and there are global repercussions and unemployment benefits and veterans benefits and social security benefits and defense contracts and medicare payments to provider are not honored..then what? What about the bond market? The truth is the Democrats are almost hoping the Republicans don’t pass this, so that they can blame the Tea Party for any problems that follow.

    I don’t think things will fall apart over night, but I have a feeling things could get pretty bad. I prefer spending cuts as part of a deal, maybe even a short term deal and then tax reform.

    Terrye (eec529)

  84. Obama is bluffing. A whole lot of people would be relieved if much of federal government took a nice break.

    Comment by Dustin — 7/17/2011 @ 12:19 pm

    I think you are underestimating how many people will be effected. We can not even means test medicare in this country without people screaming their heads off…imagine if they were just cut off. It could happen, especially if Obama wants it to happen.

    Terrye (eec529)

  85. What spending cuts, the only ones I see he’s willing to entertain are defense cuts, part of a bug a boo, from his college days, Of course, he was quite cynically willing to block the debt ceiling
    increase, when he was out of power, If not now, when, the debt is 16, 18 trillion, or only when
    the Chinese tell us, ‘no soup for you’ He is willing
    to hold the livelihoods of the families of the servicemen in the three, four, military engagements
    we are involved in. There is no deal, one can make
    with anyone so craven.

    ian cormac (d380ce)

  86. If the debt limit is not increased, all of the parade of horribles that Terrye is bemoaning would occur only by political choice by Barcky.

    JD (318f81)

  87. Spot on, Ian. The “cuts” they speak of are illusory, a promise to cut in the future for actual tax increases today. Or, the chance to buy back cuts that were eviousoy agreed to in the Biden negotiations. Has Barcky laid out even 1 actual non-defense cut he would approve?

    JD (318f81)

  88. Refusing to raise the debt limit can only have one result: reduced spending.

    ropelight (8b6994)

  89. It is interesting that Terrye raises the spectre of “means testing” of entitlements, yet it is the Left that violently opposes such a turn.

    Projection, projection, projection….
    The Progs will never change.

    For those of us old enough to have lived through the Carter Stagflation years, we know what kind of a future we’re looking at.
    It will be tough, but we survived it before, and will do so again, with little sympathy for the Chicken-Little’s who have turned into insipid little, and tiresome, ankle-biters.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  90. It is interesting that Terrye raises the spectre of “means testing” of entitlements, yet it is the Left that violently opposes such a turn.

    Projection, projection, projection….
    The Progs will never change.

    For those of us old enough to have lived through the Carter Stagflation years, we know what kind of a future we’re looking at.
    It will be tough, but we survived it before, and will do so again, with little sympathy for the Chicken-Little’s who have turned into insipid little, and tiresome, ankle-biters.

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 7/17/2011 @ 2:05 pm

    I am not sure what you are saying here. I am not on the left. I support the Ryan plan for Medicare in fact. My point was that Dustin said that the people would be happy if the government shut down..I was simply pointing out the fact that people do not even want to do the simplest things such as means testing. If they have a problem with that, imagine the reaction to no benefits. BTW, nursing homes and rural clinics depend on those payments to help make their payroll. It is not as if all the money is going into some Swiss bank account.

    Terrye (ce0d6f)

  91. And btw, I am 59 years old. I remember Carter too. This is not about Carter.

    Terrye (ce0d6f)

  92. Refusing to raise the debt limit can only have one result: reduced spending.

    Comment by ropelight — 7/17/2011 @ 1:55 pm

    It can also result in higher interest rates for everyone..including the government and that means the debt we already owe could be more expensive to pay off. So, it could also mean economic hardship and higher taxes. And then what?

    Terrye (ce0d6f)

  93. If the debt limit is not increased, all of the parade of horribles that Terrye is bemoaning would occur only by political choice by Barcky.

    Comment by JD — 7/17/2011 @ 1:45 pm

    Yes, partly. But it would also mean that we simply would not have the funds to pay for everything. Withholding would still be there, but we would be about a third short. And something would have to go..I think the more troubling thing is what we can not know about..the effects on the market and the larger economic impact. It might not be all that bad, but is it worth taking that chance? I watched the panel on Fox this morning and not even Lynn Cheney thought that refusing to raise the debt limit was a good idea.

