Archive for Saturday, July 23, 2011

House should dare Obama to veto debt plan

July 23, 2011


The debt ceiling looms. Confusion reigns. Schemes abound. We are deep in a hole with, as of now, only three ways out: the McConnell plan, the G6 plan and the Half-Trillion plan.

• The McConnell essentially punts the issue till after Election Day 2012. A good last resort if nothing else works.

• The G6, proposed by the bipartisan Gang of Six senators, reduces 10-year debt by roughly $4 trillion. It has some advantages, even larger flaws.

• The Half-Trillion raises the debt ceiling by that amount in return for an equal amount of spending cuts. At the current obscene rate of deficit spending — about $100 billion a month — it yields about five months respite before the debt ceiling is reached again.

In my view, the Half-Trillion is best: It is clean, straightforward, yields real cuts, averts the current crisis and provides until year-end to negotiate a bigger deal. At the same time, it punctures President Obama’s thus far politically successful strategy of proposing nothing in public, nothing in writing, nothing with numbers, while leaking through a pliant press supposed offers of surpassing scope and reasonableness.

As part of this pose, Obama had threatened to veto any short-term debt-ceiling hike. Which has become Obama’s most vulnerable point. Is the catastrophe of default preferable to a deal that gives us, say, five months to negotiate something more significant — because it doesn’t get Obama through Election Day?

Which is why Obama is already in retreat. On Wednesday, press secretary Jay Carney showed the first crack by saying the president would accept an extension of a few days if needed to complete an already agreed upon long-term deal.

Meaning that he would exercise his veto if that larger deal required several months rather than several days? Call his bluff. Let the House pass the Half-Trillion. Dare him to put America into default because he deems a short-term deal insufficiently grand. After all, it dovetails perfectly with parts of the G6, for which the president has expressed support and which explicitly allocates roughly the same amount of time — six months — to work out the grander $3-$4 trillion deal.

The G6 conveniently comes in two parts. Part One puts immediately into effect, yes, a half-trillion dollars in cuts, including a more accurate inflation measure (that over time greatly reduces Social Security costs) and repeal of the CLASS Act (the lesser-known of the two new Obamacare entitlements, a fiscally ruinous, long-term care Ponzi scheme).

Part Two of the G6 is far more problematic. It mandates six months of committee negotiations over the big ones — Medicare, Social Security, discretionary spending caps and tax reform. Unfortunately, the Medicare and Social Security parts are exceptionally weak — no mention of any structural change, such as raising the eligibility age to match longevity. As for the spending caps, I wouldn’t bet my dog’s food bowl on their durability.

On tax reform, the G6 calls for eliminating deductions, credits, exclusions and exemptions to reduce rates across the board. The new tax rates — top individual rate between 23 percent and 29 percent — would bring us back to Reagan levels (28 percent). This would be a good outcome, but the numbers thus far are fuzzy and some are contradictory. Moreover, those negotiations have yet to begin.

In principle, however, if the vast majority of the revenue raised by closing loopholes goes to rate reduction, and if the vast majority of the net revenue raised comes from the increased economic activity spurred by lowering rates and eliminating inefficiency-inducing loopholes, the trade-off would be justified. We shall see.

What to do now? The House should immediately pass the Half-Trillion plan, thereby putting something eminently reasonable on the table that the president will have to address with a serious counterproposal using actual numbers. If the counterproposal is the G6, Republicans should accept Part One with its half-trillion dollars in cuts, CPI change and repeal of the CLASS Act, i.e., the part of the G6 that is enacted immediately and that is real. Accompany this with a dollar-for-dollar hike in the debt ceiling, yielding almost exactly the time envisioned in the G6 to work out grander spending and revenue changes — and defer any action on Part Two until precisely that time.

The Half-Trillion with or without the G6 Part One: ceiling raised, crisis deferred, cuts enacted and time granted to work out any Grand Compromise. You can’t get more reasonable than that.

