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Digging Deep Into Federal Default Scenarios

Barreling towards default. We’ll go deep on scenarios for the economy.  They’re scary—and the politics. Scary too.

 

As public attention focuses on deficit-reduction negotiations, Public Notice launches its fourth ad campaign, this time wrapping Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) buses and bus shelters to drive home the organization’s message of “don’t raise debt ceiling without cutting spending.” (Creative Commons)

As public attention focuses on deficit-reduction negotiations, Public Notice launches its fourth ad campaign, this time wrapping Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) buses and bus shelters to drive home the organization’s message of “don’t raise debt ceiling without cutting spending.” (Creative Commons)

One week from today, we’re told, the United States of America is headed into default.  For the first time in its history, a certifiable deadbeat.  Full faith and credit of the United States, blown.  In top business circles right now, they’re warning of catastrophe.  The White House seconds that emotion.  Tea Party Republicans are pooh-poohing the whole thing.  Seeing upside.  Ordinary Americans could be forgiven for feeling tied to the tracks with a big train coming – or going, over a cliff.  Up next On Point: the default scenario, for the USA, and the world.

– Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at The Financial Times. (@martinwolf_)

Alan Auerbach, professor of economics and law at the University of California – Berkeley and director of the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance.

Austan Goolsbee, professor of economics at The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, former Chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. (@Austan_Goolsbee)

From Tom’s Reading List

 Washington Post: As debt-limit deadline nears, investors show growing concern about a U.S. default — “Short-term borrowing by the Treasury Department became twice as expensive Tuesday as it had been the day before, one of the most significant signs of alarm in the bond markets since the financial crisis of 2008.The stock market, meanwhile, continued the steady slide that began in mid-September, when Boehner (R-Ohio) embraced a right-wing strategy for using the budget battles to try to dismantle Obama’s signature health-care initiative. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 20.67 points to 1,655.45 on Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 160 points to 14,776.53 and has lost nearly 6 percent of its value since hitting a one-year high Sept. 18.”

New York Times: Many in G.O.P. Offer Theory: Default Wouldn’t Be That Bad – “A surprisingly broad section of the Republican Party is convinced that a threat once taken as economic fact may not exist — or at least may not be so serious. Some question the Treasury’s drop-dead deadline of Oct. 17. Some government services might have to be curtailed, they concede. “But I think the real date, candidly, the date that’s highly problematic for our nation, is Nov. 1,” said Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee. Others say there is no deadline at all — that daily tax receipts would be more than enough to pay off Treasury bonds as they come due.”

Financial Times: America Flirts With Self-Destruction – ”Is the US a functioning democracy? This week legislators decided to shut down a swath of the federal government rather than allow an enacted health law go into operation at the agreed moment. They may go further; if they do not vote to raise the so-called “debt ceiling”, they risk triggering default on US government debt – a fate far worse than the shutdown or fiscal sequestration. If the opposition is prepared to inflict such damage on their own country, the restraint that makes democracy work has gone. Why has this happened? What might be the result? What should the president do?”

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  • Mike_Card

    The NYT article only documents the delirium of the T-Party. They are shit-for-brains morons if they actually think default wouldn’t have much of an effect. The biggest issue is how they get into positions of influence–are we to become a civilization ruled by extortionists? A failed state, vulnerable to religious extremists? It would appear that the Kocks and other crack-heads desire that.

    • brettearle

      Mike,

      If the Economy survives after Default, it will essentially end the Influence of the Radical Right in DC.

      Why?

      Because all of the Tea Partiers’ more moderate colleagues will be blamed, too.

      And, therefore, they, the Moderates, will lose their incumbency, in 2014, replaced by Democrats.

      The Tea Party Reps might survive. But it won’t matter:

      At that point, the Center Left will rule in Congress and the Tea Party will become an afterthought, if not a footnote in History.

      But, personally, I would certainly prefer that we NOT implode–in order to achieve such a desired result.

    • hennorama

      Mike_Card — because this is politics, we expect a certain level of exaggeration and dissembling.

      This level of wacko-birdiness and flat out lying is unprecedented, however.

    • Mike_Card

      My concern is that the cockamamie world of reality TV has spilled over into governance. There are far too many examples of reality TV characters getting elected to positions, merely because they appeal to the information-deprived voters of cable television world. How else could Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or Ted Cruz accede to any responsible position in government?
      It all started with Reagan, who said, “I’m a professional actor–give me a script.” And that’s exactly what we got: a screen play authored by John Birchers. We, the tax-paying citizens, are paying for it now.

      • Shark2007

        People like emotional stimulation. The rants of Palin, Bachmann and Cruz are much more stimulating than the boring people who let reality be their guide. I even hear there are liberals who listen to Rush so they can swear at their radio.

  • Yar

    What if this is a stock market ploy by a group of hedge fund managers who have a few house republicans in their pocket with inside information on when or if a last minute deal is to be worked out? You don’t need a bridge if the water isn’t troubled. Greed is not good, and a lot of money can be made shorting a known event.

    If I was in the President’s place and was pushed to default, I would close the markets and close the banks just like in the 1929. I would reissue limited currency, and write down the debt. Maybe that is what the new 100 dollar bill is all about.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Yar, You may be more correct than you think. The hedge fund thing is somewhat ( but not entirely somewhat) of a misdirection but you can be sure that big money interest will be sending in the vultures to feed of the dead carcasses of Americans. Since so much of the debt is owned by the Fed., you can be sure they will be protecting their PRIVATE profits ( in case you didn’t know the Fed. Bank does NOT create profits for the rest of us. ). Paul Ryan is already moving in to “slim down” Soc. Security, thanks to the default opportunity. ( The fund has been given IOU’s, that, are now in question. This is an easy out for Obama, he can now blame it on the Republicans, even though, any REAL Democrat should know that, Soc. Sec. should never have been in this position anyway. ( Wow, what a set-up job !). None of these people are representing the average American.

      Yar, you may think I’m Obama bashing (or something), but know this. I voted for him, ( How could I vote for the opposition, knowing that he was an active, overseas tax dodger, I mean really ? ) No more !

      Let’s see, I have two partial pensions that are in jeopardy, due to both parties turning their backs on the working man, my Social Security and maybe Medicare will be taken from me, (at least in part), my health insurance rates and deductibles have gone up. My real estate tax has gone up. Virtually all consumables prices have gone up. My nominal wages have continued to stagnate a levels now for about 20 + years and my real wages have stagnated for over 35 years! Investment fees continue to increase but returns stagnate or, are non existent. My country is falling apart. My country is being slowly overrun by illegals. My countrymen are being doped up by Afghani poppy. I now live in a police state. ——– Yar, I could go on but I know that either you will “see it” or you won’t.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      PS. The hundred dollar bill is the most popular denomination held by non US citizens overseas. This has created too much opportunity for counterfeiting. The new bill is an attempt to prevent this.

      PSS. I find it interesting, that if you walk into your local store the cashiers will take the larger bills and “check them” regularly. I also find it interesting that even though, we Americans are forced to use paper fiat currency ( they are called notes because they are considered non interest bearing IOU’s ) , vendors will often refuse to take the larger bills.

      PSS. I may have told this story before, so excuse me if this is the case, but…. Some years ago, when I was buying Silver Eagle Dollars as a hobby, I used to carry one or two with me, always. On one particular day, I went into a “quick-shop” to purchase a couple of things. Well, I soon realized that I did not have enough paper, so I gave the cashier a Silver Dollar with the paper I did have, and said, ‘just call it a dollar’, ( I loved the hobby so much that I would often share, these beautiful coins with strangers.). He looked at the coin, and responded, and I quote, “ Do you have any REAL money?”

      Yar, there is an ENTIRE GENERATION that has never even seen REAL MONEY !

      • John Cedar

        I own a number of retail businesses and last year took in about $100MM of which about 20% was cash. In the 15 years since I started my business, I have taken in three counterfeit bills and all of those were $20 bills. Maybe there is a market somewhere that can justify it, but in my market, it would have cost me much more to buy those stupid counterfeit test pens and to inconvenience my customers.

      • Yar

        There is an entire generation (or two) which doesn’t understand wealth. Money is only a counter, it has no value, gold is also a counter, its value is limited as well. Wealth is the ability to transfer work over time. Where we are a debtor nation has little to do with the number of dollars owed, and everything to do with using others to do work we should do for ourselves. The national debt is children wasting time in substandard schools, it is people doing work that amounts to entertainment, consumption, or economic manipulation. It is failing to connect the elderly with youth. it is watching the tube or staring into a LCD screen. We have lost our way, the marketplace used to be an exchange of ideas. Today I can walk through 1 million plus square feet of retail space without finding anything I need. This kind of economy is bound to collapse. What is wealth? It is information refined by generations of trial many errors, nuggets of wisdom that keep us from making the same mistakes over and over. It is time to ponder and reflect. We are a wealthy nation, and yet we are too foolish to build on what we have. This has been a wonderful era to live, what can we do to pay it forward?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Lighthearted comment:
    Take a look at this chart for historical gold prices. Notice the plunge in 1492.

    In our local area of the solar system there is literally HUNDREDS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS in resources, including precious metals. Then one must ask oneself, why is a gold coin weighing 1oz., selling for approximately $1,300 ? People, IT SAYS, $50.00!

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-161&va=gold+eagle+coin

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/59244-value-of-gold-over-the-ages

    Instead of creating problems our leaders should take a cue from Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase decision. Now there was a man that knew how create a great country !

    Here is a good starting point to get us “out there” at :
    (about 1/50th the cost, and that is BEFORE, AI enhanced robots are everywhere).

    http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/space_skylon.html

    “Operation from runway to orbit and back “
    “Order of magnitude reduction in cost vs. existing technology”
    “400 x improved reliability”.

    Instead, we will let 535 + 2 goofball, deadheads, continue their experiment in reverse time travel and lead us all back to some cave somewhere, where we can salvage the bones of our fallen comrades, to trade beads with our neighboring village of even less civilized , chanting, dancing and painted up “others” !

  • pete18

    Everyone should note that there doesn’t have to be an default right away if the debt ceiling is not raised. Moody’s
    explains: http://blogs.barrons.com/incomeinvesting/2013/10/07/moodys-u-s-need-not-default-if-debt-ceiling-isnt-raised/

    • jimino

      That’s like saying that if you were in analogous financial straits and had to choose how to allocate your money, you would pay your unsecured creditors first before buying the necessities of life. Of course you wouldn’t. No sane person would.

      If not raising the limit is no big deal, then let the wealthy foreign creditors take a back seat to our obligations to our own citizens.

      • John Cedar

        When cash is tight, it is pretty typical to pay unsecured creditors first (venders so they keep delivering) while putting off paying secured debtors (mortgages and equipment loans).

        • jefe68

          Except the US is not a business.
          It’s a nation that has never defaulted on it’s debt. Never. Do you understand that?
          Do you have any idea what that means in terms of interest rates going up, a lot?

          Do you not understand how this effects the security of US treasury bonds and that as an investment they will cease to be the secure safe bonds that entire world invests in.

          It’s funny, you tea party folks are the ones who kept on going on about the US becoming Greece and here you are creating the very situation that could lead us down that road. The level of stupidity here is beyond the pale.

    • Shag_Wevera

      But why would you screw around like that? They won’t take my house if I miss my mortgage payment, but I send it out on time nonetheless.

  • LinRP

    All I know is that my finances can’t take another hit like they did in 2008. It would be catastrophic for my family, and I am sure I am not alone.

    • John_in_Amherst

      had the same thought & talked to my financial advisor, who doesn’t have a clue about what to do about safely parking my retirement fund outside the stock market…

  • arydberg

    The problem is there are really three parties. Republicans, Democrats and manipulators. It is the manipulators who have managed to hide the secrets of 9/11. They are the ones who decided to ship millions of jobs to China. They have stoked the hatred between Obama .and conservatives. They are the ones behind the lies on fox News. They are the ones who are using the Republication party to turn the United States into a police state. And the poor stupid Republicans do not know they are being had. They are destroying the very country they think they are fighting to save.

    • ToyYoda

      Does that mean I need to buy more gold? Gold buggers and conspiracy theorists have been recommending gold since it gold hit $1800/oz.

      • northeaster17

        If you believe the 911 report you neet to buy gold yourself.

  • NewtonWhale

    Oh, great.

    Another hour devoted to treating Tea Party Lunacy as legitimate public discourse.

    If you want to know how disastrous it would be if the debt ceiling is not raised, look at how the market is ALREADY reacting:

    Fidelity sells off short-term U.S. government debt

    The nation’s largest manager of money market mutual funds said Wednesday that it no longer holds any U.S. government debt that comes due around the time the nation could hit its borrowing limit.

    Money market portfolio managers at Fidelity Investments have been selling off their government debt holdings over the last couple of weeks, said Nancy Prior, president of Fidelity’s Money Market Group.

    Fidelity’s actions underscore what traders have noticed the last week. Investors have dumped U.S. government debt that comes due this month, with the heaviest selling in one-month Treasury bills. The yield on the one-month T-bill jumped to 0.3 percent Tuesday, its highest level since the 2008 financial crisis. The yield was nearly zero at the beginning of the month.

    Money market mutual fund managers don’t want to be caught holding U.S. government debt that comes due around the time the government hits the debt ceiling. They fear that the government could be unable to pay back bond holders, said Gabriel Mann at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

    “Investors are buying protection,” Mann said.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fidelity-bonds-20131009,0,3822933.story

    Treasury Bill Rates Surge to Highest Since 2008 at 1-Month Sale

    Every so-called journalist who gives any credence whatsoever to the irrational mutterings of the suicide caucus shares the blame with them for the fact this madness.

    “US Treasury debt is foundation for all global credit & equity,” Bill Gross, co-founder of Pacific Investment Management Co. and manager of the world’s biggest bond mutual fund, wrote today in a comment on Twitter. “Default? Make disaster’s day.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-08/u-s-short-term-yields-rise-as-investors-seek-default-protection.html

    • jefe68

      The problem is that the media is into this ”he says. she says“ way of parsing events like this. It’s amazing and frustrating that not one of the major networks or PBS has even challenged the nihilism that we are seeing here.

      I was watching Charlie Rose the other night and it was pathetic. They all acted as if each side was somehow equal in this made up debacle.

      Bernie Sanders sums it up beautifully:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvzwpIZiwzM&feature=youtu.be

      • notafeminista

        Maybe they’re not fans of the Coen brothers.

  • margbi

    The right has proposed that bond holders interest be made first from a reduced amount available if a debt default occurs. Other claims, such as Social Security, Medicare, etc. would be pushed to the end of the line. How long do you think it would be before the constituents of even the most far right representatives were clamoring for their checks and wondering why they had voted for such people in the first place?

    • Don_B1

      Apparently Tea/Republicans think that they can blame government and Democrats in general, President Obama in particular for the whole problem, just as they did after their tax cuts, slashing of regulations, both directly and in enforcement, on Democrats, because a Democrat will be the president.

      This may work just as the 2010 elections worked because the hole they put the country in was deeper than could be fixed in two years when the Republicans were opposing every measure that could have shortened it.

      They are “banking” on the ignorance of the many low-information voter and the culture of disliking government. They are hoping that a disaster of this sort will generate more of the “a pox on both your houses” response and they will maintain their path to return to power, saying things like: “The Democrats could not restore job growth after 2008 and tried to raise taxes causing the failure to reduce debt and this crisis; therefore throw out the devils and elect us.”

      If you think I’m cynical, you’re probably right. But maybe I’m not overly cynical.

    • LinRP

      One thing the Republicans are masterful at is changing the narrative. They would blame Obama, as they already are, and their close-minded, low-info constituents would eat it up. I fear many of the most conservative Teabaggers may go unscathed as they answer to only the like-minded in their gerrymandered bubble.

  • HonestDebate1

    We are not barreling towards default.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I apologize, but I’m not going to take your word for it.

      • HonestDebate1

        Doom and gloom sells every time, are you buying?

        • Ray in VT

          You certainly seek to sell a great deal of doom and gloom here, so I find it interesting that you are not selling your usual the end is nigh, everything is terrible line on this.

          • jefe68

            It’s because he’s into the nihilist party.

          • HonestDebate1

            I sell the truth. Sometimes it’s scary, not this time.

          • keltcrusader

            you can’t handle the truth

          • jefe68

            That’s hilarious and not in a good way.

          • Ray in VT

            It is just a shame that your truth and facts do not always line up.

    • jefe68

      We are barreling towards a dysfunctional government.
      But that’s the plan. The GOP wants to make government os awful and dysfunctional that people just wash their hands of the whole thing. Your lot would love that, to take over the White House by default. Because as it stands that’s the only way it’s going to happen.

    • northeaster17

      Is that why the house is using potentail default as an extortion chip? Because there really is no consequence behind that course of inaction? If it does not matter why are they doing it? Empty suits I guess.

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s Obama who is extorting, have you heard his rhetoric? He’s lying, flat out lying.

        And I did not say there were no consequences. But there is no crisis. We can pay our bills without raising the debt limit. There is no reason for default there is just an effort by obama to use it as a club. Thats what he does.

        • jefe68

          You really do live on Bizarro world.

          • HonestDebate1

            Where am I wrong?

          • jefe68

            Oy vay.

    • Don_B1

      The only reason that “we are not barreling towards default” is that we are rocketing toward default and world economic disaster.

      • HonestDebate1

        Relax, we’re fine. The weather is nice too.

