Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Republican debt limit threats: Empty or deranged

By Stephen Stromberg

House Speaker John Boehner engaged in more dangerous political brinkmanship over the national debt limit Friday, using new unemployment numbers -- the rate is down to 9 percent -- to insist that President Obama's spending policies have failed and that it is inappropriate for the president to favor increasing the debt ceiling without plans set to reduce spending significantly. (As George W. Bush did repeatedly when he was president, by the way.)

Why on Earth is Boehner encouraging this sort of thinking? Republican threats on the debt limit are either empty or deranged. If there's one policy that is guaranteed to fail, it's refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner put the debate in fiscally apocalyptic terms, saying that refusing to raise the debt limit would result in "the first default in history caused purely by insanity." Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and other conservatives responded that the federal government wouldn't have to default -- instead, massive parts of it could simply collapse at a recklessly dangerous pace, rendering it unable to provide basic functions Americans expect and on which the economy relies. If that dystopian vision still appeals to you, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke,a Bush appointee, explained Thursday that, yes, it actually would be really bad, inspiring panic in debt markets, harming the credibility of the United States as a borrower, raising the cost of our debt and creating a crisis in investor confidence that surely wouldn't be limited to the market for Treasuries. "The implications of that for our financial system, for our fiscal policy, for our economy would be catastrophic."

Bernanke continued:

So I would very much urge Congress not to focus on the debt limit as being the bargaining chip in this discussion, but rather to address directly the spending and tax issues that we all have to deal with if we're going to make progress on this fiscal situation.

The federal budget outlook needs improvement, Bernanke also said. But the question, he said,

is whether these adjustments will take place through a . . . careful and deliberative process that weighs priorities and gives people adequate time to adjust to changes in government programs or tax policies, or whether needed fiscal adjustments will be a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis.

Some in the GOP, such as Toomey, seem willing to manufacture that crisis this year by restricting the government's capacity to borrow, thereby forcing rapid and painful fiscal adjustment.

As Bernanke argues, rationalizing the budget carefully and soon is a good idea. The president hasn't led as he ought to on the issue. He should start. But don't mess around with the debt limit. It just isn't responsible.

By Stephen Stromberg  | February 4, 2011; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Friday p-Op quiz: 'Fight the Power' Edition
Next: So does Mubarak stay or go?

Comments

The Democrats raised the debt limit $1.9 trillion dollars 12 months ago. How high should it be raised THIS time?

I think we shoud raise it up to $20 trillion so we won't have to worry for another three years.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 4, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

We can solve our budget deficit problem by making the phrase "full faith and credit of the United States of America" into a joke. Refuse to pay interest on the debt. Refuse to return the principal. Go blithely on as if nothing had changed. Then blame Democrats for the resulting chaos. There WILL be rioting in the streets. Right here in River City.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | February 4, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Here's a thought. If the Republicans block the debt ceiling increase, stop all Federal spending in their states. Why should the entire country suffer because one recalcitrant and childish party decides to throw a monkey wrench into the gears?

Posted by: gasmonkey | February 4, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

i say let the tea peeps have it their way and dont raise it. let the ensuing economic and societal collapse of the USA fall on all of our laps. that would be fun, wouldn't it? that would really show those democrats. wouldn't it?? pure idiots have taken over congress

Posted by: rmk1122 | February 4, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

If Boehner cared about National Debt, he'd be pushing for us to end the Two wars of Republican foreign adventure in Iraq and Afghanistan and cutting off the $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt until Mubarak left.

Real things.

But he doesn't care.

Posted by: WillSeattle | February 4, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Pass a law that prioritizes paying debt over other Government spending. Require the President to lay off Federal employees and use their salaries to repay the debt that becomes due.

There is nothing new about doing this. This is what routinely happens in the private sector when companies borrow too much. Companies routinely reduce their other spending to repay creditors when loans become due.

Scary stories about credit markets collapsing if the Government does not continue borrowing more money are bogus. Why would a creditor be upset when a debtor repays its creditors by stopping spending on other items and stops increasing its total debt?

What will panic credit markets is if the Government keeps increasing its debt. Judgment day for big Government has arrived.

STOP THE SPENDING!

Posted by: jfv123 | February 4, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Pass a law that prioritizes paying debt over other Government spending. Require the President to lay off Federal employees and use their salaries to repay the debt that becomes due.

There is nothing new about doing this. This is what routinely happens in the private sector when companies borrow too much. Companies routinely reduce their other spending to repay creditors when loans become due.

Scary stories about credit markets collapsing if the Government does not continue borrowing more money are bogus. Why would a creditor be upset when a debtor repays its creditors by stopping spending on other items and stops increasing its total debt?

What will panic credit markets is if the Government keeps increasing its debt. Judgment day for big Government has arrived.

STOP THE SPENDING!

Posted by: jfv123 | February 4, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Pass a law that prioritizes paying debt over other Government spending. Require the President to lay off Federal employees and use their salaries to repay the debt that becomes due.

There is nothing new about doing this. This is what routinely happens in the private sector when companies borrow too much. Companies routinely reduce their other spending to repay creditors when loans become due.