Do it. And dare the president to veto it.


Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

The republicans put us in this mess and they have never quit being the problem = reality.

Go to FDR and the 1933 massive employment bill. That can be repeated for 2011,2012 and 2013. We need to get the USA moving again.

How can congressional millionaires expect more sacrifice from taxpayers on Social Security and Medicare? That is beyond my comprehension.

Once again the repubs have established a pattern that has been killing the USA economy beginning in 1980. This must stop and the democrats must play hardball instead of allowing wreckanomics republicans to run the show.

The country needs action and no more repub BS!!!

Fully 81% of the national debt was created by the big 3 aka Reagan,Bush and Bush.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

Reid,Pelosi and Obama need to move into big time hardball mode and deliver:

Obama and all congressional millionaires: THINK JOBS BILL like FDR did in 1933

The “Peoples Budget” does everything this country needs:

* Creates good-paying jobs
* Fully maintains our social safety net
* Invests in education
* Ends our costly wars
* Closes the tax loopholes that have made offshoring jobs profitable
* Ends oil and gas subsidies that pollute our country at taxpayer expense
* Creates a national infrastructure investment bank to help us make intelligent investments for the future

The “People's Budget” represents not just common sense; it represents the will of the American people.

What the “Peoples Budget” does very specifically:,70

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

So the Republican "plan" is to take the economy down (like they did in 2007-2008)) in the hopes that Obama goes with it.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 6 months ago

Just the opposite.Their plan is to take Obama down and they don't mind sacrificing the rest of us with him.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Of course it's the Republicans' fault, along with their junior partners In the Republcan-Lite party (AKA Democrats.)

And Wall Street will do all they can to make sure that both parties implement economic policies designed to keep their profits soaring while the everyone else eats cake (made of dirt.)

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

The half-trillion plan sounds bad to me.

We raise the debt ceiling by a large amount, commit to a large amount of spending cuts, and have to do this all over again in 5 months, when we reach default levels again.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Why did it come down to the last minute?

And, what guarantee is there that won't happen again in 5 months?

Have you noticed that Boehner walked out of negotiations, refusing to consider raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

I'll ask again - why are you so invested in the Republicans being right and the Democrats wrong?

Republicans are opposing raising revenue, even through methods you've suggested you'd approve of, like raising taxes (actually letting some cuts expire) on the wealth and large corporations.

Both sides are flawed, in a variety of ways, from my perspective - there is no clear "good guy/bad guy" scenario.

If you're opposed to deficits and runaway spending, were you critical of the Bush administration for that very thing? If not, why not? Why does partisan loyalty trump common sense?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad to hear that you criticized him - that's a bit more consistent than many.

My understanding is that closing loopholes, and allowing the Bush cuts to expire was what was being considered, and rejected by the R side.

I read Boehner's version of what happened - I'd like some independent confirmation that his version is accurate.

An increase in revenue, combined with spending cuts, is the only way out of our troubles.

In my view, allowing cuts that were supposed to expire to do so is not equivalent to raising taxes - it simply allows them to return to previous levels before they were cut.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

I said considered, not agreed to.

But, if they're not even willing to consider that, what does that say about them?

It's obviously a complex negotiation, and both sides are trying to spin what's going on for political gain, which is disgusting, given the seriousness of the issue.

I don't want to argue about this anymore - I think we would probably agree on a lot of things, including:

The large national debt is a large problem. Running budget deficits each year and increasing the size of that debt is a bad idea. Getting a balanced budget, and paying down our debt would be a good idea. The most likely way to achieve that would be through a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases.

The devil's in the details on this one, it seems to me - what gets cut, and how the revenue gets raised.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 6 months ago

The half trillion plan won't pass the Senate.

