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Debt Limit, Continuing Resolutions And DC Dealmaking

The push for a deal on debt, debt-ceiling, default, shutdown. We’ll parse the state of play with top reporters.

From left, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., look to photographers as they meet in the Oval Office of the White House, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Washington. (AP)

From left, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., look to photographers as they meet in the Oval Office of the White House, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Washington. (AP)

In three days, the U.S. government will not have enough money to pay its bills.   First time in the nation’s history.  Democrats and Republicans are talking.  Both sides say they are trying. Really, really trying.  But so far, no deal.  Patience is waning. The American people are fed up.  A new poll shows 60 percent want to fire all the politicians. Time to clear the decks. The world’s watching, too.  The International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde warns American lawmakers they risk tipping the world into global recession. Up next On Point:  the clock ticks toward default.

– Jane Clayson

Guests

Charles Babington, Covers Politics and Congress for the Associated Press. (@CBabington)

Susan Davis, Congressional Correspondent for USA Today. (@DaviSusan)

Michael Hirsh, Chief Correspondent for National Journal. (@MichaelPHirsh)

From The Reading List

USA Today: Senate takes control of budget, shutdown talks — “Senate Democratic leaders met Saturday afternoon at the White House with President Obama to plot strategy going forward. After the 75-minute meeting, neither the president nor the senators had any comment. The momentum shifted to the Senate as it became increasingly clear that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was unable to strike a deal with Obama on his own. Following a closed-door House GOP meeting Saturday morning, lawmakers acknowledged a diminished role to resolve the impasse.”

AP: Reid: Soft-spoken, combative Obama partner vs. GOP — “Harry Reid, the soft-spoken but pugilistic Senate majority leader, didn’t wait for White House officials to declare their view of high-stakes talks over the government shutdown and debt. Standing just outside the West Wing, the 73-year-old Nevadan gave reporters his assessment of a key House Republican offer last week: ‘Not going to happen.’ That blunt defiance caught administration officials off guard and contrasted with their vague statements later about the GOP’s bid to extend the nation’s borrowing powers for six weeks without fully reopening the government.”

National Journal: Who, Exactly, Just Blinked in the Debt-Ceiling Showdown? – “If you’re wondering who just blinked first in the tense back-and-forth between Democrats and Republicans over the government shutdown and debt-ceiling deadline, the answer is: It’s a photo finish. In fact, both Speaker John Boehner and President Obama are blinking—that is, giving up ground—at nearly the same time. Picking up on hints from Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday that the president was open to a short-term debt-ceiling increase, Boehner and the House Republican leadership obliged him. On Thursday morning, they came out of a meeting to announce they’d support “clean” legislation of the sort Obama wanted to raise the debt limit—but only for the next six weeks. Then, during that period, Boehner and his team said, the president needs to sit down and talk about concrete spending cuts and other issues.”

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  • Mike_Card

    These petulant children should have their ears boxed and be sent to bed with no supper.

    • jefe68

      Without supper and gym privileges.

      • TFRX

        Yes to “without supper”. No to “no gym privileges”.

        I’m shooting from the hip here, but how about “no supper and mandatory workouts”.

        Let them get a blood sugar crash. Let that gnawing hunger hit them in thepit of their stomachs like it does poor people–especially the Meals on Wheels-receiving veterans, and the TANF children.

        We’re always hearing from certain people that being poor is a free ride in this country. Let’s let their stomachs try it for a week.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      And no cell phone priviledges!

    • MrNutso

      And banned from DC memorials.

      • TFRX

        No, they can do all that they wish. Just no veterans exploited as poster-children and no cameras.

        (That will change the action of one side only.)

    • hennorama

      Mike_Card — just cut off their food (read: money) supply, and turn off their microphones and cameras.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    A parody of powers using parity and powers ?

    In the philosophy of mathematics there is a whimsical theorem called, “The Frivolous Theorem of Arithmetic”, stated by ( I believe), Peter Steinbach in 1990. It says that the number of numbers that are accessible to our finite human minds is small in relation to the actual number of Natural numbers, (numbers 0,1,2,3,4,5,…to infinity). Because this is so, we suffer in our ability to understand the totality of numbers and their relationship(s) to us and the Universe. On last Friday’s “Week in the news”, I offered an observation about a mathematical relationship involving even and odd numbers to the powers of the number of pairs in a constructed relationship. I hope that someone will pick up on this concept and realize that it may provide a tool that will open the door to new possibilities in our ability to deal with large numbers.

    In General:

    Sum = (2^s + 4^ s+ 6^s + …) – ( 1+ 3^s + 5^s …)

    Sum is divisible by the number of pairs , without remainder for s = to the number of pairs, given that there are an equal number of even and odd pairs.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    When one seeks to do the undoable and know the unknowable, they must undo what they have done to their knowing and know what they must do.

     

    Ambiguity the power of generalization, and problem solving?

    The Theorem of Thales, circa, 600BC, tells us that if you draw the diameter to a circle and connect the endpoints, A and B to a point C on the circumference, then the resulting triangle ACB is always a right triangle. Looking at Figure 1, one sees that the “angle” formed by AB is 180 degrees. The “Inscribed Angle Theorem”, says that if you take two points, A and B on a circle’s circumference, and join each to the center of the circle at “O” the angle created is double that which you find at by joining the points A and B to a third point, “C” on the circumference (Figure 2) !

    Does one discovery guarantee the discovery of the “other”. If not, why not ?

    “Do not try to bend the spoon…”

    http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AvYapO5nqckw_g8A8ZCo9uibvZx4?fr=yfp-t-161-s&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&p=it's%20not%20the%20spoon%20that%20bends%20matrix%20movie

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    At what point does the federal debt become unsustainable? And what do we do then?

    • Shag_Wevera

      Punish those who can’t defend themseles, of course.

    • Bluejay2fly

      I think the real issue is how are we using the debt. If we borrow to build an infrastructure and factories that is reasonable ,but if we are borrowing to wage war or give the money away in the form of welfare that is not so good.

    • jefe68

      You are aware that it’s gone down, right?
      That the shutdown has caused it to tac up, right?
      You are aware that if the US defaults on it’s debt that would be a huge financial crisis, right?

      • HonestDebate1

        The debt has not gone down, ever. Are you talking about deficits?

        Obama quadrupled the deficit first and now he’s claiming he has made things better by lowering it. It’s insane. Look at the deficit to GDP ratio. This is fiscal abuse.

        • Ray in VT

          Obama did not quadruple the deficit.

          • jefe68

            You’re not going to convince the right wingers here on anything about the debt or deficit. Most of them do not understand how the US Treasury works in regards to the debt obligations and the Prompt Payment Act. That the US is obligated by law to pay all it’s financial obligations everyday. That the Treasury can’t just pick and choose who or what to pay.

            The US government is not a business nor a household. But alas, the people posting against the government seem to think it is or should be. Which is also pointing to a real lack of understanding how our government or any government for that matter works.

          • HonestDebate1

            My bad, he only tripled it. Thanks for the correction. However, my point still shines.

          • Ray in VT

            It shines? Why, have you managed to find a way to polish your turds? Last I checked the deficit started ballooning during the onset of the financial crisis and the recession, which preceded Obama’s taking office by months, unless your magic calendar is as good as your magic dictionary.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — As another poster pointed out recently, the Mythbusters found a way:

            Polishing a Turd MiniMyth

            http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/polishing-a-turd-minimyth.htm

          • Ray in VT

            I do recall that. However, having grown up on a dairy farm, my experience with dung is pretty extensive, but we never actually saw any use in trying to polish it, as that did not affect the value of it as a fertilizer.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — I dunno … once dried, cow manure might be polishable. The biggest problem would be the undigested cellulosic fibers from hay and forage, and the occasional corn kernel.

            The MB guys wanted to test carnivore vs. herbivore, so they used ostrich and lion dungs. The ostrich dung was less glossy, but both were successfully polished.

            Ah … science.

          • Ray in VT

            That really is a great show. My wife and our boys were on a Mythbusters binge for a while, and the kids really enjoyed some of the experiments. I like the stuff that blows up personally.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m just going by the fiscal year tables at OMB. 2009 was not an outlier BTW.

          • Ray in VT

            And when did the 2009 Fiscal Year start? It was sometime after Obama came into office, right?

          • jefe68

            Oh boy, one could have good joke here.

          • John Cedar

            Don’t be fooled into measuring deficits or debt in percentage of GDP. The true measure is in dollars.

            Don’t forget that GDP includes government spending. In theory ( and in practice to some extent in the case of this administration), our GDP could be one giant 12 trillion dollar government expenditure, with no private sector contribution of products or services. whatsoever.

          • Don_B1

            Total BULLPUCKY!

            Just as a millionaire can get a bigger mortgage to buy a bigger house, the size of its economy is the dominant measure of the amount of debt that a country can assume.

            Therefore you have it exactly backwards again.

          • John Cedar

            Just because you can…don’t mean you should…that goes for borrowing and spending.

            Warren Buffet lives in a beautiful home and is a great example that he doesn’t need to spend on a home in proportion to his wealth. The millionaire next door does the same thing.

            Keynes’s would roll over in hell if he knew his name were invoked in the scammulus package. Or in the concept of spending 4 trillion per year with an existing 17 trillion debt and only a 12 trillion GDP. If he delved into what it is being spent on, he would likey become a full time Austrian pupil and advocate.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t know, I find looking at spending, revenue, debt and deficit to GDP all to be useful but I’m not saying any one tells the whole story.

            It’s doesn’t really matter how you measure it. Dollars are cool (real and current), maybe per capita. There isn’t a way to make it look good.

          • John Cedar

            I didn’t mean to say its not useful to look at those numbers. But the spendthrift advocates love to use percent GDP and ignore real dollars because then they think they look less ridiculous. Yes per capita would be a great metric!

          • Don_B1

            It shines like the top level of a septic tank!

        • jefe68

          No, the debt.

          For the first time since 2007 – before the recession – the US Treasury is planning to make a down payment on the federal debt. The budget deficit has been shrinking more than expected. Thanks to government spending cuts, and higher tax receipts The Treasury says it expects to pay off $35 billion of debt in the second quarter. That compares to an earlier forecast that it would have to borrow $103 billion. Usually this time of year is the best for government cash flow because annual tax returns flood into the Treasury in April. But the return to at least one quarter of debt paydown is a clear sign government spending cuts and tax increases have helped lower the deficit.

          http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/04/us-pays-down-national-debt/

          • HonestDebate1

            Perfect! If that happened (all reports I find just said it was the intention to pay) then it only happened because we did not have to borrow. See there? What’s the matter with not borrowing? Why can’t we do that now?

            But think about it, if there is a deficit then the debt is growing. There is a deficit. Putting a pittance back is insignificant.

          • jefe68

            The US has always had a deficit.
            All governments have them.
            The issues is managing them.
            Not starting expensive wars is one good way to be fiscally prudent.

            You seem to not want this to happen.
            I guess it flies in the face of the narrative you have invested in.

            Again, you seem to think the US is a household. It’s not. Nor is it a business.

          • Don_B1

            Just like catching you in a misstatement is insignificant?

            I guess it is because you make so many of them.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 – Total Public Debt Outstanding has declined from a peak of $16,828,845,497,183.90 on April 30, 2013 to the most recent figure available — $16,747,421,858,503.24 — from October 10, 2013.

            That’s a reduction of more than $81.4 Billion ($81,423,638,680.66).

            So much for the absolute lie that “The debt has not gone down, ever.”

            Source:
            http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current

          • Ray in VT

            Come on Hennorama, we all know that he never lies. Things like definitions and facts can be easily changed in order to make it so.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Hahahahahahaha.

            The debt went down $81.4B while we were spending at a rate that causes an annual deficit of $780B?

            If you want to trumpet accounting tricks for a ‘gotcha’ go right ahead. You are missing the ‘big picture’. The debt is still increasing.

          • hennorama

            WftC – Thank you for your response.

            If you wish to characterize simple arithmetic as “accounting tricks,” please feel free to do so. Soory if facts are inconvenient to your argument.

            In addition, your inforamtion is inaccurate. You’re close, but incorrect. Unfortunately, since there is a Federal shutdown, the CBO’s Monthly Budget Review for September 2013 was not published, so we have to use the August report’s figures, published on September 9, 2013:

            Per the CBO’s Monthly Budget Review for August 2013:

            Preliminary Fiscal Year 2013 (which ended Sept. 30, 2013) data:

            Revenue $2.472 Trillion
            Spending $3.225 T
            Deficit – $0.753 T

            The figures above are in current dollars, and are not inflation-adjusted. When converted to Constant (FY 2005) Dollars (using a Composite Deflator of 1.194), the figures would be:

            Revenue $2.070 Trillion
            Spending $2.701 T
            Deficit – $0.631 T

            See:
            http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44552

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Thanks for the precision.

            We still have that forest and tree thingy….

            But there is that curious fact that the treasury didn’t increase the debt for 5 months while the government is deficit spending. You don’t consider that an accounting trick? What would you call it? Do you have an explanation?

          • hennorama

            WftC — You’re welcome, as always, and thank you again for your response.

            The Treasury Dept. has been using extraordinary measures at various times over the last two-plus years to deal with these issues. The actual debt ceiling differs from the Total Public Debt Outstanding, for a variety of reasons. More on that below.

            One supposes that you might describe the extraordinary measures as “an accounting trick,” but no trickery is involved. It’s merely responsible cash management that occurs with some frequency as the debt ceiling limitations come into play.

            Anyone interested can easily find various discussions of these extraordinary measures, as well as a history of their use.

            Here are a few blurbs from the Treasury Dept.:

            “What’s the difference between the Public Debt Outstanding and the Public Debt Subject to Limit?

            “The Public Debt Outstanding represents the face amount or principal amount of marketable and non-marketable securities currently outstanding. The Public Debt Subject to Limit is the maximum amount of money the Government is allowed to borrow without receiving additional authority from Congress. Furthermore, the Public Debt Subject to Limit is the Public Debt Outstanding adjusted for Unamortized Discount on Treasury Bills and Zero Coupon Treasury Bonds, Miscellaneous debt (very old debt), Debt held by the Federal Financing Bank and Guaranteed Debt.”