  • NewtonWhale

    If you want to see how deranged the Republican party has become, take a look at what Ari Fleischer tweeted about President Obama.

    That’s right, the press secretary for the last Republican president suggests that a sitting American president likes America’s enemies more than he likes Americans.

    • Ray in VT

      Well, you do have members of that party accusing officials within the administration of being tied to/working for the Muslim Brotherhood, accusing the President of siding with Muslim Brotherhood any time and in any nation that he can, seeming to link that organization to 9/11, and stating that we are living in the end times. In light of that, I don’t find Mr. Fleischer’s comment to be that out of line with some of the other statements that have come out of the mouths of party members.

      • NewtonWhale

        That’s my point.

        It’s not unusual, and it’s not some fringe element within the party.

        The Republican party as a whole refuses to accept the legitimacy of a twice elected president.

        “When ideologies become as calcified, as cocooned and as extremist as those galvanizing the GOP, the American system of government cannot work. But I fear this nullification of the last two elections is a deliberate attempt to ensure that the American system of government as we have known it cannot work. It cannot, must not work, in the mindset of these radicals, because they simply do not accept the legitimacy of a President and Congress of the opposing party. The GOP does not regard the president as merely wrong – but as illegitimate. Not misguided – illegitimate.

        This is not about ending Obamacare as such (although that is a preliminary scalp); it is about nullifying this presidency, the way the GOP attempted to nullify the last Democratic presidency by impeachment.”

        http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/01/the-nullification-party/

        • Ray in VT

          My boss is a pretty big fan of Andrew Sullivan. I can’t remember the name of the guy at the American Conservative who he really likes right now, but maybe it will come to me.

          • TFRX

            AmCon has a Larrson or Larison (fn Dan?) whose work as of late may give hope for those of us on the left who wonder if the word “conservative” will ever mean anything real again.

          • Ray in VT

            That might be the guy.

        • jefe68

          I just heard Bernie Sanders say pretty much the same thing. As well as Robert Reich.

          http://robertreich.org/post/63417612450

        • HonestDebate1

          Obama is refusing (yet again) to accept the legitimacy of the House of Representatives.

          • NewtonWhale

            By saying exactly he same thing as John McCain?

            “Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that the House should vote on a clean continuing resolution to fund the government on CNN’s ‘The Situation Room.’

            Anchor Wolf Blitzer asked McCain if the House should vote on a clean bill without any language defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act.

            “I would like to see that,” McCain responded.

            McCain called the Tea Party attempt to use the continuing resolution to defund Obamacare a “fool’s errand.”

            http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mccain-would-like-to-see-house-vote-on-clean-cr

          • HonestDebate1

            Who is McCain?

          • NewtonWhale

            Allow me to help.

          • Ray in VT

            One of the non-nuts in the GOP. An increasingly rare breed. Repbulicanus Reasonablus.

          • HonestDebate1

            He’s everything the Dems tell us we need. They like him because he lost.

          • Ray in VT

            I just like that fact that he’s not a crazy bombthrower.

            Let the GOP run a Palin/Bachmann ticket in 2016 then. Let’s see how that works out. That would be a truly historic electoral catastrophe, but that ticket would certainly please a bunch of the Tea Party nuts.

          • Don_B1

            Just because Senator McCain is not a nut in the sense of risking suicide for a political takeover of the country does not mean that he is not suicidal in other ways. For example, it is hard to find a war he hasn’t liked (at least when it was not one that President Obama was supporting).

            And Senator McCain’s ignorance on macroeconomic matters is stunning, as he showed in that memorable 2008 meeting in President Bush’s White House on the needed response to the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, after “suspending his campaign to help deal with the emergency.”

          • Don_B1

            It appears you are up to your selective ignorance game again.

          • jefe68

            I love the smell of mendacity in the morning… it smells like, inanity.

          • John_in_Amherst

            just as they are refusing to accept the constitutional process of passing laws, testing them in the SCOTUS, and enacting them

          • Don_B1

            It is not the legitimacy but the integrity which President Obama doubts. There is no Republican there who can deliver on an agreement.

            And your integrity is in great doubt here!

          • Prairie_W

            I’m with Obama on that.. There’s plenty of evidence that legitimacy is what they find most distasteful.

            Any sign of legitimacy on their part means the crazier, more extreme candidate they’ll be up against — in the 2014 primary in their bought-’n'-paid-for district — is already complaining that they aren’t illegitimate enough.

            Honesty would be very welcome. The most visible Republicans chucked honesty long ago and accepted, in its place, crude defensiveness.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — and don’t forget that at least one of the talking heads on Fox — Anna Kooiman from “Fox and Friends Weekend” – finds the “Obama loves Muslims more than Republicans” theme so believable, she fell for a fake news report.

        Per the latimes.com article titled “Fox News host sorry for false report of Obama funding Muslim museum” (edited for space considerations):

        “Anna Kooiman has apologized for falsely reporting that President Obama would personally pay to keep the International Museum of Muslim Cultures open during the government shutdown.

        “The “oops” moment occurred Saturday [Oct. 5, 2013] on “Fox and Friends Weekend” during a conversation among Kooiman, Tucker Carlson and Clayton Morris about the controversial decision to temporarily close the World War II Memorial…due to the ongoing budget impasse.

        “President Obama has offered to pay out of his own pocket for the museum of Muslim culture,” Kooiman claimed…

        “The false claim appears to have originated from a story published by the National Report, which has been described as a satirical news website but seems more about spreading misinformation than social critiques….

        “Kooiman acknowledged the error, albeit somewhat indirectly, via her Twitter account Sunday. “Just met w producers- I made a mistake yday after receiving flawed research abt a museum possibly closing. My apologies. Won’t happen again,” she wrote. (She did not indicate exactly what the “flawed research” was, nor did she specifically retract the claim about Obama.)

        “The error has not yet been corrected on air, but will be addressed on the next broadcast of “Fox and Friends Weekend,” according to a representative of the network.

        See:

        http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-fox-news-anna-kooiman-obama-muslim-museum-funding-shutdown-20131007,0,2852302.story

        • Ray in VT

          It is pretty funny how fake news stories sometimes get run as real. I can be a bit more forgiving when it is a foreign news outlet running a story from the Onion, but the domestic press ought to know better.

          Did you see me cite some of your investigations the other day?

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — indeed, any 12-year old could figure out the story was false in less than 30 seconds. Any national newsfotainment shows should at least be able to perform to that low standard.

            I have been taking some of my own advice and turning off the “clown show” for the most part, so no, I had not seen any citations of my commentary until just now.

            Thanks for the acknowledgement.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re welcome. Citations are pretty handy, and I just wanted to give credit to you for your legwork.

        • TFRX

          Y’know, when people got sued for writing stuff like this, it got very revealing.

          For example, we found out that Mike Barnacle wrote things he had no real notes about. A “reporter” whose notebook, source, backgrounding, had no information to support what he wrote, and got published in a major newspaper.

          • Don_B1

            For which that newspaper fired Mike Barnicle, though he now writes for a Murdoch-owned NY newspaper and is near full-time on MSNBC’s Morning Joe [Scarborough].

          • TFRX

            When he exits this mortal coil, I just hope Barnacle doesn’t think he’s another Mike Royko.

          • hennorama

            TFRX — what seems even more galling about this incident is that it has been both discovered and acknowledged, but is as yet uncorrected:

            “The error has not yet been corrected on air, but will be addressed on the next broadcast of “Fox and Friends Weekend,” according to a representative of the network.”

            We retort, you deride.

    • northeaster17

      The fact he is on Hannity say’s it all. I listened to Hannity for a bit yesterday. They live under a sky of a different color.

      • TFRX

        I love it when they sit down with Hannity or such, and forget that the rest of the normal world can hear what they say.

        Reminds me of the increasingly flawed decision-making process documented in teenage drivers, shown to get much worse when other teens are in the car, egging them on.

    • HonestDebate1

      He’s talking with the President of Iran but not with Republicans.

      • NewtonWhale

        Obama invites all House Republicans to White House meeting, nearly all decline

        Boehner’s office said Wednesday that the GOP leader would send a small group to Obama’s meeting Thursday, but not the full invited caucus.

        If you’re like most people, you’re probably shaking your head at the fact that Boehner rejected a full conference meeting just one day after claiming that the GOP had only shut the government down because Obama won’t even talk to them.

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/09/1245702/-Obama-invites-all-House-Republicans-to-White-House-meeting-nearly-all-decline

      • Ray in VT

        Hmmm. The President can get a bunch of foreign fanatics to talk, but not the domestic ones? Sounds like Obama isn’t the problem.

        • Shark2007

          That is because Obama’s sanctions have all but destroyed the Iranian economy. Now the teapublicans want to destroy the U.S. economy if Obama doesn’t give in to their demands. That must make them patriotic Iranians.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Ari must be on to something since he seem to set off the nattering nabobs.

        It has been stunning that Obama has been unwilling to negotiate or lead during this standoff with the GOP. It is clear this is all about political power and 2014 for Obama. The “we are winning” comment by a sr. WH official and the fact that the regime is causing as much pain as possible says it all.

        Seeing this recalcitrance by Obama juxtaposed with what looks like him possibly being played by Iran on nukes quite a contrast.

        • John_in_Amherst

          the “nattering nabobs of negativism”. If you are going to borrow from the esteemed Spiro Agnew, get it right!
          BTW, O has been leading, and standing on the principle that the US should actually follow its own constitutional process, as opposed to the teapublicans, who want to abrogate it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            How is it ‘constitutional’ for Obama to change a law 19 times without going to congress to request those changes?

            Sorry, the House GOP are following the constitutional process. The founders wrote (in the federalist papers) that the house should use the power of the purse as a check and balance against an executive branch that is over-reaching it’s power.

          • Don_B1

            President Obama did not “change the law, he used the ability provided by the law to modify the implementation of the law, which is legal.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Don, you are incorrect there was no provision in the law to delay the corporate mandate. The date for implementing the mandate was explicit in the law. If he wanted a change he should have gone to Congress.

          • John_in_Amherst

            waivers were built in. and O has refused to give some to groups (i.e., unions) who usually are in the democratic camp. Most have been given to allow extra time for compliance, not a total pass

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I think you are correct that some latitude was built in on some issues but NOT on others.

            The whole thing is a mess but it isn’t surprising given the complexity.

          • TFRX

            Something odd about anyone pulling an Agnew.

            That’s like bypassing the ret-con burnishing of Warren Harding, and going into how great a guy Albert Fall was.

        • keltcrusader

          Another one in the bubble – pop it why don’t you?

      • John_in_Amherst

        he has a more reasonable and receptive audience there

    • sickofthechit

      Early onset Alzheimers. charles a. bowsher

  • Shag_Wevera

    A catastrophe that could definitvely be hung around the neck of American conservatives would be bad, but not all bad.

  • John Cedar

    The senate really should do their job and pass the budget the lower house sent to them, then send it to to the White house.

    • jefe68

      You can’t negotiate with fanatical nihilist and zealots.

      • notafeminista

        Did you just watch “The Big Lebowski” again or something?

        • jefe68

          I don’t bowl on the Sabbath.

          • Mari McAvenia

            Perfect response. Nor do I.

    • Paducah72

      Why can’t the John Boehner call a vote on the clean spending bill? It already has the budget cuts Republicans want. Now, he wants “more negotiation” all of a sudden.

      • MrNutso

        He wants to remain Speaker.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          That’s the choice: the country’s/world’s economy vs Mr. Boehner’s job.

      • John Cedar

        He did call a vote on the clean spending bill.
        It passed.
        Then he sent it to the Senate
        But instead of passing it the the senate sent soiled it and sent back a dirty filthy stinky icky spending bill.
        Boehner did not call a vote on that.

        • Ray in VT

          So, once again, it is the Senate’s job to merely rubber stamp what the House passes? Why not go to conference committee?

        • Shark2007

          As usual, the Right redefines words to meet their propaganda needs.

    • northeaster17

      No longer co equals. Just as they are told. That’s their job? Really?

    • Ray in VT

      So it is the job of the Senate to just pass what the House sends them? Would you be whistling the same tune if it was a Democratically controlled house and a Republican Senate?

      • HonestDebate1

        No, it’s there job to bring it to a vote and then negotiate in good faith.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          There. Their. They’re. It’s okay, we know that spelling is hard.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thanks, I fixed it.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            “No, it’s [they are] job to bring it to a vote and then negotiate in good faith.”

            No, you didn’t.

          • HonestDebate1

            Seriously?

          • Ray in VT

            Seriously. Your sentence still reads It is they are and not it is their.

          • HonestDebate1

            Should I change it back to “there”? I’m so confused.

          • Ray in VT

            Spelling is generally pretty easy. There’s probably a good youtube video explaining the difference.

          • HonestDebate1

            I spelled “there” correctly. I spelled “They’re” correctly two.

          • Ray in VT

            Then perhaps you need a refresher regarding the meaning of the various spellings and when to use them.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not smart enough.

          • Ray in VT

            I just thought that maybe you saw some invisible words that changed the meaning in a way that the regular dictionaries don’t recognize.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are creating a misleading impression. Do you know what that means?

          • Ray in VT

            I have a good idea, but maybe your dictionary has words that I don’t see,

          • Don_B1

            After all, why not? He lives in a fantasy world where up is usually down and vice versa.

          • notafeminista

            Wow.

          • Don_B1

            He needs more than a refresher and on more than just spelling and grammar.

            He really comes apart at the seams when it comes to macroeconomics.

          • keltcrusader

            also

          • HonestDebate1

            too

          • keltcrusader

            also

          • Don_B1

            That’s not news!

          • notafeminista

            When one doesn’t have an argument….etc etc etc.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Hey, you tried twice to use the correct word, and you got it wrong twice.

            That job over there.
            They’re doing a great job.
            It’s their job to do it right.

            Three completely different words with different meanings, and different spellings – but they *sound* the same.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s called a homophone, smarty pants. Did you ever consider the possibility that I actually no the difference?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Why are you dragging it out then? Trying to make yourself look bad?

          • HonestDebate1

            Because it’s hilarious and it’s not me who is doing the dragging. It’s your pomposity and distraction from my comment which, believe it or not, actually made a strong point.

            There are over 20 replies and none address the fact that the Senate is obstructionist.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You changed it to the wrong one. You wrote “they are” and it should be “their” which is the possessive.

            Two strikes.

          • hennorama

            Neil Blanchard – Your assumption is that the work you’re doing will aid those with poor habits of yore, and who routinely drink from the ewer of ignorance. For we two to believe such is a bridge too far. This site is a poor spot to cite those with little thought or forward sight, but one supports the right to write about it, and to do and act as one thinks is due.

          • HonestDebate1

            That was very cutsie.

          • nj_v2

            He’s an intellectual giant, though. Just has trouble with details.

          • HonestDebate1

            misplaced comma

        • Ray in VT

          Well, seeing as how they did vote on and vote down the House’s bill and then went on to pass their own 2 days later, it seems like they have done their job on that front. Why then did the House not move on to a conference committee to negotiate? The Senate moved to name such a committee several times this past spring, but those moves were blocked by Cruz, McConnell, Toomey, Rubio, Paul and Lee.

        • keltcrusader

          “they’er”

          seriously??

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s not what I wrote. Playing grammar cop always bites you in the butt. Well done.

          • keltcrusader

            “No, it’s they’re job to bring it to a vote and then negotiate in good faith.”

            their job, not they’re job

            you wrote it, own it

          • HonestDebate1

            Check your spelling smarty pants. It’s karma.

            Besides I wrote “There” first until Mr. Blanchard suggested I change it. This is two easy.

          • keltcrusader

            “too
            easy”

            you wrote
            “they’re”, not me. It is not “it’s they are job”

            there, there it’s ok {{patting on back to make it all better}}

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you sure it’s not “two”? I question that. But I know their is a difference between “they’re” and what you wrote, “they’er”.

          • keltcrusader

            no it is not two, it is too. two is a number

            yes, “there” is a difference between they’er and they’re and it is called a typo, point well taken. :)

            but you did write it incorrectly both times

    • hennorama

      John Cedar – the Senate IS doing its job and is saving the country from the fanatics in the House.

    • MrNutso

      The House demanded that the Senate pass a budget and follow regular order thinking that the Senate would balk. The Senate called their bluff and passed a budget and is asking to follow regular order by establishing a House/Senate conference committee to reconcile differences in the two bills. That means the House will have to … wait for it: GASP compromise.

      House Republicans were never interested in compromise they were only trying to put Senate Democrats on the spot to gain political points.

      BTW, Democrats have already agreed to Republican spending levels that are 10′s of billions below what they would like.

    • HonestDebate1

      Why should they change course? They won’t even bring a budget to a vote.

    • Don_B1

      Why? The Senate has a Constitutional right to modify a bill sent from the House and send it back to the House for it to pass it as modified or agree to a committee which would discuss modifications and agree on a final bill that both House and Senate could pass.

      But the House, as decreed by Speaker John Boehner, has refused to do that, from the first point of appointing members to the committee.

  • jefe68

    Well, the Koch brothers might have deep pockets and support or should I say are the shadow owners of the tea party, but it seems a growing contingent of business groups are pretty pissed of with their nihilist act.

    Business Groups See Loss of Sway Over House G.O.P.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/10/us/business-groups-see-loss-of-sway-over-house-gop.html?hp&_r=0

    • notafeminista

      I’m guessing you didn’t read that article.