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

mr. krauthammer leads with: "Schemes abound." and then proceeds with his preferred scheme.

examples of mr. krauthammer's argument include: " punctures President Obama’s thus far politically successful strategy..." "Call his bluff." "Dare him to put America into default..." "Do it. And dare the president to veto it."

no scheming here. nope.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 6 months ago

You should hire someone to find your remote control, as it is clearly time for you to change the channel.

Or better yet, turn it off and find a hobby.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes, we should all watch as much Fox News as you do.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Source for the claim of "moving the goal posts"?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago


Of course that's just his saying that's the case - I'd be interested in some independent confirmation of it.

If Obama and/or the Democrats have a different version of what happened, what then?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

I see.

So you believe Boehner's version, and not Obama's.

That's not any sort of independent or unbiased confirmation.

And, I don't generally watch news/press conferences, etc. I did, though, have the immediate sense that there might be a different version from Obama.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

Forget the people's budget! Read the people's cube! It's wayyyyyy better for you.

P Allen Macfarlane 6 years, 6 months ago

Where in the Constitution does it say that the President is supposed to present a plan? He did his job when he put forth a budget for 2012. It is the job of Congress to modify and structure what Obama proposed back during the State of the Union address he gave last January. For all of you who wish to lay all of this on Obama, you are misinformed, or perhaps you Constitutionalists never got that far, perhaps you only read the comic-book version?

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

liberty_one says: " only seems reasonable that he put something on the table."

would that be the same table(s) that eric cantor and john boehner stormed away from? hhmmmmm..........................

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"The US government has tons of assets that it could sell off as well to pay creditors"

That's pretty much already happening around the world. Why should we be any different?

Of course, it'll be the Koch brothers, et al, who will be buying it up at fire-sale prices, making sure that we live in a statist society-- it'll just be owned the ueberwealthy (including the Chinese) who are now saying that we're broke, so the poor must pay.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

When the ownership of the private sector is concentrated into the hands of a very small percentage of the people, it most definitely is bad.

And it's also quite possible to have bad government.

Our current situation is a very good example what happens when you have both.

MyName 6 years, 6 months ago

Other than the fact that it would be impossible to do this in e needed timeframe due to regulations, a terrible waste of the country's assets since they would likely go at firesale prices, would be literally putting our country's heritage in the hands of a bunch of useless corporations, and wouldn't actually solve the debt situation, I thinks it's the smartest idea you've come up with yet.

Oh wait, you didn't co e up with this yourself, did you...

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Businesses do not in fact have to "make our lives better" in order to succeed.

They do have to get us to buy their products or services.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

I think you're incorrect.

You equate being convinced to buy things with improving one's life - I say they're quite different.

Advertising is inherently manipulative, and very successful, and plays on people's insecurities/emotional needs in a variety of ways.

One example: There's an ad for a jewelers - I think they're called Kay Jewelers. It portrays a well-dressed man (clearly well-off) buying some jewelry for a woman (presumable his wife/girlfriend). She's very pleased, and embraces him to the tag line - "Every kiss begins with a K".

It's a clever ad, and presumably an effective one, otherwise the jeweler wouldn't continue to run it, and pay the expenses associated with that.

I say it's actually encouraging things that are not only not improvements, but are actually bad for people. It encourages men to think of themselves as the giver of presents in exchange for women's affection (by extension sex), and women to think of themselves as giving affection/sex in exchange for gifts.

This is a thinly veiled version of prostitution, and harms both men and women who believe it, and act accordingly.

That's just one example - I'm sure I could find many others.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago


They compete, using extremely manipulative advertising.

Your leap is unwarranted - I suggested no "nanny state" policies. I simply disagree with your idealized version of consumer choice.

What about alcoholics buying booze at the corner liquor store? Is that really improving their lives?

Or cigarette smokers spending massive amounts of money on cigarettes?

Or people being convinced that they need to buy a new wardrobe every year to keep up with the latest fashion?

I'm all for informed choices on the part of consumers, but I don't think I have to not notice that people often make bad choices, and are heavily influenced by advertising/other forces.