            See:
            http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/resources/faq/faq_publicdebt.htm#DebtMakeup

            And here’s a bit about the limit and extraordinary measures:

            “What Is The Current Debt Limit?

            “The debt ceiling at the beginning of 2013 was $16.394 trillion. The No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-3) suspended the debt ceiling from February 4, 2013, through May 18, 2013. The act also specified that the amount of borrowing in that period should be added to the previous debt limit. As a result, on May 19, the limit was reset to reflect cumulative borrowing through May 18; it now stands at $16.699 trillion.

            “Because the No Budget, No Pay Act did not provide additional borrowing authority above the amount of debt that had already been issued as of May 18, the Treasury has had no room to borrow under its standard operating procedures. To avoid breaching the limit, the Treasury has turned to the extraordinary measures that allow continued borrowing for a limited period.”

            See:
            http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44608

            Other sources:
            http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/09/5-facts-about-the-national-debt-what-you-should-know/
            http://crfb.org/blogs/debt-ceiling-watch-2013
            http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-203
            http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/treasurys-extraordinary-measures-are-not-so-extraordinary/238278/

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I did find this CBO explanation of the ‘extraordinary measures’. Yes, it is temporary accounting ‘tricks’. All legal.

            http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44324

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – again, you may want to use more up-to-date info, such as “Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, September 2013,” published on September 25, 2013, and to which I linked in the post to which you replied.

            See:
            http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44608

            All of those ‘extraordinary measures’ are normal cash management techniques under the circumstances, and mostly amount to delaying payments and accelerating revenue. These are not “tricks” and have been used repeatedly in the past. The only thing that’s even remotely “tricky” is

            “Replace Treasury securities subject to the debt limit with debt issued by the Federal Financing Bank, which is not subject to the limit (up to $9 billion).”

            For some history of the effects of delaying the inevitable raising of the debt limit, see the following GAO analysis from July 2012:

            http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592832.pdf (DEBT LIMIT Analysis of 2011-2012 Actions Taken and Effect of Delayed Increase on Borrowing Costs)

            An excerpt:

            “Delays in raising the debt limit can create uncertainty in the Treasury market and
            lead to higher Treasury borrowing costs. GAO estimated that delays in raising
            the debt limit in 2011 led to an increase in Treasury’s borrowing costs of about
            $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. However, this does not account for the multiyear
            effects on increased costs for Treasury securities that will remain outstanding
            after fiscal year 2011. Further, according to Treasury officials, the increased
            focus on debt limit-related operations as such delays occurred required more
            time and Treasury resources and diverted Treasury’s staff away from other
            important cash and debt management responsibilities. “

            It also does not account for the associated worldwide economic costs of this self-inflicted uncertainty.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “extraordinary measures” are now ‘normal’.
            Hmmm.
            Will these accounts be replenished once the debt limit is raised? If so, the term ‘temporary accounting trick’ is warranted.

            Maybe we should move to a balanced budget more quickly so we can avoid these unnecessary costs and distractions.

          • hennorama

            DISQUS hiccup.

          • hennorama

            echo DISQUS echo …

          • hennorama

            third DISQUS echo’s the charm …

          • hennorama

            WftC – I wrote “All of those ‘extraordinary measures’ are normal cash management techniques under the circumstances” and not merely “normal.”

            Entities facing cash crunches do what they can to pay their bills and to protect their credit rating and reputation. This is true for individuals, businesses, and governments. The Treasury’s cash management tactics have arisen not from their actions but from the actions and inaction of others.

            Unfortunately, this nonsensical, self-inflicted stress has indeed become “the new normal” to an extent. Eliminating the debt ceiling would go a long way to reducing these silly games of chicken.

            As was recently pointed out by Senator Ton Colburn, 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. But 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.

            Let’s do away with the damned thing, once and for all. Short of that, let’s call it what it is – Normal Borrowing Authority.

            As to a balanced Federal budget, that’s a worthy goal, but not at the expense of the current economic recovery.

            The U.S. has historically operated at a deficit, averaging just under 3% (2.96 percent) of GDP from Fiscal Year 1940 through FY 2008.

            Then we had the Great Recession, which had both huge instantaneous impacts and significant lingering aftereffects. The lower Revenue and higher Spending over the last 5 years have been so large that they changed the prior 68 year average Deficit by more than 11%, from 2.96 to 3.26 percent of GDP:

            PERIOD Revenues Spending Surplus or Deficit (-)

            1940-2008 17.44 20.40 -2.96
            1940-2012 17.33 20.61 -3.29

            The Great Recession had a huge impact.

            The fiscal conundrum deal from the beginning of 2013 raises Federal Revenue to about 16.7% of GDP for FY 2013, which is still well below historical averages. Various actions, including sequestration, have reduced FY 2013 Spending to about 22.7% of GDP.

            After FY 2013, Deficits as a percentage of GDP are Estimated to decline even further, to below the historical averages:

            FY 2014 Deficit (-) -4.4
            FY 2015 Deficit (-) -3.2
            FY 2016 Deficit (-) -2.8
            FY 2017 Deficit (-) -2.4
            FY 2018 Deficit (-) -2.3

            For perspective, the following uses historical data from the OMB, and is presented by decade, in order to eliminate political discussion due to changes in Presidential administrations. All figures are percentages of GDP:

            PERIOD Revenues Spending Surplus or Deficit (-)

            1940-1949 14.40 24.07 -9.67
            1950-1959 17.19 17.59 -0.40
            1960-1969 17.86 18.64 -0.78
            1970-1979 17.91 20.08 -2.17
            1980-1989 18.28 22.21 -3.93
            1990-1999 18.49 20.66 -2.17
            2001-2009 17.67 20.04 -2.37
            2010-2012 15.43 24.17 -8.73

            Finally, if one had to choose a single area to focus on (aside from Job #1 – jobs, jobs, and more jobs), it would be Medicare.

            Since Medicare came into existence, Federal Spending has averaged a bit under 21% (20.89%) of GDP, from 1967 thru 2012. Federal Revenues during this same period have averaged just under 18% of GDP (17.94%). So on average, we’ve had deficits amounting to about 3% of GDP for 45 YEARS! This did not happen overnight, and will not change overnight.

            Most of the increase in deficit spending can be attributed to Medicare, and to a lesser extent Medicaid. The problems stems in large part from the fact that only Medicare Part A is nearly self-funding, but Parts B and D are only about 30% self-funded, and must get over 70% of their funding from general Federal Revenues.

            See:
            http://kff.org/medicare/fact-sheet/medicare-spending-and-financing-fact-sheet/ (Medicare Spending and Financing Fact Sheet)
            http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/12/11/Thornton.pdf (The U.S. Deficit/Debt Problem: A Longer-Run Perspective)

            Excerpt from the St. Louis Fed research article linked to above:

            “…most of the increase in spending that generated the persistent deficit over the 38 years before the financial crisis was spending for Medicare and Medicaid, particularly Medicare. Indeed, spending for Medicaid and Medicare increased from about 18 percent of mandatory spending in 1979 to 31 percent in 2011. During the same period, Social Security payments declined from 46 percent to 36 percent of mandatory spending despite the fact that mandatory spending increased significantly as a percent of total spending. Spending for income security increased from 14.5 percent to 20 percent; however, most of this increase was a consequence of the financial crisis and subsequent recession.”

          • William

            Does this cover the 80 billion a month the fed dumps into the stock market?

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Rhienhart and Rogoff made serious math errors in their calculations that the right use to justify their position on austerity at all costs. In fact, confronted by the downward spiral of European economies under austerity, the IMF and World bank have admitted that maybe they were wrong and urged easing in austerity.
      Thus the study cited by the republican right for holding the US economy hostage And creating the very fear and uncertainty that they have blamed upon the left turns out to be bad accounting. Confronted by this paradox, the right refuses to admit that their economic theories are a mythology and they double down on their wreck less brinksmanship creating crisis to get what they want… Imperiling that which they claim to both love and hate at the same time.
      In sorry but this lunacy is unconscionable and the american people will recognize that what this party cares about is not the country, or the people, but their own damn selves and this self-serving gamesmanship this will come back to haunt them.

      http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/…flaws...

      http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/flaws-are-cited-in-a-landmark-study-on-debt-and-growth/?_r=0

      • HonestDebate1

        There is nothing approaching austerity.

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          Austerity in Europe has demonstrated that cutting the government sector shrinks the economy. Whether or not that will lead to a healthier economy remains to be seen, however all indications seem to undermine Republican lazy fairy economic mythologies ;^)

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s your conclusion of a situation that is in no way analogous.

          • jefe68

            How so? Do explain how austerity in Europe is not analogous to the fiscal plan put forward by Paul Ryan during the last election?

          • pete18

            “Austerity” in Europe is similar to “spending cuts” by liberals in the states, spend more money than last year but less than projected and it’s considered a “cut.” There is no austerity taking place in Europe.

            “Not so according to the official
            European statistics. Between the onset of the crisis in 2008 and 2011,
            PIIGS government spending increased by six percent from an already high plateau. Eurostat’s projections (which make the unlikely assumption that
            the PIIGS will honor the fiscal discipline promised their creditors) still show
            the PIIGS spending more in 2014 than at the end of their spending binge in
            2008.”

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2013/05/26/austerity-to-blame-but-wheres-the-austerity/

        • Fredlinskip

          If we had implemented Romney -Ryan austerity back in ’08, most certainly our economy would not have recovered to extent that it has-
          that is if European austerity is any indication.

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The recession ended in June 2009 — prior to the vast bulk of $7T in deficit spending that has occurred during Obama.

          • Ray in VT

            So should we have more or less started heading back towards the black after June of 2009, despite the fact that the second half of that year saw another million job losses? It certainly appears that many negative effects of economic downturns continue well past the period when there is a return of overall economic growth.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            If you are going to implement Keynesian economics then do it efficiently. Don’t flush the money down the toilet. We should be seeing a much greater return on the $7T investment.

            It isn’t surprising since the Dems refused to have a budget to prioritize the spending.

            And the other thing to realize is that $7T debt has real costs. Especially when added to the $10T that was already there. We are digging a very deep hole.

        • John Cedar

          Relativity. If you are spending 185 trillion dollars per second and you cut one dollar of spending, you will look like you are spiraling backwards into austerity from the vantage point of the Krugman disciple type who are standing on a beam of light spending 186 trillion dollars per second.

          You just don’t understand.
          Its too complicated for you.
          it doesn’t work like business.
          There is a multiplier effect
          “unemployment is one of the best economic stimulants”
          “Proof that I know what I’m talking about is that the guys that gave Obama a peace prize gave me a prize for my stupid ideas”

      • hennorama

        MMTCW — Reinhart and Rogoff were just ever so slightly off, BY A MERE 2300 PERCENT.

        Close enough for government work, one supposes.

      • William

        Austerity at all costs from the Republicans? Where? They love to spend just as much as the Democrats….

    • HonestDebate1

      It already is unsustainable and we a vilifying anyone who dares to say so.

      • Don_B1

        You are “vilifying” yourself with your ignorant, deceitful comments which show just how little you understand about economics, macroeconomics in particular.

        The United Kingdom had a debt level during WWII that was over 250% of GDP and the United States debt level peaked at 113% of GDP in 1945 while it is currently at 73%. While this is not an “optimum” level for the debt, there is no indications that this country does not have the ability to pay the interest on that debt now or any time in the future, except if idiots in the Tea Party branch of the Republican Party deliberately decide to just not pay it.

        The radical “conservatives” hope to create a debacle in which it hopes to be able to convince the American public that the social safety net is too expensive for the most wealthy to support even though it will mean a weaker economy overall and a growing inability of the country to maintain its current influence in the world.

    • StilllHere

      You’re going to have ignorant lefties confuse debt and deficit and say everything is fine. It’s too late to argue what debt is for. The debt is growing and the forward looking expenses are rising at an alarming rate. The only thing to do is control expenses now and control expectations regarding future entitlement levels and the size of government.

    • MrNutso

      What do we do? A long term plan that first stabilizes the debt by eliminating the deficit and then reduces the debt by generating sustained surpluses. This will only be accomplished by a combination of reductions in spending and increases in revenue.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Sorry, can’t do this topic anymore. The one certainty is that I won’t like what they come up with, especially if the left ratifies the behavior of the right by compromising.

  • Matt MC

    Why don’t we ever talk about the real underlying problem in all of this, the American people. We have a generally politically disengaged public who is both arrogant and ignorant at the same time, and we’re surprised that maniacs have taken power in Washington? How long could we expect to get away with being a shamefully lazy populous in a governmental framework that RELIES on informed, intelligent, and reasonable citizenry?

    Look at the last few elections. They are the purely knee-jerk reactions of a populous that is zoned out 99% of the time, then when something bad happens they blindly vote for whatever party can stir up the most hatred and bile for the other party.

    How long did we expect to get away with not caring one damn bit about our political system, then expect it to work well for us? Of course there is too much money in politics because WE THE PEOPLE let it happen. Of course we are in endless wars that cost trillions because WE THE PEOPLE never came out in force to stop it. Of course (insert any other dilemma that gets endlessly discussed here) and it comes back to the apathy, arrogance, and ignorance of the American public.

    The chickens… well, you know the rest…

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Hence the Tea Party. If more liberal minded people don’t like them personally, too bad. They were the ones paying attention and getting outraged about both Wars and Debt during the Bush Administration, the meltdown, the bailouts, the Obama administration and the shutdown theatrics (memorials and parks).

      If baby boomers had been as interested in financial responsibility as much as free love and socialistic dreams, we might not be here.

      Governance is more than writing up a wish list and expecting Santa to deliver it, it is actually being financially responsible in managing our self-governance.

      When liberals finally see the whites of arithmetic default’s eyes (not this showdown, but ultimate), and realize chaos of bankruptcy or dollar crash, which will be manipulated for benefit of elite, will be much worse for poor and masses than cuts in growth in spending.

      Then again, we may just get martial law and some fascism/communism hybrid for our own good in that case. Should be fun.

      “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

      -Ben Franklin

      • Matt MC

        Again, a knee-jerk reaction from a population of people cajoled into a frenzy by dumbed-down, small-minded ideas. Government = Bad.

        If Tea Party representatives were really concerned about long-term debt, they would settle for spending cuts AND new revenues.