      • jefe68

        I did. Did you? The article clearly points to the extremist in the GOP house that are the cause of this. That’s why I posted it. The regressive nihilist tea party faction is so out to lunch that even the Chamber of Commerce is crying foul.
        Did you not get that?

        • notafeminista

          No, the tea party caucus is standing up to big business. As in not being influenced by, which big business finds disconcerting. (edit added). The article directly says that – in almost exactly those words.

          Given yesterday’s topic, I’d think the left would have reason to celebrate. Politicians not being influenced by rich lobbyists, right? That’s a good thing, right? A position that is supportable, right?

          You also missed the paragraph pointing out the use of language and what will or won’t get all parties to the negotiating table.

          • TFRX

            Sounds like you and the Bidness Right have to have a (proverbial) fistfight for the control of your wing.

            Why does the right insist on making their internal struggle everyone else’s problem?

          • notafeminista

            *chuckle*

          • jefe68

            Nihilism.

          • jefe68

            Boy you sure do have some problems parsing some things don’t you.

            I’m not a big business fan nor am I into the Chamber of Commerce. That’s not why I posted the article. Are you not getting this?

            So the tea party, which is funded by the Koch Brothers, is standing up to big business? Wow, talk about delusional.

          • notafeminista

            It’s right there in the article…anyone can read it. No mention of the Koch brothers though..or any of the real or imagined groups they support.
            What is your “nihilist” usage quota today? You really got a running start this morning.

          • John_in_Amherst

            the teabaggers are not influenced by much of anything in the real world.

      • John_in_Amherst

        can you possibly abandon snide bloviation and one-upsmanship and contribute a solution or two, or at least a cogent comment?

  • northeaster17

    Since this shutdown is supposed to be about Obama care I would like to add that my new private policy will cost me $3000.00 more than I paid last year. But that must be ok since it’s the free market at work. As though I had any choice.

    • HonestDebate1

      Virtually everybody’s premiums are going up because of Obamacare.

      • northeaster17

        They have been going up for years and years. No compitition breeds contempt.

    • Shark2007

      Maybe you need to do some shopping on the exchanges.

  • TFRX

    This “Greece” thing in the above photo is a right-winger’s fake dream meme.

    Who is Public Notice?

    One of the WaPo’s pets, determined to destroy SocSec and other things Pete Peterson doesn’t need, but the “little people” are counting on?

    • Ray in VT

      This might be them:

      http://www.factcheck.org/2010/10/public-notice-bankrupting-america/

      It was headed by a former press secretary for a couple of GOP congressmen.

      • notafeminista

        Ha! Or it might not. Monger,monger, monger.

        • Ray in VT

          Then by all means, please contribute your deep thoughts on this group.

        • Shark2007

          Go to the link and read it. Pretty clear what moves Public Notice if now exactly where they get their funding from, but one can make reasonable guesses about the motives of the funders.

  • hennorama

    Recycling from the last game of chicken:

    The debt ceiling is a ludicrous and outdated device, an anachronism. Virtually no other democratic country has one. Let’s get rid of it, or at least name it accurately – Normal Borrowing Authority.

    CONGRESS ALREADY HAS COMPLETE CONTROL OVER FEDERAL SPENDING through the budget process. They can already impose restrictions if they choose to do so, without risking default on US debt.

    The debt ceiling as a limitation on spending is far too weak to be useful if Congress can simply vote to raise it anytime they wish. And the downside of violating the debt ceiling is far too disproportionately severe for it to be a reasonable tool just to limit spending. The potential consequences of DEFAULT on US debt are too catastrophic to entrust the debt ceiling to the whims of politicians, regardless of party.

    Fights over the debt ceiling turn into ridiculous games of “chicken” and reward only the fanatical, who get plenty of attention, rather than the reasonable, who want to make sensible deals.

    Let’s do away with the damned thing, once and for all

  • toc1234

    The FT, Auerbach and Goolsbee. Another line-up of leftys. I almost have to commend Tom for barely even trying to hide his political leanings anymore.

    • jefe68

      So, you support the crazy nihilist.

      • toc1234

        ??

    • J__o__h__n

      Katrina Pierson couldn’t make it this morning. It conflicted with her Mensa meeting.

  • toc1234

    Goolsbee, then how did Obama get to choose what parts of ACA he wanted to delay or to whom to give exemptions (for political reasons)? ACA was a written law.

  • Yar

    Not only do we have divided government we are a divided nation. We are a nations of cities and states. Rural VS Urban, can we talk about what this means in light of economic collapse?

    • notafeminista

      Celebrate diversity.

      • Yar

        We have to communicate to celebrate.

        • notafeminista

          We’re communicating right here on this board. Communication happens 24/7. Now what?

          • Yar

            Talking at each other is not necessarily communicating.

          • notafeminista

            One never knows.

  • northeaster17

    Pay China or Social Security? Riots in the street….

  • toc1234

    let’s see how many times Alan and Austin say “I agree with Alan/Austin”. Right now we are at 2.

    • HonestDebate1

      I can’t listen to Goolsbee, I’m not even going to try.

      • jefe68

        Turn it off then.

        • HonestDebate1

          I can’t, it’s not on.

          • jefe68

            So what’s all the hubbub bud?

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not your bud.

          • Ray in VT

            He’s also not your friend, buddy.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not your buddy.

          • jefe68
          • HonestDebate1

            I figured you for a Daffy guy. I’ll stick with Bugs.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6zrtUEXMQ4

          • jefe68
          • jefe68

            Funny that posted this cartoon.
            It really puts the tea party in it’s place.
            Interesting thing is how you don’t get it.

          • Mari McAvenia

            “Kill the wabbitt, kill the wabbitt…”- That’s John “Elmer Fudd” Boehner singing to the tune of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not your buddy, guy.

          • hennorama

            You don’t know diddley, bo. Please don’t muddy the waters, or rob the man of his cray cray.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Pretending he isn’t there won’t make him go away.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I’m surprised Mark Zandi wasn’t available.

  • dt03044

    How many of these tea party Congressmen (and women) are trained economists? Where do they get the idea that default is not a big deal?

    • notafeminista

      Really, you need to eliminate the words “tea party” from your post. Being a Congresssman of any stripe does not make one a financial or economic expert.
      .

      • northeaster17

        The Tea Party is saying that default will not be a problem Where did they come from? What are their qualifications?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Actually Moody’s (and the bond market) says there is little chance of default. Do you believe the ‘experts’ or the politicians?

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t put a lot of faith in just about anyone who attempts to prognosticate about what politicians might do.

        • notafeminista

          Why I would expect the Tea Party received their qualifications from the same place the House members saying default will be Armageddon as we know it.
          Should they not be held to an equal standard? Or do we accept the premise of Armageddon unquestioningly?

  • Yar

    Look at the cycle of violence in an abusive relationship, then compare and contrast what is happening in our nation’s capital.

    • TFRX

      Are you talking about our mainstream press?

      That, I can see. One more round of self-abegnation and self-caning, and then the right’s demands to cease journalizing and start imitating Fox will stop.

  • Mari McAvenia

    I don’t see the Thelma & Louise analogy here. It’s more like Leopold & Loeb at work in D.C. these days. For those who don’t know about or remember that infamous pair, they were well connected, self entitled psycho-killers who murdered for the thrill of it. Oh, yeah, and they were both white males, too.

    • TFRX

      Hey, we got “Rope” out of Leopold and Loeb (by any other name, though).

      • Mari McAvenia

        Also, “Compulsion”, the film by Orson Welles. Yeah, they got famous alright but they went down in flames together, too.

        • TFRX

          “Compulsion”?

          I have watch “The Stranger” every year, and I believe in the afterlife that I’ll see Welles’ full cut of “The Magnificent Ambersons”. I take that as a movie recommendation. Thanks.

          • Mari McAvenia

            It’s available online, free. I should have said “With Orson Welles”, though, not “By Orson Welles”. He didn’t make the film but he chews up a lot of scenery in it towards the end. Check it out sometime.

    • notafeminista

      Wow. I bow to your usage of symbolism. You managed to work in sexism, racism and complete moral bankruptcy into that tiny little post.

    • jefe68

      Driving the economy over the cliff.
      Well, Leopold and Loeb were both sociopathic nihilist.
      So I can see some similarities. But driving the economy over the cliff is a better image to illustrate the insanity going on here.

      And the media is playing he says, she says.

      • Mari McAvenia

        Yes, I get that. The thing is, Thelma & Louise were fictional women running away from abusive men. They didn’t take everybody else on the crazy ride with them. I still think the metaphor is lame.

        • jefe68

          It’s not about the film. It’s about that moment in the film when they drive over the cliff.

          • Mari McAvenia

            Like, duh.

          • jefe68

            Like, why make the point if you get it then?

          • Mari McAvenia

            It’s a distraction from reality, that’s why.

          • jefe68

            I here you. It’s as if were a on the verge of living in Ground Hog Day doing the shower scene from Psycho over and over again.

          • Mari McAvenia

            Yep. That’s a metaphor that resonates in these nutso times.

      • TFRX

        Yeah, but T&L didn’t have any hostages in the car. No innocent bystanders, no “just doing their jobs” cops, not even that fellow on the police radio who sussed out that things were getting out of control and things didn’t have to end up the way they did.

    • MrNutso

      Fa fa fa fa better
      Run run run away

      • jefe68

        Psycho Killer!

  • MrNutso

    I’m concerned as Judy is. I moved both mine and my wifes accounts to money markets until the insanity ends.

  • Markus6

    It’s slightly off point, because this topic is more about the details of a default. But from the last few shows on federal budgets, it seems extremely rare that people talk about how big the debt is and what it means to have a national debt as big as your GDP.

    I’m against a default. But is there no other way for these clowns in Washington to deal with 17 Trillion in debt that’s increasing. My guess is it’s just too big and complex for listeners to handle.

    • MrNutso

      There’s a simple solution. A long term plan to reduce spending, increase revenue and grow the economy without deep recessions.

    • TFRX

      Why is default never “in the air” when a FiscalConservative is in the White House?

      • notafeminista

        I should think that answer is pretty obvious.

        • TFRX

          Because of the media’s assumption of compulsory patriotism? Gotcha.

          • notafeminista

            Such as?

          • TFRX

            “When did you take your flag lapel pin off, you traitor?”

          • notafeminista

            Your example for compulsory patriotism is at least 5 years old? Do you have anything say a little more real time?

      • Markus6

        This is frustrating. The point should not be how evil the republicans are, or how the Koch brothers are behind everything or 9/11 was a conspiracy. The point is that both sides have created the national debt. And they’ve done so because we are too dumb to understand the magnitude of 17 T in debt and we spend all our energy pointing fingers.

        Sorry, a little frustration burst out.

        • TFRX

          I wish I could evenly share your frustration.

          The crazies on the right are driving the bus. As a lefty, I can’t say anything like that about the avowed socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.

          Things were a dumpload worse and uncertain around Labor Day 2008, and nobody cared about the deficit then. Forgive me if I see the oppotunism now from many on one side, and how that’s become a mainstream media worry, all of a sudden.

  • ToyYoda

    Once the deal is made -if it ever happens- I so hope that the SEC is checking for stock market trades made on behalf of congressional members to check for insider trading. I wouldn’t be surprised if insider trading happens.

  • ThirdWayForward

    It’s become crystal clear that the government shutdown and imminent default is the result of radical conservative Tea Party politicians backed by Koch brothers money. Koch’s minions are using about $250 million to bully the rest of the Republican party, using ad campaigns and primary-ing threats, The Koch brothers are the proximal cause of all these disasters.

    (The brothers Koch should be made to pay for all the damage. We need a wealth tax of 5% per annum on all fortunes over $1 billion net worth. That would begin to reign in the aristocracy and deal with our long term national debt. Taxes on wealth, not income, should pay down the debt).

    We need to consider and discuss why the Kochs and other plutocrats like them might WANT a shutdown and default. This is a working hypothesis, but maybe they are sitting on huge amounts of cash and WANT interest rates to go up. Sure, it’s terrible for the rest of us and the whole world economy, but when has that ever stopped plutocrats from pursuing their own narrow interests?

    I don’t know that I am convinced by this conjecture — that the super-wealthy are that short-sighted (they certainly can be that selfish). But “crisis capitalism” is a mode, and they may feel that by spreading chaos, they are in a better position to call the shots. We need to consider and discuss these possibilities, that the people calling the shots are not completely crazy and that for one reason or another they (perhaps correctly) see it in their interest to hurt the US government.

    FOLLOW THE MONEY, LOOK AT WHO IS TO BENEFIT.

    • toc1234

      inconvenient fact: Koch actually is one of the biggest backers of this show…

      • J__o__h__n

        He is on the board of WGBH the other Boston NPR station. I don’t know if he has ties to WBUR.

        • Mari McAvenia

          Time to bite the hand that feeds the monster? If we all start chomping at once….

    • OnPointComments

      You may be correct that everything that is occurring is orchestrated, but our narcissist-in-chief is the more likely manipulator. After all, it’s always all about Him, the chosen one. He’s staged the shutdown to make it as unpleasant as possible, but he may have overplayed his hand in denying death benefits to families of soldiers who have been killed.

      SHUTDOWN THEATER: TIME TO BEAT UP THE MILITARY
      http://www.humanevents.com/2013/10/09/shutdown-theater-time-to-beat-up-the-military/

      “You unruly peons still have not bowed to King Barack’s demands, despite rough treatment at the hands of his shock troops across the country. The spectacle of the King’s allies in the “immigration reform” movement receiving red-carpet treatment on the supposedly closed National Mall still hasn’t made you understand how helpless you are before the power of the Deficit Throne. The government must grow larger, taking more money from a generation yet unborn, and you must accept that ObamaCare is the first law in American history that can never be repealed, no matter how badly the program fails. But still you resist, even daring to bypass the King’s barricades and defy his orders to avert your gaze from national parks, herds of bison, and Mount Rushmore!

      “Very well. Let’s see how you like watching the families of your precious military heroes suffer.”

  • NewtonWhale

    Boehner to release 1 hostage:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP aides say House Speaker John Boehner will ask House Republicans to approve a short-term extension of the government’s ability to borrow to meet its bills.

    The Ohio Republican is slated to urge his staunchly conservative GOP colleagues to act before the government runs out of borrowing authority next week.

    Republicans have been insistent that budget cuts and other measures be added to the so-called debt ceiling legislation but the aides wouldn’t say whether he’ll seek to add other material to the measure.

    The aides required anonymity to reveal the information before Boehner makes an announcement after a closed-door meeting with his GOP colleagues.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20131010/us–budget-battle-boehner/

    • notafeminista

      Hey, is that like paying unsecured creditors?

  • MrNutso

    Tom, Boehner is lying. In the past after major budget negotiations an increase in the debt ceiling was included to cover spending in the budget bill.

  • ToyYoda

    You can remove all politicians of budgeting allocation if we allow for participatory budgeting at the federal level.

    Every 4 (or so years) divvy up the federal revenue equally among the people, and allow them to allocate the dollars according to their personal priority. And Washington will execute that proportion.

    No more political bickering or posturing or delays. It’s nuts, it’s radical but it will work and if our budget is a disaster, we will only have ourselves to blame.

    From the wiki:

    A comprehensive case study of eight municipalities in Brazil analyzing the successes and failures of participatory budgeting has suggested that it often results in more equitable public spending, greater government transparency and accountability, increased levels of public participation (especially by marginalized or poorer residents), and democratic and citizenship learning.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_budgeting

  • Epysteme

    It’s quite simple, really… There may be some reasonable disagreement as to whether Obamacare is good for America; but there is no reasonable disagreement that a default would be worse. THEREFORE, it is totally unreadonable of Republicans to threaten default in order to change Obamacare. They need to be called out and shamed for this.

    • Mari McAvenia

      They appear to be impervious to shame. Remember, we are dealing with psychopaths, here. No conscience, no guilt, no responsibility to anyone but themselves.

  • TFRX

    When will our press corps stop “normalizing” this new round of cray-zee?

    John Boehner seems like a guy who’d hitch a ride for 30 miles when his car runs out of gas, then return with one quart.

    At what point does the right’s short-sighted make everything a crisis playbook be looked at as the problem it is?

    Will we get over the edge of this meme when the House has to pass a debt-ceiling vote every single week? Every goddamn day?

    • jefe68

      I’m disgusted by this absurd game they are playing here.
      Time to call out the nut cases.

      I’m really getting sick and tired of the “he says, she says” journalism we have now.

      • HonestDebate1

        What did you think of the job our sycophantic media did at Obama’s last press conference?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          When Obama has to congratulate the press for ‘good points’ you know his team has shown up to play.

          ZERO questions on the roll out of Obamacare at that 65 minute presser.

          • HonestDebate1

            It was embarrassing.

        • jefe68

          You support the nihilist.
          Good for you. That puts you in the crazy camp. Good day sir.

  • Jim

    So here are the likely scenario of a US default:
    1. the dollar loses over 50 percent of its value
    2. interest rate shoot up to the moon
    3. mortgage rates goes to 11%
    4. massive cut back from federal spending
    5. unemployment goes beyond 15%
    6. legalized prostitution is a mean to make ends meet
    7. gold goes to 10000 USD per ounce
    8. republicans are laughing in their Wyoming retreat knowing their cash is converted to the Reminbi
    9. public riots are constant and to stay
    10. Greeks and Spaniards welcome the Americans: Join the club!