Scary stories about credit markets collapsing if the Government does not continue borrowing more money are bogus. Why would a creditor be upset when a debtor repays its creditors by stopping spending on other items and stops increasing its total debt?

What will panic credit markets is if the Government keeps increasing its debt. Judgment day for big Government has arrived.

STOP THE SPENDING!

Posted by: jfv123 | February 4, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Toomey is a stooge for Grover Norquist so expect republican drama queens to take the country to the brink before they back off.

Posted by: knjincvc | February 4, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Pass a law that prioritizes paying debt over other Government spending. Require the President to lay off Federal employees and use their salaries to repay the debt that becomes due.

There is nothing new about doing this. This is what routinely happens in the private sector when companies borrow too much. Companies routinely reduce their other spending to repay creditors when loans become due.

Scary stories about credit markets collapsing if the Government does not continue borrowing more money are bogus. Why would a creditor be upset when a debtor repays its creditors by stopping spending on other items and stops increasing its total debt?

What will panic credit markets is if the Government keeps increasing its debt. Judgment day for big Government has arrived.

STOP THE SPENDING!

Posted by: jfv123 | February 4, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, "manufacturing crisis" is the Republican goal. If a Republican were in the White House now this would be the "starve the beast" moment they have been working toward for the last two generations. Boehner promised us a focus on jobs but instead all we get are culture war topics and Tea Party nuttiness like health care repeal. Next stop, government shutdown. They will most certainly threaten it, and they may even be dumb enough to do it (again).

Posted by: gposner | February 4, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

John Boehner has no idea what he's doing. He's in way over his head.

Posted by: ExConservative | February 4, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

i say let the tea peeps have it their way and dont raise it. let the ensuing economic and societal collapse of the USA fall on all of our laps. that would be fun, wouldn't it? that would really show those democrats. wouldn't it?? pure idiots have taken over congress


---------------

They would have been fine with that three years ago when the economy collapsed.

Posted by: sr31 | February 4, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

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.

Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. 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 problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.


ALL OF THE ABOVE WAS WRITTEN BY DEM SEN OBAMA IN 2006

It's true today

Posted by: georgedixon1 | February 4, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

So jfv123 you don't think that the market would react to the fact that the US did not raise its debt limit and that we can get by just laying off all of the federal workers and using their salaries? You don't think that the market may see such a move as demonstrating that politics is firmly in charge of fiscal policy and what will happen next? You honestly believe that the federal workers salaries will solve the problem? You don't think that people might want FAA employees to, I don't know, make sure that aircrafts don't crash into each other or that FDA inspectors make sure our food is safe or that FBI agents look out for possible terrorists attacks, or that border agents should make sure that illegals or terrorists don't make it into the country? I know, you would exempt all these things and go after the "bad federal workers." However for you plan to work you would have to go after the FBI, Border Agents, etc. to get the money that you need. Would that not cause panic in the economy?

What about the military budget that you would cut? What bases are you willing to close? What weapons program should be cut? And you know when American families and business have tough fiscal times they also look at the revune side as well, but those Bush Tax Cuts have done a great job creating all those new jobs that were promised after 2001.

Is the debt a serious problem? Yes. However, it is dangerous to play politics with the debt ceiling. You and I both know that this is politics and when push comes to shove the Republicans will let it pass and then blame the Democrats. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see as we approach the ceiling what the free market will think about the US for the first time re-negging on their debt. (I thought uncertainy was a big problem by the way...)

Posted by: smith6 | February 4, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse


How about Boehner being empty AND deranged?

***

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | February 4, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Refusing to raise the debt ceiling would most certainly harm the Republican constituency more than it would harm the Democratic constituency. Trillions of dollars of value would evaporate overnight from the accounts of wealthy bond investors. Big businesses would have to pay more to borrow, etc. etc.

Let's not forget who pulls the strings in Washington. Hint: it isn't a bunch of nutcase Republican newbies.

Posted by: John991 | February 4, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Refusing to raise the debt ceiling would most certainly harm the Republican constituency more than it would harm the Democratic constituency. Trillions of dollars of value would evaporate overnight from the accounts of wealthy bond investors. Big businesses would have to pay more to borrow, etc. etc.

Let's not forget who pulls the strings in Washington. Hint: it isn't a bunch of nutcase Republican newbies.

Posted by: John991 | February 4, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse


How about Boehner being empty AND deranged?

***

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | February 4, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I say let the country default - then maybe nobody will vote republican again and we can just purge the system of these crazies.

Posted by: glitch83 | February 4, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

If history is any guide, Republicans will get hammered by public opinion if they insist on going down this road. They forced a government shut down 15 years ago because of spending priorities and had their butts handed to them (let's be clear here: Republicans have never been against spending OR borrowing - they just don't like Dem priorities). Anyway, they wisely backed down, which they should do this time.

Of course, they're significantly crazier this time around, so who knows?

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 4, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats raised the debt limit $1.9 trillion dollars 12 months ago. How high should it be raised THIS time?

I think we shoud raise it up to $20 trillion so we won't have to worry for another three years.

Posted by: kitchendragon50
================================

That would be in keeping with Republian Ideology so they did not have to Risk their political lively hoods..

and
have to go on unemployment.