        If the Tea Party were concerned about paying off our debt they wouldn’t take a course of action that would lead to HIGHER interest rates on the debt we already have.

        If the Tea Party really cared about reforming government, they would come up with ideas to make it more efficient, or support programs (such as food stamps, which have been consistently proven to be more than worth the expense via the “multiplier effect” which is taught in any basic economics course).

        The Tea Party wasn’t around for most of the Bush years and it is not a grassroots organization. It is called astroturf politics.

        Look it up and wake up.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          So… Big Government = Good is a gem of wisdom?

          It is this arrogance of the better-knowing liberals (I’ve been there) that is never going to fly as long as this is a free country.

          LIke it or not. And its clear many of you don’t.

          What did handing over our power to the likes of Summers, Rubin, Wall St., Greenspan, Rumsfield, Geithner etc. get us?

          The notion of a well meaning and smarter “elite”, that we should just trust and hand the keys to, is crazy.

          And while I find it hard to identify personally with many tea partiers, when you say they didn’t rise up during the Bush administration, the Crash and the Bailouts, you are being disingenuous, to be kind, and rewriting history for political gain.

          • Matt MC

            I said MOST of the Bush administration, and you’re the one fabricating history by saying the Tea Party was out there protesting the wars Bush started. What a bunch of b.s.

            And did I say ALL government is GOOD. Some things government does well. Some things it does not. The point is you examine things case by case, not based on your ideology.

          • Matt MC

            And don’t give me your “elitist” liberal crap. Read a book not written by Bill O’Reilly for once. Go read CBO reports instead of the garbage from the CATO institute, which PAYS people to confirm right-wing ideology. It’s called a THINK TANK.

            Look it up.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            The elite is more than liberal. I don’t think you know what the “elite” means.

      • MrNutso

        How come we never heard of the Tea Party until after a Democrat was elected President?

        Liberals were fighting against two wars and massive tax revenue giveaways = welfare for the wealthy.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Because you obviously weren’t paying attention. Or are just a history rewriting political hack.

          Must we re-argue the role of Dem backed Fed officials, academics and Wall Streeters that contributed as much to the bubble as Repub backed ones (many the same)?

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

          The Tea Party is astroturf, bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. The Tea Partiers are being played by big business.

      • Fredlinskip

        If T partiers were concerned about debt and budget why have Cruz & friends blocked budget negotiations for 6 month?
        Was this so they could create even more debt & unemployment through manufactured crisis?
        Great Master plan y’all got there.

        • MrWakiki

          not just the budget, but they block even a ‘clean’ budget… sad, really sad that they jack the jaws, but don’t walk the walk

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

        The Tea Party would be more credible if they were being consistent. They only apply their “standards” to Democrats. Which is explained by the fact that the Tea Party was created by funding from the Koch brothers.

        Tea Partiers are being played, and they are either conveniently ignoring this – or they are idiots.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          It appears you don’t understand the Tea Party movement.

          The Tea Party movement was started at the end of the Bush admin. It was not started by the Kochs. Please explain an example of how they could have been more ‘consistent’.

          • Matt MC

            How about the really simple one. If you default, you pay higher interest on the debt, which means you end up owing more not less. Therefore, if you were concerned about debt, you would not do something to needlessly increase it.

            How about the fact that they wouldn’t accept a three to one (-$3.00 decrease in spending vs. a +$1.00 increase in revenue) to solve long-term debt problems, gradually, persistently, and over the course of a decade. How can you say you want to solve long-term debt problems, but reject the only sane proposal to fix it?

            If you’re so concerned about lobbyists, why support the Citizen’s United decision, which Tea Party supporters back?

            If you’re so concerned about personal responsibility, why not make everyone get health insurance, so there are no free riders on the system?

            If you’re so concerned about personal liberties, why aren’t you making people like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden your heroes?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Straw man argument. No one is suggesting we should default.

            Obama is the one that killed Bowles-Simpson. He showed no leadership. If he had pushed for it it would have passed.

          • Matt MC

            First of all, I made several points. Which particular one is a straw man argument? To say I made a straw man argument, you would have to say that I somehow exaggerated my statement to make a point. I’ve heard several Tea Party Republicans on record either denying the threat of default or saying it wouldn’t matter if we did. Nice try. You can’t just throw out a token “logical fallacy” whenever you feel like not articulating your ideas.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            ” No one is suggesting we should default.”

            I thought I was clear in specifying the straw man.

            Do you have names and the specific quote? What I have heard some say is there is plenty of revenue coming in to cover interest payments and since there is a law stating that interest must be paid first there is no chance of a default unless Obama violates the law. That is different than what you are claiming.

          • Guest

            So we pay our treasury bonds but not Social Security? Not our veteran’s benefits? That’s called DEFAULT! We have an obligation that we’re choosing not to pay. Sweet Jesus, you are dense. That’s called Ad Hominem Abusive.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I never suggested any such thing.

            The House did pass a bill that would indicate the priority of payments IF we ended up exceeding the debt limit. Veteran’s benefits and SS were at the top of the list. Harry Reid did not allow this bill to reach the floor for a vote.

          • Matt MC

            Did you even listen to the program? There are several quotes on the VERY PROGRAM YOU ARE POSTING TO! Also, default means on ANY obligation, you can’t just pay the gas company, then say you’re not defaulting by not paying your cable bill. Likewise, the government can’t not pay Social Security payments, then not say it is not defaulting on it’s debt. Not to even mention that doing so would STILL lead to market instability. NOT to mention that people on Social Security would IMMEDIATELY sue the government because they have no right to preferentially pay their debts. But, you know what, you’re in your own isolated little bubble of information, so you’re not going to listen to reason anyway. So I give up. You can think you’ve won, because that’s all your interested in anyway. Go off and be smug and self-righteous. I’m done with you. I will do nothing but give you thumbs down on every single thing I see and will never reply to your stupid nonsense ever again.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Technically you are incorrect. Default refers to the legal obligation to pay interest on the debt.

          • Matt MC

            Here you go, old ignorant person who is dead to me: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/default?s=t

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            My life is over.

            LOL.

          • Matt MC

            Also, the Tea Party did not support Simpson-Bowles either because it said we needed to add revenue to the equation.

            And, SURPRISE, if you had actually asked me what I thought, I would have agreed that the president should have supported the measure. However, by any standard, the Democratic plan was far closer to Simpson-Bowles than anything the Republicans could dream up, which was basically all cuts and absolutely no revenue.

          • MrWakiki

            I feel for you Matt MC, The trouble discussing issues with teabags is they have decided to not use facts and when you back them into a corner, showing how they are wrong — some how you have used a ‘straw man’

            Example: you ask them why they don’t come at republicans for tax and spending, which if you look at history is the definition of the Reagan and Bush administration.

            Response? either strawman or we were formed at the end of Bush, ironically a response that can only be described as ‘straw’ plus what horses put on top

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Its true, the Tea Party could use a lower dose of social conservatism, and larger of principled libertarianism.

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

            Like hell it was.

            George W. Bush increased the debt and the deficit faster than any president ever (though Reagan is close behind!) and not a peep was heard from the Tea Party. Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders were among the few who did.

            The two wars were unfunded and came under “special” funding. The tax cuts and the unfunded Medicare increased the deficit. And the economic collapse that was brought on by lax oversight and underfunded regulatory departments is the main problem.

            The Koch brothers are also much of the money behind ALEC, and behind the climate change FUD, as well.

            The Tea Party has been played like a cheap violin.

          • PoliticsWatcher

            Change your name to WorriedForTheParty. Be honest.

    • hennorama

      Matt MC – some of the issues you describe could be resolved by removing politics from the drawing of voting districts, and by standardizing voting regulations.

      A Right To Vote Amendment would solve a great deal of the pre-election nonsense from both major parties, but this is a long shot. If we didn’t get it after the 2000 Florida Fiasco, it’s unlikely now.

      There’s a crazy quilt of something like 13,000 different voting districts nationwide, each with its own set of rules. This makes it much easier to make mischief.

      See:
      http://www.fairvote.org/four-reasons-to-support-a-right-to-vote-amendment

      Gerrymandering can be solved, though. Look at California, which has both the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, and a Top 2 primary system. Now 14 people – nearly all non-politicians (currently 5 Dem, 5 Rep, 4 Decline To State) – draw the district boundaries. This is one way to avoid the entrenchment of incumbents and may lead to more moderates being elected, and fewer political extremists.

      The Top 2 primary system, where the top two vote-getters for each office in the primaries then go on to the general election, regardless their party preference. This may result in more moderate candidates, since they will need to appeal to voters of both major parties, as well as independents.

      In sum, there are solutions available. It takes a bit of work to advance them, but there’s some hope. Pres. Obama said in his election victory speech “By the way, we have to fix that,” so there may be movement soon.

      It’s a long shot, but it is possible.

      Other sources:
      http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/faq.html (CA Citizens Redistricting Commission)

      http://myvoteourfuture.org/voter-registration/resources/californias-top-two-primary/#top_2 (CA Top Two Primary system)

      • Matt MC

        A sane person! Thanks for reassuring me that there are reasonable people left in the world.

        • hennorama

          Matt MC — you’re welcome, and backatcha.

  • Fredlinskip

    Not complicated.
    Senate efforts to enter into budget negotiations have been blocked by GOP FOR 6 MONTHS (by Cruz & friends).
    Only after GOP created crisis (need more of those) of closing government and threatening default, do they throw together a “committee” and decide it‘s “time to negotiate”.
    Budget negotiations, if GOP has finally decided this is what this was about, NEVER had to occur under these conditions.
    IF Dems were to accommodate, it would set precedent that would allow pathetic scenario to be repeated “ad infinitum” into future.
    SO FAR, “crisis” has damaged consumer confidence, negatively effected hiring and spending, both of which negatively impact a still fragile national economy, put REAL hurt on local economies; AND negatively impacted American credibility abroad.
    Way to go, GOP.

    I guess one good thing- If Cucinelli ever had a chance in Virginia’s Governor’s race, he sure doesn’t now.

  • Government_Banking_Serf
  • Ellen Dibble

    If the Supreme Court would not only nix McCutcheon but look again at the First Amendment roll-out of dollars-as-voters in Citizens United, and its effect on the non-transparent money in campaigns that keeps incumbents in power and recumbent there vis-a-vis actual voters — look again and reverse that, such that the actual parties would run campaigns, rather than shadow parties (with unlimited anonymous money — was that Walmart covering its footprints or actually the Chamber of Commerce…), then the way to balance the budget would become clear. Right now there is probably no majority of any sort that would actually close the loopholes for their wealthy backers, loopholes that hold back trillions in revenue. Or would you rather pay even a greater share than Warren Buffet? The problem seems to me to be not the shut-down or the debt limit but the proven inability to get past the hypocrisy on revenue.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Hence the Tea Party. If more liberal minded people don’t like them personally, too bad. They were the ones paying attention and getting outraged about both Wars and Debt during the Bush Administration, the meltdown, the bailouts, the Obama administration and the shutdown theatrics (memorials and parks).

    If baby boomers had been as interested in financial responsibility as much as free love and socialistic dreams, we might not be here.

    Governance is more than writing up a wish list and expecting Santa to deliver it, it is actually being financially responsible in managing our self-governance.

    When liberals finally see the whites of arithmetic default’s eyes (not this showdown, but ultimate), and realize the chaos of bankruptcy or dollar crash, which will be manipulated for benefit of elite, and make things much worse for poor and masses than “cuts in the growth in spending”, maybe there will be a change of heart, and “good”, progressive minded people can provide cover for financial “conservatism” (eek!).

    Then again, we may just get martial law and some fascism/communism hybrid for our own good in that case. Should be fun.

    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

    -Ben Franklin

    • Ellen Dibble

      Some of us have been paying half our income, all of our lives to the government, if you count health insurance, which in my case does not cover the care I need but surely goes to cover the needs of a large swath of the public. It seems to me we have been shelling over a huge amount to the government, and that it behooves the people in Washington to get real about where they are contributing to Wall Street interests and the general profitability of capitalism, and instead focus on the way the budget is going off the rails. There are very clear ways to redefine Social Security and maybe Medicare too such that the new demographics can be taken into account, as well as the new fiscal realities of voters. Why they won’t sit down and talk turkey? They are afraid of special interests that are too shadowy to name by name, IMHO.

    • TFRX

      “Free love and socialistic dreams” are the goal of what percentage of boomers?

      You gotta get a new playbook.

    • Fredlinskip

      If T partiers were concerned about debt and budget why have Cruz & friends blocked budget negotiations for 6 month?
      Was this so they could create even more debt & unemployment through manufactured crisis?
      Great Master plan y’all got there.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Wall Street and Global financiers are speaking up: US default in summary would “ripple through the global economy in a way you couldn’t possibly understand”, “be utterly disastrous”, be “utterly catostrophic”, ” would be a very rapidly spreading, fatal disease”.

    What responsible human beings would threaten nuking our economy to get their political way? Boehner, Cruz and the other mad hatters need to be expelled from congerss for… just what is the definition of treason?

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      So funny when Democrats sidle up to Wall St. elites. Kind of thing establishment Repubs do. Kind of thing that got us into our crisis to begin with…..

      Bailouts of Crony Wall St. firms. Oh, surely we must.

      Natural Consequences? Those are for toddlers.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        And you think I don’t recognize the precarious
        nature of the corrupt and incestuous financial system that Wall Street, K Street and Congress have created together? I am a neofeudal serf too.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          “the precarious nature of the corrupt and incestuous financial system that Wall Street, K Street and Congress have created together?”

          That is libertarian bread and butter.

    • notafeminista

      You’re ready to take the word of the same people you believe deliberately crashed the US economy to serve their own interests?

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        I am merely quoting some of the puppet masters who these politicians have sold out to. That’s irony for you. Balancing political rhetoric against financial and strategic codependence. Rest assured that the arm twisting of K street is ramping up.

        • notafeminista

          So you don’t believe them….?

    • John Cedar

      Sounds like a chance not worth taking even if this threat is akin to Y2K and global cooling of the 70′s nonsense.

      In other words…the democrats should not risk all this calamity just to fund Obamcare.
      And now that the GOP has simply asked to delay the mandate like Obama did for business, it is a no brainer for the donkeys to rubber stamp the house bill and move on.