    • notafeminista

      One can always hope. (sarcasm off)

      • jefe68

        So you are a nihilist.

    • fun bobby

      hey glenn beck has been telling you to buy gold for a while. whose fault is it if you have not?

      • Jim

        so you are implying i don’t have a cache of gold? I can buy you and glenn beck multiple times over after this country defaults. you and he can be my work slave. have fun bob.

        • fun bobby

          that’s awesome. I hope it is in a Liberty safe. personally I think gold is worthless. I am stocking up on TP and ammo. and if things don’t hit the fan it never goes expires and you are going to use it anyways.

          • Jim

            good point.. when resource is scarce, people will be desperate. i will use that advice to protect my cows and chicks… thanks to the second amendment for giving us the rights to bear arms.

          • fun bobby

            I have been trying to convince the wife to let me get some livestock but its a tough sell.

          • Jim

            forget about livestock… Go after water supply. secure the biggest lake you can get. that my friend is going to be where the next war is going to be waged in the future… especially in the southwest.

          • fun bobby

            the bush family has bought huge tracts of land where the headwaters for the amazon are. if you are west of the Mississippi the water thing could be a problem. it rains a lot here. I drink a lot of milk and eat chicken so I could really use the cow and chickens now

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            Water.

  • toc1234

    Obviously Carl has a hotline to this show. Surprised Tom doesn’t have him sub in for Jack once in awhile..

  • Bigtruck

    This Congress and the new Tea Party contingent are underscoring the slide in American education.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Hey Karl, Obama’s approval is down to 37% or is that just a low information number?

    • TFRX

      Please tell us the trends of the polls. You’re cherry picking, and it’s not pretty.

      Don’t come here and pretend people love the right more than they do.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        When Bush hit that level it made headlines and CNN obsessed over “Bush’s problems”. This was an AP poll and in their press release they lead with GOP issues and buried Obama’s dramatic drop.

        But…. there is no bias in the media…keep telling yourself.

        • TFRX

          You really have a selective memory and no grasp of narratives. That serves a right-winger well in some places.

          Let’s go back to “Romney can pull this off”, last seen getting play in the “librul media” on the first Sunday of October 2012.

          The press handicaps Dems a good 12-15 %. The narrative for Dem poll numbers is “Obama is in trouble at 45%” and “Bush is fine at 33%”.

      • OnPointComments

        The polls show that President Obama’s approval rate is in steep decline, and his disapproval rate is on the increase.

        • TFRX

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/10/07/republican-disapproval-grows-in-budget-battle-post-abc-poll-finds/

          Obama late Sept: 41%.

          Obama, now: 45%

          Dem congresscritters shading UP to 35%.

          GOP congresscritters are now 10% lower than Dem Congrescritters at the mid 20% range. Repeat: Congress is in the hole, but voters still can tell the GOP’s at fault.

          Over half “disapprove strongly of the GOP’s actions.”

          Please fluff your RoveFacts elsewhere.

          • OnPointComments

            It’s a sad commentary that you’re reduced to bragging that President Obama’s approval rating is 45%, with his disapproval rate trending upward.

          • TFRX

            It’s a sad commentary that you can’t even back up your cherrypicking with anything.

        • Ray in VT

          Steep decline only if one takes the low number from one of 5 approval polls out in month.

        • jefe68

          Well now, lets see. The GOP house reps are polling at about 5% and the only reason is it’s their family and friends and the extremist who like them.

          • Ray in VT

            The House has some pretty bad numbers overall. It’s just that almost everyone thinks that it is someone else’s guy who is the problem.

  • thequietkid10

    I’ll say this…You leftist are going to love this by the way.

    So government is too big, the debt and deceit are growing and this could lead to an economic catastrophe. I agree with the republicans so far.

    So the solution is to cause an economic catastrophe by defaulting on the debt…..? Could we maybe cut the size of government without causing a economic meltdown please?

    Also at what point did the Republican protest against Obamacare stop being a symbolic protest of political values and start being some collective political delusion that they could get anti Obamacare measure through the Democratically controlled Senate and signed by President Obama. It’s his signature piece of legislation, it’s his political legacy.

  • TFRX

    “Republicans say ‘all the President has to do is talk with us’ ” our host says to caller Carl at 37mins?

    There’s just something missing when a public radio host has to parrot right-wing lies, and a random caller beats up those lies and takes their lunch money.

    Tom, maybe it’s time to start rethinking your Devil’s Advocate instinct. If the right can’t come up with better memes, can’t we hear how crap those memes are from you rather than random caller X?

  • jon meadow

    The type of government enshrined in the Constitution is the the type of government in DC. Instead of talking around the problem with what if this or that happens, we need to talk about the problem, which is the fact that people before us stepped off the Constitution’s path, and now; we are so far off the path no one, it seems, knows where it is.

    It’s not the economy, it’s the people. If you love yourself, your family, your community, and your country, you need to be critical of our behavior and thought and get back on the path to improve the union based upon the the original Constitution. If it is read within the context the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation provide, we can see what the organic intent of the Constitution and the rule of law is.

    Congress has power to regulate commerce, not people, to coin money and regulate the power thereof.

  • alsordi

    This party finger pointing is nonsense. All political farce. There is the wealthy powerful elite and there is the rest.

    What is happening is the world is finally seeing the melt-down of a fiat currency that supports an undeserved standard of living, a currency backed primarily by global military might that can no longer be effectively maintained. If it could, the US warmongers would have already “shock and awed” Syria.

    • notafeminista

      “Undeserved”? Really. And who makes that determination precisely? That you are “deserving” of X or that I am not “deserving” of Y.

  • TFRX

    Six weeks until the next faked crisis? I can buy a tub of sour cream and it’ll last longer than that*.

    Can’t the GOP stop making their internal fights everyone else’s problem?

    (*If it’s not opened. Dairy is funny that way.)

    • notafeminista

      *chuckle*
      Hey speaking of faked crises, What’s Lois Lerner up to these days?

      • TFRX

        No idea.

        But keep pretending that the IRS set their cap for right-wing groups if you want ridicule. This ain’t Fox Nation.

        • notafeminista

          Oh you’re right. It’s the Right who has the corner on the “screw you” market. I keep forget.

    • MrNutso

      The debt ceiling should be raised to summer of 2017, current elected officials cannot use it as a hostage or be subject to ransom.

      • fun bobby

        or lets get rid of it all together then they can run up infinite debt

        • TFRX

          There’ll be another righty in the White House. Any time you righties want the honorific title of Fiscal Conservative that the press bestows on all your leaders to mean something, we’ll be here seeing if you walk your talk.

          • fun bobby

            are you talking about right handed people? I write with my right hand but I am left eye dominate so I shoot lefty. what does that have to do with anything? is it because lefties are “sinister”? is obama left handed?

    • Ray in VT

      Six weeks? Is that when the War on St. Valentine’s Day starts?

      • TFRX

        If you think Valentine had it rough, I’m just glad Hippolytus is less of a household name.

    • Bruce94

      Yep. Seems like the expiration date stamped on the bottom of the GOP tub of sour grapes and their willingness to negotiate in good faith has come and gone.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The caller Mike speaks my mind. Our economy is burning – the fire was set by Tea Partiers – and all the actual problems continue to be ignored.

    • William

      The only serious spending cuts in the last 12 years were accomplished due the TP. What is wrong with that?

      • Mari McAvenia

        Don’t you mean “tax cuts for the super rich”? That has not helped the economy one wee, little bit.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          In 2012 the top 10% paid 71% of all federal income taxes — before the Obamacare surtaxes kicked in so their share is certain to go up.

          • Mari McAvenia

            They can afford it. My heart bleeds NOT for them. Any way you cut it, the rich pay only what they want to. Most of their real wealth is hidden away, offshore, out of sight and grasp of the tax-man.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Should 50% of taxpayers pay not income tax? It is bad policy for 50% to have no skin in the game. Otherwise they will be tempted to vote themselves other peoples ‘stuff’. Remember Ben Franklin’s warning.

          • TFRX

            More “skin in the game” crap about the class of folks who haven’t had a raise since the start of teh Bush recovery.

            Please leave good Ben’s name out of this.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Your class warfare response does not address the policy fairness that all should have some ‘skin in the game’. We can be compassionate and also have sensible policy.

          • TFRX

            Oooh, class warfare? The rich started it.

            Why was this “skin in the game” crap only an idea now?

            Because some right-wing hack (I’ll go with that idiot Santelli on CNBC) decided that the poor had it too well in America, and everyone in his bubble agreed.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Who said it was a good idea — ever?

            Let’s give credit (or blame) where it is due. It was Bush’s fault since it was the Bush tax cuts that was the enabler.

          • Shark2007

            According to Warren Buffet, class warfare is his class against the rest and as he notes, his class is winning. He should know! Some how I doubt that WftC is part of the 1%. More likely deluded that he will shortly become such and then wouldn’t want to pay high taxes.

          • hennorama

            WftC — this narrow focus on the Federal Income Tax (FIT) is simplistic, and ignores every other source of Federal Revenues. This is very misleading.

            Here are ALL the sources of Federal Revenue, by percentage (2011):

            Individual Taxes 47.4%
            Payroll Taxes 35.6
            Corporate Taxes 7.9
            Customs & Duties 5.7
            Excise Taxes 3.1
            Estate/Gift Taxes 0.3

            Source:
            http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/federal-revenue-sources

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well, let’s remove payroll because we are told that is in a ‘lockbox’. Remember algore?

            Then redo your percentages and then pareto the results….

            Done.

          • hennorama

            WftC — Thank you for taking the time to respond.

            These are not “[hennorama's] percentages.” As stated, the source is Heritage.org. They got the data from the Congressional Budget Office.

            You cannot deny reality, sir.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Oh, I am not denying reality but keeping it real. What we are discussing is skin in the game. People already have skin in the game for SS because everyone participates and it is self funding.

            What we are discussing is skin in the game for funding the rest of government and its priorities. Therefore my suggestion was quite reasonable.

            Pareto analysis is a useful tool in focusing on the most important — not getting distracted by noise.

            Done!!!

          • hennorama

            WftC — TY again for your response. I am familiar with 80/20 analysis, TYVM.

            Let’s deal with more facts, shall we?

            It is absolutely false to write “everyone participates” in Social Security, whether you define “participate” as paying Social Security TAXES, receiving Social Security benefits, or both. Many millions of people pay into the system and never receive any benefit, and many receive benefits without ever paying into it.

            One also cannot deny that Federal Revenues are essentially fungible. There is in fact no “lockbox.” Therefore one cannot ignore the reality of payroll taxes as part of the mix of Federal Revenues.

          • Shark2007

            One can only hope since the top 10% now own considerably more than 71% of the nations wealth.

        • thequietkid10

          Are you still upset about the Bush tax cuts back in 2003….for God’s sake…

      • MrNutso

        Where the debt comes from and what drives deficits:

        • notafeminista

          what’s the source here? I don’t see a citation.

        • William

          There would have been no cuts without the TP. Both sides were brought to the table because of the TP. Like it or not, they accomplished something that Obama could or would not do on his own.

        • OnPointComments

          MrNutso’s chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has been debunked, as if anyone with a modicum of intelligence wouldn’t know that it’s hokum. Isn’t it odd that with all the talk of the growth of entitlement spending, entitlement spending doesn’t even show up on the CBPP’s chart?

          • notafeminista

            Well, founder Robert Greenstein helped reform entitlements for President Clinton..entitlements don’t count anymore.

        • thequietkid10

          Question, does that draft assume that the economy would be as healthy as it is/was (relatively speaking) as has been?

        • OnPointComments

          BILLIONAIRES CHANNEL MILLIONS TO THINK TANKS
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriebennett/2012/02/04/billionaires-channel-millions-to-think-tanks/2/

          Who provides the funding for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities? According to Forbes, it’s:

          Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
          George Soros – Open Society Foundations

          • Shark2007

            Forbes is not exactly an unbiased source. Have they done similar analysis of where the money for Mercatus, Heartland, Cato, and Heritage comes from? Inquiring minds would like to know.

  • ThirdWayForward

    Sectors of the US ultra-wealthy have been selling out the rest of the economy for decades now — they have been disinvesting in production here and shipping as many jobs overseas as they possibly can. Mitt Romney was the most visible epitome of this.

    So why would we be surprised if the super-rich are not satisfied with the present return on safe investments that they can get from lending to the Federal government?

    Maybe they want to force interest rates up by causing uncertainty about Federal payments. The radical conservatives, characteristically, are also proposing plans that give US bond creditors first crack at being paid off.

    This works for many radical conservatives. It shuts off money to lower- and middle-class people in need and therefore has the effect of rolling back social safety nets. Taxes are then held in line and maybe more importantly, people are more desperate and will cling to whatever jobs they can get. Wage increases are thereby suppressed and even reversed. It raises interest rates, which is desirable for those who derive their incomes from renting their money to others. This is also why radical conservatives hate the idea of low-interest student loans — it cuts out their income from renting money to students.

    As usual, we who are not right wing ideologues end up thinking that this debacle is simply due to the native stupidity and abysmal economic ignorance of a section of our political class and the electorates that support them, when what is actually going on is far more deliberate and calculated.

    • notafeminista

      Right…the people with whom you disagree AREN’T stupid and ignorant …instead they are diabolical and control all the power of which you need just a gram to save the world.
      Gawd.

    • Bruce94

      I wouldn’t underestimate the power of ignorance and the right-wing populist demagogues like Ted Cruz who employ it to their advantage, but agree with much of the substance of your analysis.

  • Jennifer4333

    Getting lost in the hype about this potential “default” is the plain fact that the debt limit merely restricts government expenditures to the amount of its incoming revenues (the Treasury is not able to use extraordinary measures to raise funds). And while left unresolved indefinitely this could potentially lead to a default, it does not mean that the balance in the Treasury’s checkbook reaches exactly $0 next week.

    • northeaster17

      Tell that to the markets

    • hennorama

      Jennifer4333 — Getting lost in your comment is the fact that at a time very near in the future, “…the balance in the Treasury’s checkbook reaches exactly $0” and in fact will go negative.

      Cash flows into the U.S. Treasury vary widely on a daily basis, as do the outflows. For example, two days ago, October 8, 2013, the Federal ‘Operating Cash Balance’ declined by $2.564 Billion.

      Total Deposits that day were $4.986 B, and Total Withdrawals (excluding transfers) were $7.549 B. This means that day had negative Cash Outflow of $2.564 B

      If this was an average day, then the remaining Total Operating Balance of $31.977 B would be depleted in about 12.5 days from October 8, 2013.

      In other words, there would be a ZERO Operating Cash Balance sometime on Monday October 21, 2013.

      (Again assuming that was an average day. I am not claiming that it was, and would instead rely on the EXPERTS as to when cash would actually be depleted.)

      See:
      https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/viewDTSFiles?dir=w&fname=13100800.txt

  • Bruce94

    It’s pretty clear now with the Tea Party-sponsored government shutdown that most of the Congressional Mad Hatters are in lockstep with Grover Norquist and his goal “to shrink the government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub.”

    It seems that in order to accomplish this goal, the GOP/Tea Party zombies are willing to take us over another cliff and shrink the size of the economy to the point where we can flush it down the toilet.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Wow. There is a lot of propaganda about the Tea Party.

    Who is calling for gutting the safety net?

    • OnPointComments

      If the government investigates fraud in Social Security disability payments, liberals consider the investigation to be gutting the safety net.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The sick part of that is the taxpayers paid $1B to disability lawyers over the last 4 years — many of whom are pushing fraud according to 60 Minutes.

        • TFRX

          Yeah, there’s a lot of holes in that story.

          The source, NPR’s TAL, had to apologize and /or recant when their “anecdata” could not be backed up. Hisotircal norms, like poopulation growth, were not accounted for

          A pile of real economists have signed on saying “This story is undersourced and overblown”

          “Despite the ministrations of what Joffe-Walt labels the “disability
          industrial complex,” the majority of disability applicants are actually
          denied. SSI and SSDI are not boondoggles.” The CBPP analyzed Social
          Security records and determined that out of 1,000 applications for disability, 410 are allowed, more than one-third of those after appeals.

          Jaffe-Walt presented two graphs to show that disability insurance
          has become the new welfare, one showing a decrease in the number of
          families with children receiving temporary assistance and the other
          showing an increase in the number of low-income adults generally
          receiving Supplemental Security, suggesting that it was the same
          population moving from one to the other. But those “graphs just don’t go
          together. They cover different populations, whose dynamics are
          influenced by different processes.”

          “Child SSI caseloads are not exploding. Nor are large numbers of
          single moms transitioning from traditional welfare (Temporary Assistance
          to Needy Families, or TANF) to SSI. [...] Rising poverty rates, not lax
          program rules, is the critical factor. [...] [T]he rise in the child
          SSI caseloads is dwarfed by the decline in the number of children
          receiving cash assistance after the 1996 welfare reform.”

          http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/supplemental-security-and-temporary-assistance-how-qthis-american-lifeq-got-the-story-wrong

          http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/planet-money-misses-the-boat-on-social-security-disability

  • Community Mapper

    Social Security and medicare is funded through employment, medicaid is a perfect example of how you create underemployment, because you can’t live on medicaid levels, so lets get serious about a single payer system not employer based…the only cash flowing through pocketbooks are the tax credits that the caller suggested should go back to the government…This should be about tax reform and health care. Government dollars are flowing through a very broken system, while the bottom feeders are creating wealth deflecting by blaming the poor they feed off, we should be focusing on an equitable tax code, food security, a single payer healthcare and global warming…all exchanges that could spur a robust progressive economy!