Posted by: IssaGallegos1 | February 4, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

This is Boehner's problem. The Chamber & the Street are the ones whose bonds will be devalued & they funded the GOP win. The Senate will comply. The nuts are in the House. There is no way the prez can "lead" this Congress as they don't consider him a legitimate president. They say so daily. Move your money, fools, as the fools are in charge!

Posted by: carolerae48 | February 4, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Even cheap talk of failing to raise the debt level, is just another sign that Boehner,McConnell and the Republicans have not a clue how to create a job or improve the economy.

We are so blessed that President Obama is in the White House.

The GOP has joined the intellectual and cultural devoid of right wing radio.

Looking forward to the Super Bowl.

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 4, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Many comments compare government operations to the private sector. The inconvient truth is government operations are not the same as private business enterprises. The federal government actually prints the money we all use everyday. Money does not grow on trees. Our money is "made in the USA." The congress authorizes the printing of the money!

Meanwhile, the GOP "game plan" is plain enough: make Obama fail, destroy the federal government. This "plan" is, um, "unconstitutional."

Posted by: rmorris391 | February 4, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Looks like recall of them all is still on the table.

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

No more spending for the FEDs the States will handle it.

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Iraqi premier says he'll cut his salary by half
>>>>>>>>
Time for Obama and the crappy Congress to work for $1.00 a year, and make term limits with no more retirement plans starting today.

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Iraqi premier says he'll cut his salary by half
>>>>>>>>
Time for Obama and the crappy Congress to work for $1.00 a year, and make term limits with no more retirement plans starting today.
We are broke.

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

OK here's what totally ticks me off. In 2006 Voters overwhelmingly voted Republicans out of the House majority and things were close in the Senate - enough so that the Republicans insisted on keeping the "super majority" idea in effect knowing Dems would fail to get their entire membership to vote the same way. Why? Democrats are foolish enough to vote their districts -- not the party line. Republicans? Don't give a rip what their voters really want and need it is all about THEM.

So in 2008 when Dems had the WH and both houses one could assume that it was the will of the people that the Dems push their agenda forward. The Republicans however said it didn't matter that Obama won by a clear and overwhelming margin, that the House had a clear majority and the Senate had over 50 Dems and an Independent or two. The Republicans said the people were wrong and set out to derail every single thing the PEOPLE asked their Congressmen/women to do -- jobs, save the economy, deal with the wars, the debt and give us the end of DADT and start us on some path to health care -- a start not perfection but a start. Republicans said well we know Dems ran on these ideas and got elected but those silly voters were wrong and they refused to help in any way. Then they blamed the lack of progress on the Democrats and President Obama. Republican voters were foolish enough to believe the lies. So now the Republicans are in power in the House and now they say well those last two elections the voters were stupid putting Democrats in power but NOW they're right because they put us back in charge (kind of). When Republicans vote on anything I'm reminded how like a dictatorship they are -- no dissent - kind of like Saddam was when he ran for "president".

The big thing Republicans promised was job and how this administration "failed" even though there was finally job growth after flat or losing job growth for every single year Bush was president. Now they are in power? They put all their efforts into repealing all of health care, cutting Medicare, hiking retirement age, defining rape to favor the criminal not the victim, decreasing all laws forcing banks to safeguard our money and on it goes -- just wait - in 2011 the cry will be but you HAVE to re-elect us. We did want to concentrate on jobs - re-elect us and THIS time we will. I haven't believed a Republican since Eisenhower.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | February 4, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

So Stephen, you would rely on the words of Bernanke and Geithner. I see, I see. Those folks have been just fountains of fiscal and economic wisdom for us, haven't they? With a national debt of almost $14 trillion, you say it would be irresponsible to not raise the debt ceiling. So, when should we stop incurring debt? Ever? Government borrowing has gotten so out of control that it is affecting our credit markets and harming our economy. How do we stop borrowing? Cut government spending.

Posted by: allamer1 | February 4, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Pass a law that prioritizes paying debt over other Government spending. Require the President to lay off Federal employees and use their salaries to repay the debt that becomes due.

======

Yes, and we should start with the military. That will also end the waste in Iraq and Afghanistan and the cost of maintaining bases all over the world.

Posted by: Miss_Fedelm | February 4, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"Deranged" Mr Stromberg is continuing to spend 1.5 Trillion a year we do not have. Stop the Pelosi- Reid -Obama madness.

Posted by: devluddite | February 4, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

“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 problem and a failure of leadership . Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.” - Barack Obama, March 16 2006

Hey Stromberg, was that threat deranged, empty, or insane?

Posted by: pcm9 | February 4, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

“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 problem and a failure of leadership . Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.” - Barack Obama, March 16 2006

Hey Stromberg, was that threat deranged, empty, or insane?

Posted by: pcm9 | February 4, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Weird how economic illiteracy has become a hallmark of the right wing.

Once, before Reagan embraced supply side idiocy, conservatives looked at data and embraced intelligent pragmatic solutions. Now they posture like upset little children, shout talking points at one another, and threaten to wreck the US economy if they cannot have their way.

Pathetic.