  • MrWakiki

    it’s interesting, there was just a story about opening the Empire State Building in NYC — because it makes money being open.

    when will the politicians get it… that government that WORKS is more profitable than government that postures ?!?

    • John Cedar

      Baby Cuomo opened it because he has his eye on the White house and he knows that contrary to MSN meme, the people are not blaming the GOP for all this “make it hurt as bad as we can” nonsense.

      • MrWakiki

        He opened it because it makes more money being open, than closed. If you want to believe making money is how you get elected president… bully for you!

        • John Cedar

          I know for a fact that spending other peoples money on people who don’t pull their own weight, is the way to get elected to just about any office in NYS these days.

          99.9 percent of all government decisions made by governments run by democrats do not give any weight to the fiscal ramifications of their decisions.

          • MrWakiki

            Democrats understand Arithmetic

            99.9… if you are going to make up something, try something that might be plausible .. please

          • John Cedar

            Republicans understand hyperbole.

            Democrats don’t understand arithmetic.
            “match class is hard”
            That is why they all have degrees in underwater basket weaving or else they drop out of high school when they got pregnant or started making good money selling drugs or stealing.

  • rich4321

    This is the result of decades long “buy now pay later ” mentality On a personal level, people buy with credit cards-money they don’t have, on a national level, nations spend with money they don’t have. The whole notion of credit is simply flaw and unsustainable. In the end, the only people benefit from it are the Wall Street scums because it is a scam they set up in the first place.

  • MarkVII88

    Here’s my take on the situation in Washington D.C. As Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Tim Burton’s first Batman movie so eloquently said; “This town needs an enema!” That ought to get things moving again.

  • NewtonWhale

    McCain warns Democrats not to humiliate Republicans by pointing out how Republicans humiliated themselves:

    “Democrats, they better understand something. What goes around comes around. And if they try to humiliate Republicans, things change in American politics, and I know what it’s like to be in the majority and in the minority, and it won’t be forgotten. Now is the time to be magnanimous”

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/mccain-democrats-had-better-not-try-humili

    THAT is exactly wrong.

    I guess I missed the part where Republicans were “magnanimous” when they won the house in 2010, or the White House in 2000 and 2004.

    I also missed the part where Republicans accepted the results of 2012, when Democrats kept the White House and gained seats in both the House and Senate.

    Republicans reacted by taking the government hostage and threatening to burn it down unless their Mitt Romney’s agenda became law.

    So, unless you want to see hostage taking legitimized as an acceptable form of politics, Democrats must refuse to reward the hostage takers. And that includes “face saving” gestures.

    No face must be saved.

    Republicans must not only get nothing, they must be seen to have gotten nothing.

    • MrNutso

      And get off my lawn!

    • fun bobby

      “hostage taking” how is hyperbole going to help end this impasse?

      • NewtonWhale

        Not my language. Blame it on former Republican Senator Judd Gregg and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal:

        “You cannot in politics take a hostage you cannot shoot. That is what the debt ceiling is. At some point, the debt ceiling will have to be increased not because it is a good idea but because it is the only idea.”

        -Judd Gregg

        http://tinyurl.com/maaxvha

        “You can’t take a hostage you aren’t prepared to shoot.”

        -WSJ

        http://tinyurl.com/obsoxdw

        It will help by causing what’s left of reasonable republicans to abandon the Tea Party whackos.

        • fun bobby

          yeah parroting others and demonizing your opponent is a sure fire way to get them to agree with you

          • NewtonWhale

            It would be a fool’s errand trying to get the teabaggers to agree. Better to show the remaining republicans how despised they will be for cratering the economy.

          • fun bobby

            you understand that while people in Newton may overwhelmingly blame the “teabaggers” that other people will also view this through their ideological lenses and see whatever they want to see and it may not be the same as you, right? those politicians don’t care what you think because they are elected by people from their districts which are not anywhere near Newton

          • NewtonWhale

            I understand perfectly well that different folks like different strokes.

            I also understand that the politicians elected by the tea party may be secure in the knowledge that they are loved by them. They need to understand that if they limit their appeal to the tea party they will condemn republicans to minority status. Tat’s because most folks have a very unfavorable view of the tea party:

            “The Republican Party has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that a majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and with the party’s popularity declining to its lowest level.

            Just 24 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion about the GOP, and only 21 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, which are both at all-time lows in the history of poll.”

            http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/10/20903624-nbcwsj-poll-shutdown-debate-damages-gop?lite

            (BTW, “Newton Whale” does not refer to a place. It refers to former FCC Chairman Newton Minow, who described TV as “a vast wasteland”.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_N._Minow

          • fun bobby

            meh, polls are fickle. you can make a poll that says anything you want. with our 24 hour news cycle the polls change constantly. That’s funny about the name because Newton is also a very liberal town.

  • creaker

    These are the same groups that strongly postured over the NDAA – and then passed it by near veto-proof numbers. So much for the “can’t agree on anything” thing.

    One has to wonder if this is a huge ideological battle over the future of our country – or just another circus for the masses to get the US people on either side of the aisle to cancel each other out while the wealthy and well positioned help themselves to yet another round at the public trough?

  • MrWakiki

    So the republicans put themselves in an idiot position because a minority in their party and it is up to the democrats to let them save face…

    That is great politics.

    John Boehner governs the U.S. he has to start thinking of the US, not 27 tea party members

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Maybe Obama should start thinking of the US instead of trying to gain political advantage. He could have ended this two weeks ago without giving up much of anything.

      • MrWakiki

        I agree, but six years ago he tried to compromise and the repubs had one goal — make Obama fail.

        I have a feeling they still have one goal — Make Obama Fail.

        They stay on message, albeit the wrong message

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          When did he try and compromise with the GOP? I seem to recall him meeting with the GOP and when questioned on the priorities his response was “we won”.

          I also seem to recall a lot of Bush hating by Dems claiming he was not a legitimate President.

          No, Obama failed on his own. It had nothing to do with the GOP.

          • MrWakiki

            You remember wrong. He met with the GOP he went half way, they said no, he went more, they said no.

            He compromised on the Affordable Health Care Act that it went from 500 pages to 1,400+ pages — pork for republicans

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Wrong. Every GOP amendment to Obamacare was blocked by Reid. No vote was allowed.

          • MrWakiki

            Every? really? you are going to suggest Every?

            Please

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Facts are facts. Sorry you don’t like it.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          How is “Pass it to see what’s in it” with only Dem votes any holier than some pledge to make it fail?

          Its not. but you love the 2 party status quo.

    • rich4321

      Why should the democrats save the Republicans face?

      The Republicans brought this nonsense onto themselves,

      They broke it, are they too cowardly to fix it?

      • MrWakiki

        I agree. What frustrates me is the pretense of ‘object media’ showing both sides, as if they were equal.

        One side is terribly wrong and it needs to be pointed out…. and the thinking republicans need to accept their party is wrong right now!

        • rich4321

          Bingo!

      • John_in_Amherst

        no good reason, and yes.

  • TFRX

    Anything new on the hidden rule change in the House?

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/the-house-gop-s-little-rule-change-that-guaranteed-a-shutdown

    John Boehner is not good at his job. And the GOP’s infighting problem has become, strangely enough, everyone else’s crisis.

  • MrWakiki

    Let’s see Reagan drove the deficit up.

    Clinton brought it down

    Bush brought it back up.

    Obama (recently) has been bringing it back down.

    Republican debt, but republicans don’t want to cover their debt. Why aren’t these talking heads calling this out?

    • TFRX

      I wish I was kidding, but my standard answer applies: Right-wingers are given the honorific ” Fiscally Conservative” at birth, or a young age, akin to a title of peerage in Britain.

      It’s what they are and nothing they do gets it removed.

      • MrWakiki

        Do they go to college, do they ever try taking a logic 101 course??!?

        • John_in_Amherst

          crtitical thinking only puts them in an existential crisis… so much easier to go with xenophobia, racism, and the notion that the reason for our debt is social programs that benefit the poor are hand-outs to non-whites (despite the evidence regarding how many corporations and poor whites get welfare, and the military under Bush fought two unfunded wars and is continually overspending)

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Look up difference between debt and deficit and keep your arrogance in check.

      If you believe the Clinton ‘surplus’ blip, (uhhh bubble)…….

      Have to get past party politics here.

      • Markus6

        It’s amazing and a little scary how many times I’ve seen comments from people saying that we have less of a problem because the deficit is shrinking. They don’t seem to understand that there still is a deficit, it’s still huge, it’s coming down slowly but that means that the national debt is still going up. And more disappointing is most folks don’t understand the impact of 17 trillion of debt.

  • nj_v2

    Recon hypocrites:

    http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/104-current-congressional-republicans-who-voted-increase-debt-ceiling-under-bush

    104 Current Congressional Republicans Who Voted to Increase Debt Ceiling Under Bush—Without Hostage Threats

    Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated on Sunday that House Republicans would not allow a clean vote to raise the debt limit and ensure the full faith and credit of the United States of America. But while now Congressional Republicans demand everything from the destruction of the Affordable Care Actto a constitutional amendment in exchange for allowing the government to pay for what it has already incurred, many of them made no such demands nine years ago when a Republican was in the White House.

    Boehner says that Congressional Republicans “are not going to pass a clean debt limit increase” because “it is time to deal with America’s problems.” But in 2004, he joined with 205 other House Republicans to pass S. 2986, a bill thatadded $800 billion to the nation’s statutory debt ceiling with no strings attached.

    Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), in encouraging his House colleagues to back the bill said:

    [A]s we debate this and as we make our final vote, let us not punish our seniors, let us not punish our elderly, let us not punish our military just to score political points. If the debt ceiling is not increased, America cannot pay its bills. We cannot meet existing obligations. We will not ultimately have the cash on hand to pay Social Security benefits, military retirement, Medicare benefits, unemployment benefits and other trust fund obligations. As raw as this recent election was, as bitterly contested as it was, with hurt feelings all around, we need to work together as Americans to take responsibility for our bills.Let us not default on our obligations. Let us not stop the checks to our needy who are counting on us. Let us not use our elderly as political pawns in trade for a seven second sound byte back home. They deserve better. We have a responsibility to pay our bills.

    Brady, Boehner, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and 84 other House Republicans who are still serving in Congress today voted for the bill (10 of whom are now Senators).…

    (clipped)

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

    The money is already spent, so all responsible & sane people realize that we need to extend the debt ceiling. And we need to get rid of this idea altogether.

    They are trying to sabotage the entire government to spite President Obama. The Tea Partiers don’t give two … shakes … about the government or the economy or anything…

    • MrWakiki

      TeaBags not nly don’t care, they don’t understand that quite often it is their districts that benefit the most.

      Look at South Carolina. Using more fed dollars than they contribute… and what do they use it for? to recruit jobs from the states that pay more in than they take.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      How is money that we haven’t spent yet — “spent”?

      When I use a credit card to make installment payments on my ‘stuff’ and then reach the ‘limit’ — guess what? I have to return the ‘stuff’.

      It is time to return the “stuff” and live within our means.

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

        The money is already spent – the “budget” passed by Congress spends the money – and this means we have borrowed the money. The debt ceiling is an erroneous concept.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          No Neil — the money isn’t spent until it actually spent.

          I could take out a construction loan with the intent of building an addition. However, until I spend the money on material or labor the money isn’t spent. I can imagine planning on a $100K addition and then get the appropriate loan but then decide later to downsize and only go with a $50K addition. I can always change until the money is spent.

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

        That’s just it – we have spent it. Otherwise it would not be part of the debt!

        Duh.

        The debt ceiling is useless. If we want to not increase the debt, we have to change the budget.

        But once it is budgeted and then spent – it becomes part of the debt! We cannot return the stuff as you so simplistically suggest. We have to be responsible adults, and pay our debtors what we owe them.

    • John_in_Amherst

      If there is not a racial undertone behind a sizable percentage of the teabaggers, it is hard to imagine, why the confederate flags at their rallies? and the rhetoric about taking back America?

  • TFRX

    Whoa, “In the House, Democrats are much more liberal and Republicans are much more conservative” per Davis?

    Quite the BothSides trick. Someone on the panel want to square that with how far right the right has moved in the last 15-20 years?

    • MrWakiki

      There are two sides, they aren’t equal. Why can’t we let the news report that?

      right now the far right wants to compromise — they kind of compromise where they get everything and the country goes to hades…

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

        There are at least 3 or 4 positions on this. There is a fair bit of overlap, but reducing it to two is simplistic.

        How is it Harry Reid’s responsibility to get the Republicans back together? That is Boehner’s job. And he has failed.

    • CQ

      I was almost going to call in about this. The conservatives have controlled the political discourse in this country for awhile now and keep moving it ever further to the right. Our “Democrats” are not liberal. Where is single-payer national healthcare? Not even on the map with any of these discussions. Obamacare is the Republican healthcare option (Romneycare anyone?). Yet somehow the conservatives keep moving the goal posts further and further right (what is their alternative to Obamacare anyway?). There is no left, there is no center. There is only moderate conservative and extreme conservative. Someone please prove me wrong and show me a liberal Democrat because I haven’t seen one in my life.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Glad to hear an admission that the Democratic and Republican parties are Institutions.

  • Erma Sidelines

    Consider: last Friday, Hong Kong exchange raised the margin requirement for short term US debt as collateral; US lowered the cost of insuring Treasury obligations; PIMCO jumped in with a major investment in Treasury notes.

    The ground is fertile for massive world-wide buying spree by vulture capitalists — who buy at $.35 on a dollar, demand full repayment, then declare the obligations in default. Any other individual or sovereign entity holding such bonds get to enjoy a technical bankruptcy. Amusing developments worldwide follow.

    Meanwhile: the argument for/against using the 14th Amendment among constitutional law experts to allow the President to diffuse the crisis seems to turn on the “meaning” of the word “debt” — as in Sec. 4: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,…shall not be questioned.”

    Mr Obama, our constitutional-lawyer-in-chief, continues to insist he will not invoke Sec. 4 to break the deadlock (as recently as Oct 9), yet he may well change his mind if Republican retrenchments do not continue long
    enough and go far enough during the next ten days.

    In which case:
    1) articles of impeachment are drawn up (or perhaps simply published, having already been prepared); 2) Senate declines to find for impeachment; 3) markets cover all bets and life for us, the great unwashed, continues for another thirteen months at the same appalling pace.