Sometimes it is easy to see from the outside that somebody is making a self-destructive choice, even if they can't see that themselves.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

If advertising weren't so successful, then companies wouldn't be willing to spend massive amounts of money on it, but they are. In fact, it must be successful enough to get enough people to buy products at prices high enough to pay for all of the company's expenses, including their advertising budget, and still make a profit. So, it must be massively effective.

I have a right to my view of the world, just as you do.

The argument for legalizing drugs, as I understand it, is not that being addicted to drugs is good for people - it's that we want people to have the freedom to make decisions for themselves, even if they're bad ones.

I don't understand why you have to pretend that people always make good decisions, and that all of their purchasing decisions are good for them and improve their lives, when they're lots of evidence to the contrary.

Obesity is dramatically on the rise, both in KS and in the whole country - when people eat junk food and get fat, does that improve their lives?

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't understand this thing.

What's the point? Not all businesses succeed, so not all advertising is successful. Again, companies wouldn't invest heavily in advertising if they weren't pretty sure it worked.

I'm not imposing anything on anybody - I merely look at the world and see what I see, which is that people do not always make decisions that are in their own best interests.

You can call it arrogant if you like, but it's no more arrogant than your assertion that all purchases do in fact improve the lives of the purchasers.

Of course people have different desires and preferences - that's a given.

It's interesting that you're now saying they're meeting the "wants" of their customers, which is a bit different from claiming the purchases improve people's lives.

And, I will continue to maintain that advertising is quite successful in manipulating people to want various products.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

TV advertising during the Super Bowl costs in the neighborhood of millions of dollars/minute.

Why would a company spend that kind of money if advertising isn't effective?

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

I looked up

As a result of their advertising campaign, sales rose dramatically, which is good evidence that advertising works to stimulate sales.

They were losing money on each sale - that's why they went out of business. Of course you can't succeed in a business if you do that - that's pretty obvious.

gudpoynt 6 years, 5 months ago

What if that product is an adjustable rate mortgage?

What if the borrower doesn't understand it?

What if the loan officer doesn't understand it?

What if the president of the bank from where the loan is being offered doesn't understand it?

What if the only people that understand it are the profiteers who paid for the systematic decimation of the regulatory agency that was supposed to protect against bogus financial products?

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

Look it up - the first source I found commented that very thing, which supports my contention that advertising is very effective at persuading people to buy products.

The fact that the company managed to lose money on each sale, and thus put itself out of business is a different issue entirely.

You say that businesses have to "improve our lives" in order to succeed, and thus all purchases are ones which do just that.

I say it's not true, and that people often make purchases which don't do that.

I see little difference between our statements - we're both looking at the world, and coming to certain conclusions about other people's behavior. We only differ in the content of those conclusions.

Of course, there's a fundamental difference between saying that people buy things they want, and that their purchases improve their lives. I'm surprised you don't see that.

The heroin addict wants to buy more heroin. Is that synonymous with the notion that that purchase improves his/her life?

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

The Republicans have refused yet another plan to do something about the deficit. Why? Because they don't want to allow the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy, which were intended to be temporary, to ever end. They are willing to hold the rest of the country hostage to make sure their rich contributors keep getting richer. Trickle down economics do not work and those cuts do not and have not created jobs.

cowboy 6 years, 6 months ago

Looked at the headline and knew who the writer was. Mr. Craphammer moves on thru his drivel to dare default. It really is all about the politics isn't it . The repubs had the oval office and reduced the deficit how much ? added 2.7 trillion The repubs had the oval office 8 years and created how many jobs ? lowest in history How many debt ceiling raises during Bush ? Gop voted 19 times to raise debt ceiling.

