From Ezra Klein at the WaPo this morning, Republicans have won. But can they stop there?
We don’t yet know what the final deal to raise the debt ceiling will be. But now that Harry Reid is developing a proposal with $2.7 trillion in cuts and nothing in revenues, it’s a safe bet that it won’t include any tax increases. Which means that whether Republicans realize it or not, they’ve won. The question now is whether they can stop.
Originally, the Democratic position was that we should simply raise the debt ceiling. Republicans said “no.” There would have to be a deal that reduced the deficit by at least $2.4 trillion — which is the size of the debt ceiling increase needed to get us into 2013.
Then the Democratic position was that we should raise the debt ceiling through a deal that reduced the deficit by about $2.4 trillion, with $2 trillion of that coming from spending cuts and $400 billion coming from taxes. Republicans said “no.” There would have to be a deal that disavowed taxes.
Then the Democratic position was that we should raise the debt ceiling through a deal brokered by Barack Obama that reduced the deficit by $4 trillion, with about $3 trillion of that coming from spending cuts and about $1 trillion coming from tax increases. Republicans said “no.” There would have to be a deal that disavowed taxes, and it would have to be cut between the congressional leadership of the two parties. Obama couldn’t have this as a win.
Klein is good but I would still take a wait and see approach until we see president Obama and Congressional leaders gathered around a microphone for a special announcement. As to who will be considered a winner, and this is what I think might be the sticking point to the Reid proposal, is that it would take the debt ceiling debate off the table until 2013. That means Obama got the after election time table he and Democrats wanted. We’ll also never hear Republicans say thank you for saving their electoral ass. If they push the country into default they will be going into the 2012 elections with two economic crashes to their credit.
John Hayward, another Republican fan of the worse dictatorships in history, writes this bit of hackery at Human Events, Barack the Mad – The American presidency comes off the rails
Obama blamed divided government for the debt ceiling crisis. “I’m sympathetic to your view that this would be easier if I could do this entirely on my own,” he told a questioner who brought up the theory, fashionable in some liberal circles, that the 14th Amendment gives the President power to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally. The President went on to remark, with a chuckle, that this would give him more time to spend with his daughters.
In addition to recoiling in horror at the thought of America’s chief executive being arrogant enough to even speculate about the joys of dictatorship out loud, a thoughtful town hall attendee might ask why the Democrats didn’t balance the budget when they had total control of Washington from 2009 to 2010, and point out that they have controlled both houses of Congress since 2006. But you’re not supposed to ask questions like that.
George W. Bush joked(or was he joking) about the benefits of a dictatorship, not once, but twice:
“I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don’t agree with each other, but that’s OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator,” Bush on CNN.com, December 18, 2000
“A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there’s no question about it, ” [Bush] said. – Business Week, July 30, 2001
Suggesting the use of the 14th amendment to avoid a debt ceiling crisis is a debatable use of that clause, but hardly constitutes a deep earning for dictatorial powers when joked about in a public forum.
Democrats did not balance the budget in one year. Conservatives seem to want it both ways – Democrats do not have a clue one minute and have super powers they refuse to use the next. 2009-2010 saw Obama stop the economy from hemorrhaging jobs which was the result of the worse economic down turn in 80 years, along with the largest debt in US history. One would think a person who specializes in political punditry would at least know who controlled what branch of government and when. Republicans controlled the Senate 1999-2001, 2003-2005, 2005-2007 (2001-2003 the Senate was evenly split) from 2007 to 2009 there was an even split with two independents ( Lieberman caucuses with Democrats but as we all know he frequently votes with conservatives). Republicans controlled the House from 2000 to 2006. Even once Democrats won back a majority in 2006 as one can see from the Senate history no Democratic sponsored legislation would have made it to the Senate for a vote much less passed. If legislation would have passed, say over hauling banking regulations, Bush would have vetoed it. As of today Democrats hold a small majority in the Senate. That means they can do a lot to block legislation passed by the House. On the other hand since that majority is less than the 60 super majority it takes to pass most legislation, Democrats are powerless to pass any bills that Republicans do not like. Currently there are 91 openings in the federal courts for judges. Republicans, even though in the minority, are blocking most of those judges from even getting a vote. Hayward writes all over the wing-nut-osphere. So his writing and his tendency to treat facts as though they hardly mattered is indicative of the Right’s level of debate. Now as to why didn’t Democrats balanced the budget at any time during the Bush administration – why didn’t Bush or Republicans submit even one balanced budget. No modern era conservative president or Congress has balanced their budgets.
More nonsense and what seems like a total rejection of the whole concept of doing research for an article,
Obama also told his audience that “it’s hard to keep up with all the different plans” for handling the debt crisis. No, it isn’t. There’s are only two real plans: the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which enjoys the support of a huge majority of Americans, or leaving the debt ceiling where it is. There are no other plans. There are only vague outlines… absolutely none of which have come from President Obama, who has made no concrete proposals at all.
