One Week of Debt Ceiling Madness

You know how John Boehner is always saying that “the American people” want Congress to cut spending and cut entitlements and let the oil companies keep their oil subsidies and don’t make the wealthy pay one penny more in taxes? Well, John Boehner is wrong. By a huge margin, Americans want Republicans and Democrats to compromise on a debt ceiling deal, and not hold out for 100% of the items on their wish lists. And again. Yes, Americans did oppose raising the debt ceiling. But not anymore. The tide of opinion has shifted so much that now even some wealthy supporters of Eric Cantor are telling him, ‘Raise our taxes. Please.’ But House Republicans would rather put all their energy into passing lunatic proposals like “Cut, Cap, and Balance” that, in addition to being economically insane, had no chance of passing the Senate (and, indeed, expired there Friday morning.

Debt ceiling crisis? What debt ceiling crisis? Former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg opines that Republicans will have to see with their own eyes what happens when the August Social Security checks don’t go out before they will take default seriously.

Every now and then, it’s nice to remember (or be reminded) where the deficit comes from (hint: not Social Security, not Medicare, not Medicaid, and not the Affordable Care Act).

Everything is harder when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Ezra Klein explains the Gang of Six plan. Tim Fernholz has the Executive Summary. Jonathan Cohn weighs in “a day late.”

Republicans accomplished a lot this week. They rejected at least four different plans for raising the debt ceiling. Grover Norquist tried to back away from his group’s (Americans for Tax Reform) anti-tax pledge by telling the Washington Post that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would not violate that pledge. Then the Tea Party crazies raised the roof, and Norquist recanted (via No More Mister Nice Blog).

Barack Obama kvelled over compromise last March to a group of college students. On Thursday this week, Democrats in Congress hit the roof over a leaked report that Pres. Obama was prepared to give Republicans everything they wanted (i.e., trillions in spending cuts, including entitlements, and no offsetting revenues). Glenn Greenwald wrote a scathing piece for The Guardian’s Comment Is Free section charging Obama with “gutting the core principles of the Democratic Party.”

By Friday, though, after John Boehner announced he had “ended discussions” with the White House, Obama decided that he’d had enough.

The New York Times editorialized on Friday that the Republican Party is “the party that can’t say yes.”

Paul Krugman tells us that the Obama plan Boehner walked away from betrayed “both Democratic principles and good government.”

Now, “the researchers at Barclays Capital” tell us that “the real deadline” for default armageddon might be August 10, not August 2 as the entire financial world said before.

Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule say that Obama has the authority as President to raise the debt ceiling on his own, and should do so.

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1 Comment

Filed under Breaking News, Economy, Law, Politics, Society

One response to “One Week of Debt Ceiling Madness

  1. It doesn’t make any difference if Boehner is ‘wrong’ spewing the same lie over and over ad infinitum. Fifteen or twenty percent of the ‘hearers’ believe him.

    And what Repub wants to be primaryed by a TeaPartier?

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