    Terrye (ce0d6f)

  94. From a recent Times piece:

    Reid has been outspoken about the need to protect Social Security benefits. He is also eager to avoid cuts to Medicare that would undermine Democrats’ ability to campaign against the House GOP’s plan to eventually replace Medicare with a system of subsidies to buy private coverage.

    ian cormac (d380ce)

  95. Terrye – complete BS. There is plenty of money to pay interest, military, SS, Medicare …. And nobody really is saying that the debt limit should not be raised. They are arguing against your Armageddon scenario, the myical default, that could only happen if Bumble chooses it to happen. All people really want is to tie increases to actual cuts in spending, keeping these people from maintaining their spending meth binge. But they appreciate your help spreading their narrative.

    JD (318f81)

  96. JD:

    Oh come on. Back in 1983, Ronald Reagan said the following in a letter to Howard Baker:

    Reagan wrote: “The full consequences of a default – or even the serious prospect of default – by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.”

    Was Reagan perpetrating a hoax or spreading a narrative? I don’t know what will happen if they do not raise the debt limit, but the warnings I have heard have not just come from the left, nor have they only come from Obama and his administration. I have not heard many people other than Ron Paul act as if it would not be any big deal.

    I would prefer spending cuts. I do not support tax increases. I hope they get a good deal, but I realize that since Obama is president there is only so much the Republicans can really do about this.

    Terrye (ce0d6f)

  97. That would be relevant, IF we were going to default. But we aren’t.

    JD (318f81)

  98. That would be relevant, IF we were going to default. But we aren’t.

    Comment by JD — 7/17/2011 @ 3:24 pm

    Oh really? Reagan wrote that letter to the leader of the Senate in an effort to get an increase in the debt limit.

    I am not saying that I think Obama is being honest. I am not saying that I think Obama would not use this situation or even make it worse than it had to be if he thought he could benefit politically. I am saying that Democrats have an advantage where this issue is concerned and they need to get the best deal they can, but it would be a mistake to refuse to raise the debt limit at all. A short term deal with matching spending cuts would be better of course.

    But I am not spreading a narrative, the truth is all or some of those things really could happen. To simply deny that possibility would be foolish.

    Terrye (ce0d6f)

  99. I am saying that Democrats have an advantage where this issue is concerned and they need to get the best deal they can, but it would be a mistake to refuse to raise the debt limit at all.

    I really need to use preview. Sometimes I am just plain lazy. What I meant to say is that the Democrats have an advantage where this issue is concerned and the Republicans need to get as good a deal as they can.

    Sorry for the lousy syntax.

    Terrye (ce0d6f)

  100. Was Reagan perpetrating a hoax or spreading a narrative? I don’t know what will happen if they do not raise the debt limit, but the warnings I have heard have not just come from the left, nor have they only come from Obama and his administration. I have not heard many people other than Ron Paul act as if it would not be any big deal.

    Sure it would be a big deal. The only reason we haven’t gone completely in the toilet is because we’re considered the least worst of a steaming, stinking pile of global currencies, but more to the point, because the Fed is now buying roughly 80% of new debt via primary dealers (so the interest rates remain low).

    But the whole debate misses the point. Obama, the Republicans, and the Democrats are trying to convince people that this can be solved without significant pain to the vast majority of the US and even the world. The truth of the matter is that they’re all lying. Mathematically speaking, it’s impossible at this point to do what needs to be done without significant tanking GDP–with deficit spending taking up 12%, any large pullback in spending will cause GDP to collapse. Increasing taxes–which impacts the C and I portions of the GDP equation–will have a similar effect.

    This is a very different situation now than when Reagan was president–we’ve had three recessions, and three credit bubbles in that time frame since he wrote that letter, and we’ve reached the point where the longer we kick the can, the worse the pain will ultimately be. Defaulting on our debt could very well collapse the world economy–but what Obama and Congress aren’t saying, but the math is implying, is that it will probably end up happening anyway regardless of what they do.

    Denninger laid it out today: http://www.market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=190174. If anyone can dispute the math and the numbers he presents in there, I’m willing to listen.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  101. I missed where a statement by Reagan forces modern conservatives to submit to Democrat rhetoric. We are not going to default on 2 AUG unless Barcky chooses to. Period.