Posted by: rapchat1 | February 4, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

None of this will be an issue because here is what will happen when push comes to shove:

Obama will announce that he is being a responsible leader and cannot let default happen so he is making the very difficult but statesman like decision to --- cave.

Or a more likely variation: he will announce concessions first (like with the federal employee wage freeze for which he got nothing) and then the Repbulicans will demand much more, and he will grant more, announcing that this is a "compromise".

Posted by: Poster3 | February 4, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

None of this will be an issue because here is what will happen when push comes to shove:

Obama will announce that he is being a responsible leader and cannot let default happen so he is making the very difficult but statesman-like decision to --- cave.

Or a more likely variation: he will announce concessions first (like with the federal employee wage freeze for which he got nothing) and then the Repbulicans will demand much more, and he will grant more, announcing that this is a "compromise".

Posted by: Poster3 | February 4, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it a little childish to raise the debt ceiling year after year (and sometimes more than once per year) knowing that your spending is going to continue to outstrip your revenue?

Why not just get rid of this self-imposed requirement and then not have to pretend that it's a difficult decision whether or not to raise the ceiling?

Posted by: MDLaxer | February 5, 2011 12:41 AM | Report abuse

It's really not amusing to read the Republicans voice their concerns over the debt. From Reagan on, they drove up the debt in the name of "Starving the Beast!" George W Bush left behind a budget that didn't recognize the cost of war or tax cuts. The annual red ink was over a trillion a year with no end in sight. Mismanagement like this doesn't just go away.

Republicans spent 30 years expanding both the government and the debt. Now they want to demolish our federal government - finish the job of starving the beast.

This is how these Republicans feel about the United States of America - this experiment in representative government. They hate our nation as it is and are willing to see it die. They would let our democracy perish with smiles on their faces.

Posted by: kcbob | February 5, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Democrat threats to keep spending: Empty or deranged

Posted by: jy151310 | February 5, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Someone wrote that we should raise the debt limit to 20 million so as not to have to redo it for twenty years.

Wrong, with that kind of window the democrats would exceed that in less than 20 MONTHS.

Remember folks..... IT'S THE SPENDING STUPID!

How many of you wanting this debt limit raised can continue to go out and borrow more money. Plead with your lender, Money Tree etc that even though you can't make your current months payments, that you need a higher credit limit so you can go buy more things.

Think they will agree with you? Dream on!

Posted by: frankn1 | February 5, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

JFV123 wrote:

Pass a law that prioritizes paying debt over other Government spending. Require the President to lay off Federal employees and use their salaries to repay the debt that becomes due.

There is nothing new about doing this. This is what routinely happens in the private sector when companies borrow too much. Companies routinely reduce their other spending to repay creditors when loans become due.
--------------------
You are right business boy. I say we start with all of the Federal Employees who are involved with the provision of programs and services in your state and city. Do Federal Employees include the military who are putting their lives at risk to preserve your greedy way of life? Business might routinely cut spending to pay debt, but do they, at the same time, pay bloated dividends to their shareholders (ie the Bush tax giveaway to the rich that was just extended)? Nope, business don't usually do that, do they?

Posted by: UncommonCommoner | February 5, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

to all,

as a TEA PARTIER, what i believe MUST be done is to CUT federal spending across the board by at least 15% (YES, in the DoD, too.) in EVERY federal department
AND
abolish/consolidate every current "federal function"/department, whose "most critical" functions could be accomplished better/cheaper in another federal office OR at the city/county/state level
AND
permanently FREEZE federal spending at FY 2000 levels
AND
forbid all the THOUSANDS of need-LESS/stupid/wasteful boondoggles that the LEFTIST idiots have dreamed up over the last few years.
(for example: the 2009 federal grant to a man in CA to study whether or not college students like to look at "pin-ups" of scantily clad & nude men/women OR the HUGE 2010 grant by the National Institute of Mental Health to teach Africa men how to wash "their private parts"! = SADLY, neither of these two STUPID $$$$$$-wasting "ideas" are jokes.)

the BOTTOM LINE is STOP spending money that we do NOT have
AND
"roll-back" every single bit of "obamacare" & the rest of the LEFTIST/STUPID agenda of the DIMocRAT "leadership" like Reid, Frank, Pelosi, Schumer, et.al.

just my opinion.= i do NOT & can NOT speak officially for our county's TEA PARTY organization, absent a vote of the membership on each issue.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | February 5, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Well it's evident one month into the new congress ... Boehner and McConnell are in over their heads and the teebaggers are a millstone around their necks.

Posted by: knjincvc | February 5, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Wake up all you Dim supporters. We are 14 trillion in the hole, and the hole is getting deeper. That's over 125K per household, over 250K per household that still has assets the government can steal.

The lie we've been told for years are that we can grow our way out. What we've done instead, with the Dim's leading the way, is grow our way in deeper. Until we run a surplus we are running deeper in debt. Our reality is that a surplus is years away. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN WITHOUT SPENDING REDUCTIONS, NEVER.

As soon as we let the debt ceiling rise, the Dim's will have no pressure to make concessions. Concessions by the way that for now only bend the curve, that only slow the rate we're going in the hole.

Read the papers. Governments at all levels are plummeting toward bankruptcy because of fiscal irresponsibility. Many are already looking for someone else to help pay for their selfishness. It's not sustainable.