According to a CNN poll(pdf) the disastrous bill known as Cut, Cap and Balance does have not have two thirds support of the public. He is interpreting a question that asked if the public supports a balanced Budget amendment. I don’t think the public understands what a hole that would put the government in case of something like another 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, BP oil spill or some international financial situation that would require fast monetary action. Anyway as long as we’re touting that poll it also says a majority of Americans support a balanced approach of spending cuts and tax increases to get the settle the debt ceiling dispute. It also say they think Republicans will be more to blame than Democrats should a solution not be reached. When 130 Republicans currently serving in Congress voted several times to raise the ceiling under Bush one can understand why some Americans see current Republican games as pure politics.
“There are only vague outlines”? Really. As the lead story today notes Obama and Biden have proposed two very concrete plans based on cuts Republican House leadership said they wanted. By the end of Hayward’s article it turns into a contradictory shrill rant about debts and who to blame. All such articles by the Right inevitably do because they have to pretend history did not happen. They have to pretend something does not matter one day and the next day claim the same issue is of earth shattering importance. Such is the debt ceiling and deficit debate. The right-wing conservative web site Red State, Sunday, May 1st at 1:28PM EDT, The debt ceiling really doesn’t matter.
We’ve had a whole lot of talk about raising the debt ceiling in the last few months and the conversation, frankly, is mostly just hot air. The US is most likely headed for a financial wall at high speed without regard to action on the debt ceiling and that howling that if we don’t raise the ceiling we’ll damage the “full faith and credit” of the US government is laughable.
House Republicans took a symbolic vote and raising the debt ceiling and overwhelmingly said not to raise it, House deals symbolic blow to raising debt ceiling (the vote was just this past may 31,2011). That does not sound like people who are serious about the “full faith and credit” of the government. Which according to RS doesn’t matter anyway.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. said he could care less if the debt ceiling is raised until everyone of his ransom demands are meet.
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) -ditto. Meet his demands or let the economy fall into another recession. In his words the crisis is not the debt ceiling, ” Our crisis is out-of-control spending.” Spending has not been anymore out of control now than when Republicans controlled Congress and the presidency. We have a revenue problem exacerbated by the recession Republicans left us.
FOX News: Tim Pawlenty urges Republicans not to raise debt limit. One of their presidential candidates says let the economy crash. Tim is competent and knows what he is talking about, right?
Hostage taker Jeb Hensarling(R-TX) opposes raising the debt ceiling. In short the country deserves to crash for voting for a Democratic president.
The wing-nut home of Ann Coulter TownHall says let the debt ceiling crash, Republicans Must Vote Against Raising Debt Ceiling or Face Political Annihilation
The Republicans surged to majority status in the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010 thanks in large part to the support of many independent voters who shifted their allegiance to the GOP. But the party’s candidates risk losing that support, and also losing the voter intensity and enthusiasm they would otherwise likely enjoy in November 2012, if congressional Republicans sign on to any legislative scheme that raises the federal debt ceiling. It’s just that simple.
Townhall says Hayward is the ‘mad” one in saying there is some kind of emergency when the best thing would be to throw the hostages overboard. “It’s just that simple”.
I gathered those up in five minutes of research. Hayward and conservatives have never cared about their contradictions, hypocrisies, lies, bad governance or the USA. They worship their party and their movement. They keep proving that over and over agin from Watergate to Iran-Contra to deficits that don’t matter when they’re in charge to manipulating us into the three trillion-dollar war they put on MasterCard.
In other news:
Parts of the manifesto written by the suspect in Norway’s terrorist attack were taken almost word for word from the writings of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.
The passages copied by Anders Behring Breivik appear in the first few pages of Kaczynski’s manifesto. Breivik changed a Kaczynski screed on leftism and what he considered to be leftists’ “feelings of inferiority” — mainly by substituting the words “multiculturalism” or “cultural Marxism” for “leftism.”
For instance, Kaczynski wrote: “One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.”
Breivik’s manifesto reads: “One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is multiculturalism, so a discussion of the psychology of multiculturalists can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of Western Europe in general.”
Breivik was also influenced by the writings of a paranoid gay conservative.
update: Matthew Yglesias on more reasons why the Harry Reid offer will not save the hostages in time: Harry Reid Calls House Republicans’ Bluff
Something you often see in negotiations is a mismatch between one side’s stated sticking points and its real sticking points. In the debate over the debt ceiling, for example, Republicans have sought to portray themselves as having two bottom lines. One is that any increase in the debt ceiling must be met dollar-for-dollar with spending cuts. The other is that no revenue increases can be part of the deal. What Harry Reid did yesterday was essentially call the GOP’s bluff by outlining a plan that raises the debt ceiling by $2.7 trillion and includes $2.7 trillion in spending cuts, a healthy share of which comes from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Republicans are rejecting this even though it nominally meets their demands. Why? Because it doesn’t achieve either of their two real objectives. In particular, the plan doesn’t cut Medicare, which means that Democratic party candidates for office in November 2012 and 2014 can accurately remind voters of the content of the Republican budget plan. In case you forgot, this plans repeals Medicare.
The Reid plan does not end increase revenues, but it does leave the current expiration date for the Bush tax cuts. That is another sticking point for conservatives. Do they really want to raise the ceiling or do they want to have a debate about the Bush tax cuts now. The cuts would be yet another ransom demand. They keep piling up. One other was the recent that a balanced budget amendment be part of the deal.