More Debt Shenanigans

More Debt Shenanigans Image

Like purchasing a new brand new computer the information in this article will be virtually obsolete shortly after I post it.  The suspense over the debt ceiling debate seems endless as the clock ticks closer to the August 2nd deadline.

The only place where you can find true leadership in this Great Debt Debate is in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.   President Obama has not put a single proposal on paper that reduces the debt and Senators have only taken their hands out of their pockets long enough to kill the two budget bills that the House passed.  In other words, if it were not for Speaker Boehner, House Republicans, and a handful of House Democrats then there would not be a single piece of legislation that seriously addressed the debt issue on the table.

Today there seemed be a little breath of fresh air in the debt debate as news surfaced indicating that Boehner and Reid came to an agreement on a short-term solution to the debt issue.  Any fire that was spreading on that revelation was quickly put out by Obama when he denounced it.  It was back to the drawing boards for both party leaders, but if Boehner and Reid cannot negotiate on a deal in good faith then why are they even talking to each other?  And if neither Obama nor Boehner will budge on their positions on tax hikes, as they have both stated, then what reason do they have to sit down together for more negotiations?

For what it is worth it seemed like Reid may have willing to bend a little for a short-term solution while leaving a long-term deal for another time.  With election season coming up that is a huge political liability and the President obviously was not about to have that hamper his changes for four more years in the White House.  By taking such a firm stance against a short-term deal the President essentially vowed to put the politics of his reelection over the needs of the country.   I’d like to call his bluff on that promise, but at this point nothing Obama does surprises me anymore.  Either way, that decision is glaring evidence of what really matters to Obama – himself!

Update:

This story is changing as I write.  Party leaders are building up their defenses while they prepare to go on the offense.  I guess all bets are off.  Boehner and Reid could not reach a deal that Obama would approve.  Boehner and Obama are apparently so far away from each other that Boehner finds it useless to negotiate any further.  Now it’s time to take the debate to the American people.  Hot Air has some details on the Obama / Reid strategy:

As for Reid’s plan: $2.7 trillion in cuts and no tax hikes — but no entitlement reform either, and fully $1 trillion of those “cuts” are merely the savings the feds have already been counting on from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama endorsed it about an hour ago, notwithstanding his weeks-long demand for new revenue, because it ensures that the next debt-ceiling debate won’t happen until 2013 and thus achieves his main/only goal of helping him get reelected. In fact, per Ed’s post this morning, remember that as of this weekend Boehner’s short-term plan was Reid’s plan. They were going to present it as a bipartisan compromise until The One intervened and reminded Dingy Harry what’s truly important to America, namely, another four years of Barack Obama. So Reid caved, even though Obama surely would have signed Boehner’s plan, and threw this thing together as quickly and haphazardly as he could. How haphazardly? Feast your eyes.

The Blaze gives some insight on Boehner’s plan, which some other sources say includes a balanced budget amendment:

According to a GOP aide familiar with the emerging House bill, it would provide for an immediate $1 trillion increase in the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit in exchange for $1.2 trillion in cuts in federal spending.

The measure also envisions Congress approving a second round of spending cuts of $1.8 trillion or more in 2012, passage of which would trigger an additional $1.6 trillion in increased borrowing authority.

Let’s watch the shenanigans unfold!

  • LTC Robert Brady

    One other point. Saying that the republicans in Congress are the ones who are providing leadership because they are the only ones to put clear plans forward misses the point. It isn't called leadership when you put forth a plan that you know hasn't a chance of being adopted. You call that stupidity. You call it "playing politics." After alll, real non-playing politics goes by a very old definition: "politics is the art of compromise."

    What's happening with the house has happened many times before. They end up looking like the children at the little people's table when the family gathers at Thanksgiving. They squabble, make a mess, point at each other, cry about mistreatment by the grown ups and clamor for attention – then the men and women at the big table (Senate and Executive) have to settle down the kids and send them to their rooms for a nap. As it ever was, so shall it ever be.

  • LTC Robert Brady

    I find it interesting that Obama is only interested in "himself" because he seeks a long-term debt limit solution (thereby theoretically gaining something in next year's election) but you don't make the same application to the republican congress – especially those who have said "no" to any debt increase, when it's clear they will gain with their constituents similarly if they avoid even the faint scent of a compromise.

    Consider this: every poll, even from conservative institutions like AEI, have made clear that even the majority of republicans favor some mix of spending reductions and tax revenue in order to bring balance to the budget and deficit reduction, but the new congressmen will have none of it – hold the line on no tax increases on the wealthiest among us. Those new congressmen are holding to their views because they know the issue isn't the will of the majority, it is the will of those who vote. And those who voted them in office can easily be stirred up to keep voting them in office, so why should they listen to the majority?