Targeted tax increases can help. A 100+ billion a ear cut in defense should happen this year. But there is no way out without massive spending reductions in entitlements and regulatory bureaucracy.

WHEN YOU SPEND MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN, YOU ARE IRRESPONSIBLE. WHEN YOU KEEP DOING IT AND EXPECT SOMEONE ELSE TO BAIL YOU OUT, YOU ARE A THIEF.

Posted by: phrogger | February 5, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Boehner and his cohort's supposed preoccupation with a debt that is way down on the list of concerns for Americans in the midst of a shaky recovery from a financial debacle that the GOP helped enable is laughable, considering the huge dent they put in the budget with their insistence on continuing to coddle the richest Americans, who unsurprisingly have not reacted with a rush to create jobs.

To now threaten the world's economy with this kind of posturing would be as farcical if it wasn't as dangerous as the rest of their ideological will to destroy, rather than create. In just one month, the new crop of no necks occupying Congress have proven that they have no ideas that do not involve gutting existing programs and punishing the vulnerable for the excesses of others, including the banks and corporations who spoon fed their electoral victories. The naivite of the newbies, newly hatched from their ideological bubbles is understandable, but for vets like Boehner and McConnell to encourage their ignorance and threaten the security of everyone else is beyond reprehensible.

Posted by: Koko3 | February 5, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey texasnative46 |

How about we roll back "Deficits don't matter" because they obviously do matter.


Roll back two wars of choice, Reagan Star wars boondoggles, every weapons program Reagan started, aid to states including Texas and by the way thanks for the rolling brown outs that affected New Mexico, what you can't maintain your own infrastructure?

Posted by: knjincvc | February 5, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that the world financial system is in the process of integrating like a calculus function - that absolute numbers are beginning to matter less than the direction and rate of flow of that imaginary commodity we call money. At some point, the rate of change will be what matters, then the change in the rate of change. What bring it all to an end eventually is not our creditors calling in their debts, but all the computers that track the money crashing because they have run out of memory tracking the absolute numbers on the debt.

Posted by: Capn0ok | February 5, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

UncommonCommoner,
Businesses deliver things other people want, when they don't they close their doors. We don't get that option with the government do we. We get things like, say ObamaCare, that were shoved down our throat, all intrusive 2700 pages. And Dodd-Frank financial reform that institute political micro management and too big to fail.

Businesses can't run deficits like the government, unless of course they are taken over by Obama to preserve union jobs. Sort of soviet style, huh?

Maybe, just maybe the government should try being honest and either tax us for everything they spend, or cut spending to a level we can actually afford. Then maybe we could start buying back our grandchildrens' freedom from the Chinese. What's wrong with that?

BTW, nice play bringing up the service men and women as victims of potential cuts. Right out of the Dim playbook. Ever notice how Dims cut essential services rather than their bloated bureaucracies? Teachers first, make sure to scare the parents.

Ever notice Dims scour the country for hardship cases, so they can lay guilt trips us. Any conservative proposal that leaves one person unprotected is heartless, even if the Dim alternative spirals us all into poverty.

Nice model.

Posted by: phrogger | February 5, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

phrogger

Americans understand each of us are responsible for the decisions we make… you, Boehner and McConnell want to blame someone else.

Posted by: knjincvc | February 5, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

In order to balance the budget, it would be necessary to end all farm, industrial, and business subsidies, and cut back defense to what is actually necessary to defend this country from invasion. That's not going to happen because the recipients of these subsidies, including defense contractors, have made and will continue to make large campaign contributions and they expect something for their money.

Posted by: Capn0ok | February 5, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

In the middle years of the 1990s Canada was in a situation similar to that the United States is today. The Canadian politicians realized that something had to be done with a huge structural deficit and an increasing national debt. They took the needed steps and to day Canada is the only so called advanced nation in good financial shape. One might well add that the Canadians reformed their banking system so that it weathered the last financial crisis without any problems. There are answers to this nation's problems, but the sad part is that our political leaders are not looking for answers. Everyone say thank you to special interests and large campaign donors who do not care about the well being of ordinary hard working Americans.

Posted by: jeffreed | February 5, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Ya think they'll lay off the parole officers looking over the Pennsylvania meth cooks? Probably not.

Posted by: baldinho | February 5, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Both parties and Obama are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Is there no one in this country that can convince these fools that we are in serious trouble?

Posted by: sportsfan2 | February 5, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

empty? scary?

leading questions from a journalist? LOSER.

why limit the discussion to two possibilities?

the author, himself, is a troll.

Posted by: docwhocuts | February 5, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Boehner just wants to change the subject from his sleeping with lobbyists among others.They couldn't resist that "ORANGE LOOK!"

Posted by: hughsie48 | February 5, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Pass a law that prioritizes paying debt over other Government spending. Require the President to lay off Federal employees and use their salaries to repay the debt that becomes due.


Posted by: jfv123 | February 4, 2011 3:48 PM

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????How about we stop demonizing Federal employees unless you are talking about Congress?