    America the listless, the drifting. Truly exceptional.

  • MrWakiki

    This family budget analogy cracks me up. If you have a credit card and you don’t spend ANYTHING, you still have to make your payments. The republicans think it is wise to stop making the payments…

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Why does it crack you up? With the credit card analogy you still make interest payments BUT you also must live within your means. That forces a change of behavior. Fewer vacations. Less eating out, etc.

      We’ve hit the limit. It is time to change behavior.

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

        It is a poor analogy. The Congress already spent the money, and this means we have already borrowed the money.

        No family gets to say they are going to ignore their credit card bill!

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Congress already set the debt limit.

          No they haven’t SPENT the money. It WILL be spent under the status quo. Much different.

          Thus the conflict. It is an intentional conflict to force action. It is especially important with the insane budget rules that make the bulk of spending ‘automatic’.

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

            You have got the wrong end of the stick.

            We have to pay what we owe.

            You seem to think that we can just tell our debt holders who have loaned us money to just lump it.

            We cannot do that without risking everything.

            The time to cut spending is BEFORE we’ve spent it – in the budget process. After it has been spent, it becomes part of our debt, and it pushes up the debt ceiling.

            Duh.

      • MrWakiki

        It cracks me up because:

        a) the guy said stop making payments, you still have to pay.

        b) Obama has begun to bring the deficit down, so ignoring that fact makes this farcical

        c) the spending limit is paying what we owe, not what we will owe.

        d) should we stop spending money on all the repub states that are takers?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Now you are just being silly.

          • MrWakiki

            I know, facts and arithmetic is so silly…

            I often laugh myself to tears…..

          • pete18

            Maybe you need to switch to a calculator.

      • TFRX

        It’s so funny how it’s never time to change behavior when a Republican is in the White House.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Who said that?

          And don’t you think $140B average annual deficits are substantively different than $1.2T average annual deficits?

      • jefe68

        Because the US is not a household nor a business. Please, take a civics class and stop with the inane memes about the the US government being like a household.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Sorry pal. What is inane is the idea that the debt limit is a useless tool.

          • jefe68

            So you are all for this hostage taking nonsense. You do realize this same kind of insanity could be done by Democrats at some point.
            You right wingers are really not very smart are you. Somehow you think that by burring the nations head in sand that world will go away. It wont. Using the debt to create a financial crisis every few months is no way for a nation to be governed.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            So many false arguments –so little time.

            “Using the debt to create a financial crisis every few months is no way for a nation to be governed.”

            We agree.

            Let’s have a balanced budget and then there will be no need to revisit this every few months.

  • RolloMartins

    Susan Davis just said the previous caller has a good point, that the country has a deficit problem. No, Ms Davis; the US hasn’t a deficit problem. The caller said we’re broke. No, the US cannot go broke–we are the issuer of our own fiat currency. Heck, we don’t even have to worry about our debt. This shows the vast macroeconomic ignorance of the media and Congress.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    2 Interesting Omissions from discussion.

    1) The actual Debt and why one does not have to be a nut to either a. be concerned about it or b. trust establishment parties to do anything about it.

    2) The fact that the House is closest to the people, polls show lack of support for “pass it to see what’s in it” Obamacare (buyers remorse), and hence fair question as to why is it so irrational for the House to be using its constitutional authority to change or remove the law.

    • OnPointComments

      I’m concerned about the debt, and I don’t trust establishment parties to do anything about it.

  • MrWakiki

    The U.S. has been over spending for decades?

    Hmmmm… why is that…? Oh yeah, the two wars that Bush got us into that had no U.S. interest.

    Republicans own the truth/facts!

    • MrNutso

      Massive tax cuts for the wealth and unpaid for Medicare Part D.

      • MrWakiki

        Still on BUSH

        Tax cuts for the rich

        • pete18

          The revenues collected by the government increased after the Bush tax cuts.

          • MrWakiki

            not as much as his spending.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            He refused to veto the Reid/Pelosi spending in the last two years.

          • Ray in VT

            After falling for a couple of years, as revenues as a share of GDP fell levels then not seen since the 1950s.

          • MrWakiki

            wonder why pete18 left that out? oh

            republicans need to learn Arithmetic

          • pete18

            And yet revenues went up, so to blame Bush budget problems on “tax cuts for the rich” is pure sophistry. You can blame it on his spending, a credit he shares with 2006 democratic congress. Conservatives were complaining about Bush’s and the Republican Congress’s over spending very early on. It’s one of the main reasons that the Republican’s lost the house in 2006.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, you kind of can blame it on his revenue policies, which didn’t come close to the levels from the 1990s, as well as the unwise spending choices that he made pretty much starting on day one. Remember, the GOP controlled the House for Bush’s first 6 years. They kept a tight ship on spending, right?

          • pete18

            No, they didn’t. They were horrid, so were the dems.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I’ve pretty much always maintained that I would rather have a tax and spend Democrat as opposed to a tax cut and spend Republican.

          • pete18

            Sure, because you’re a Keynesian and you
            believe government spending stimulates the economy.

          • Ray in VT

            It can. That seems pretty apparent. Also, I just think that if there is going to be spending, then revenues should be raised to cover it.

          • Fredlinskip

            Until greatest bubble since Roaring 20′s popped.

          • Ray in VT

            Have you noticed how 2007ish numbers under Bush get touted while late 1990s numbers under Clinton get derided as bubble years?

    • Ray in VT

      The debt really started to boom in the early 1980s. With a few exceptions the annual deficits had been pretty manageable throughout the post war period.

    • OnPointComments

      Senator Joe Biden, $15.4 Trillion Dollars ago: “I must express my protest against continually increasing the debt without taking positive steps to slow its growth. Therefore, I am voting against any further increase in the national debt.”

  • beeste

    Susan Davis, comparisons between someone’s home finances and the US economy aren’t a “good point”. These are apples and orange comparisons and regardless of what someone thinks of the US debt and deficit, it’s just not appropriate to encourage such simplistic thinking.

    • MrWakiki

      well unless I decide to go to war with someone in South Dakota so my brother in law who works at Halburton can make billions of dollars at the expense of the people who live down the street from me. /sarcasm

      Other than than you are right.

    • StilllHere

      Obama played the same card on the debt default, so apparently it works.

    • fun bobby

      its also crazy to think that acquiring ever more debt is good and sustainable on a national level

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

        The debt is already set by the “budget”. The debt ceiling is a meaningless construct, and it doesn’t change the debt.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          It is not a meaningless construct. If it was we wouldn’t be talking about it.

          But I’d also like to point out that we haven’t had a new ‘budget’ in 4 years. We’ve spending under CRs.

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

            The Congress approved the spending, so the debt is incurred. Now they want to not pay the debt they approved – the debt ceiling is a useless appendage.

            The government has spent the money, and now they are refusing to pay the bill. How is that responsible, or sane?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The Congress ALSO approved the debt ceiling. It is a conflict and it must be resolved. Also, the bulk of spending is ‘automatic’ and not explicitly controlled. Therefore, it is important to have other triggers in place like the debt ceiling that forces governance.

            You don’t give an unlimited credit card to a crack addict.

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

            Again, the money is already spent. Republicans are refusing to be responsible for their own actions, and pay the bill they approved.

            Refusing to raise the debt ceiling does NOT stop the debt from being incurred – because it already spent.

            The only thing that will happen if the debt ceiling is not raised, is to greatly increase the interest rate we have to pay on the debt – because we will default on paying what we have borrowed.

            That and screw the world economy…

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No Neil. The money isn’t spent until it is spent. Are you really that dense?

            You have two conflicting laws. Something needs to change to resolve the conflict. That is INTENTIONAL. It is a good thing.

            One resolution could be to simply raise the debt limit without conditions. Another resolution is to have a combination of new revenues and spending cuts so ongoing government is balanced.

            A more likely outcome is raising the debt limit combined with spending cuts.

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

            If it is not been spent, how is it increasing the debt?

            The Republicans in the Congress want to have their cake and then blame it on President Obama when the bill comes due. They vote to spend it, and it gets spent, which increases the debt – but when the spending *they have authorized* comes up against the debt ceiling, then they scream bloody murder and hold the entire government hostage.

            Even my dense brain can comprehend this. What’s not to understand?

          • OnPointComments

            I increased by debt limit when I got pre-approved for a mortgage. The money wasn’t spent until I bought the house.

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

            That’s not how it works.

            The Congress has budgeted the money, knowing full well that it will require borrowing. They *bought* the house, and they committed to the mortgage.

            Then, when the time comes to pay the next installment, they hit this arbitrary limit (that they knew they would exceed) and then they refuse to pay the people who loaned them the money.

            Geddit?

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

            That’s not how it works.

            The Congress has budgeted the money,
            knowing full well that it will require borrowing. They *bought* the
            house, and they committed to the mortgage.

            Then, when the time
            comes to pay the next installment, they hit this arbitrary limit (that
            they knew they would exceed) and then they refuse to pay the people who
            loaned them the money.

            Geddit?

          • jefe68

            Inane false equivalency alert.

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

            The debt is getting smaller more quickly than ever before, and the best way to reduce the deficit is to improve the economy.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Yes, lets have an automatic electronic “Yes” to continually raise our debt without debate.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I feel like I’m observing the behavior of crack addicts.

      Crazy time.

      • OnPointComments

        Crack addicts or swindlers? Or swindlers addicted to crack?

        Treasury Secretary Lew: “Every week we roll over approximately $100 billion in U.S. bills. If U.S. bondholders decided that they wanted to
        be repaid rather than continuing to roll over their investments, we could unexpectedly dissipate our entire cash balance. There is no plan
        other than raising the debt limit that permits us to meet all of our obligations. Let me remind everyone, principal on the debt is not
        something we pay out of our cash flow of revenues. Principal on the debt is something that is a function of the markets rolling over.”

        Does this sound at all familiar? Isn’t this the definition of a Ponzi Scheme?

        • jefe68

          You are out to lunch buddy.

    • tbphkm33

      Lets instead streamline the process so this type of gauntlet can’t be held over the heads of The People and the world.

  • cjfb

    11:15 a.m. On Point
    Harry Read as obstructionist is a good point? Really? Nothing about the country being held hostage in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2012 election? If only Biden was on board to concede to demands that 70% of the country disagree with. What a bunch of wimps you have on the air this morning. This is Fox News without the yelling. Weak! Weak! Weak!

    • OnPointComments

      Senator Harry Reid, $8.4 Trillion Dollars ago: “Given the explosion of debt in recent years, it is long past time for Washington to change the course and adopt a new fiscal policy. After all, the future of our economy and our Nation is at stake.”

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Like them or not, you should thank the House for making us think and talk about debt. Even though we still aren’t.

    • MrWakiki

      ‘Even though we still aren’t’

      I think about it, would be excellent if the republicans would just think….

      • tbphkm33

        I wonder if they Nopublican’s are even capable of critical thought? Most who I have meet are only capable of regurgitating the same old propaganda.

    • nj_v2

      Kind of like saying we should thank an arsonist for making us think about fire.

      According to Leather Dave, anything that could possible serve his Libertarian fantasies is a good thing.

    • Fredlinskip

      We could have been having this debate 6 months ago.
      Senate efforts to enter into budget negotiations have been blocked by GOP for 6 months
      By creating shut down and threatening default they are not only INCREASING debt by harming our economy, they are actually postponing those negotiations until their self-made crisis is over.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Obama could have ended the shutdown within 24 hours of the shutdown because the GOP had capitulated and weakened their demands to two minor and popular proposals.

        Sure the GOP started this but everything after the first 24 hours should be on Obama/Reid.

        • Fredlinskip

          ??

      • tbphkm33

        Well said. The Nopublican’s have been obstructionists for years now.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Being against adventurous wars and endless debt makes you an right wing extremist?

    Lord help us.

    • fun bobby

      welcome to onpoint

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        what a fantastic panel….

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Where did they find these cheerleaders?

          Oh yeah, the MSM.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, all the Cato types are still holed up awaiting the knock on the door that they are sure will be the friendly neighborhood death panel.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You don’t think there was a beltway bias to this panel? It was quite stunning.

          • Ray in VT

            I would rather hear from informed beltway types than from the loons screaming from the wilderness.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Confirmation bias?

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. Just don’t think much of those saying that crossing the debt limit wouldn’t be that bad.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I really haven’t heard that argument. I have heard some say that ‘default’ isn’t really in the cards since there is plenty of income to pay interest.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, there certainly seems to be a number of Republicans in Congress saying that or something to that effect. Considering that revenues and expenditures don’t come in evenly, or sometimes in totally predictable ways, how long is it likely to be before something comes in that is over the line, and how will it be determined who gets paid first if not all can be paid?

          • jefe68

            That’s not how it works.
            The US Treasury is not authorized to unilaterally decide to pay certain bills and not others.

            IMF’s Christine Lagarde said there was no room to get around the limit and what it meant. “When you are the largest economy in the world, when you are the safe haven in all circumstances, as has been the case, you can’t go into that creative accounting business.

            Pretty much sums it up.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            She was referring to paying interest on the public debt.

            Or maybe she was talking about the games the Fed plays when she is referring to ‘creative accounting’?

          • jefe68

            No.

            In an interview with NBC News’ Meet the Press moderator David Gregory, Lagarde said “creative accounting” as opposed to raising the debt limit by the Treasury’s Oct. 17 deadline was not the way out of this current crisis – a view in contrast to that of a growing number of Republicans in Congress disputing the dire forecast.

            Do you get this buddy? because you seem woefully ignorant of what’s going on here.

          • jefe68

            This is because they are nihilist, which is the best definition for this kind mindset.

          • notafeminista

            “Lone” voice crying in the wilderness.
            So telling.

          • Ray in VT

            No, I spelled exactly what I meant. Loons.

          • notafeminista

            I know.

          • Ray in VT

            Then what is your point, assuming that you have one, and that would be quite an assumption.

          • notafeminista

            You consider people with unpopular information and/or opinions to be crazy. Not rocket science here.

          • Ray in VT

            It shouldn’t be. Some people and positions are stupid. For some reason it is no longer popular or acceptable to tell people that. For instance, one of the nut job fundamentalists with whom I had some classes said that the gays brought down Rome. That is both unpopular and stupid. Not all opinions are equally valid. It’s not really rocket science.