Funny to hear the talking points roll out i.e. no plan etc , thats what negotiation is to produce. A plan that is agreed upon and moved forward unlike the my way or the highway crapola the GOP has wasted their time and our money

So , you economically illiterate hypocritical tea partiers are really "all hat no cattle" just like GWB.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, we wouldn't be in this situation if prior administrations had been fiscally responsible - this didn't happen overnight.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

"What does the past have to do with the current crisis"?

It has a lot to do with it, as I said. If previous administrations had been fiscally responsible, we wouldn't be in this situation now.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 6 months ago

We don't have to default. If the R's force the issue, so be it. We can pay the bond holders for quite some time if we have to. Then pay the military. Cut all congressional money including their salaries, health benefits and travel expenses. Pay SS as can be done and just let the rest of government fade away as we wait for the Tea Party gang to come to their senses. A few oldsters and military vets missing the monthly deposits should serve as a wake-up call. Yes we need to get a handle on this after decades of magical thinking about budgets. The only realistic solution, everyone pays more according to their income; all taxes and fees must increase a bit; everyone getting a 'gummint' check will have to take less. Then the hard part, we have to stick to the plan for a generation or two to get back on level ground. Sadly, our system is not designed for these actions.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 6 months ago

Invoke the 14th and let the Bush tax cuts expire. It's that simple.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

"'The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for the payments of pension and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion' -- this is the important thing -- 'shall not be questioned," -guess who

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

this constitutional amendment was "put into place" after (because of, actually) the civil war. america as a whole community, constitutionally, affirmed this amendment. so, that's all of us.
however, the president was abraham lincoln.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Obama is neither left nor right, but you insist on playing childish games with his name. What gives?

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

What gives is that we have a returning visitor to the LJW site who has a history of childish name-calling. Don't worry, I suspect he will be disapeardeded again real soon.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

Not raising the debt ceiling is like skipping your credit card payments (as another poster described it as).

Not raising it will be just another way of spending 2-3 trillion dollars. This will happen and because US credit will be downgraded and bond rates will spike. The interest we pay on our 14trillion debt will be more expensive. 2-3 trillion dollars more.

For the life of me, I do not understand why they do not raise the debt ceiling and treat the budget as a separate issue. We all know that things must be cut and additional revenue must be raised, but this is a separate issue.

I am so unhappy with politicians right now. They are betraying the American public by playing the dice with something that could quite possible be economic disaster....all for political gain. What they are doing is almost treason.

verity 6 years, 6 months ago

"I am so unhappy with politicians right now. They are betraying the American public by playing the dice with something that could quite possible be economic disaster....all for political gain. What they are doing is almost treason."

Pretty much says it all. Not just for the United States of American, but for the whole world. What we do affects the economy of the whole world.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

Not raising the debt ceiling is essentially the US declaring bankruptcy. Creditors will have to get in line to get paid. This will be very similar to what happened to Russia in the early 90's. Similar to what is happening in Greece right now. I truly to wish that our elected politicians will consider this.

Having said that, our debt as it now stands will no doubt be the cause of some economic correction and shared pain for a long time to come. But there is still a chance to minimize this in a responsible way through good leadership, reform, and budget cuts. We have a chance. This seems very unlikely with the extreme partisanship we see today. It is poliitcal party 1st, country way down on the list.

If the ceiling is not raised by the deadline, the towel will essentially be thrown in.

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

so, your libertarian plan is to simply tuck your head into a comfortable pile of sand?

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

liberty_one says: "Our plan is to wake up and realize what's actually going on."

i'm sorry. what was that plan again? (more sauce w/ the libertarian linguini, please)

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Actually, the best suggestions from Washington are to both decrease spending and raise revenue.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

"The 14th Amendment: the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for the payments of pension and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion shall not be questioned.”

This seems to clearly state that the debt must be paid. With that in mind, it seems to me that any Republicrat maneuver resulting in failure to pay said debt would be unconstitutional.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

"...debts incurred for the pension and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion shall not be questioned.” How much of our present debt is for suppressing insurrection or rebellion? Does the 800-billion dollars Bush Co. gave Wall Street before he left office in 2009 go towards pension or rebellion suppression?