  • nj_v2

    SIngle-payer, universal coverage health care. No more profits siphened off for private profit. Incentivize actual health maintenance rather than crisis care/intervention.

    Cut defense spending by half or 2/3. Pull troops and resources out of most foreign countries.

    Create new public works jobs programs: training, rebuilding housing stock, insulating old homes, installing renewable energy infrastructure.

    Raise cap on Social Security.

    Dramatically increase progressive taxation on the wealthy, 100% tax on all income over, say, 1 billion dollars.

    Separate “regular” banking functions from speculative investment functions in any and all financial institutions.

    Remove all public subsidies to established, mature energy industries—nukes, fossils fuels.

    What else?

    • thequietkid10

      “Dramatically increase progressive taxation on the wealthy, 100% tax on all income over, say, 1 billion dollars.”

      There is progressive economic policy and there there is just absurdity. Guess which one this is.

      • TFRX

        This is “asking for more than you want so you get what you want”.

        Politics 101, even.

      • nj_v2

        What was the highest, marginal, personal income-tax rate from 1950 to 1964?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          What was the top marginal rate in 1913 before they did the bait and switch —
          Answer: 7%

    • notafeminista

      Sounds like those are non-negotiable for you.

      • nj_v2

        Sounds like you don’t have anything useful to contribute.

        • notafeminista

          All about perspective.

          • nj_v2

            Like i said…

    • Yar

      Tie the minimum wage to the cost of energy. Make it a living wage. The best way to get the poor to pay taxes is to pay a living wage.

      • fun bobby

        sounds likea good way to increase unemployment

    • fun bobby

      end drug prohibition and all the violence, despair, and social destruction it causes

    • Bruce94

      Regarding the “100% tax,” I’d settle for the Buffett Rule. That said, your post contains a lot of worthwhile ideas for consideration. Thanks for reminding us that in spite of all the posturing and pandering going on in Washington at the moment, we still need to think long-term about moving forward.

      • Shark2007

        I believe he really meant the marginal rate should be 100% over $1 billion.

  • ThirdWayForward

    Another aspect of crisis politics is that it effectively de-rails any positive programs that the other side (here the Democrats) might have. If they keep taking hostages and creating crisis dramas, then it is difficult to have a discussion about immigration or job creation or energy policy.

    If conservatives cannot win the political argument on a national scale, then the next best thing for them is to prevent moderates, liberals, and progressives from enacting their programs.

    This is accompanied by their extremely cynical efforts to suppress voting — it is clear that they (not unlike antebellum Southern slave holders) see their way of life disappearing. There are disturbing parallels between 19th century nullificationists and the Tea Party radicals.

    The political theater, however, is the side-show — there are always underlying economic forces and interests that drive the action on the political stage.

    We really do need a better theory of why the brothers Koch and other plutocrats like them think that shutdown and/or default is a good thing. If we were analyzing politics in Russia,
    that would be an obvious line of inquiry — who are the different economic, plutocratic factions and why are they doing what they are doing? Here the investigation gets bogged down when we get mired in the drama of political tribalism.

    • notafeminista

      Well, and much to the chagrin of the Left, we don’t have Siberia.

      • ThirdWayForward

        That’s your fantasy of the left. Do a reality check. The left barely exists here, and one would be hard-pressed to find anyone remotely identifying with it who would want an American gulag system. Such a system, were it in place, would first be used to surveil, threaten and suppress political dissidents on the left. Most progressives would rather see power divided rather then concentrated, civil liberties strengthened rather than curtailed, and judicial oversight of the government strengthened rather than bypassed.

        • notafeminista

          The Left is very much present here – and not one of them has any interest in de-centralizing power from the federal government. That is why the Tea Party exists.
          Which administration created a website called “Attack Watch”? (I really hope someone saved a screen shot of the graphics from that one..priceless!)
          Which administration saw one of its own members encouraging people to report “fishy information” about the PPACA?
          In which administration was the IRS accused of (and apparently justifiably so) for interfering with otherwise lawful interest groups with specific combinations of specific words in their names?

          Which presumptive candidate stated he was “5 days from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”?
          Hint: It wasn’t the Right.

  • Cindy C Barnard

    I agree with last couple of callers, please call this standoff for what it is, a few Republicans in the House demanding a way to defund, derail the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, or else shutdown and default the US Government; and all being lead by a weak Speaker unwilling to take the vote to the floor.

    The only way to address the deficit issue is to raise taxes at least to the levels of the 90′s and to get people back to work and paying those taxes.

    It costs money to keep a country strong and healthy. Too much power and money is being concentrated to a few, exactly why our government was formed to avoid this existence and instead be a government for all the people.

    Reforming healthcare is also fiscally responsible in that it will contain costs and reduce the percentage of GDP. According to WHO, US has had for years the highest healthcare costs per capita – and until now the only developed country that didn’t have a national healthcare plan.

    Also in need of reforming is how Congress handles the budget and deficit ceiling; the last thing we need is this tactic in play again.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Debt will double under Obama.
    But Obama claims raising the debt limit — “won’t raise a dime”

    Back in 2007 Senator Obama called raising the debt limit ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unpatriotic’.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    • TFRX

      And you can’t make up that he wasn’t gonna blow up the whole goddamned economy.

      I’d love to see you try to babysit a few third graders.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Delaying the individual mandate ONE year will blow up the economy? NOT!!!

        It gives people a choice while Obamacare is not ready for prime time. It doesn’t prevent them from signing up if they want to.

        Who looks unreasonable — the side giving folks the same choice the President gave to corporate America or the side that won’t?

        • TFRX

          THe “piss in the punchbowl and complain about the taste” folks are here again.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            non responsive

      • notafeminista

        Then Candidate Obama …..
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cqN4NIEtOY
        Univ of MO at Columbia Oct 2008

    • jimino

      What was ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unpatriotic’. was fighting 2 wars while reducing taxes on those on whose behalf our troops were fighting and dying at huge expense. Unless of course you foolishly don’t connect the reason you need to borrow with the legitimacy of the debt.

      How does over 100 current Republicans who repeatedly voted to raise the debt limit during those times but now refuse to do so fit into you analysis of not being able to make stuff up?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Both sides play political games. Obama was clearly doing that in 2007. He wasn’t just protesting the war. He sounded like a fiscal hawk. Was it just political rhetoric? Unfortunately, it looks like it was. I remember when he promised to go through the budget line by line and remove all waste fraud and abuse. Never happened.

        What we need now is the President to lead on the debt and deficit. He’s had no leadership experience when he was elected and it appears he has learned very little in his 4 years.

      • pete18

        The tax receipts went UP after the tax cuts so why are you connecting them with the war costs?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The fact that revenue went up is an inconvenient truth.

          • Ray in VT

            Absolute numbers can be of little value when the share of GDP collected falls below that of the 3 previous presidents, especially in light of how the supposedly fiscally responsible party then goes to town (with one of those towns being Baghdad) on the national credit card.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well, the taxes were cut then GDP grew and revenues grew. Cause and effect or something else?

            We can agree that Bush had a spending problem — especially when the Dems took over Congress during his last two years and the deficits soared. Cheney infamously said “deficits don’t matter” . Terrible. Bush priding himself on not vetoing bills from Congress. Nuts. Bush is a big government Republican. A Statist. Not good.

            But, as a bad as it was under Bush it is much worse under Obama. Fiscal restraint isn’t in the vocabulary.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, taxes were raised under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and the economy grew and revenue grew. I wore a red shirt today and the sun is shining, but that doesn’t mean that the sun is shining because I wore a red shirt (a modified example of an argument that my recently deceased philosophy professor really hated).

            Bush did have a spending problem, however I think that it had very little to do with the Democrats controlling the House. The major problem is that we had an economic collapse. It often puzzles me that people with tout the 2007 number from Bush, yet decry the last several Clinton years as bubble numbers, which is just what we had under the latter Bush years.

            A applaud your consistency in disliking the spending habits of former President Bush. It is a shame that the parties had not stuck to the spending lines drawn in the 1990s. Although I must be clear, although it is certainly not a surprise to you. that I am highly skeptical of the sort of small government vision that many libertarians have.

            I think that a fairly big part of the budget increases under Obama is driven by the bills coming due regarding the demographics of entitlements, as well as some big increases to factors that typically increase during down economic periods. There’s also been a pretty big relative increase in costs related to the VA, which, given the nature of so many of the injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will likely be obligated to pay for many, many years.

        • jimino

          Did you really miss what fueled the economy in those years? Just where did that 10 trillion in missing assets go?

          • pete18

            You didn’t answer my question.

          • jimino

            I did but you are obviously too ignorant regarding how the economy and taxes generated by it operate to understand it.

          • pete18

            Please, enlighten me.

        • Ray in VT

          After 3 years of declines, and even after revenues returned, the pre-recession revenues as a share of GDP still only got back up to the levels that were seen for several years under Clinton, George H. W. Bush, the early Reagan years and Carter.

    • OnPointComments

      The long-term deficit and debt that we have accumulated is unsustainable.

    • MrStang

      Straight from the Washington Times editorial page…conflating the trillions from Bush’s unfunded wars, medicare part D and the “compromise” to continue his tax cuts for rich people in order to hide that the Republicans are threatening not to pay the bills they’ve racked up.
      You Republican Tea-Party Koch virus clowns are out out out in 2014.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        So you are comfortable leaving unsustainable debt and unfunded entitlement liabilities to your children and grandchildren?

        http://usdebtclock.org/

        • OnPointComments

          I’m not comfortable with it, and neither is Hillary Clinton:
          “Raising this debt limit while embracing policies that further exacerbate the deficit is in essence a ‘children’s tax,’ a burden borne not by this administration or this Congress, but by our sons, our daughters, and our grandchildren.” 11/17/2004

        • Shark2007

          Where were you when Reagan (the conservative hero) was doubling the debt? What about when Bush had two off budget wars? Were you speaking up then?

  • AC

    popping my head in and running away….not seeing too many new comments or changes of heart.
    me either.
    i still blame these tea party people and i hope republicans can over-come this odd fear of them…..
    i can’t wait until the next election, i really can’t. i hope people put their money where there mouth is and get them out of office (the tp people….tp….huh, makes sense and that’s as crude as i’ll get)

    • HonestDebate1

      I sort of accept your premise about fear, to the extent that I do I’d posit it’s a fear of crossing their constituents and getting primaried. I think that’s healthy.

      • Shark2007

        You conveniently overlook the gerrymandering done by Republican dominated State legislatures. A flee would get elected in some of these districts if it had Republican or Libertarian next to its name.

    • fun bobby

      what will you do if more TP get elected?

      • StilllHere

        If? When.
        Middle class America is getting screwed by spendthrift legislators.

      • AC

        i don’t think so, their membership rates have been steadily declining since 2010…
        otherwise, i’ll just cry and wait. i think common sense always wins out over extremes….

        • HonestDebate1

          I agree but I think the tea partiers are the ones with the common sense and the administration is extreme. I really do.

        • fun bobby

          I will believe that when the war on drugs ends

  • truegangsteroflove

    I’ve been around groups of Tea Partiers and gun, er, enthusiasts a few times. Like any group, they reinforce their beliefs and attitudes by interacting with like-minded people. What I found different about them is that they went beyond anger to a really threatening hatefulness. The gun crowd ranged from young to old, but the Tea Party crowds tended to be 40s and above.

    It was mentioned a few times that the shutdown and debt limit showdown is lunacy, and other times as madness. Maybe it really is. Based on what I have seen of the Tea Party and gun crowds, we have a problem in this country of mass psychosis. One of my favorite books is ” Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds.” It was published in 1841, and chronicled the various ways masses of people fall for flim-flammery and goofy crazes.

    We shouldn’t look only at the Tea Party and gun nuts for examples of mass psychosis. Wall Street, with its unbridled greed and phony money-making schemes, can accurately be seen as a locus of crowd psychopathology. A decent, sane person would not do so much harm to others without remorse or hesitation, but in the company of thousands of others is capable of any evil.

    In this light our leadership structure can also be seen as a collection of psychotics. They are mostly about themselves, but there is an interactivity in the way that they serve the interests of Wall Street and major corporations. They may be bought, but there is a group psychology going on. Looked at this way, the problem we are facing is a battle between group psychoses. Times were easier when we had one dominant madness.

    Bad as the shutdown and debt limit impasse are, we are likely in for worse. When climate change really kicks in, today’s troubles will look like the good old days. We will likely respond with madness supreme.

  • MrStang

    The Koch virus is running rampant. It causes senators to throw children out of headstart for no reason. It causes congressmen to shutdown government in order to keep people from getting affordable health insurance. This Koch virus is dangerous to the country.
    We’ll have a chance to rid ourselves of the Koch virus in 2014.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Delaying the individual mandate one year does not prevent anyone from signing up for Obamacare.

      Get your talking points updated.

      • MrStang

        Oh are you a Ryan useless medicare voucher republican or an Erickson kill Obamacare, Ron Johnson’s a damn Liar republican or maybe a Stutzman I don’t know what that is republican?
        Don’t tell me about talking points you little jumped up authoritarians think you can order people around and you can’t even tie your own shoelaces. Morans! TinPot Turd Merchants!

      • northeaster17

        The one year gives the rethugs more time to try and kill it. The year delay is in no way a grace period. Just more time to sharpen the knives and play more brinkmanship games. It’s all you guy’s have.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          A one year delay in the mandate simply gives people a choice for one year. It changes nothing else. In fact, in some ways it helps the Dems because there will be no pissed off fine payers for the Dems to contend with in the 2014 elections.

  • Vic Volpe

    When the finance industry and investors want to do calculations and need to determine a risk-free investment return, what statistic do they use?…Federal Government bonds, notes, and treasuries. Why? Because there has never been a U.S. default in our history, and we have never failed to pay our debts, and we have the power to print our own money, and the U.S. debt that is held by foreigners is held in U.S. dollars (and not a foreign currency like Euros, Yen, Chinese Yuan, etc – which is what happened to Argentina years ago when they had a huge foreign debt held not in the Argentine currency but in foreign currency like U.S. $ or the German DM.).

    Ironic that the people who want to shut the Federal Government down are the ones who have been preaching fiscal responsibility.

    The final irony is that the nihilists among the Libertarians and Conservatives who constantly warn us of an intrusive Federal Government are now telling us that we will not feel the effects of a government shut-down.

    • StilllHere

      Not true, there have been US defaults.

      And guess what, the losers came back and begged for more US gov bonds.

      • Vic Volpe

        You better cite something. U.S. Govt debt has ALWAYS been risk free. What Economics/Finance school have you been to?

        • StilllHere
          • Vic Volpe

            Thanks for the citation:
            1. There was no default during the negotiations of 2011.
            2. The Continental Congress of 1779 is not the United States of America — which started in 1789, but all previous debts were paid.
            3. Public finance failures by states and private banks do not constitute a failure by the U.S. national Govt.
            4. The Greenback Default of 1862 — your own source answered the the very question it raised — use of ‘Legal Tender’.
            5. Liberty Bond Default of 1934 — again your own source gives the answer — solved by not backing with gold and the use of fiat money (what we do today if you have a difficult time following the concept).
            6. 1979 — more Libertarian B.S.
            ***************************************************
            Have you ever attended a university course on Economics/Finance? ….or do you just troll the internet for your info?”

          • StilllHere

            A US default is a US default your pained denial notwithstanding.

          • Vic Volpe

            Well I’m am not going to argue with you on what constitutes a default. But is this your rationale (the Libertarian citations) for bringing down the “faith and credit” (aka fiat system) of the U.S. in today’s market?

          • Vic Volpe

            There is an article in today’s (the day after this program) NY Times about the 1934 “Default” — http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/11/business/at-risk-the-dollars-privilege-as-a-reserve-currency.html?ref=business&_r=0. You might find it edifying.

  • MrStang

    A Message from a WWII Vet regarding Boehner’s “leadership” in the face of the Republican Koch-Virus infected party’s intransigience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IIJ-nxOvpzU

    • OnPointComments

      PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SHAMEFUL DEATH-BENEFIT THEATER
      http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/oct/09/denial-of-death-benefits-shame-on-president-obama/

      “It is an appalling commentary on the president and his administration that they chose to bully the families of dead American soldiers for perceived political gain.

      “Shame on Barack Obama.”

      • jimino

        You twit, YOU are the one proposing we pay the bondholders first to avoid default. Do you even comprehend the meaning of the words that come out of your mouth, or wherever it is they emanate?

        • OnPointComments

          If President Obama could make sure they keep his golf course open, he could make sure the families of soldiers killed in action got paid.

  • tbphkm33

    Funny thing, as we and almost everyone else is arguing about responsibility and possible effects, we fail to recognize that the negative impacts have already started to take effect.

    It is not as much a “cliff” as a slide. The early possibility of a default and now the threat of such a scenario already has caused negative short-term and long-term impacts on the U.S. economy (and somewhat on the global economy).

    Associated costs, namely the hidden costs of any action, is something few people are good at recognizing. Any action, even what is perceived as a good action, by its nature does have a negative associated cost. Whereas a few years ago, the rise of the zero-sum extremists on the U.S. political landscape was seen as having a short-term impact, a footnote in history. Their actions of imposing political and economic instability through unconventional means and imposing minority views upon the majority, does cast a much longer shadow across the U.S. political and economic landscape.

