Republicans should stand firm on the debt ceiling, and I have drafted a short speech for John Boehner and any other Republican who agrees:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.
Eloquent, isn’t it?
OK, I lied. I wasn’t the first to say that. Barack Obama was, in March 2006. Thanks to Elephant Stone for the reminder.
In 2011, Jake Tapper wrote about the way then-Official Spokesliar Robert Gibbs attempted to put lipstick on this pig. Here’s Tapper:
In January, I asked then-White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about those comments and that vote, given the president’s belief that the debt ceiling needs to be raised in May.
Gibbs said it was OK for then-Senator Obama to have cast that vote, since the outcome was guaranteed.
“Based on the outcome of that vote…the full faith and credit was not in doubt,” Gibbs said. Then-Sen. Obama used the vote “to make a point about needing to get serious about fiscal discipline….His vote was not necessarily needed on that.” [The vote was 52-48. — Ed]
Imagine me nodding my head and wearing a serious expression.
On Sunday, senior White House adviser David Plouffe revised that explanation.
“He believes that vote was a mistake,” Plouffe told Fox News Sunday.
Now imagine me saying: “Wait, what?”
Anyway, Brad Plumer of the Washington Post has written about what might happen if we failed to raise the debt ceiling in time. Plumer is of the opinion that failing to raise the debt ceiling would be bad, would spook the markets, etc. — but even he acknowledges that the money is there to make bond payments:
Between Oct. 18 and Nov. 15 the government will bring in roughly $222 billion in taxes and owe roughly $328 billion. But it will only need about $35 billion on hand to make interest payments over that time.
I have seen other analyses that say we take in 5.5 times what we need to make interest payments; according to this analysis, for this period of time, we’re taking in over six times what we need. Sure, Treasury claims they don’t have the technological capacity to prioritize payments — but government lies, and Obama people lie a lot. I don’t buy it.
Will some tough choices have to be made? Sure.
Is it better to make those choices sooner rather than later? You betcha.
After all, as a wise man* once said: “Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
Indeed. So very, very true.