Debt Ceiling


The reality is that Mr. Obama is trying to present Republicans with a Hobson’s choice: Either repudiate their campaign pledge by raising taxes, or take the blame for any economic turmoil and government shutdown as the U.S. nears a debt default. In the former case Mr. Obama takes the tax issue off the table and demoralizes the tea party for 2012, and in the latter he makes Republicans share the blame for 9.2% unemployment.

Thus, you get the McConnell proposal, which aims to put the blame of debt-limit increases squarely on the shoulder of Obama.

The hotter precincts of the blogosphere were calling this a sellout yesterday, though they might want to think before they shout. The debt ceiling is going to be increased one way or another, and the only question has been what if anything Republicans could get in return. If Mr. Obama insists on a tax increase, and Republicans won’t vote for one, then what’s the alternative to Mr. McConnell’s maneuver?

I dunno. No agreement and Obama doesn’t send grammy her check, I think. Evil Republicans are the party of no and are willing to starve seniors, bla bla bla.

We agree with those who say that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner can cut other federal spending before he allows a technical default on U.S. debt. No doubt that is what he will do. We’d even support a showdown over technical default if we thought it might yield some major government reforms. But Mr. Obama clearly has no such intention.

Instead he and Mr. Geithner will gradually shut down government services, the more painful the better. The polls that now find that voters oppose a debt-limit increase will turn on a dime when Americans start learning that they won’t get Social Security checks. Republicans will then run like they’re fleeing the Pamplona bulls, and chaotic retreats are the ugliest kind. By then they might end up having to vote for a debt-limit increase and a tax increase.

We’ve got ONE house. There are limits to what we can “force” on the democrats. They have most of the cards right now.

What if, I wondered elsewhere, Obama gets his debt-ceiling raised without ANY deal. No tax increases and no spending cuts?

Even if Mr. Obama gets his debt-limit increase without any spending cuts, he will pay a price for the privilege. He’ll have reinforced his well-earned reputation as a spender with no modern peer. He’ll own the record deficits and fast-rising debt. And he’ll own the U.S. credit-rating downgrade to AA if Standard & Poor’s so decides.

This seems like a better option than the one(s) currently on the table.

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3 Comments on “Debt Ceiling”

  1. Let him fuck over the old people. Let. Him. OWN. It. Especially if his pet projects still get their cash at his discretion. Hang it around his neck and call it to everyone’s attention as much as possible.

    I know, I’m defying our establishment masters by advocating that we have NO deal on the ceiling, but we’ve let the Dems spend it faster than they could even print it in the last two years without them passing a budget. The only way that kind of madness gets stopped is if we let them hit the credit limit.

  2. Car in Says:

    I agree with you. It’s not worth it to get a bad deal, when we know we’re going to raise it anyway. Better to let them sink themselves, and win back everything in 2012.

  3. Nobody is going to blame the GOP for president Obama not cutting a check, and he wouldn’t do that anyway. Its a bluff, and McConnell blinked.

    As Ace clearly notes, McConnell made a deal like this before and it was an utter failure.

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