    The wheels are set in motion, a default or last minute reprieve is now largely academic. The negative associated costs are already set in motion. At best, the action of the minority fringe is guaranteeing the U.S. will not return to full employment before 2025. The U.S. economy, and to some degree the world economy, is now more likely to remain dysfunctional into the late 2020′s.

    A whole range of other unforeseen results are now even more plausible. The U.S. is weakened by its own political dissolution. Things like the possibility of crude oil no longer being quoted in U.S. dollars are very real – expect an Asian and OPEC motion toward this scenario to emerge again in the next year or two. Such action would have an immediate impact on the U.S. economy.

    No, the minority fringe of an increasingly irrelevant U.S. political party has played with fire without realizing the long-term implications. When you tell your grandchildren about the great life your parents generation enjoyed, be sure to fairly place the blame of the dashed and burdened prospects of the emerging generation on the rightwing nut cases of the early 2010′s. In the future, their names will be held in distain.

  • Vic Volpe

    I thought Richard Epstein, the Libertarian (and I am not a Libertarian), made an apt comment yesterday when he noted that compared to years ago, today there is no Democrat who is to the Right of any Republican and there is no Republican to the Left of any Democrat; and, that is why it is difficult to meet in the Middle.

    • John Cedar

      Awfully vague.
      More “apt” would be to note that there is no democrat that would not call JFK a right wing tea party bigoted religious terrorist based on the positions he held on the issues.
      JFK is to the right of the entire democrat party of today.

      • tbphkm33

        Wow, historical revisionism by the uninformed.

        Lets be correct here and note that the slide to the right, and extremism, has been happening to the Nopublicans.

      • Vic Volpe

        Are you talking about this JFK…

        http://vicpsu.blogspot.com/2013/02/challenge-me.html

        or some other JFK?

      • northeaster17

        As Reagon is to the left of the current Republicans

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Reagan is not to the left of the Tea Party.

          That is a leftist talking point without evidence.

          • Shark2007

            Is that how you explain the tax increases Reagan signed.

      • Shark2007

        Fantasy. That is why the wing nuts called him a communist and traitor.

        http://www.npr.org/2013/10/09/228181831/in-dallas-1963-a-city-of-rage-seized-by-civic-hysteria

        More right wing revisionist history.

  • OnPointComments

    Nancy Pelosi: “Democrats plan to use the debt limit debate to highlight the massive annual deficits run up during the Bush administration. We just can’t give a blank check over and over and over again to this administration.” 11/17/2004

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Don’t use their words against them. That is UNFAIR. :)

    • tbphkm33

      More rightwing propaganda – utterly failing to mention that whoever won the 2008 Presidential campaign would have been saddled with this. President Obama’s hands were tied to the impacts of the Bush era tax cuts and warmongering (profiteering).

      No matter what, the rise in the national debt was built into the system by 2008.

      Please, have the integrity and intelligence, to place blame where blame is due.

      • OnPointComments

        “The House approved an $819 billion stimulus package on a near party-line vote yesterday [244 Democrats voting yes, 11 Democrats and 177 Republicans voting no], a plan breathtaking in size and scope that President Obama hopes to make the cornerstone of his efforts to resuscitate the staggering economy.

        “Obama engaged in an all-out lobbying push for the bill, which is among the most expensive pieces of legislation ever to move through Congress, and marked a big victory for his presidency a little more than a week into his term.”

        http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-01-29/politics/36929185_1_tax-relief-stimulus-plan-house-republicans

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          We are still waiting for the Hoover Dam out of that $819B spending (or some other permanent ROI) — instead we got Solyndra and it’s ilk.

          • northeaster17

            Solydra cost about 900 million. BP cost billions and billions more. It’s all about perspective

          • OnPointComments

            And BP paid for its mistake. The taxpayers paid for the mistake of Solyndra.

          • hennorama

            WftC — Again with the “Where is Obama’s Hoover Dam?” Seriously? Why do you continue to use these asinine and inapt references?

            This is now at least the fifth time I’ve cited the following facts:

            The Hoover Dam was approved BEFORE the Great Depression and took nearly 5 YEARS to complete, nearly 6 1/2 years AFTER the Great Depression started.

            I guess what you’re saying is that Pres. Obama should have used a time machine to travel back to 2007, BEFORE the Great Recession, before he was ever elected or inaugurated, somehow convinced Congress and Pres. Bush II to authorize a HUGE construction project, which would then only be completed in 2014 or 2015?

            Time to pick some new references.

            Seriously.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OK, now it is ‘asinine’ (your words) to measure government performance and expect ROI. Now I know the rules. Thanks.

          • hennorama

            WftC — please allow a quotation of your own words:

            “Reading comprehension alert.”

            Repeating, with EMPHASIS added:

            Why do you continue to use these ASININE and inapt REFERENCES?

            You are free to do as you wrote, “…to measure government performance and expect ROI,” and I made no argument against doing so.

            But the “Hoover Dam” nonsense is both asinine and inapt as a reference.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Great, you quote me out of context when the entire thread of your ignoring logic is now missing…. Play that way if you like.

            I strongly disagree. The Hoover Dam is a perfect benchmark simply because it was a large investment ($824M) and the return can be measured and it vastly exceeds the investment. The investment is still ‘giving’ today.

            Maybe you don’t like it because it is so rare. But was is wrong with expecting excellence from our government ‘investments’.

          • hennorama

            WftC — the point is that the project to build a high dam on the Colorado River, finally resulting in the construction of the Hoover Dam, was a multi-decade, multi-administration undertaking, and in no way comparable to the emergency responses to the Great Recession.

            It’s silly to argue the point.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “silly”?

            No it isn’t silly to use a benchmark for successful government projects — independent of whether it was an emergency response or not.

            It was well known that Hoover was a civil engineer by trade and that he believed in ‘shovel ready’ projects at the ready as a counter cyclical investments.

            The fact remains that the project construction -from the time it went out to bid — to the completion happened during the height of the Great Depression. Are you suggesting that project scope and timing didn’t adapt to the realities of the times ?

            No, it is silly NOT to use it as a benchmark. It is so easy to measure the costs and benefits.

          • hennorama

            WftC – Thanks again for your response. I’m suggesting, stating actually, that comparing the Hoover Dam to any part of the ARRA is silly, asinine, and inapt.

            You wrote, in the post to which I initially responded:

            “We are still waiting for the Hoover Dam out of that $819B spending (or some other permanent ROI)…”

            Please allow some added facts:

            Max. generating capacity of Hoover Dam: 2.08 Gigawatts (GW)

            Added wind power capacity under President Obama: 35 GW (yes, nearly 17 Hoover Dams worth)
            Added solar power under Obama: 6 GW (nearly another 3 Hoover Dams worth)

            That’s 20 Hoover Dams. How ’bout dem boondoggles?

            Per Michael Grunwald of Time:

            “The stimulus has financed the world’s largest wind farm, a half-dozen of the world’s largest solar farms, the nation’s first refineries for advanced biofuels, a new battery industry for electric vehicles, unprecedented investments in cleaner coal and a smarter electric grid and over 15,000 additional clean-energy projects.

            And per the Energy Department and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:

            “Last year, over 13 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power capacity were added to the U.S. grid – nearly double the wind capacity deployed in 2011. This tremendous growth helped America’s total wind power capacity surpass 60 GW at the end of 2012 – representing enough capacity to power more than 15 million homes each year, or as many homes as in California and Washington state combined.”

            See:
            http://swampland.time.com/2012/08/10/a-new-wind-blowing-obamas-clean-energy-revolution/#ixzz25qomVrAa
            http://energy.gov/articles/energy-dept-reports-us-wind-energy-production-and-manufacturing-reaches-record-highs
            http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/MT_electric.cfm#solar_photo?src=Renewable-b5

          • Shark2007

            Well if you looked at the dam at the time it was being built, you might not have been very impressed with the mortality rate among those working on it. Give ACA 10 to 15 years and I predict the software problems will no longer be remembered.

          • Shark2007

            You might want to look at Hoover Dams life expectancy. In other words, how long before it silts up and is useless. Longer now that there are up stream dams to catch some of it. Another thing you might want to check out is the drop in water levels in the Colorado reservoirs as global warming brings less snow to the Southern Rockies.

          • OnPointComments

            It took nearly 5 years to complete the Hoover Dam, yet the Obama administration can’t create a functioning website in three years after spending $634 million dollars. Odd.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Hoover Dam cost $49M ($824M real) to build and generates 4.2B kWh annually.

            Now that is a real return.

          • hennorama

            OPC — the healthcare.gov website is functioning. Perhaps your point was that it has indeed had some unanticipated problems, and that the problems should have been anticipated.

            If that was your point, I agree.

            However, the site IS up and running, and therefore is “functioning.”

          • Shark2007

            You might try doing software development before making such silly comments. By its nature, large software is much more complex than anything physical you can build. It takes time to design, build and test. People are still waiting for the Apple Maps program to not send them onto the taxi way of the Fairbanks, Alaska airport.

            http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/faulty-app-directions-alaska-runway-disabled-20399410

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “On January 10, 1931, the Bureau made the bid documents available to interested parties” Wikipedia on the Hoover Dam

            They didn’t start construction until later in 1931.

            Was this before or after the start of the depression?

            Solyndra was in existence before the stimulus loan.

            Please.

          • hennorama

            WftC — using the exact same source, and from the 2nd paragraph of said source:

            “Since about 1900, the Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated for their potential to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power. In 1928, Congress authorized the project.”

            And from the Bureau of Reclamation, of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior:

            “1928 Colorado River Board of California reports favorably on feasibility of project. Boulder Canyon Project Act, introduced by Senator Johnson and Representative Swing, passes the Senate December 14th, the House December 18th, and is signed by President Calvin Coolidge, December 21st.

            “1929 Six of the seven Basin States approve Colorado River Compact. Boulder Canyon Project Act declared effective June 25th.”

            See:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_Dam
            http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/History/articles/chrono.html

            As stated previously on multiple occasions, the Hoover Dam was approved BEFORE the Great Depression and took nearly 5 YEARS to complete, nearly 6 1/2 years AFTER the Great Depression started.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I have no clue why you are obsessed with Coolidge approving the project.

            When was the money appropriated and spent? 1931 and onward. All you are saying is the project was ‘shovel ready’.

            btw – The fact that is came in 2 years ahead of schedule is another reason for it to be a ‘benchmark’ for government excellence.

          • Shark2007

            Solyndra was a small part of a larger DOE effort to spur alternative energy development. Since it failed, it is always used by the Republicans to beat up on Obama. They never mention the DOE efforts that succeeded. No surprise there. Like any investor, one doesn’t expect all investments to pan out. Part of the role of the DOE funding was to encourage higher risk efforts. If none of the efforts they funded failed, they wouldn’t be doing their job. Risk, in case you didn’t know means the possibility of loss or failure.

        • Ray in VT

          One of the few times when you could find Republicans voting against a tax cut.

        • MrStang

          Bush put a 2 Trillion dollar hole in the economy. We got less than half of what was needed to stimulate the economy. One third of the stimulus was ineffective tax cuts. Thus a slow recovery. This is settled fact.

      • notafeminista

        I’m more interested to know why the President Bush era tax cuts were left in place so long after he left office.
        Don’t think your omission wasn’t noticed…speaking of integrity.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          …75% of the Bush tax cuts are still in place.

          • notafeminista

            Go figure..

          • Shark2007

            You think the Republicans might be responsible for failure to raise taxes more? I could afford to pay another 1 or 2% and I am not in the 1%

        • Shark2007

          Generally raising taxes at the beginning of a recession is not considered a good idea. Efforts to increase taxes after the worst of the recession were seriously limited by the Republicans.

    • jimino

      Since the national debt increased more, proportionately, under Bush, than it is now, and you are on record as opposing such current debt increases, you must be saying you agreed with her stance. Anything else would be highly illogical.

      • OnPointComments

        I’m more worried about the present than the past. Which makes me more worried about Barack Obama increasing the national debt by $6.1 trillion dollars in 5 years than George Bush increasing it by $4.9 trillion in 8 years.

        • jimino

          Thanks for admitting it has nothing to do with principle. Or math.

          • OnPointComments

            Look at the slope. The rate of increase in the national debt is much higher under Barack Obama than it was under George Bush.

      • HonestDebate1

        It looks to me like the line turned North around 2006 when Nancy got the purse.

      • anamaria23

        George Bush did not fund the two wars or Medicare D, but instead used borrowed money. This administration has included the cost of the wars in the budget.

        • StilllHere

          Just ignore Congress in this equation, it really helps your narrative.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Spending starts in Congress?

            Oh yeah, it’s that Constitution thingy again.

    • MrStang

      You Solyndra screaming Koch/Petersen virus zombies would have our economy in the same shape as the UK which under the Tories folowed the Koch/Petersen Virus Tea playbook.
      They went into recession at least 3 times.
      You Koch/Petersen virus fantasists cannot be trusted to discuss fiscal policy. I hear the Fountainhead or Atlas shrugged is on netflix.

    • Shark2007

      You ignore the fact that Shrub waged two major wars off budget that Obama put back on budget. It might change your graph, but cherry picking figures is old hat for the right.

      • OnPointComments

        No, it would not change the graph.

        • Shark2007

          So you claiming it was included in the graph?

  • MrStang

    Krugman- “Back in 2010, self-styled deficit hawks — better described as deficit scolds — took over much of our political discourse. At a time of mass unemployment and record-low borrowing costs, a time when economic theory said we needed more, not less, deficit spending, the scolds convinced most of our political class that deficits rather than jobs should be our top economic priority. And now that the election is over, they’re trying to pick up where they left off.

    They should be told to go away.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/krugman-hawks-and-hypocrites.html?_r=0

  • MrStang

    Joe Conason ‏@JoeConason1h
    “So when will American business leaders recognize their fiduciary duty — and stop funding GOP extremism?” @uschamber @lhfang

    • notafeminista

      NYT covered that.

    • lobstahbisque

      From the NYT.
      “As the government shutdown grinds toward a potential debt default, some of the country’s most influential business executives have come to a conclusion all but unthinkable a few years ago: Their voices are carrying little weight with the House majority that their millions of dollars in campaign contributions helped build and sustain.
      Their frustration has grown so intense in recent days that several trade association officials warned in interviews on Wednesday that they were considering helping wage primary campaigns against Republican lawmakers who had worked to engineer the political standoff in Washington.”

      • MrStang

        Hopefully the Dr. Frankenstein enterprise will control its beast.

  • tbphkm33

    I for one can’t wait for all this to blow over… so the rightwing propaganda machine can stop spewing their myths and revisionist history, and we can get back to intellectual discussions.

    For example, today there are several well developed longer progressive intellectual discourses presented, all conveniently ignored by the rightwing propaganda trolls. Well, maybe these pieces are not ignored, as much as they pass right over the heads of the Nopublican’s.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      ” today there are several well developed longer progressive intellectual discourses presented,”

      You know it is rude to pat yourself on the back in public.

      • tbphkm33

        Thank you for recognizing that I did write a piece. Even more, thank you recognizing that you are having difficulty coming up with an effective counter argument :)

    • warryer

      Let’s try something here:

      I for one can’t wait for all this to blow over… so the leftwing propaganda machine can stop spewing their myths and revisionist history, and we can get back to intellectual discussions.

      For example, today there are several well developed longer conservative intellectual discourses presented, all conveniently ignored by the leftwing propaganda trolls. Well, maybe these pieces are not ignored, as much as they pass right over the heads of the Dole-ocrats.

      Yep nothing useful here. Two sides, same coin.

  • OnPointComments

    President Obama illegally extended the due date for the employer mandate because more time was needed to implement the Obamacare mandate for employers. The government had three years to develop the Obamacare websites for individuals, which one source reported cost the government $634 million dollars [http://www.digitaltrends.com/opinion/obamacare-healthcare-gov-website-cost/], and the sites are an abysmal failure. Wisdom dictates that the individual mandate be accorded the same extension that was granted to employers.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The original budget for the Obamacare website was on the order of $90M (a huge sum for a website). If this is how they manage a small cog in the scheme what could go wrong with the rest of it.

      • fun bobby

        the federal government always makes things more efficient right? what could be more efficient than a federal bureaucracy?

        • StilllHere

          Somebody should study this thesis. Let’s create a new bureaucracy to do it.

          • fun bobby

            you are getting way ahead of yourself. we need to form a committee to do some fact finding, perhaps involving field trips, the committee could then appoint an advisory board to come up with a report so that we could begin the process of commissioning a new bureaucracy to study the issue. I may have left a few steps out

          • notafeminista

            Probably ought to start with a blue-ribbon panel first to investigate the viability of a committee ;-)

          • fun bobby

            lets table it until we can establish some best practices

          • notafeminista

            Oh but we’ll need to define what the best practices are..and for that we’ll need a work group.

          • fun bobby

            lets have a public commentary session and maybe a hearing

    • OnPointComments

      “They had three years to get this ready. If they weren’t fully ready, they should accept the advice Republicans are giving them, delay it for a year, get it ready and make sure it works.” –Wolf Blitzer, CNN

      As Andrew McCarthy at NRO says, when you’ve lost Wolf Blitzer…

  • StilllHere

    We’ve heard Obama and Lew whine about how bad the sequester was going to be. It wasn’t. We’ve heard them howl about the disaster resulting from a shutdown. No biggy.