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

eerrrr....... does your semantic argument pay the bills?

do you have a default setting for your libertarian linguistic linguini? (get it. default setting.)

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

i am speaking to you. i think you already knew that.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

I didn't argue anything. I simply posted part of the constitution and asked questions. Glad I could help.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

I know, let's ask a constitutional lawyer:

"So, to recap, here are my conclusions, tempered by awareness that legal authorities across the ideological spectrum have wide-ranging views: First, duly enacted appropriations are legally the counterpart of "public debt ... authorized by law." Second, default on public debt, like repudiation, casts doubt on the debt's "validity," and therefore is unconstitutional under the Public Debt Clause. Third, a congressional ban on all funding sources to pay principal and interest would lead ineluctably to default, and is thus unconstitutional as well. But fourth, a debt ceiling that forecloses only one source of funding, leaving open several alternative sources, passes constitutional muster."

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

BAA: "BTW, I am guilty of fat-fingered spelling at times, but my spelling of Dims is not one of those times."

By the way, let us know when some conservatives capable of behaving like adults join the conversation.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

Adult, as in someone who doesn't have to resort to calling people names like "liberal whacks" in order to make a point because they have the knowledge and maturity to support their arguments without needing to insult others in the process. It isn't a difficult concept.

Feel free to measure my comments based on this basic concept.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

If anyone is using inflammatory name-calling in order to get their point across, then I would agree that they are not acting like adults. However, I am not making a request of you. I am just stating my desire to have conversations with people who are above calling others names. Based on posting history, I truly don't expect this or you or some you might consider "liberal whacks."

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

Hardly. As I've stated, I do not anticipate you taking part in these on-line debates without resorting to name-calling, but it is still my desire to engage in conversations with adults who are capable of remaining civil even when we don't agree. A good back and forth without insults can be quite worthwhile, so I am sure I will continue to mention it from time to time. You have nothing to do with that.

However, might I suggest that if you don't like reading others questioning your use of insulting names, have you considered the alternative? What do you really gain using insults to online strangers? Do you think it ever helps your argument on any topic? Just asking. I honestly don't really care what you do.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm not making demands of anyone. I'm making an observation. Regarding liberals, perhaps because we tend to agree in princple, I generally don't get into lengthy conversations with other liberals. The name-calling really registers when I am debating an issue with someone, including yourself. I agree that it is just as useless from a liberal as it is a conservative to use name-calling as a routine part of conversation.

Not a club, just an observation. Do with it as you wish.

Katara 6 years, 6 months ago


Everyone knows Krauthammer isn't serious. He would have egged the Republicans on to double dog dare President Obama if he was.

What next? Is Krauthammer going to suggest that the Republicans give President Obama a wet willy until he gives in to their demands?

Perhaps the Democrats can ask the Republicans if they want a Hertz Doughnut.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

When did he say that? Got a link?

BTW, if the debt ceiling isn't raised, sooner or later SS payments won't get made.

And if Republicans get their way in cuts to entitlements, grandma and grandpa will see dramatic cuts in SS and Medicare, and the suffering will be real-- all so the wealthy can see their taxes reduces.

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

long and painful story short (just wait for the elongated sequel ! ): 1. president obama would be able to bring along the democratic (and independent) caucus on a solution to this problem (i.e. compromise). 2. john boehner (et. al.) could not bring their caucus to a solution (i.e. compromise).

yup. that's about it.

love2fish_ks 6 years, 6 months ago

A lesson in Civics and Government is needed here. Our current financial mess is not the result of any President, R or D. Congre$$ sets the spending and the power of the POTUS is to veto.

Yes there were 2 unfunded wars from Bush that Oboma has continued (and started a third that was to 'last days not weeks'). Yes we have a prescription drug plan that was unfunded, yet 3X smaller than requested by the D's and is still unfunded.