How interesting that people have chosen to demonize Federal, State and City employees as if they are the cause of our country's problems. Most of these employees make less money than in the private sector and their benefits are similar. They work for a living just like you. And just like you expect to be compensated for the work they do. Now, you get benefits, why shouldn't people who work for their government? Some of you people act as if Federal, State and City workers don't have bills, don't have house notes, transportation cost ect. Government employees are not the problem but City, State and Federal employees are having to suffer lay offs, furlough's and reduction in salary just to please the "tax payers". Well guess what? Federal, State and City employees pay taxes too. If you are unwilling to give up your salary than just shut up.

I am sick to death of listening to people with all their righteous indignation demonizing government employees. Are there some slackers? YES Are there some who make more money than they should ? Probably! But guess what CEO's make more money than they should. Lots of people do. You probably do which is why you are so eager to cut someone else's salary.

Posted by: catmomtx | February 5, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Boehner just wants to change the subject away from his sleeping with lobbyists among others. They must dig that....."ORANGE LOOK!"

Posted by: hughsie48 | February 5, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget who pulls the strings in Washington. Hint: it isn't newbie Republican nut cases.

Any failure to raise the debt ceiling would mean catastrophe for the big money interests. Catastrophe for Wall Street. Catastrophe for the international banking cartel. Catastrophe for rich Republican CEOs and their multinational corporations. The cost of borrowing would go through the roof; the cost of servicing the national debt would skyrocket; the economy would tank.

All in all, not a bright move.

Posted by: John991 | February 5, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

What is up with all these people writing in ALLCAPS? It does not make you sound more intelligent. Actually quite the opposite. Notwithstanding all the threats by the Tea Party members of Congress, I think the debt ceiling will be raised. Too many corporate interests have paid off Boehner and his GOP cohorts who were in office before the new gang got in. If the US economy collapses and the markets go down the toilet due to this stupidity the big corporations and their rich CEOs will suffer too. That's why the Tea Partiers will throw their tantrums while the the establishment GOP members and Democrats come together to raise it. I just hope they don't wait until the last minute - the economic recovery is too fragile to chance it.

Posted by: da55 | February 5, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have never been against spending, at least not in my lifetime. They just don't happen to like Democratic spending (I suspect because too much of it goes to "those people" that they don't much care for).

And they don't really care about the debt, either. Otherwise they wouldn't cling to their idiotic no-taxes-at-any-time-for-any-reason-but-especially-on-the-rich ideology.

No, the current economic mess and the needed government stimulus spending - started under a Republican, by the way - just presents them with a handy issue to further divide the country.

No matter - thanks to the wonders of a rapidly changing demographic, the GOP will continue to dwindle in size and influence.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | February 5, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

He's doing this because the GOP cares more about it's own power than about telling the truth, or the country itself. This is the same party that wished failure on the country when someone they didn't like got elected. They're scum, and searching for a reasonable justification for their immoral activity while overlooking the basic craven nature of why they're doing these things is a fools chase.

Posted by: Nymous | February 5, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

The Bush tax cuts, especially for the very wealthiest and the refusal to pay for wars by raising taxes is the main part of this problem. The last time we had such a huge deficit was WWII, and we paid it off (or most of it off) by taxing the very wealthiest at a high rate. Why is this not mentioned? Why is the fiscal folly of Bush and Reagan ignored. The GOP keeps pointing fingers at President Obama for a few trillon to keep this country and the world from falling into a depression while ignoring the sins of the Republicans in the past.

Posted by: moore732 | February 5, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The Bush tax cuts, especially for the very wealthiest and the refusal to pay for wars by raising taxes is the main part of this problem. The last time we had such a huge deficit was WWII, and we paid it off (or most of it off) by taxing the very wealthiest at a high rate. Why is this not mentioned? Why is the fiscal folly of Bush and Reagan ignored. The GOP keeps pointing fingers at President Obama for a few trillon to keep this country and the world from falling into a depression while ignoring the sins of the Republicans in the past.

Posted by: moore732 | February 5, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are in a bind. They have to look like they are doing something when they are too scared to actually do something like cut off Medicare. So they are forced to engage in symbolic substitutes for action. Also this theater will end when they are the ones doing all the spending or tax cutting so it is sort of a blackmail operation

Posted by: Waterloo1 | February 5, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The Bush tax cuts, especially for the very wealthiest and the refusal to pay for wars by raising taxes is the main part of this problem. The last time we had such a huge deficit was WWII, and we paid it off (or most of it off) by taxing the very wealthiest at a high rate. Why is this not mentioned? Why is the fiscal folly of Bush and Reagan ignored. The GOP keeps pointing fingers at President Obama for a few trillon to keep this country and the world from falling into a depression while ignoring the sins of the Republicans in the past.

Posted by: moore732 | February 5, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

phrogger wrote:
"Then maybe we could start buying back our grandchildrens' freedom from the Chinese."

Aaahh! And who sold our "grandchildrens'" freedom to the Chinese?

Oh yeah! "Deficits Don't Matter" republicans starting with Reagan, Gingrich, DeLay, cheney/bush, Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and McConnell etc.....

Posted by: knjincvc | February 5, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse


I guess if cry-baby Boehner doesn't get his own way, he'll break down into tears and go home with his over-sized gavel.