    JD (318f81)

  102. I’m not all rah rah about means-testing entitlements really I think it just makes them even more redistributiony and sad

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  103. Look, people can argue whether the “economic Armageddon” theory or the “there will not be a default” theory is the “winner” if the debt ceiling isn’t raised promptly. But I think using the Carter or Reagan or Roosevelt or Bush or Hoover presidencies to support one’s theory is tricky at best and quite dangerous. The mega trillions we owe now, the extinction of entire industries that made past economic recoveries possible for middle class earners and taxpayers, the ongoing de-leveraging of American households, and the explosion of Boomers into their more non-productive and entitlement years, make this debt ceiling vote at this time different than all others.

    elissa (220ef8)

  104. #92, Terrye, reduced spending doesn’t result in higher interest rates. Reduced spending results in increasing confidence in economic responsibility and lower interest rates.

    ropelight (8b6994)

  105. :roll:

    DohBiden (d54602)

  106. Well, this kinda proves Beldar’s point.

    Sigh.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  107. Reagan v Carter-II…
    RR needed to increase the Debt Ceiling to accommodate the increased defense spending that was planned for rebuilding the hollowed-out forces left to him by Carter-I, and to ultimately defeat the CCCP;
    Carter-II needs the higher Debt Ceiling to accommodate his socialization/nationalization of 1/6th of the economy vis-a-vis ObamaCare, and to keep his corrupt pals in the moolah – along with funding every Leftist pipe-dream as we saw in the Stimulus, and to buffer the coming trainwreck that is FrankenDodd/EPA Carbon Caps/etc.!

    “…We are not going to default on 2 AUG unless Barcky chooses to…”

    I don’t think that is quite the legacy that he has planned for himself…
    That would make his Presidency special, the way Andrew Johnson’s was until BillyJeff came along.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  108. Sage words from VDH on this matter, and an extended conversation in the comments….
    http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/st-obama-and-the-debt-dragon/

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  109. Leviticus:

    But the argument was just as valid eight years ago – way, way more valid, in fact, because eight years ago the people making the objection (then and now) hadn’t swallowed their ideological qualms for the greater good nine times in a row under a Republican president. So how is this not a load of hypocritical partisan bullsh*t, again?

    I disagree. I think the reason why we are raising the debt limit matters. As I understand it, we raised the debt limit in the Bush years (except 2008) to finance military or war expenses. Ditto in the Reagan years. However, Obama wants to raise the debt limit to finance more government and benefits. IMO it’s much easier to implement military/war spending cuts than it is to downsize government or limit benefits. We’ve done the former before many times. Have we ever done the latter?

    Furthermore, it’s government’s job to protect us from foreign enemies. I don’t agree it’s government’s job to grow ever larger and redistribute our incomes in the process.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  110. DRJ – not to mention that we are running monthly deficits larger than the evil Bush’s average annual deficits.

    JD (318f81)

  111. Or that Bush’s worst deficit was less than half of Barcky’s best, based on the rosiest of economic projections.

    JD (318f81)

  112. Damn,JD, there you go with those inconvenient facts again!

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  113. Did ya’ll catch Sen. Rubio discussing debt on CBS Face the Nation this morning? Damn, he’s awesome. The moderator tried to play gotcha several times and Marco made Bob Scheiffer look like a silly, slow, doddering old fool. (Yes, Scheiffer managed to bring up Boooosh, but Rubio wasn’t having it.)

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/07/17/ftn/main20080176.shtml?tag=stack

    elissa (d8ad26)

  114. Scheiffer doesn’t need help to look like a silly,slow,doddering old fool.

    Those who worship Juan Peron Obama will be in for a rude awakening when their hero turns his bloodlust on them.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  115. ________________________________________________

    Meanwhile, one more indication of why all Americans should have even greater confidence in the person they tossed into the White House in 2008:

    wnd.com, July 17:

    President Obama just can’t seem to keep track of birthdays, especially his own. After spending more than two years in office deflecting questions surrounding his birth, the commander in chief said on Friday that he’d be turning 50 in a week.

    “You know, I’m going to be turning 50 in a week, so I’m starting to think a little bit more about Medicare eligibility,” Obama said at a news conference concerning the U.S. debt.

    But according to the document he claims to be his official Hawaiian birth certificate that he released April 27, his birthday is not until August 4, which is actually three weeks away from the time he said it, not one.

    The president’s apparent error got scant coverage from major media. ABC News ran a brief, two paragraph mention of the flub, and asked if Obama was having a “senior moment.” USA Today reported, “We figure President Obama must be excited about turning the big 5-0. He moved his birthday up a couple of weeks during today’s news conference.”

    This is not the first time Obama has had birthday-related issues. As WND reported last August, Obama’s age on his own official MySpace page has been fluctuating erratically, with him actually getting four years younger on his last birthday in 2010.

    In 2009, the president’s authorized page on the social-networking site indicated he was a whopping 52 years old, when it should have read 48, if he were indeed born on Aug. 4, 1961, as the White House maintains. Ironically today, Obama’s MySpace page has removed all references to Obama’s birthday.

    Just recently, Obama had trouble with his daughter Malia’s birthday, as he stated she was 13 when she was actually 12.