When the R's controll the house and senate spending is out of controll and the D's scream for a balanced budget. When the D's control the same thing happens and the R's scream for a balanced budget. The only difference today is we are approaching danger levels of spending and debt as a % of GDP.

We need two things, less money going out of washington and more money (taxes) going into washington. Should the upper 1% who already pay 70% of all taxes pay more? Sure. Should the lower 50% who pay NOTHING start carrying the load? Sure. If the lower 50 ever start paying, I think we will hear less crying about loss of services and a greater focus on less spending.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

" Should the upper 1% who already pay 70% of all taxes pay more? Sure. Should the lower 50% who pay nothing start carrying the load?"

This shows a fundamental lack of understanding of financial reality. The top 1% pay more taxes because they suck up so much of the available income. How do they do this? The people in the lower 50% make so little money that they barely get buy.

This economy is, by design, unfair. It rewards those at the top at levels that have absolutely no basis in reality. The notion that taxation should somehow be "more fair" than the distribution of income is patently absurd.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

I suspect one of the few things we can agree on is that neither the current government nor the current economy even remotely resembles our respective ideals.

Not that you've ever shown the maturity to be able to agree to even that modest a statement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

And I think that the problem with this government is that it's controlled by the very capitalist heroes you want to give complete free rein.

Do you really think the Koch brothers, et al, are going to give up their power and wealth after the dismantling of government?

We can attempt to do all the dismantling you say you want, but they'll land squarely on their feet, and the vast majority will be under those feet even more than we are right now.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"Wealth is not a zero-sum game."

Depends on the rules, now doesn't it? And the Koch brothers definitely play by zero-sum rules.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

BTW, in case you missed it, I didn't bail out any firms. Nor did I advocate for it. And if I had been in charge of bailing anyone out, it would have come with very major strings attached-- something that didn't happen.

Not that it really matters what I say, since you'll make up whatever straw man you need.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

And how many times are you going to insist that the already existing capitalists that already have the game rigged in their favor are going to adopt the idyllic, pristine version of capitalism you dream of?

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

"Should the lower 50% who pay nothing start carrying the load? Sure. If the lower 50 ever start paying"

I'm with you love to fish except for this statement. This percentage (50%) if it is accurate, is only regarding Income Tax (box #2 on the w-2). We need to remember, everyone who gets a paycheck, no matter how large or how small, pays Federal Payroll taxes (Box 4 &6) which is Social Security and Medicare.

Since social security and medicare are budget items, it is not fair to say that 50% do not pay taxes. This is a falsehood that politicians and bad entertainers like Rush Fleabag propogate.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Here's a good article about how Obama has governed from the (Wall Street) center-right, and not as a dread "liberal"

And I like this from the comments section that follows the article--

"Demographics, not policy, wins elections. Obama's constituencies--blacks, Latinos, labor, and white middle-of-the-roaders--will stick with the man not because he did anything for them but because they see him as a tribal leader.

Another whole segment of the voting population looks at celebrity appeal in making their choices. Barack and Michelle and their two sweet children are more appealing than, say, Pawlenty or Ron Paul. Obama will win this segment of voters, too.

The oligarch's elevation of this man was a stroke of genius as it insured an eight-year term of someone who professes to care ever so much for the poor and the unemployed while kicking them in their sorry-ass behinds. Talk about hope and change---has there ever been such a hypocrite in the presidential office?"

JohnBrown 6 years, 6 months ago

Of course, there is always Plan A. The same Plan A Bohner helped push through for W seven times: just raise the debt limit without any strings.