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | February 5, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"Gotta git that there difficit down ... or izzit the National Ditt?"

Posted by: phvr38 | February 5, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Let the crazies not raise the debt ceiling. I live abroad and a dollar crash would be great for me! Go Boehner Go!

Posted by: dmblum | February 5, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, GOP: choose your battles carefully. Lot's of us would love for spending to be cut (let's start with defense--how about if we adopt the Gates plan?). But shutting down the government isn't a serious ploy: it's an empty political gesture with only a downside and no upside.

Are you SURE you want the credit for this boneheaded move?

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | February 5, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Our society is a vast organism- a system- in which any"fix" involves the entire complexity of that organism. If we view relief our debt load simplistically, as we have over my whole lifetime, the ramifications of our treatment plan have too many unexpected consequences. For instance firing the federal employes, bringing the troops home will also cause a jump in unemployment and a drop in the efficiency of doing business in a context of deteriorating infrastructure that will be prohibitively expensive to rebuild during the desired recovery, etc. etc. As those of us still standing, in these difficult times, continue to try to live beyond our means, continue to leave the lights on when we leave the room, choose the Humvee over mass transit, we are demonstrating a belief in the positive impact of whining , prayer and general hand-wringing. That method has never seemed to work before...

Posted by: alika | February 6, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

This whole thing about drastic consequences if the debt ceiling is not raised makes no sense. First off, 60% of the government's current spending is covered by taxes. The debt ceiling has no effect on that spending. Second, of the 40% covered by borrowing, that too can go on without -raising- the debt ceiling. The spending could not rise, but there would be no apocalypse or "massive shutdown of the government." Stromberg is just making stuff up to aid his buddies at the DNC. No one should believe a word of it.

Posted by: rhahn1 | February 6, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

These people blithely talk about continuing to make the debt payments, but lay off the Federal workers -- air traffic controllers, food safety inspectors, the FBI, the National Security Agency, VA hospital workers, NIH, CDC, Border Patrol, the Capitol Police.

Close all the National Parks. Don't do any security inspections at airports. No more immigration and customs clearance.

Duhhh? What are the people thinking?

They are obvious NOT thinking.

Posted by: wobbleman47 | February 6, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The artificial 'debt limit' was enacted by Congress.

The Constitution doesn't require it. This 'ceiling' is a fiction.

All spending requires authorization by Congress, so if Congress authorizes it, that means that Congress has approved it..why then should Congress have to approve borrowing more to pay for the spending it has already authorized?

the debt ceiling nonsense is foolishness and a waste of more time and money...

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 6, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

gasmonkey... where you be hiding your brains?

The Republicans don't "have states". Nor for that matter do the Democrats.

We are all in this quagmire together so stop making foolish comments that put your intellect on display for all to laugh at.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 6, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I say fine, lets cut the budget. We should do so in all the districts that the tea partiers and republicans voicing support for this are from. That way you can have your cake and eat it too! You won't have to worry about any Federal workers, cause hey, there won't be any in your district! Needless Federal oversight on clean air, water, food, transportation, education, power plants, wages, hazardous waste, yadda yadda yadda? Gone! Just don't come running to us when suddenly a disaster hits and you want help. Oh, and good luck getting your state to cover that too. You thought they would be able to cover it? psh. not a chance in the world. These members of Congress are nothing if not hypocritical. We don't want the Federal government to be big! Don't be involved in anything! Then, the next time something big happens its "why didn't the feds do something? How dare they not be ready to deal with this?!? Whine WHINE WHINE." I'm willing to pay higher taxes to save services. I'm not willing to have our whole government screwed over by hypocritical people out to destroy our nation. You want health care gone? Fine. Then give up your nice, congressional, GOVERNMENT funded health care plan, and give it to me :-) I could use it! Already got one, but I'm always looking to upgrade. Especially since you won't be needing it, right? You never get sick, and your business buddies can surely give you a couple grand to get those braces for your kids or fix that heart defect in your baby. Yup, don't rely on the government. Why should they help you when obviously you don't want their help?

Posted by: Rufusgoofus | February 7, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Banking On Fraud

This should alarm smart people far more than the national debt:

Still Banking on Fraud | Dollars & Sense

Reforms Fail to address the “control fraud” that caused the financial crisis. By William K. Black

A truly amazing thing has happened in banking. After the worst financial crisis in 75 years sparked the “Great Recession,” we have

* Failed to identify the real causes of the crisis
* Failed to fix the defects that caused the crisis
* Failed to hold the CEOs, professionals, and anti-regulators who caused the crisis accountable—even when they committed fraud
* Bailed out the largest and worst financial firms with massive public funds
* Covered up banking losses and failures—impairing any economic recovery
* Degraded our integrity and made the banking system even more encouraging of fraud
* Refused to follow policies that have proved extremely successful in past crises
* Made the systemically dangerous megabanks even more dangerous
* Made our financial system even more parasitic, harming the real economy


And pronounced this travesty a brilliant success

The Bush and Obama administrations have made an already critically flawed financial system even worse...

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2011/0111black.html

Posted by: rheckler2002 | February 7, 2011 7:00 AM | Report abuse

To prove the crazy man crazy, let him do something crazy, then we'd all be crazy not to call him crazy.