    I’m inclined to try out the default. Investors know we’re good for it. Where are they going to go? Japan who’s trying to depreciate their currency into oblivion. Europe who is teetering on recession and more bailouts. There’s not enough out there for the world’s savings. You watch, they’ll hold their bonds and buy more gladly.
    Downgrade us, who cares? It didn’t affect interest rates at all. They went down the day of the downgrade.
    Default! It’s the only way to get the Democrats to negotiate!

    • OnPointComments

      If the shutdown hasn’t been a total disaster, it isn’t for lack of trying by the Obama administration.

      “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can,” an angry National Park Service ranger told Washington Times columnist Wesley Pruden. “It’s disgusting” The park ranger indicated that there is a political motive behind the closure of the open-air memorials.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Moodys didn’t help the regime.
      Pimco – the worlds largest bond fund — said yesterday that they’ve made NO changes to their investing strategy and that default is a one in a million scenario.

      • OnPointComments

        Slightly off topic, but…

        What do Standard & Poor’s, Frank Vandersloot, and Dr. Ben Carson have in common? They have all been the object of retaliation at the hands of government agencies.

        Even though Moody’s participated in the rating of mortgage-backed securities that were a part of the financial crisis, the DOJ brought suit only against S&P for its role in the crisis — and only after S&P downgraded US debt. The Godfather didn’t have a capo as willing as Eric Holder to the dirty work.

        • jimino

          Do you have proof of any quid pro quo?

          • StilllHere

            Ha, are you kidding? Can we ask you the same every time you post?

          • jimino

            I just cut and pasted exactly what you ask every time someone comments on the corrupting influence of money in political decision making. Now you’re saying that asking it is not legitimate?

      • OnPointComments

        POLL: IT’S LIKE THE SEQUESTER NEVER HAPPENED
        http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2013/10/poll-its-sequester-never-happened/71681/?oref=dropdown

        “A large majority of Americans–nearly three in four–say they have not noticed effects of this year’s across-the-board spending cuts.

        “According to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll [10/7/2013], only 23 percent of respondents have “seen any impact of these cuts” in their communities or on them personally, while 74 percent said they had seen no impact from sequestration.”

    • Shark2007

      You simply have not been paying attention, sequester is causing lots of problems for those willing to pay attention. You could start by looking at cuts to both the NSF and NIH budgets. There are lots of other impacts, but you will not likely notice in your Rush bubble.

      • OnPointComments

        Not everyone agrees that the sequester is causing lots of problems.

        POLL: IT’S LIKE THE SEQUESTER NEVER HAPPENED
        http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2013/10/poll-its-sequester-never-happened/71681/?oref=dropdown

        “A large majority of Americans–nearly three in four–say they have not noticed effects of this year’s across-the-board spending cuts.

        “According to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll [10/7/2013], only 23 percent of respondents have “seen any impact of these cuts” in their communities or on them personally, while 74 percent said they had seen no impact from sequestration.”

        • Shark2007

          Interesting that you are indifferent to 23% seeing impacts. Could it be that 74% are not paying attention? How many even know who the Federal senator is, much less their congress person.

      • StilllHere

        Pathetic as usual from you.
        No systemic issues at all, in huge contrast to what liars like Obama and Lew whined about.

        • Shark2007

          You don’t see funding scientific research as a systematic issue? You don’t see Head Start funding as a systematic issue? Wonders never cease in the Rush bubble.

  • MrStang

    “It’s not just the fact that the deficit scolds [Koch/Petersen Tea virus zombies] have been wrong about everything so far. Recent events have also demonstrated clearly what was already apparent to careful observers: the deficit-scold movement was never really about the deficit. Instead, it was about using deficit fears to shred the social safety net. And letting that happen wouldn’t just be bad policy; it would be a betrayal of the Americans who just re-elected a health-reformer president and voted in some of the most progressive senators ever.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/krugman-hawks-and-hypocrites.html

    • WorriedfortheCountry
      • MrStang

        Unless Niall Fergusson [Koch/Petersen Tea party Virus Zombie with accent] is pontificating on Ayn Rand’s underpants, there is no expertise there. And I’m not interested in Ayn Rand’s underpants.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Just another Ivy League prof. ; that’s all.

          The beauty is Dr. Fergusson exposes Krugman’s words against Krugman.

          • MrStang

            exposes! beauty! wow, must resemble Ayn Rand’s underpants!
            count me out not interested.
            Niall [Koch/Petersen Tea Virus Zombie with accent] is not worth listening to.

          • pete18

            You remind me of the aphorism that applies to lawyers, “If the law is on your side, pound on the law; if the facts are on your side, pound on the facts; if neither is on your side, pound on the table.”

            Updated for liberals it’s:
            “… if neither is on your side, pound the Koch brothers and the Tea Party.”

          • MrStang

            Yeah whatever,as if you teapublican zombies care about facts or The Law… if you want your economic advice from Niall Fergusson and Ayn Rand, and to pick up your checks from the Koch brothers and to wield misspelled signs from Freedomworks fine but please do your country a favor and stay the hell away from the Policy making tables.
            You people are stupid dangerous and wrong.

          • pete18

            It’s a pounding party.

    • OnPointComments

      Please don’t give us Krugman. Even the NYT doesn’t like him.

      “MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough fired off another shot in an ongoing battle with the New York Times’ Paul Krugman.

      “This time, on Thursday, he alleged that an editor at the New York Times had told him — off-the-record — that Krugman’s column is the paper’s recurring “nightmare.”

      “I won’t tell you which public editor it was, but one of the public editors of the New York Times told me off-the-record that after my debate that their biggest nightmare was his column every week,” Scarborough said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

      http://www.businessinsider.com/joe-scarborough-paul-krugmans-column-nyts-biggest-nightmare-2013-10#ixzz2hLNkwaqI

      • MrStang

        Caution! Koch/Petersen virus Zombies discussing economics here.
        Do not listen unless the conversation veers to Ayn Rand’s underpants. On that they are experts.

  • MrStang

    “About the hypocrisy of the hawks: as I said, it has been evident for years. Consider the early-2011 award for “fiscal responsibility” that three of the leading deficit-scold [Koch/Petersen virus zombie] organizations gave to none other than Paul Ryan. Then as now, Mr. Ryan’s alleged plans to reduce the deficit were obvious flimflam, since he was proposing huge tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while refusing to specify how these cuts would be offset. But in the eyes of the deficit scolds, his plan to dismantle Medicare and his savage cuts to Medicaid apparently qualified him as a fiscal icon.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/krugman-hawks-and-hypocrites.html

  • marygrav

    The T-Party mission is to destroy the Federal Government. No amount of compromise will save our Republic as we have known it. The big money behind the T-Party knows how to hire the best propagandist in order to make OUR destruction as a liberal “democracy” just a memory of the Baby Boomers.

    As the caller states, all of the present political shenanigans can be traced historically. There is no mystery of where all the chaos is coming from. It goes back to the 1970s when Regan invited the Neocons into his administration, not just with the Koch brothers.

    To give Representative Steve King, an idiot from “flyover,” airtime to air his nonsense is a waste of space. This is a man from farm country who hates Food Stamps. This is a braying ass that hates Obama and the US Government in general. He sees himself as the voice of conservative Iowa, but was not even able to run for governor because he is such a national embarrassment. The only reason he stays in play is that the same people in the 4th district of Iowa believe that the US budget was busted only because there are so many Blacks on Welfare. This is the same corner of the state that the GOP voted for Rick Santorum. And he still thinks he can win in 2016.

    No amount of back and forth with the President will satisfy the T-Party Wing of the House. In their universe Political Science and the Constitution, as well as the world economy does not exist. This is because they have no knowledge of economics and world politics.

    I hope that one day the world will understand that one hegemon with all the military and economic power is a very bad idea. This breeds a brand of hubris that defies sanity. I see this in what the T-Party has made of the United States in less than 8 years.

    John Boehner is the biggest coward in American political history. He is willing to sacrifice the welfare of the nation in order to save his job. He is a traitor to himself and a traitor to the nation.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      ” No amount of compromise”

      Let’s start with both sides agreeing to a true path to a balanced budget and then we can agree to revisit ‘reasonableness and sanity’ after we are on that path.

    • OnPointComments

      I only know of one person who has publicly stated that his plan is to fundamentally change the country.

    • notafeminista

      Wouldn’t it be nice if the middle section of the country wasn’t there? All those stupid farm people. Maybe you’ll get lucky and France will ask for the return of the Louisiana Purchase.

    • OnPointComments

      “No amount of back and forth with the President…”

      Does the President really want compromise and negotiation to be successful? Bernie Marcus doesn’t think so, or he at least believes that the President is going about it the wrong way.

      Bernie Marcus, founder of Home Depot, on President Obama’s 10/8/2013 speech:

      “The first thing in a negotiation: you don’t vilify your opponent. You don’t demonize your opponent. If you do, the odds of making a deal in good faith, and it’s got to be a compromise by both sides, and both sides have to work on the deal, is it’s not going to work, and any businessman will tell you this is not the way you negotiate. But I think that this president, who has never had any business experience, who really is not prepared for this kind of thing, is really standing on his philosophy of running the business, and I don’t think he’s willing to get in the trenches and really do the kind of things that negotiators do.”

      • anamaria23

        Negotiation under threat is not negotiation. It is a hold-up, in business or anywhere. Mr. Marcus left out a large part of the equation. That is the whole issue here.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          But what you left out is we’ve been living under the reality of NO negotiation until this opportunity for leverage arose.

          • anamaria23

            No negotiation on what?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Obamacare.

          • anamaria23

            Is attempting to repeal the ACA 40 times negotiation?
            How about the negotiations be: changes to the ACA for a JobsAct or gun control legislation. Interesting that the Repubs are not offering anything but harm to the nation
            They are not hurting the President, only the people..
            In this latest crisis the Republicans are calling all the shots. SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT?? refuse to raise THE DEBT CEILING?? What President could agree to that? Would you?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            There are two sides to every coin. For every show vote passed by the GOP I could find you two that were passed by the Dems.

            The shiny objects are used to appeal to the bases of both groups.

            I don’t see the GOP calling the shots here. Not even close.

            Why is Harry Reid shutting down half the government? The house as sent over 14 bills funding every department that doesn’t involve Obamacare. See, there are two sides to every argument.

            The fact remains that the current GOP demands to ‘open’ the government fully are incredibly weak. They only ask for 2 things. 1) Congress live with the same Obamacare rules as everyone else and 2) a one year delay of the individual mandate just like Obama unilaterally gave to corporate America.

            Both of these ‘conditions’ are extremely popular with the people. They don’t stop Obmacare because people will still have a choice to sign up. I would argue that delaying the mandate HELPS the Dems because they will have millions fewer pissed off voters who won’t have to pay the 1% fine before the 2014 election. It is stunning that he doesn’t just take it.

            The bottom line is Obama and Reid love this shutdown because they believe it is hurting the GOP and feel it is there only hope to take back the house in 2014. They are playing politics with the people.

          • anamaria23

            Have you seen the bills sent over? Get rid of Dept of Health and Human Services is one.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not sure about any specific bill. Again, there are bills with poison pills created by both sides. Political games.

            I am referring to the incremental ‘clean’ bills that have been sent to the Senate and Reid dumps in the hopper and the President threatens a veto.

            I have heard a comparison to the GOP taking hostages. If that is the correct analogy then the GOP is offering to release SOME of the hostages and the Dems are refusing to take them. Released hostages are NEVER refused in a hostage negotiation.

        • OnPointComments

          Threat is in the eye of the beholder. For Democrats, “Defund Obamacare” is a threat. For Republicans, “Fund Obamacare or we’ll sink the country” is a threat.

      • Shark2007

        Amazing you don’t see the irony of your statement given the vilification of Obama by the Repugs and the T baggers. Obama has been too late to stand up to this foolishness. One can only hope he doesn’t give in to black mail by the wing nuts who are willing to crash the economy and waste lots of tax payer money with the shut down.

        Every week of shut down delays by a month the launch of NASA/NOAA Earth Observing Systems. Strains of mice used in medical research at NIH are being lost at great financial cost and loss of progress in medical research.

        This says nothing of the cost to both the U.S. economy, U.S. position in the world and the world economy if the U.S. defaults on its debt.

    • William

      The Left has been on it’s “punitive liberalism” campaign for fifty years. The TP is the only sane and honest political opponents to the Left. You can be find fault with them but at least they are trying to reduce the size, scope and spending of the federal government.

  • MrStang

    “And then there’s the matter of the “fiscal cliff.”

    Contrary to the way it’s often portrayed, the looming prospect of spending cuts and tax increases isn’t a fiscal crisis. It is, instead, a political crisis brought on by the [Koch/Petersen virus Tea Zombie] G.O.P.’s attempt to take the economy hostage. And just to be clear, the danger for next year is not that the deficit will be too large but that it will be too small, and hence plunge America back into recession.”

    Krugman

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/krugman-hawks-and-hypocrites.html

  • MrStang

    “the truth is that deficits are actually a good thing when the economy is deeply depressed, so deficit reduction should wait until the economy is stronger. As John Maynard Keynes said three-quarters of a century ago, “The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity.” But since the deficit scolds have in fact been demanding that we make deficits the priority even when the economy is depressed, they can’t go there.

    So what we get instead, for example in a white paper on the fiscal cliff from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, is a garbled set of complaints: The adjustment is too fast (why?), or it’s the wrong kind of deficit reduction, for reasons not made clear. Or maybe they are made clear, after all. For even as it rails against deficits, the white paper argues against raising tax rates and even suggests cutting them.”

    Krugman

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/krugman-hawks-and-hypocrites.html

    • Markus6

      I hear so much simplistic thinking on this that I sometimes lose it a bit.

      Doesn’t the magnitude matter? What if we had a 20 trillion debt? What if it was 30 trillion? There’s certainly some number that would be too high for even people on this forum. So, the cute little rule of thumb that deficits are good when the economy is depressed, isn’t always true, is it? Maybe that should be thrown out and replaced with a discussion on how much is the right amount.

      • MrStang

        Sounds like you’re trying to make it simplistic. Keynes’ “cute little” rule isn’t always true if we use your logic of “some number” being too high. The erroneous Reinhart/Rogoff paper was used by the Koch/Petersen Tea Virus Zombies to justify austerity measures during an economic downturn.

        “EU commissioner Olli Rehn and influential US Republican politician Paul Ryan have both quoted a 90% debt-to-GDP limit to support their austerity strategies.”

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22223190

        Of course there is “some number” but its always a function of the overall size of the economy and the economic conditions in which the deficit exists. The policies recommended to address it should be based on something more sound than the wet dreams of a tribe of wildeyed Ayn Randbots deployed by greedy billionaires.

        • lobstahbisque

          Nice!

          • lobstahbisque

            “The policies recommended to address it should be based on something more sound than the wet dreams of a tribe of wlldeyed Ayn Randbots.”
            Wow!
            Vote THIS DOWN… And choke on it. Make my day.

  • MrStang

    “So the [Koch/Peterson virus Zombie] deficit scolds, while posing as the nation’s noble fiscal defenders, have in practice shown themselves both hypocritical and incoherent. They don’t deserve to have a central role in policy discussion; they really don’t even deserve a seat at the table.”

    “…Look, we should be having a serious discussion about America’s fiscal future. But a serious discussion is exactly what we haven’t been having these past couple years — because the discourse was hijacked by the [Koch/Petersen Teapublican Virus Zombies] wrong people, with the wrong agenda. Let’s show them the door.”

    Krugman

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/krugman-hawks-and-hypocrites.html

  • Lucyann Eyre

    Has anyone asked the House Republicans why they would not set up a committee to discuss the budget after the Senate passed their version months ago? 19 times they rejected this. Isn’t this an important question?

    • jimino

      The plan to refuse to go to committee and run the clock out to October was planned well in advance by those who really run the show and the Republican Congress critters did their performing seal routine and did what they were told to do.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-federal-budget-crisis-months-in-the-planning.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      • anamaria23

        It does seem that refusal to accept the budget that they themselves demanded was a lead-up to this
        staged crisis.
        They started out demanding a defunding of the ACA or no CR. The President refused to negotiate on these terms. Now they have backed off that and who knows what they want. The President will negotiate but not defund the ACA nor will he negotiate as a price to pay for a CR. He wants to do it the old fashioned way, through legislating.

        Last crisis, the Speaker declared that he got 98% of what he wanted and was emboldened.
        No mature person negotiates under threat nor should one, otherwise it is a hold-up, without a true outcome.

  • fun bobby

    someone needs to send Obama a copy of getting to yes

    • Fredlinskip

      Is ignorance bliss?

      • fun bobby

        I don’t really understand your comment.have you read getting to yes? it would better if each person involved in the negotiation read the book

        • Fredlinskip

          R you saying said getting to yes is a publication of some sort?