If Bohner allows the US to default, he will have caused more damage to the USA than Osama Bin Laden could ever have hoped.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

Already might be damage. The current uncertainty may already be pushing up interest rates. Even businesses may be affected. One of the 1st topics the CEO where I worked brought up the debt ceiling issue and addressed us employees about it. He said it could bring forth some unpredictable variables. I get the feeling even corporate America is extremely worried about this. This cannot be good for jobs and the recession.

funkdog1 6 years, 6 months ago

Bottom line: the folks with power and money are sticking it to the rest of us. End of story. They're doing better than ever--rich republicans and democrats--while the rest of us go down the toilet.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

The mere fact that this knucklehead Krathbamer is even suggesting to "dare" really ticks me off. Just think about the enormous harm potential there is.

weeslicket 6 years, 6 months ago

agree with johnbrown. interesting addition from camper. this argument will continue to play itself out. but, the debt ceiling will have to be raised. agree to that. and agree to continue the argument. and sooner is better.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

If there is such a thing as a business confidence indicator (ie like consumer confidence), I get the feeling that it is low right now. Many businesses are not sure what the environment is going to be like in 3-6 months if the ceiling is not raised and the US defaults. Even if it gets done at the last minute,we may very well see a lag in the economy. Business is holding off on anything but the bare essentials right now in many cases. Atleast that's my read on it.

jayhawxrok 6 years, 6 months ago

The author is an idiot who lives in a little plastic bubble of his own creation. What the GOP has done and is doing is a disgrace.

booyalab 6 years, 6 months ago

It's sad how the idea of raising the debt ceiling continues to be painted as the tough, financially sound decision and not the short sighted irresponsible one. Yet so many people believe it's the former. I shudder to think of their credit ratings.

"I should just rip the band-aid off and get a credit card with a higher limit so I can continue to buy solid gold mansions on a janitor's salary." Roughly half of you would apparently think this is a wise statement.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

Nobody thinks raising the debt ceiling is the "tough" decision.

Given the fallout if it doesn't happen, to our credit rating/interest rates, it does seem like a better option financially.

Most reasonable people think we should be on a more sustainable financial path, including not having budget deficits each year, and paying down the debt.

The difficulty is in the details of how to do this - the two sides of the aisle have distinctly different ideas about how to do it.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

I'd have to look again, but I'm pretty sure that recent articles on the subject have commented that even the possibility of not raising the ceiling may hurt our rating/interest rates.

Although, I completely agree that deficit spending is a bad idea, for a number of reasons.

gudpoynt 6 years, 5 months ago

"Actually the credit rating is being hurt by the deficit spending more than anything."

That's because we haven't defaulted yet. Once we do, you'll be able to say:

"Actually the credit rating was hurt by defaulting on debt more than deficit spending ever was."

Take the case in 1979 when the US defaulted on $120M and it resulted in interest rates rising 0.6%, adding about $4.8B to our debt load almost instantaneously.

If deficit spending has hurt our credit rating so badly, then why is USD still the reserve currency for the world? Why are interest rates for US securities still so low? What has the rest of the world, up until recently, had complete faith that the US would come through on it's debt obligations?

Sounds like perhaps deficit spending hasn't hurt our credit rating nearly as much as you suggest.

Most agree about the debt to GDP ratio needing to get back to sustainable levels. But it will be much easier to get there at current interest rate levels than if those levels increase.

camper 6 years, 5 months ago

If we default, the extra interest charges will make it that much harder to get on top of our debt problem. I agree that we need to stop budget defecits and make some type of debt paydown sustainable. But some suggest a debt load of 2-3 trillion will be the result of a default. This may make the task of paying our debt down impossible. This is by no means fiscal conservatism. Of course I'm probably preaching to the choir.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

According to reporting this morning, our credit rating will almost certainly take a hit, even if we don't default.

Mel Wedermyer 6 years, 5 months ago

Maybe you could explain why we can't compromise.... Extremists are the bane of civilization.

weeslicket 6 years, 5 months ago

the consequences of defaulting also extend to each of the 50 states, and dc, and i suppose to all of our protectorates. and perhaps some additional bits i haven't even considered yet. default is a lousy option, any way you care to look at it.

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