          • notafeminista

            I’m not sure when it’s ever been acceptable to tell someone he or she is stupid.
            Stupid is not the same as invalid.

          • jefe68

            It is when their point of view is pretty absurd. If you think Ted Cruz is right, that the US should default then you are not very smart regarding how modern economies work. How about I call you mentally challenged in your political dogma.

          • Ray in VT

            Funny, I find that quite a few stupid people have invalid positions. My father told me to call a spade a spade. Someone who is acting like an idiot or a buffoon should be informed of that.

          • jefe68

            As in loony tunes.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know. I would want to insult Bugs, Daffy and the rest. I tend to picture Senator McConnell as looking like Foghorn Leghorn when I hear him speaking.

    • tbphkm33

      Nope not at all… just a hypocrite. Funny how the Nopublican’s had no moral complex when their “President” GW initiated the adventurous wars, paying for those wars with borrowed money.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I don’t think T partiers and libertarian types were ever very supportive of establishment Republican boondoggles.

  • ianway

    The Senate Democrats already gave up on a number of things they wanted in the budget to meet the demands of Republicans, in order to craft a bill that would pass in the House, in accordance with the usual mechanisms for negotiating differences. A tiny faction of the House rejected that bill, and Boehner went along with no other moral authority for doing so than a selfish need to hang onto the speakership. This is not a case of equal blame and responsibility for the shut down. A tiny fraction of House members are so arrogant and self-righteous they have no qualms about making absolutist demands and taking the country down with them if those demands aren’t met. It’s the politics of hostage-taking and nothing less, and responsibility for the result lies ENTIRELY with the Tea Party and those Republicans more concerned about their own comfortable positions than they are with the welfare of an entire country. That’s apparently what passes for patriotism these days.

    • kbainard

      I see Tea Party members of congress are drunkenly at the helm of your ship of state,
      delighting in ramming you are your fellow countrymen into the shoals. Your political commentariat is dangerously
      complicit in this through their shallow and reflexive need to place blame on
      everyone. This gives the Tea Party cover
      to act abhorrently without the recourse that they deserve. What can be done to prevent this from
      happening again?

      Incredulous
      Canadian,

      • Fredlinskip

        Most “credible” media outlets wish to maintain that credibility by always giving equal weight to both sides of an issue so as not to potentially offend up to half of the populace.
        What you get is a lot of half-truths.
        Sometimes you have to state the obvious when all the facts are on one side of the scale. to be truly credible.
        Unfortunately not likely to happen
        If media had bothered to do any investigative reporting before Iraq War, for example, it may have never occurred and these outlets would be more highly respected today.

      • fun bobby

        what’s funny is that no Americans are posting on Canadian political boards right now. I bet well over 90% of us could not name your president.go eat your poutine.

  • OnPointComments

    Senator Barack Obama, $8.4 Trillion Dollars Ago: “Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘trillion’ with a ‘T.’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.”

    • Markus6

      The point is valid. I missed the first half of the show, but it’s rare that I hear much discussion on the impact of $17 trillion in debt. And, btw, the debt is still increasing. I do hear more of this in right leaning forums, but little here.

      We get stuck in discussions of how much it’s Bush’s fault or Obama’s fault or the fault of Congress. It is the fault of all of them and debates on the percentage of fault just never seem to get anywhere.

      I do give republicans credit for trying to raise the issue, even though they caused much of it. I just doubt it’s solvable because so many now are getting money in one way or the other from the government.

      • Sy2502

        The whole “it’s Bush’s fault” thing doesn’t fly any more. Yes every single administration increased the debt. But at this specific moment it’s not Bush, it’s Obama. There’s nothing we can do about what Bush already did. Some people are trying to do something about what Obama is doing though.

    • Fredlinskip

      We could have been having this debate 6 months ago.
      GOP blocked Senate efforts to enter into budget negotiations 19X over past 6 months
      By creating shut down and threatening default they are not only INCREASING debt by harming our economy, they are actually postponing those negotiations until their self-made crisis is resolved.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Obama could have ended the shutdown within 24 hours of the shutdown because the GOP had capitulated and weakened their demands to two minor and popular proposals.

        Sure the GOP started this but everything after the first 24 hours should be on Obama/Reid.

        • Fredlinskip

          missed that.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Then you’ve listening to the spin machine instead of reality.

          • Fredlinskip

            Is postponing ACA for another year one of your 2 “minor and popular proposals”?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No. But delaying the individual mandate was. Obamacare would still be intact for those who choose to use it. The other was forcing Congress and politcal appointees to go to ACA exchanges under the same rules as the rest of America.

          • Ray in VT

            So making them the same by treating them differently, seeing as how they likely already have employer provided health insurance.

          • Fredlinskip

            Postponing individual mandate is not “minor” proposal.
            &Threatening to willfully damage your own country is not proper context to make such a demand.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Obama delayed the corporate mandate unilaterally and lawlessly. Was that minor?

            I’m not sure why you say delaying the individual mandate is not minor. It would cost about $12B which is about the same as the corporate mandate. It gives them time to get their act together.

            On the political side, I think delaying the individual mandate will help the Dems. There will be millions of folks who won’t be dealing with the IRS before the 2014 election. This can only help the Dems. I’m shocked they didn’t jump at it.

          • Fredlinskip

            I think we both know you are being disingenuous in your claim that postponing mandate is a minor concession.
            And unless your living under rock it was never about “delaying” ACA, it was putting it off to see what next strategy could be devised to end ACA. Another year would likely create another “debate” (manufactured crisis?) right around mid-term elections. How convenient.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I am not being disingenuous at all.

            I don’t see how it weakens the ACA. It gives the regime time to fix their execution problems without pissing off voters. The only downside I see is the cost. Maybe I’m missing something.

            I also explained how it HELPS the Dems politically.

            Also, you claim that this allows the GOP to revisit it next year. How? Nothing new needs reauthorization next year. The GOP will continue to try and kill it — delay or no delay. Why? Because they think it is a bad law.

          • HonestDebate1

            It would actually help Obama because it would put off some of the inevitable pain until after the midterms.

  • JGC

    The Tea Party thought they were thisclose to drowning the government in the bathtub, until they found out the Feds had removed the taps.

    • HonestDebate1

      There isn’t enough water in the universe to drown this government.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    US Debt – $16.9T
    Current debt per citizen — $53K
    Debt per taxpayer — $148K
    Unfunded entitlement liabilities – $126T
    liability per taxpayer – $1.1M

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    • jefe68

      Are you retired? Because you spend a lot of time posting on this forum day in and day out.

      • pete18

        H-m-m, more desk pounding. I wonder why?

        • jefe68

          Not I oh regressive one.

          • pete18

            Oh you’re right, goodness me, that was a factual response that you just gave.

          • jefe68

            Yawn…

          • pete18

            Oh no, wait, that was the factual come back. Whew. For a moment there I thought you had no concerns or ideas about the burdens that the debt was mounting on both the country and the individual tax payer for the next few generations and were just wasting space with empty ad hominem attacks.

          • jefe68

            The only space waisting I see here is you and your clown posse of regressive right wingers who seem to get off on the essence of your diatribes.

          • pete18

            “Clown posse,” how witty. Let us know when you can figure out a counter argument to WFC’s facts about the debt.

          • StilllHere

            That guy is an empty book intellectually, otherwise full of nastiness.

          • jefe68

            Get a life, your so f’n boring.
            You should seek some therapy for your delusional issues.

        • StilllHere

          I’m sure that’s not all he’s pounding. Anything to ignore the facts.

      • tbphkm33

        Someone said last week that they suspected he is a paid poster – could well be true. He trolls this discussion board 24/7.

        • pete18

          Must be really getting underneath your skin
          if you’d go as far as the “paid poster” conspiracy theory to try and delegitimize
          his comments. What a riot.

      • fun bobby

        drink!

    • StilllHere

      Enough with the facts! Let’s just criticize the presenter and call his facts rhetoric! That’ll teach you to try to inform us.

      • Ray in VT

        Like when getting presented with the science behind ethanol and emissions and calling it politics or something?

        • StilllHere

          That canard. Have you identified an anlysis that takes into account the full environment cost associated with the growth, harvesting and transport of corn-based ethanol? I’m still waiting.
          At the same time, why not try to shoot a hole in the Debt stats above?

          • Ray in VT

            Funny, I’m pretty sure that it did just that, but maybe you just can’t recognize that with which you disagree as being valid. It’s just that those who have problems themselves with facts shouldn’t criticize others for supposedly disliking them. Glass houses and all that.

    • Steve__T

      Bogus time clock. If you take more than five minutes to study it you realize that, especially if you understand a balance sheet. some things just don’t add up or are spread across some categories disproportionately, one example was total nat. assets that = small bus + corp + household, continued to gain. I watched household go up 1.2M but the ave per person not 1 tick it remained at 331,531. There are many discrepancy’s, so no.

  • StilllHere

    Obama was right, we’re here because of a lack of leadership by the president!

    • tbphkm33

      Be nice if you would support your hyperbole… hmm, too easy to regurgitate propaganda.

      • OnPointComments

        Senator Barack Obama, $8.4 Trillion Dollars Ago: “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

        • TFRX

          Somehow he managed not toshut the whole place down. Funny, that.

          • pete18

            Takes two to shut down.

      • StilllHere

        I can’t help those too ignorant to pay attention so carry on in your delusion.

        • nj_v2

          ^ (drooling, pathetic) troll

  • tbphkm33

    It is insane to equate the U.S. national debt to a personal family debt. They both involve finances, but that is where the similarities end. The U.S. national debt is above all, complex. One reason China has been able to purchase some much U.S. treasury bonds is due to trade imbalances and Beijing not floating their currency in the open market. Reality is that Beijing has little to no choice but to buy U.S. Treasury bonds, if they did not, their economy would unravel. Much of this topic of U.S. national debt is tied up in international money flows.

    Furthermore, as pointed out two months ago on OnPoint, the U.S. national debt is not a dollar-to-dollar payback like a personal family debt would be. The U.S., and other nations, have in the past grown their way out of national debt – by expanding the economy. No matter what happens, some of this will occur with the present U.S. national debt.

    I do not want to underscore the dangers of a U.S. default, but the simplistic analogies that have gotten baked into the Nopublican propaganda machine do little to educate the public as to the economic realities of the U.S.

    Number one best thing the U.S. could do is cut defense appropriations by 60% and spend some of that money to make the country more competitive. Other countries, like Germany, is having the U.S. lunch in terms of exporting. China exports a lot of low value added goods, but worldwide, German manufacturing is seen as number 1…. and widely regarded as number 2 is U.S. manufacturing.

    You hardly see any U.S. politician working hard to help small- and medium-size manufacturers more competitive in world markets, yet, this is the group that represents the biggest bang for the buck in terms of “paying down” the U.S. national debt.

    • OnPointComments

      Anytime there’s talk of a decrease in spending, such as winding down the wars in the Middle East, or your suggestion that the U.S. “cut defense appropriations by 60%,” it’s a sure bet that the next word out of a liberal’s mouth will be “and here’s how we’re going to spend that money instead.”

      • tbphkm33

        You must fail to understand basic government expenditures. Military appropriations represent a one-time expenditure, that ship it purchased. Very limited economic multiplier effect.

        Whereas, you strategically invest to make the economy more competitive, you see large and long-term economic multiplier effects.

        Why do you think other nations, such as Germany, are so much more competitive than the U.S.

        • OnPointComments

          I’ve never seen a liberal expound on the multiplier effect of government spending where they didn’t omit the fact that the only money the government has or will have is taken out of the economy in the first place. Liberals firmly believe that the value of a dollar spent by the government far exceeds the value of that same dollar spent by individuals in the private sector.

          • tbphkm33

            That dollar the government spent building infrastructure, say a road, does have a much larger multiplier effect than the dollar you spent at McDonald’s this morning. The government’s dollar enables private business to exist and grow.

            Without government investment in infrastructure, you would not even be Online to this discussion board.

            The power of the private market is greatly exaggerated by the Nopublican propaganda machine. In the last 30 years, most of the power of the private sector has actually been devoted to enriching the few and building inequality within the U.S.

            Today, the U.S. ranks as a second world country on most socio-economic lists. Soon to be the richest third world country. That is what the Nopublican’s “trickle down” economic “program” has gotten us.

          • OnPointComments

            It would be nice if you would support your hyperbole “U.S. ranks as a second world country on most socio-economic lists.”

          • nj_v2

            We’re Number 1!

            HIghest incarceration rate!

            Highest percentage of obese people!

            Highest divorce rate!

            More reported murders than anywhere else!

            More cops than any other country!

            Highest spending on “healthcare” as percentage of GDP than any other developed country!

            More student loan debt than anybody else!

            Largest trade deficit!

            Spends more on military than Russia, China, Japan, India, and all of NATO combined!

            Only the second highest newborn fatality rate, though. We still have to catch Latvia.

          • fun bobby

            more murders in Russia according to recent NPR article

          • northeaster17

            Pardon the interruption but the government is part of the economy.

          • OnPointComments

            You’re correct. But for the government to have money to spend, it must first take the money from the private sector in the form of taxes or fees, or borrow the money and subsequently repay it by taking the money from the private sector.

        • fun bobby

          yeah everyone knows ships don’t require maintenance or staff. I am for cutting military spending but that is not a good argument

    • Sy2502

      Yes it is insane to equate the national debt with a family’s debt. The difference being families have to work hard and make sacrifices to earn their money, while all government has to do is dip into other people’s pockets.

      • tbphkm33

        Ah, another comment that flew right over the head of at least one Tea Bagger.

        • Sy2502

          It’s so much easier to insult than to find a counter argument. Sad and pathetic.

          • jefe68

            He did, and you missed it. What’s sad and pathetic is your support for the tea party suicide club.

          • tbphkm33

            I have yet to see you develop a counter argument… we are waiting. You did not read the original posting, so you failed to realize that the entire argument was that there are no intellectual analogies between family debt and government debt.

    • fun bobby

      must be why liz warren drives a bmw

  • OnPointComments

    All of those harpies screeching “Law of the land! Law of the Land!” about Obamacare, which passed on a party line vote, don’t care much about the law of the land when it comes to the bipartisan sequester.