    Seems to be a pattern with the guy…

    washingtonpost.com, May 24, 2011:

    On a tour of Westminster Abbey in London, President Obama signed the guestbook, writing, “It is a great privilege to commemorate our common heritage, and common sacrifice.”

    Then, he goofed. He added “24 May 2008.”

    Well, at least he’s had enough sense to not bow like a servant when greeting certain foreign dignitaries.

    Mark (411533)

  116. :lol: Obama is senile.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  117. My mom is a classic liberal who is beginning to regret her vote for Obama.

    BTW guns don’t kill people it is the person holding the gun who kills people.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  118. No wait she is a liberal.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  119. Doh–
    == mom is a classic liberal who is beginning to regret her vote for Obama==

    Beginning? What will it take to get her to the next step along the process? I mean what more does he have to do?

    elissa (d8ad26)

  120. Comment by Mark — 7/17/2011 @ 7:27 pm

    It’s hard to remember what is the truth when all you do is tell lies.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ce0593)

  121. http://www.conservativecommune.com/2011/07/the-number-cbs-is-not-trumpeting-in-its-latest-poll/

    CBS poll only included 24% Republicans but CBS got what they wanted: a tool to hit the GOP over the head with and attention from other liberals in the press who pretend to just be “journalists” but have once again exposed themselves as the naked partisans that they are.

    Erich M (034028)

  122. those inconvenient facts again

    The CBO reported in October 2009 reasons for the difference between the 2008 and 2009 deficits, which were approximately $460 billion and $1,410 billion, respectively. Key categories of changes included: tax receipt declines of $320 billion due to the effects of the recession and another $100 billion due to tax cuts in the stimulus bill (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or ARRA); $245 billion for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and other bailout efforts; $100 billion in additional spending for ARRA; and another $185 billion due to increases in primary budget categories such as Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, Social Security, and Defense – including the war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq. This was the highest budget deficit relative to GDP (9.9%) since 1945.[62] The national debt increased by $1.9 trillion during FY2009, versus the $1.0 trillion increase during 2008.[63]

    The Obama Administration also made four significant accounting changes to more accurately report the total spending by the Federal government. The four changes were: 1) accounting for the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (”overseas military contingencies”) in the budget rather than through the use of supplemental appropriations; 2) assuming the Alternative Minimum Tax will be indexed for inflation; 3) accounting for the full costs of Medicare reimbursements; and 4) anticipating the inevitable expenditures for natural disaster relief. According to administration officials, these changes will make the debt over ten years look $2.7 trillion larger than it would otherwise appear.”

    WOW!! Continuing Bush policies and weathering the Bush recession sure hurt the budget by a half a trillion a dollars, no less! Adding in the wars is another 200+ billion that George did not deign to include in his budget calculations… Given that Bush’s last budget deficit was 1 trillion and the next year saw a recession which reduced revenue by 320 billion, the Republican TARP plan and the wars which added 450 billion, I’d say that makes JD’s partial analysis sort of “inconvenient” with reality itself.

    George Bush, still lying to American public through his voters 3 years after he left office. I think it’s because they like being lied to. For instance, the gentlemen in question here surely remember TARP and how wars were “supplemental,” but choose not to recall it. Besides, Rush tells them all they need to know.

    BTW, Ad, can you get me the posts and comments in 2008 where you were concerned with the trillion dollar Bush deficit? It is sure is weird that you found “deficit Jesus” on January 21, 2009. Don’t worry, I’ll wait while you search.

    timb (449046)

  123. timb – The fiscal 2009 budget was approved after Obama took office due to delays by Democrats in Congress.

    With respect to your items 1-4 in paragraph 2, the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan flowed through to deficit calculations so there is no impact on total spending calculations. You repeat an overused Democrat talking point that the wars were never budgeted. They were, just separately.

    With respect to point 3, did not Obama exclude the doctor fix in calculating the cost of ObamaCare in order to keep its theoretical cost below $1 billion? How was that presented honestly as budgeting?

    Can you provide your estimates for items two and 4 please. GAAP accounting does not allow reserving for catastrophes. Are you claiming that GAAS does?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  124. timb, once again, you fabricate stuff. Amusingly, here you do it even as you quote the facts that show you are fabricating. You attempt to blame “Bush” for the entire FY2009 budget deficit even as you quote additions to the budget made after he left office.