  • tbphkm33

    Federalist #58: “[I]n all legislative assemblies the greater the number composing them may be, the fewer will be the men who will in fact direct their proceedings. In the first place, the more multitudinous a representative assembly may be rendered, the more it will partake of the infirmities incident to collective meetings of the people. Ignorance will be the dupe of cunning, and passion the slave of sophistry and declamation. The people can never err more than in supposing that by multiplying their representatives beyond a certain limit, they strengthen the barrier against the government of a few. . . The countenance of the government may become more democratic, but the soul that animates it will be more oligarchic. The machine will be enlarged, but the fewer, and often the more secret, will be the springs by which its motions are directed. As connected with the objection against the number of representatives, may properly be here noticed, that which has been suggested against the number made competent for legislative business. It has been said that more than a majority ought to have been required for a quorum; and in particular cases, if not in all, more than a majority of a quorum for a decision. That some advantages might have resulted from such a precaution, cannot be denied. It might have been an additional shield to some particular interests, and another obstacle generally to hasty and partial measures. But these considerations are outweighed by the inconveniences in the opposite scale.

    In all cases where justice or the general good might require new laws to be passed, or active measures to be pursued, the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed. It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority. Were the defensive privilege limited to particular cases, an interested minority might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal, or, in particular emergencies, to extort unreasonable indulgences.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Interesting that you quote Federalist #58.

      “In fact, the drafters of the Constitution argued that granting this power to the House of Representatives would continue to protect the people even if the Senate, the President and the Supreme Court all turned against them. By declaring that “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives,” our founders gave us a sure line of defense against the corruption of our leaders.

      James Madison recognized the strength of this defense in The Federalist Papers. He wrote that if the Senate were ever to pass corrupt legislation, then:

      “The House of Representatives can not only refuse, butt hey alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of Government. They, in a word, hold the purse; that powerful instrument by which we behold, in
      the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the People gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the Government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon, with which any Constitution can arm the immediate Representatives of the People, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.””

      http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/current-events/should-congress-defund-obamacare

  • OnPointComments

    The deadline for the individual mandate should be extended. The problem:

    THE OBAMACARE WEBSITE – THE BIGGEST TECH GAGGLE EVER?
    http://siliconangle.com/blog/2013/10/10/the-obamacare-website-the-biggest-tech-gaggle-ever/

    “… it is undeniable that this launch has been an incredible technical failure. Straight up – an absolute failure.

    “This is really playing out as a clinic in how not to launch a major website project, failing in every respect across the board, from planning, to the communications, to testing and everything in between…The contractors behind the exchange were CGI Federal, who built the site, Quality Software Systems Inc. (CSSI) – a Canadian company that built the information hub, and Booz Allen who is responsible for enrollment and eligibility technical support. Somewhere in that soup of contractors, they built a site that – /wait for it/ – was built for 50,000 to 60,000 concurrent users at a total cost (so far) of $634 million. Feel free to replay that ratio. $634,000,000/50,000. [That works out to $12,680 per user]. Here’s another ratio to ponder – 50,000 users in 50 states.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is about as ugly any kind of site deployment gets. They had three and a half years to get this right, do better and more testing. They have failed miserably and they are handling it miserably.”

    • OnPointComments

      This explains part of the problem:

      Canadian officials fired IT firm behind troubled Obamacare website
      http://washingtonexaminer.com/canadian-officials-fired-it-firm-behind-troubled-obamacare-website/article/2537101

      “Canadian provincial health officials last year fired the parent company of CGI Federal, the prime contractor for the problem-plagued Obamacare health exchange websites, the Washington Examiner has learned.

      “CGI Federal’s parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was officially terminated in September 2012 by an Ontario government health agency after the firm missed three years of deadlines and failed to deliver the province’s flagship online medical registry.”

    • MrStang

      OMG Obamacare website not perfect! Tea-party zombie concern troll central says Stop people from getting heath insurance stat!

      • OnPointComments

        $634 million dollars, three years, and the contractor “failed miserably” with “an incredible technical failure.” It’s not a “glitch” that someone in a call center can help fix.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    This website seems to be getting slower.

    • OnPointComments

      Maybe this website was designed by the same contractor that designed the Obamacare website…

    • tbphkm33

      I have noticed that at times also, mainly just that it is getting heavy use.

    • fun bobby

      the NSA is feeling the effects of the shutdown

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    Professors are there any other reasons to advertise “help wanted” besides wanting to hire someone for money?
    If you want to hire someone to help you build a simulator of the US economy then consider hiring me.

  • notafeminista
  • rsm64

    I think the platinum coin idea should be examined further by journalists such as Ashbrook. Consider Section (k) of http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/5112 :

    “(k) The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.”

    So the authority for the Treasury to issue a trillion-dollar coin without the approval of Congress exists.

    Ashbrook and others need to understand that the Fed, and banks in general, create money all the time by expanding both sides of their balance sheet. When the Fed expanded its balance sheet to deal with the 2008 crash, it created an liability of currency, and a corresponding asset of Mortgage Backed Securities and T-bills and other securities. The Fed is in a special position of course because when it creates a currency liability, it can pay it with currency that it creates. So the Fed doesn’t really have a liability because it can always fulfill the promise to pay a banknote with its own banknotes.

    Another article on the platinum coin idea, which I think people should strongly consider: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-white-house-should-bring-back-the-platinum-coin-secretly-2013-9

    People seem to be afraid of creating money out of thin air. However, as Coursera’s “Economics of Money and Banking, Part I” (https://www.coursera.org/course/moneyclass) teaches us, banks do this all the time. Why shouldn’t the government? Lincoln did it with Greenbacks to fund the Civil War without raising taxes or borrowing.

    We need a new Greenback Party (which won lots of seats in 1873)

    • HonestDebate1

      QE 1 through umpteen essentially does that and Yellin was just nominated Fed chief. She says she’ll print ’til the cows come home. These shenanigans are destructive.

  • Fredlinskip

    GOP is intent on setting a precedent that simple majority in House of Reps gets to choose which programs get funded and constitutional process means nothing.

    Maybe they decide next to fund social security and medicare payments only to those who are registered Republicans (THINK OF THE $ THAT WOULD SAVE) and if Dems don’t agree , blow up economy. . (Oops, I better be quiet-they’ll be demanding that next).

    It is totally bazaar to close government and threaten default, unless Dems acquiesce to extortion.

    If Dems acquiesce, governance of this country is changed forever and Constitution, at best, is seriously weakened.

    GOP can joke and pretend that they know what the consequences of a credit default would be as if they know.

    But anyone capable of rational thought, would realize that if President was to go along with such a spit in the face of the constitution and the founding fathers, America would come out of this forever changed- and not for the better.

    That said I fully understand our GOP “leaders” in House of Reps are very much wiser than our founding fathers, and the results of these changes to our Democracy would be in the best interests of our country.

    Or not?

    • OnPointComments

      I’ve been living in that Obama government bazaar, and it hasn’t been a fun experience.

      • Fredlinskip

        We’ve come quite a way from talk of possible Depression and the tanked economy W left us. Let’s manufacture some crisis and see if we can put ourselves back there again.
        Why not?

        • HonestDebate1

          It should have been a blip.

          • jefe68

            Funny, I keep wishing that about you and your comments.

  • Fredlinskip

    .

  • http://belacqui.tumblr.com/ Belacqui

    It’s obvious from looking at how much the Tea Party and their talking heads get their facts wrong, that most of them are not really concerned with the contents of Affordable Care Act. If they bring up specific details about the legislation, one gets the impression that they were not brought up out of concern for those details, but for the sake of enunciating their opposition to “Obamacare,” an ideological term invented by the Republicans, which has now become so markedly removed from its referent.

    While psychological descriptions like ‘crazy,’ ‘crazy-town,’ ‘insane,’ ‘they’re out of their minds,’ etc. are now being used everywhere to denounce and dismiss these Tea Party Republicans and their opinions, maybe it might actually be more productive if we take these words more seriously. Perhaps there really is a psychical core to Republicans’ extreme positioning and demand, one that cannot be explained or resolved by rational debate or negotiations over policy.

    Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a Republican from Indiana, is reported to have said regarding the standoff: “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” This position resembles that of a hysteric who acts out her demands, unable to articulate them in words. The ‘acting out’ of the hysteric is a riddle, one which solicit us to respond with a statement, a statement which always fails to account for hysteria: “no, that’s not what I wanted.”

    Perhaps what we are experiencing really is a symptom of mass-hysteria. This acting out, unfortunately this time, is the threat which forced the government to shutdown, and now pushing the country towards debt-default, putting perhaps the entire world in jeopardy.

  • gslouch

    After hearing about the soldiers killed in Afghanistan and their families having to pay their own way to receive their sons bodies I am totally disgusted with congress, especially the Repubs and the tea baggies. I think they’ve finally earned the title of bottom feeders. Let’s increase the suffering of Americans. What the heck.. As long as we get our way, who cares! The president is not going to defund his signature achievement baggers. Get it through your thick skulls. Why would even think this might happen? Ignorance maybe?
    What teabaggies don’t admit to is the fact that people need government for many things. I’ve worked with seniors for years and for many, SS is their only income. The baggers carry the big government issue way too far to the point of ridiculousness. Stay strong president Obama! Somehow our country will overcome this lunacy!

    • OnPointComments

      If President Obama could make sure they kept his golf course open, he could make sure the families of soldiers killed in action got paid.

      Watch the question and answer session with Jay Carney where he is asked when President Obama knew that the families of soldiers would not be paid. It was a simple question — when did he know — and Carney danced around and never gave an answer.

      I think not paying the families was part of Obama’s Shutdown Theater, and he overplayed his hand. It’s the modus operandi for this administration.

      • anamaria23

        Robert Hale, Pentagon Comptroller speaking to reporters on Sept. 13 announced the military payments that would not be paid including the burial payments.. The Repubs did not address this when shutting down the government..

        • OnPointComments

          Who in authority did Hale tell that the payments were not going to be made, and when did he tell them? Who was the person who made the final decision that the payments would not be made, and when did they make the decision?

          I know it’s been reported that Eric Holder’s DOJ was involved. I’m not surprised.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Duncan Hunter claims he was assured by the Pentagon congressional liaison that it WOULD be covered when he crafted and passed the Pay Our Military Act AFTER the warning by the comptroller on 9/13.

          You are falling for the deception. When did they decide it was no longer valid? What steps did they take to immediately correct? When did they notify Congress?

          Sorry. This smells. You are way too trusting. Jay Carney is stonewalling the press and won’t answer the simple question as to when the President found out about the shortfall.

    • HonestDebate1

      Obama has you right where he wants you.

      • gslouch

        No, the teabags have us all by the cahones and they are squeezing!

    • OnPointComments

      Fisher House is making payments to the relatives of fallen service members that have not paid by the government. If anyone is truly as incensed as I am by the failure of the government to make timely payments to these families, consider making a contribution to Fisher House as I am doing.

      Fisher House
      http://www.fisherhouse.org/

  • Art Toegemann

    Anyone spinning this with macroeconomic rationalizations, i.e., “what default?”, should be painfully reminded the Shutdown has caused real deprivations to real Americans and internationals.
    The government has been far too indulgent with John Boehner and his Tea Party seditious nonsense.

    • fun bobby

      what does “The government has been far too indulgent with John Boehner and his Tea Party seditious nonsense” mean?

  • HonestDebate1

    I love the guy (I don’t know his name) who saw the trash cans over-flowing on the National Mall and emptied them. He came back with his lawn mower, a rake and a leaf blower and went to work. That’s America.

    • fun bobby

      it is exactly what I predicted. I guess some county in the southwest is going to jump the barriers and open up the national parks out there.

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s interesting. States are stepping up too.

        I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of dollars we pay to do what one old hippie, who knows how to work (lost art), did just because he honors the veterans.

        • fun bobby

          perhaps they should stay closed until they can come up with a balanced budget. take you time Washington boys and girls we will make it so we can look at rushmore when we drive by. don’t take too much time we might find out we don’t really need you for a lot of things

  • Because I Think

    Tom,

    I would really like you or one of your guests to explain why the federal government cannot keep paying interest, reduce spending, and not borrow more money. WHY can no discussion about spending less money happen right now? WHY is six weeks not enough time to suggest spending cuts? WHY, when the federal government has engaged itself in more activities then it can afford to fund, should it not consider not funding something most tax paying Americans do not want it involved in anyway? WHY will next year be a better time to talk about the morality of one generation of Americans enslaving another with their debt?

    Really, I would like to hear some explanations.

    • Vic Volpe

      For explanations, see the more than 500 comments on this post.

      • Because I Think

        So I saw some very confident responses to the first question and no responses to the last. I wonder why that was?

    • StilllHere

      Great questions; never asked or answered.

      • jefe68

        Stupid is as stupid does.

    • jefe68

      ONe simple answer is the US Treasury is not legally allowed to just go through bills and decide who to pay and who not to pay.

      The legal argument has been made by such scholars as Neil Buchanan of the George Washington University, Michael Dorf of Cornell and Jack Balkin of Yale, among others.

      They make the point that the debt limit is a public law, not a part of the Constitution with higher standing over other public laws. Appropriations are also public laws, as are entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. And of course those who sell goods and services to the federal government, as well as those who bought its bonds, have contractual rights to be paid. Moreover, there is a law called the Prompt Payment Act, which requires the government to pay its obligations when they come due.

      http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/08/when-the-treasury-runs-out-of-cash/?_r=0

      • Because I Think

        The US Treasury can’t, but our elected representatives could.

    • ExcellentNews

      Because you don’t seem to think. Our “business leaders” have outsourced every valuable job in the country to slave-labor dictatorships. Our banksters have fettered 60% of the population in indentured labor. Our “job creators” have mostly created low-wage McJobs or sales stunts selling things on credit. Except for the jobs and income provided by the Government, our economy is a house of cards. Stop government spending and the house collapses. And the oligarchy is perfectly happy with that state.

      • Because I Think

        Oh but I do, and I think we lack good government. So why do you think that is? What do you think of what Noah Webster’s opinion?
        “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”

        • ExcellentNews

          Well, here I agree with you. “People get the government they deserve” is one of my favorites. For the last 20 years, we have been governed from behind by the global oligarchy, and not by some “socialist-crazy-spending big government” Fox News touts. To begin with, most of the 17 trillion in debt came from Republican administrations. But that’s not what matters.
          Let me ask you – WHERE ARE these 17 trillion? In the mattresses of welfare mothers? In the savings accounts of unionized teachers and workers? No – virtually any dollar spend by government (including welfare) goes into one of the handful of giant banking, insurance, healthcare, retail corporations. Once there, it does not go to decent salaries for the few remaining workers. It goes to executives, big owners, and bankers. Are you still waiting for it to “trickle down”? Here is another trillion-dollar figure for you to ponder – since 2000, over 25 TRILLION have been stashed in offshore accounts by the gilded few.
          So why do we have this sudden uproar about government debt? Because the people in 2008 and 2012 elected a President who actually wants to DO SOMETHING about it that will benefit the majority. And the solution is simple – most of the debt money will come back in the form of inheritance taxes and unearned income taxes (which Bush repealed first thing in the office while the 9/11 bombers were taking flying lessons). THIS is the reason why billionaires like Rupert Murdoch are funding a media war against the President.
          The media war is premised on a single fallacious argument for the masses – if you give me a tax cut, all will be well again. LOL. 15,000,000 high-wage jobs were bled from the US during 2000-2008. McJobs and predatory lending gave the illusion of prosperity and hid the gutting of the middle class by the very same people who peddle the “overtaxed job creators” bulls#it.
          The President has the right ideas. We had to spend to avoid a total collapse after 2008. Spending must be reined in areas that are not sustainable (Medicare). And revenues must increase, coming primarily from those who got rich feeding on the public and private troughs at the expense of working people. The ideas are right but hard to implement, because a significant fraction of voters is swayed by the “patriotic” propaganda of the Murdochs, Adelsons, Koch Bros…etc.

  • 1standlastword

    Tea Party politicians are fueling too much rage. Be afraid!!! Not of me…but of everybody and everything!

  • sickofthechit

    As my friend Alma Castillo, from Chile used to proclaim, “IDIOTS!” charles a. bowsher

  • ExcellentNews

    Just the inheritance tax on the 25 TRILLION stashed in offshore accounts by our “job creators” since 2000 will pay the ENTIRE federal debt and then some more. Now you know why the oligarchy is desperate to destroy Obama and has manufactured nuts like Ted Cruz and the Tea Party.

  • Because I Think

    So the reason we can’t cut spending is because nobody wants to. Sounds like my children. By the way, where did I suggest cutting all government spending and going “cold turkey.”

    • steevmoor

      If by “no one wants to” you mean no one wants to lose their income in their old age because they planned on Social Security and Medicare, yes, no one wants to. You may find that to be childish. I find it to be reasonable. If you’ve been told something will be there, and you planned your retirement around it, then that promise is just as much a financial obligation in the market’s eyes as paying back an actual loan. It’s kind of like the way that refusing to pay your cell phone bill will trash your credit score even if your cell bill is not a loan you have to pay back. It is a rather harsh mathematical fact that there is no way to cut the deficit dramatically in the short term without either thrashing our credit score (which would trash the economy) or raising new moneys through more federal taxes. Sorry to bear bad news.

  • Because I Think

    “these things take time” That’s often what people who can’t or don’t want to make a decision say. If your representative lacks the character to do what is best for the country over what is best for him personally, you can give him all the time in the world and he will not do it.

  • ExcellentNews

    Social Security does not really have a major problem – except for it being raided by the Government to pay for wars in Gadzikistan, or for tobacco and oil corporation subsidies. Medicare is a BIG problem. There is a huge corporate machine made of administrators and salesmen feeding on healthcare spending. The only way to solve it is to RATION healthcare and engage in prevention. And maybe tax some of the profits made by high-fructose corn syrup billionaires…

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