Posted by: lelliot4 | February 7, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Instead of playing the role the oligarchs have set out for us, left vs. right, lets throw them curve.

We Liberals are supposed to be oh so bright and here is a chance to prove it. DON'T resist the republican calls to reduce spending. Let's climb on board with a package of cuts in say defense, the wars, corporate welfare, and elimination of some tax shelters. Man would it be sweet to watch the republicans try to deal with us calling them on their bluff and trying to defend THEIR bloated government spending.

Rahm was right, NEVER let a "emergency" go to waste.

Posted by: lord166 | February 7, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

It will be pretty if the debt ceiling is not raised. The government will be closed; no Medicare or Social Security payments, hospitals will close. Food will become very scarce; there will be riots by hungry people. Advise you not to hoard because Republicans have made sure everyone is armed; you will get killed if people know you have food. The army can't be paid so we will defenseless. It goes on

Posted by: withersb | February 7, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure."

"America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

Senator Obama 2006

Obama voted AGAINST raising the debt ceiling in 2006.

Mr Stromberg
So now Obama is deranged?
Obama is engaged in dangerous political brinkmanship in 2006?
Obama is now admitting that his leadership has failed?
Either Obama is a hypocrite or you are since Obama recommended the same thing in 2006 that Boehner is today.

Posted by: BigKahuna1 | February 7, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me for pointing this out Mr. Stromberg, but Empty or Deranged are the only two options? Kinda like another post I read that said who is wose Obama or Bush but was not just a either or the choice for picking Obama was because he isn't prosecuting the Bush Admin for blowing up the WTB in NYC on 9/11! Wow it's not even fiar of blanced unless I drink the koolaid. Sad but maybe it's time to start anew.

Posted by: dukeameye3 | February 7, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

wobbleman47; all,

personal to "wobbleman47": do you enjoy being laughed AT & RIDICULED as an "emptyhead"? = your post, to put the best face on it avoids the TRUTHS below:
1. federal "workers" are OVERPAID (according to the GAO, the "workers" are paid about, typically, TWICE what the same jobs pay in the rest of the economy.)
2. MUCH of what the "workers" do is NEEDLESS, wasteful & silly.
3. there are thousands of federal agencies that are "working at cross purposes". = those need to either be "dis-established" or the necessary functions should be given to another agency.

for example: the last time i counted, there were over 70 "police agencies" in the federal government, with each having their own "supporting bureaucracy".
this is WASTEFUL in the extreme, as the "support staffs" are doing the SAME personnell/payroll/etc functions as every other similar office does. =====> why not cut all those agencies to TWO or THREE large agencies & eliminate all the needless duplication, waste, fraud & abuse?
with the end of those "needless duplications of administrative effort", we taxpayers could save a VAST amount of $$$$$$$$ AND field more LEOs to investigate crime & arrest criminals.
(i'm a retired LEO & it makes NO difference whatever WHICH badge you carry, what the NAME of the LE agency is and/or which TITLE you have.= it is the SAME job!)

to ALL: IF you are tired of/angry about/disgusted with THE MESS that the DIMocRATS "leadership", BHO & the LEFTISTS have made of our country, come join THE TEA PARTY & help us return our government to the people & get it out of the hands of the SELF-important academic/social/holly-WIERD/business/government "elites". you will be warmly welcomed & "put to work" to help us return the USA to being the CONSTITUTIONAL republic that our founders intended it to be/remain!

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | February 7, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

wobbleman47; all,

personal to "wobbleman47": do you enjoy being laughed AT & RIDICULED as an "emptyhead"? = your post, to put the best face on it avoids the TRUTHS below:
1. federal "workers" are OVERPAID (according to the GAO, the "workers" are paid about, typically, TWICE what the same jobs pay in the rest of the economy.)
2. MUCH of what the "workers" do is NEEDLESS, wasteful & silly.
3. there are thousands of federal agencies that are "working at cross purposes". = those need to either be "dis-established" or the necessary functions should be given to another agency.

for example: the last time i counted, there were over 70 "police agencies" in the federal government, with each having their own "supporting bureaucracy".
this is WASTEFUL in the extreme, as the "support staffs" are doing the SAME personnell/payroll/etc functions as every other similar office does. =====> why not cut all those agencies to TWO or THREE large agencies & eliminate all the needless duplication, waste, fraud & abuse?
with the end of those "needless duplications of administrative effort", we taxpayers could save a VAST amount of $$$$$$$$ AND field more LEOs to investigate crime & arrest criminals.
(i'm a retired LEO & it makes NO difference whatever WHICH badge you carry, what the NAME of the LE agency is and/or which TITLE you have.= it is the SAME job!)

to ALL: IF you are tired of/angry about/disgusted with THE MESS that the DIMocRATS "leadership", BHO & the LEFTISTS have made of our country, come join THE TEA PARTY & help us return our government to the people & get it out of the hands of the SELF-important academic/social/holly-WIERD/business/government "elites". you will be warmly welcomed & "put to work" to help us return the USA to being the CONSTITUTIONAL republic that our founders intended it to be/remain!

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | February 7, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company