    DEMOCRATS DEMANDING HIGHER SPENDING IN SHUTDOWN DEAL
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/conncarroll/2013/10/14/democrats-demanding-higher-spending-in-shutdown-deal-n1723502

    Excerpt:
    “The dispute has been how to undo the sequester,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told “Face the Nation” Sunday about the collapse of talks to raise the debt limit and end the government shutdown.

    That is the Democrats plan going into this week: 1) get a debt limit hike for as long as possible; 2) get a continuing resolution at sequester levels for as short as possible; 3) turn the government shutdown fight from a debate about Obamacare into a debate about repealing the sequester.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      You didn’t get the memo? bipartisan laws are up for grabs but unipartisan schemes like Obamacare are ‘settled’ law.

      • Shark2007

        You can change any law you want if you can get a majority of the members in the two Houses of Congress to vote that way and the president to sign it. Having a minority of one party, hold the country’s economy hostage unless they get the law changed they way they want it is not healthy for our democracy.

    • nj_v2

      Townhall

      Hahahahahahaha!!

  • Bruce94

    To the caller who recited the inane Republican talking point
    scapegoating Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), the
    pox-on-both-your-houses meme does not work here. The record clearly demonstrates that it has beenand continues to be GOP intransigence and obstructionism that have gotten us to this point—beginning in 2011, the last time the Tea Party threatened debt default causing the subsequent credit downgrade, and then gleefully went about undermining the Grand Bargain, sabotaging the work of the Super Committee and giving us the fiscal insanity and rank stupidity of the sequester cuts.

    After complaining for years that the Senate had not passed a
    budget and after demanding regular order for a conference committee to hammerout a long-term budget deal, the Senate finally passed a budget in March of this year, but the Republicans quickly reversed themselves and refused to
    appoint the conference committee. For the past six months, the usual suspects have blocked the formation of a bipartisan
    conference committee to resolve the differences between the Senate and House proposals.

    The first Senator to completely reverse himself was none
    other than the whiz kid from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan. The other gutless wonders in the Senate whose hypocrisy on this matter is matched only by their contempt for majority rule, include Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

    It seems the TEA caucus within the Republican Party is
    evolving. Since it now proudly boasts an assortment of Saboteurs, Amateurs and Provocateurs within its ranks, maybe now it can relish another designation–the SAP caucus.

    The following link provides a complete timeline of GOP
    obstructionism on budget negotiations since the Senate passed a budget six months ago:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/a-complete-timeline-of-re_b_4074372.html

    • OnPointComments

      “Who are the “hostage-takers” now? Convinced by opinion polls that the media will let them get away with it, Democrats are now refusing to pass a “clean” continuing resolution to end the government shutdown, as well as a straightforward debt ceiling increase, in order to undo the sequester cuts that went into effect earlier this year. They are the ones holding a gun to Republicans’ heads, threatening default if their demands are not met.”
      –Joel B. Pollak
      http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/10/14/The-Disgusting-Hypocrisy-of-the-Democrat-Media-Complex

      • nj_v2

        Breitbart

        Hahahahahaha!!

      • Bruce94

        The real hostages were taken when the GOP leadership, cowed by the Tea Party, reneged on what was a bipartisan commitment to avoid sequestration in the first place, eventually becoming wedded to the across-the-board spending cuts in spite of the fact that two-thirds of Americans polled (Dems, Republicans and Independents) oppose or hold an unfavorable view of these cuts.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/03/15/people-agree-the-sequester-is-bad-they-dont-agree-on-how-to-fix-it/

        The real hostages consist of the clear majority of Americans whose interests and wishes are being ignored by the GOP as these cuts go into effect and cause serious harm to the economy and the military. Not to mention, the 800,000 people who are losing their jobs as a consequence of the cynical maneuvering and absurd gyrations of a GOP intimidated by a small group of Tea Party yahoos who appear to be having a temper tantrum because they didn’t get there way in the last Presidential election or in their last pleading before the Supreme Court.

        For more accurate info. on the havoc created by the real hostage takers responsible for sequestration, I’d suggest unplugging the right-wing echo chamber and propagandists like Breibart, and perhaps checking out more reliable sources like these:

        http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/26/news/economy/budget-cuts-jobs/

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57571850/

        • OnPointComments

          It’s not very often that I’m moved to compliment one of President Obama’s ideas, but I have to give him credit for coming up with the sequester. It’s worked just as it was designed to do, and despite the predictions that the world as we know it would end because of the sequester, the consequence has been a little less spending by a bloated government. And most people agree with me:

          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.”

          • Bruce94

            According to your perverse logic, Obamacare should be no big deal since the 80% of Americans who already have health insurance thru their employer or govt. program won’t be directly impacted by the ACA. The only ones who’ll be shopping for ins. plans on the newly created exchanges are the uninsured (15% of the pop.) and those who already buy their own ins. (3.6% of the pop.). And according to a recent Pew Research poll, 63% of Americans say they have thus far felt no effect from the ACA. Of those who do report that they have been impacted by healthcare reform and have an opinion, 60-80% favor most of the ACA’s key provisions. So according to your logic, why the uproar over Obamacare–the bogeyman that Cruz used to justify the shutdown.

            Just as the shutdown has had negative consequences decried by a clear majority of Americans (even though most of us are not directly impacted), the sequester has been very harmful. Nearly every credible, non-partisan economist (e.g. CBO, Moody’s Analytics, Macroeconomic Advisers) has concluded that the sequester was a horrible idea and has had or will have significant negative effects on economic growth, employment and programs for low-income Americans including unemployment benefits, Head Start, Meals on Wheels and educational services on Indian reservations, military bases and public housing. Also many military experts predict that if these cuts are not rescinded soon, we could begin seeing our national security and counter terrorism apparatus diminished (some arguing that we have already begun to see this).

            I suggest unplugging the narcissistic, self-aggrandizing, right-wing echo chamber and broadening your worldview to include those less fortunate than yourself.

  • OnPointComments

    As other pundits have also stated, what Democrats really want is to undo the spending levels mandated by the bipartisan sequester.

    THE SEQUESTER: THE HAMMER REPUBLICANS HOLD
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-susan-collinss-fiscal-compromise-leaves-democrats-exposed/2013/10/14/ebb32a70-34e3-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html

    Excerpt:
    Maine’s Republican Sen. Susan Collins…suggested this compromise:

    Republicans would support a continuing resolution that funds the government for six months at the “sequester” levels of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was produced by that year’s debt-ceiling negotiations. Republicans would also support raising the debt ceiling to enable the government to borrow enough to finance the substantial deficit spending involved in even sequester-level spending. (The sequester’s supposed severity does not come close to balancing the budget.) Republicans also would grant agencies greater flexibility in administering the sequester’s cuts.

    Collins asked for only two things. First, a mere delay, and for just two years, of Obamacare’s medical-device tax…Second, enforcement of income-verification criteria for those seeking Obamacare’s insurance subsidies — criteria the administration wrote but waived.

    Democrats refused Collins’s bargain, giving several reasons but really having only one important one: They loathe the sequester, which prevents them from opening the spending spigot.

  • jefe68

    Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer analysis of the tea party caucus is spot on. He has dubbed the eighty tea party Republicans the “suicide caucus.”

    When conservative pundits like Krauthammer are telling you you’re nuts it’s pretty clear, you f’n nuts.

    These eighty members represent just eighteen per cent of the House and just a third of the two hundred and thirty-three House Republicans. They were elected with fourteen and a half million of the hundred and eighteen million votes cast in House elections last November, or twelve per cent of the total. In all, they represent fifty-eight million constituents. That may sound like a lot, but it’s just eighteen per cent of the population.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/09/meadows-boehner-defund-obamacare-suicide-caucus-geography.html

    • tbphkm33

      Plus they were elected in gerrymandered safe districts by Tea Baggers, and as such, only feel they are beholden to their special interest pay masters and brainwashed Tea Baggers.

      A fringe of an increasingly irrelevant political party.

      • jefe68

        Well that’s the problem. In one sense they are representing their constituents. However these folks are so off base with the rest of the US it’s as if they a re living in another world. The New Yorker article nails it.

        • fun bobby

          rural America needs to be well represented. they could survive without the urbanites but the urbanites could not survive without them

    • fun bobby

      rural America is an important minority.

  • nj_v2

    The Rethugliconbaggers want to violate the 14th amendment. People attempting to do less nefarious and dangerous things are regarded as traitors.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “Bungling bureaucrats dole out billions in tax credits to illegal immigrants
    Billions in payments overlooked by agency’s leaders, Congress”

    “Investigators identified one address in Atlanta where 23,994 ITIN-related tax refunds were sent — including 8,393 refunds deposited to a single bank account. Mr. North said those were pretty good indications of fraud”

    “Frankford, Del., had one address where 627 ITINs were registered — despite the town having a population of just 862. Parksley, Va., had a single address with 100 ITINs registered, in a town of 847 residents.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/14/tax-credits-to-illegals-likely-from-midlevel-repor/

    • OnPointComments

      A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there, before long you’re talking about real money. The CBO estimates that President Obama’s illegal one year delay of the employer mandate costs $12 billion dollars. But it’s only money — billions and billions of dollars of money.

    • PoliticsWatcher

      Another victim of the con media unreality bubble.

    • hennorama

      WorriedfortheCountry – first of all, this is not news. The information is from a TIGTA Final Report issued on July 16, 2012. The IRS has implemented “Corrective Action” on 8 of the 9 recommendations, and is going to (as of June 18, 2012) “consider this [9th] recommendation as we evaluate the feasibility and impact of this change on the taxpayers and the IRS.”

      See:

      http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2012reports/201242081fr.html (click on [Appendix V – Management’s Response to the Draft Report])

      Secondly, the source of the “study” in the linked article is the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Perhaps you’re unaware of the background of the Center for Immigration Studies. If so, please allow me to inform you.

      This nativist organization was founded by John Tanton, who wrote these little gems:

      “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American [read: white] society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”

      “Do we leave it to individuals to decide that they are the intelligent ones who should have more kids? And more troublesome, what about the less intelligent, who logically should have less? Who is going to break the bad news [to less intelligent individuals], and how will it be implemented?” – from a 1996 letter to now-deceased eugenicist Robert K. Graham. (see links below for more info on Mr. Graham and his ideas)

      CIS is currently headed by Mark Krikorian. The SPLC says this about him:

      “In 2007 … Krikorian accepted an invitation to speak at the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom. It apparently didn’t bother him that MSU-YAF had been widely covered in the media for a series of nasty stunts — staging a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day,” holding a “Koran Desecration” competition, and posting “Gays Spread AIDS” fliers across campus. He also didn’t seem to mind being part of the same speakers series that included Nick Griffin, a Holocaust denier who heads the extremist British National Party, and Jared Taylor, who says blacks are incapable of civilization.”

      And yes, that is the same Jared Taylor who published ‘The Color Of Crime,” which is the white separatist publication that is the original source of various white separatist pseudo-statistics quoted by another member of this forum.

      See:
      http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/john-tanton

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

      http://www.slate.com/articles/life/seed/2001/02/the_genius_babies_and_how_they_grew.html

      http://www.splcenter.org/publications/the-nativist-lobby-three-faces-of-intolerance/cis-the-independent-think-tank

      Just FYI.

      Certainly more can and should be done to reduce fraud, and this is all well and good. Just be aware of who you are quoting, and their agendas.

      • Ray in VT

        But can I merely get my information from white nationalist types second hand, thereby absolving myself of any association with such white nationalists, as I cannot be reasonably expected to see where various claims and numbers come from originally?

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT — one certainly can pretend that that is what one is doing, were one inclined to be completely disingenuous and pretentious.

  • tbphkm33

    At this point, I think it is prudent to look away from Washington, D.C. and see what is happening elsewhere in relation to the impending default of the United States. This is a cascading event, with some aspects already having been set in motion.

    Look toward Beijing, calling in an oped to “de-Americanize” the world. I would not be surprised if the Chinese respond to the paralysis in D.C. with a concerted effort of curtailing their purchase of U.S. Treasury Bonds. Investments elsewhere in the world might look like a better deal to Beijing. That would be massive amounts of funds being essentially sucked out of the U.S. economy as Beijing stops rolling over mature Treasury bonds into new bonds.

    Also, will China and others make another effort to start quoting oil in a computer traded currency as opposed to the U.S. dollar? There was talk of this a few years ago. Such a move would further undermine and erode a pillar upon which the U.S. economy stands upon.

    I believe the Tea Baggers had no idea what kind of fire storm they were playing with. A bit of “harmless” political hostage taking to force their minority views upon the majority elected President. Yet, now, they have set things in motion that they undoubtedly will never own up to or fully understand.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Obama has been trying to “de-Americanize” the world since his election. Since Obama killed all negotiations with the GOP within 48 hours of the shutdown I guess you are really saying Obama is in cahoots with the Chinese and is well on his way to implementing his master plan.

      • tbphkm33

        LOL – a bit of Tea Bagger paranoia complements of the paid commenter on this discussion board.

        Imagine the level of insanity these old white males will have when one day The People (the majority) elects a woman of African descent.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Your prejudice is showing. You have no idea about my race, age or gender. I guess everyone needs to fit into your predetermined stereotypes.

          And I’d be fine with a smart woman like Condi Rice. How about you?

          • PoliticsWatcher

            Don’t see you denying anything.

          • JGC

            She should be recruited to go over and keep an eye on Putin.

      • PoliticsWatcher

        Go ahead, call the first black president un-American.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Don’ put words in my mouth. I never called Obama un-American. And why do you feel compelled to introduce his race?

          • PoliticsWatcher

            I didn’t introduce his race, the GOP racists did.

            Way to blame the victim in that fine Republicican tradition.

        • TFRX

          He doesn’t have to. So many on his side are doing the dirty work that he doesn’t need to say anything.

          Lets him buy into the fantasy that the bulk of the right-wing base aren’t racist.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s those on your side who are constantly injecting race into everything then screaming racism. It’s sick.

          • pete18

            Still waiting for you to provide some evidence, other than your own self loathing, for this ville charge. So far, nothing but crickets.

        • HonestDebate1

          When a candidate’s number one mantra is the fundamentally transform America then by default it makes him un-American. What does being half black have to do with squat?