    Typical of your dishonest comments, actually.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  125. timmie, if you had been paying attention for the past ten years, you would have heard conservatives such as myself decrying the spending that was authorized by both the Hastert, and Pelosi, Congresses – if you had been paying attention.
    You need to go look at that bar graph that Glenn Reynolds posted numerous times that showed the deficit after 9/11 decreasing until the advent of the Pelosi/Reid Congress where spending escalated dramatically, along with a slowdown in business activity anticipating the increased burdens of regulation and taxation promised by the Dems, who were so busy figuring out how they were going to screw Big-Business, that they failed the “oversight test” of Fannie & Freddie precipitating the housing crash, and the subsequent tanking of Wall Street that had invested in all of those MBS’s issued by the two GSE’s (good-bye Bear-Stearns, Lehman Bros, Wachovia, Wa-Mu, AIG, etc).
    Yes, it was that $1.018T of deficit in FY-2008, all at the hands of GWB that has caused all of our troubles.
    I’m quite positive that you can find a way to spin the FY-2009 ($1.887T) and FY-2010 ($1.653T) so that GWB is solely responsible for them also.
    Just remember, the FY-2008 budget was marked-up (you do know what a “mark up” is, right?), debated, and passed by the Pelosi-Reid Congress beginning in the Winter of 2007, after they took control of Congress. There are no GOP fingerprints on that document.
    I might also remind you of an old saying on the balance of power in DC:
    The President proposes, the Congress disposes!
    Oh, and before I forget:
    Just why hasn’t the Senate of the United States, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (D), passed a budget for the Government of the United States in almost 900 days? A malfeasance that is in violation of the Budget Act of 1974, passed by another Dem controlled Congress.
    Curious minds want to know.

    AD-RtR/OS! (c63dcd)

  126. Milhouse 11:

    SF> The proposal to match debt limit increases changes with equal spending cuts is a non-sequitor. I guess maybe the House Republican leadership did that because they think the Tea Party people won’t notice it is non-sequitor.

    SF> There is no logical connection between the two numbers.

    M> Huh? How could any two numbers be any more logically connected? The only thing that made us hit the debt ceiling in the first place is the unrestrained spending. How can you justify borrowing more money without coming at least half way by matching it in spending cuts?

    There may be some logic to reducing the trend of spending (and even this ignores the fact that a lot of deficit is due to the state of the economy) but there is no logical dollar for dollar connection this way.

    The debt limiut is the total amount of debt the treasury is authorized to incur. A spending cut is an estimnated reduction in the trend of spending over a 10-year period.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  127. Bush is responsible for the Dems passing a budhet after he left office. BUUUUUUSH !!!!!

    JD (d56362)

  128. Boooooooooooooosh!

    DohBiden (d54602)

  129. Given that some weeks or months ago, Obama’s position was that he would veto anything but a “clean” (ie., no add’l clauses) debt ceiling increase and that now the reverse is true: he threaten’s a veto of anything but a complete, be-all and end-all deal, it is pretty clear that Obama is the one who is trying to engineer a shutdown and/or default.

    More juvenile behavior from Obama and the Democrats. Govern our country like adults? Not a chance.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  130. The Washington Examiner, 7/16/11, by Michael Barone:

    “…The bedrock issue is whether we should have a larger and more expensive federal government. Over many years federal spending has averaged about 20 percent of gross domestic product.

    The Obama Democrats have raised that to 24 or 25 percent. And the president’s budget projects that that percentage will stay the same or increase far into the future.

    In the process the national debt as a percentage of gross domestic product has increased from a manageable 40 percent in 2008 to 62 percent this year and an estimated 72 percent in 2012. And it’s headed to the 90 percent level that economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart have identified as the danger point, when governments face fiscal collapse…”

    ropelight (293e5d)

  131. the Republican TARP plan and the wars which added 450 billion

    TARP is over with. It doesn’t figure in current deficits. And it was hardly a Republican plan. The Democrats overwhelmingly voted for it including Obama and Biden.

    tax receipt declines of $320 billion due to the effects of the recession

    The recession’s over now isn’t it?

    Gerald A (9d78e8)

  132. Thought the recession was over.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  133. Know the difference between a recession and a depression?

    If Republicans are out of work it’s a recession, if Democrats are out of work it a Depression.

    ropelight (293e5d)

  134. It is Recovery Summer part 3.

    JD (2da347)

  135. JD–The sequels are almost always worse than the original production.

    elissa (576f92)

  136. Inconvenient TARP fact:
    Bush only used 1/3 of the available TARP funds, and left the remainder to be used at the discretion of the incoming administration.
    If it was such a bad deal, why did the Bamster spend all of the money?

    AD-RtR/OS! (c63dcd)


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