        • fun bobby

          Clinton is a great American and very patrotic

    • jefe68

      You are aware that the tea party does not care about what happens if the US defaults and a lot of them think it’s a good idea. They sure as hell don’t give rats ass about the rest of the world. We are dealing with isolationist and nihilist.

      • fun bobby

        I am now upvoting you when you say nihilist. Drink!

        • pete18

          You’re going to hurt your fingers.

          • fun bobby

            anyone playing the jefe nihilist drinking game will be hammered by then

    • fun bobby

      I think it will be a while before the currency for oil is bitcoins. where else in the world should the Chinese invest?

      • Shark2007

        You really want to do that experiment and find out?

        • fun bobby

          the bitcoin market is much more volatile than the us dollar could ever be. the us dollar is stable not only because oil is traded in it but also most illegal drugs and other criminal transactions are done in us dollars. us currency itself is extremely high grade and difficult to counterfeit. the us may be in rough shape but everything is relative and I cant really think of anywhere better to invest or a better currency so if you know of somewhere let me know.

          • Shark2007

            It is all relative. Frankly, I like it that the U.S. can borrow at close to 0%. It should be borrowing money to rebuild the country’s crumbling infrastructure, invest in science and development. Since there is high unemployment, there are plenty of workers to do the work so inflation is not an issue. Actions that damage the U.S. economy are not in the interests of those of us who live here.

          • fun bobby

            it would be great if they actually did those things did not use it to build and demolish bases in afganistan and to buy billions in weapons to send to the middle east and buy the NSA new computers to spy on us with
            what is “the work”? human labor is rapidly becoming obsolete.

          • Shark2007

            As I recall, the people who organized 9/11 were based in Afghanistan and were given continuing refuge there after the attack. Have you considered that might be the reason we have our military there? Unfortunately, Shrub and the neo-cons suffered from attention deficit disorder and switched focus to Iraq allowing the Taliban to rebuild leaving us with the current mess.

            In terms of work, I’ve seen a fair number of road rebuilding projects over the last 5 years during my cross country vacation trips, that were part of the Obama stimulus; however, the Republicans haven’t been able to pass the usual transportation bill out of the House, so that source of jobs is lagging.

          • fun bobby

            the reason we had our military there was lithium and other mineral deposits and an oil pipeline. we found a huge lithium deposit recently and have a glut of natural gas ( its temporary they are proceeding with export infrastructure for CNG as we speak.) so we can leave Afghanistan. bin laden was a Saudi who was assonated in Pakistan. most of the hijackers were Saudis as well. the invasion if Afghanistan was and is one of the stupidest things done by a nation since the last time some idiots invaded Afghanistan.

            yeah I have got stuck in traffic too. road paving is a racket in the us. we need to build long lasting road surfaces like these

            http://www.nidokidos.org/threads/45445-Automatic-Brick-Paving-machine
            there is no reason why we cant build roads that last 100 years besides that its so lucrative for people to pave them every decade.
            its not hard to imagine a automated road paving machine.

          • Shark2007

            In Finland, the construction companies are required to warrant the life of the roads and are responsible for fixing any defects that occur during that warrantee period. Given that the weather is a little more challenging to road integrity in Finland than in the lower 48, I would expect we could do as well here if there were the political will.

            But in the mean time the roads do need to be maintained and that provides jobs. We just need to allocate the funds to pay for it and raise sufficient taxes to pay off that debt. With near zero interest rates, the deal will never get better for the tax payer. You don’t have to imagine automated road paving machines, they already exist; however, there is still the need for significant labor.

            With regard Afghanistan, you seem to have ignored my point by raising the fact that the 9/11 attackers were Saudi. Yes they were, but they were based in Afghanistan, not Saudi Arabia.

            There are major Lithium deposits in Chile, which has been known for some time, so it doesn’t make economic sense to spend Billions in Afghanistan for that. The cost benefit of getting minerals out of Afghanistan isn’t worth it for the U.S.

          • fun bobby

            1. lithium and oil pipeline.
            2. most unemployed people are not qualified or interested in building roads and even if they are will there is not enough work for them all. it may not be today but someday soon it will be cheaper to build roads with automated equipment
            3. the us govt has a fantasy of Afghanistan where the population there farms the surface using Monsanto products while we extract all the minerals beneath and ship dirt cheap oil right through the middle it sounds like a stupid idea to me as well but so does a lot of the governments ideas.

  • Beverly Hebert

    To answer your questions – no I would not throw out every member of Congress because that is a lazy and thoughtless response that plays into the hands of the real trouble-makers – in this case the Tea Party GOP members of the House- and removes some of the responsibility from their shoulders.
    And yes, I am being personally impacted by the problems they have caused with the government shutdown and threats regarding the debt ceiling and default. I’m a retired widow and I am depending on the value of the holdings in my IRA to provide income for my remaining lifetime. Obamacare hasn’t done anything to harm me but the market volatility that is the direct result of the GOP tactics has already caused me to lose thousands of dollars and I am feeling a lot of anxiety about what may happen if the economy takes another major and completely unnecessary hit. Sen Ted Cruz and his like minded cohorts in the House might as well be robbing us at gunpoint – the effects are the same.

  • esthermiriam

    People who probably don’t prepare their own taxes are opining on the national budget: How many times do people need to be told that the Federal government is far more like a corporation than a family or individual — and borrowing is part of how it functions??

    • pete18

      Borrowing is a necessary function of a family budget too.

      Most families carry a mortgage and an auto loan as a necessary function of living. But there are smart ways to carry debt and there are dumb ways to do it. Being a corporation or a government doesn’t change the basics of sound and supportable economic management. If you try to carry debt that is larger than your income can support
      for any extended period of time you can run into real trouble that could cause your family financial ruin. Currently the US government is holding loans on 100 waterfront mansions and a garage full of Mercedes on a Mcdonald’s hamburger flipper’s salary. It also has no other job prospects available to it. So what’s the wise thing to do? If you listen to the democrats, it’s cut five dollars from the monthly food budget and then buy another villa in France, a new red Aston Martin and extend the limit on the credit cards.

      • Shark2007

        Of course, failing to raise the U.S. Debt limit will make the interest on U.S. debt and every one else’s interest rates much higher.

        Your analogy would only appeal to a tea bag. You might be able to license it to Rush or Glen Beck. It should appeal to their audience.

        • pete18

          So then you believe it’s a sustainable proposition to keep adding on to the debt?

          • Shark2007

            You might want to read the Constitution. The debt will increase if expenditures exceed revenues — that is completely within the power of Congress to correct. Not raising the debt limit to accommodate spending that has already been passed and signed into law is not the way to address it.

  • OnPointComments

    A couple of months ago I was watching Neil Cavuto, and he said mark my words, before the Obamacare law becomes effective, the Obama administration will cut a deal with the unions. Turns out he was right.

    Excerpt:
    UNIONS POISED TO WIN DELAY OF OBAMACARE TAX IN BUDGET DEAL
    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/328459-labor-gets-obamacare-olive-branch-

    Labor unions are poised to score the delay of an ObamaCare tax in the bipartisan budget deal emerging in the Senate.

    The bargain under negotiation would make small adjustments to the healthcare law, including delaying the law’s reinsurance fee for one year. The three-year tax is meant to generate revenue that will stabilize premiums on the individual market as sick patients enter the risk pool.

    The reinsurance tax figured prominently in discussions at a recent AFL-CIO convention, where workers passed a resolution demanding changes to ObamaCare. The White House recently denied labor’s top priority on ObamaCare, ruling that union health plans are not eligible for the new subsidies because they are already helped by the tax code.

    Democrats could be pushing to delay the reinsurance fee for one year as an olive branch after that apparent slight, though it could also create trouble for insurers on the marketplaces.

  • Fredlinskip

    Call your congressmen, I THINK I MAY HAVE SOLUTION!
    I was reminded recently that on Aug 10, 2013 on Fox “News”, Sarah Palin reconfirmed that ACA DOES contain Death Panels.
    Perfect bargaining chip!
    If GOP would agree to open Gov and not create the economic havoc that would be credit default,
    Dems in turn would agree to strip out all those nasty Death Panels.
    Now THAT’S something to take back to that the constituents of T party candidates that they should be able to understand!
    Grandma’s safe!

    And Dems could throw in some coupons for Chuck E Cheese, just for measure!

    • OnPointComments

      Are you proposing to do away with the IPAB? Maybe your solution will work.

      IPAB: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S NICE WAY TO RATION CARE TO SENIORS
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottatlas/2012/10/21/ipab-president-obamas-nice-way-to-ration-care-to-seniors/

      Excerpt:
      President Obama’s ACA established the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member panel of unelected federal employees; its members to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The law does not require the IPAB to be bi-partisan in structure, as is required for almost all other independent agencies. Its mission is specific – to restrict payments to doctors and hospitals in order to achieve a reduction in Medicare spending beneath a specified cap.

      The reality is that the IPAB represents an unprecedented shift of power from individual Americans and their families to a centralized authority, a controlling Board of political appointees that is virtually unaccountable, and destined to become President Obama’s version of the NICE rationing board in Britain’s socialized medical system, the National Health Service.

      • Fredlinskip

        Let’s do it!
        I think it may be a go!
        We could tell TP’ers that IPAB secretly is passing out laser guns to zap Grandma.
        Tell TP’ers, Dems will get rid of all that in exchange for ending their self-inflicted wounds on our country!
        Everybody should be happy!

      • Shark2007

        OnPointComments seems to prefer insurance companies ration health care, being motivated by corporate profit. Just how accountable does he think unelected insurance bureaucrats are to individual Americans and their families?

        • OnPointComments

          How often do you have a favorable interaction with a government entity?

          • Shark2007

            My dealings with government entities have been regular — our community regularly works with our county and state representatives to achieve our goals. This has included getting speed bumps on our street. Having the county pick up trash dumped by people who can’t seem to find their way to the county dump. We are working with our state representatives and those in surrounding districts to oppose a bad development proposal on state owned land. Even my trip to DMV was efficient.

            In my work life, I’ve worked with Federal agencies working on scientific issues and been impressed with their professionalism and hard work.

  • JGC

    “The Tea Party has already lost; they just haven’t admitted it to themselves yet. This all comes down to right-wing ideologues vs. Wall Street, and we all know who will win that battle.”

    I saw that on another NPR site. It is definitely creepy, and maybe even true.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Get Ready for Lots of Talk About Just How Awful Sequestration Has Really Been

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/10/15/get-ready-for-lots-of-talk-about-just-ho

    • OnPointComments

      “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.”

  • JGC

    Couldn’t Obama just go ahead and raise the debt limit using the 14th amendment argument? I know he has said this would be thrown into the uncertainty of a Supreme Court challenge, but look how quickly the Supreme Court decided the Florida decision when there was q question about who had won the Presidential election in 2000. It just took them a few days to seal it.

    • fun bobby

      don’t you have politics in Canada to worry about?

  • jefe68

    Speaker John Boehner needs to tell the tea party members they lost and that’s it. They do not get to run the nation, that’s not how our government works.

    Oh to be a parliamentary system…

  • pete18

    Political fist fights.

  • lobstahbisque

    Wake me when it’s over.

  • fun bobby

    brotherhood from sea to shining sea?

  • pete18

    Is someone “pointing out” your idea of evidence of something? Lots of people make ubiquitous posts on this board during all hours, is that evidence of getting paid to do it?

  • Shark2007

    The Republican House has passed a rule that a bill from the Senate can only be brought up for a vote on the floor if Eric Cantor allows it. That means if the Senate passes a compromise CR and Debt Limit lifting bill, Eric Cantor alone has the authority to let the whole House of Representatives vote on it. Watch this evening and see if he allows a vote on a Senate bill.

  • HonestDebate1

    What if we don’t raise the debt ceiling but also don’t default? Just think of the positive vibes that would send to the market. Just think about the collective sigh of relief the world would exhale. What if, as a country, we lived within our means? I know, I’m a dreamer.

    • Shark2007

      News flash for the wing nuts: not paying Social Security is defaulting. Not having the ability to role over debt that is coming due is going to lead to default. This foolishness that you can just pay the interest on the bonds is only put forward by people who don’t understand how the government and the economy works.

      Have you considered the repro market where banks get overnight money by selling government bonds overnight to another bank with the promise they will repurchase those bonds the next day? At a minimum this is billions of dollars a day. What do you think would happen if the value of these bonds was brought into question by the wing nuts controlling the Republican party in the House?

    • jefe68

      That’s not how it works. There are also legal issues, large ones at that. Let alone the economic crisis this would cause.

    • jefe68

      There is no legal means to prioritize how the treasury makes payments.
      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/can-the-treasury-prioritize-payments-if-the-debt-ceiling-is-breached-2013-10#ixzz2hrtOkAgY

  • Shark2007

    For those who have been asking if sequester is having a negative impact on the country, here is an article in the Economist, generally recognized as a conservative publication (except by wing nuts) that points some of them out.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/10/shutdown-1

    • OnPointComments

      The sequester and the shutdown aren’t the same thing.

      • Shark2007

        Of course sequester and shutdown aren’t the same thing. You or one of your fellows claimed there was no effect of sequester on the economy.

  • jefe68

    Mendacity.

  • fun bobby

    I checked my portfolio on Friday its doing great. I was concerned it would be in rough shape but it was doing dandy

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 31, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.  (AP)

The US and Europe face off against Russia. Are we looking at Cold War II? Something hotter?

Jul 31, 2014
A comical sign suggest the modern workplace is anything but collegial . (KW Reinsch / Flickr)

When the boss is a bad apple. How some pretty dark traits can push some to the top.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 30, 2014
Janitta Swain, Writer/Exec. Producer/Co-Director Dinesh D'Souza, John Koopman, Caroline Granger and Don Taylor seen at the World Premiere of 'America: Imagine The World Without Her' at Regal Cinemas LA Live on Monday, June 30, 2014, in Los Angeles, CA. (AP)

Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

 
Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

Social media is changing how the world sees and talks about Israel and Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians. We’ll look at the impact.

On Point Blog
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Criticism, Conservatism And Dinesh D’Souza
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

Best-selling conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and On Point host Tom Ashbrook disagree about what makes America great…or do they?

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This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

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Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

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