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View Diary: There will be no default on the national debt (113 comments)

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  •  I would reccomend this diary 1000 times if I could (65+ / 0-)

    because I agree that the "debt/ceiling" fiscal crisis" is a ruse and a scam being perpetrated on the public by both parties and the sooner people understand this basic fact the better.

    The debt ceiling was always raised without comment or uproar because it is basically a ministerial budgetary function. Only when the connected and the privileged glommed onto the fact that they could browbeat Americans and rob them using this as a cudgel, was it turned into a political and economic weapon.

    The Republicans, (with Democratic complicity since they won't just shout "BS!") love to dangle the American public over the balconey and threaten to drop them on an annual basis unless they give into extortion. I have heard Republicans advocate for raising the debt ceiling a month at a time in order to get maximum leverage! We want to go through this monthly, right?

    Who PUT us into the situation they are so incensed about? Not the living hand to mouth citizens whose benefits they want to cut in order to keep and divert money to the wealthy. Who cut taxes while running multiple wars? Who defunded some of Social Security with a payroll tax holiday?

    Why is there plenty of money for the Federal Reserve to continue to bail out banks on the sly to the tune of trillions ? Why is the public cast as  Oliver Twist, seeing our bowls of thin gruel cut, while the connected feast and feast and feast at the public trough?

    I can prove there is no debt ceiling and no fiscal crisis. If through desire or necessity we chose to go to war once again on a new front, we would do it in a heartbeat.  If there was another huge natural disaster, the money would be found for recovery. The money it seems is only unavailable when it trickles down to thee and me.

    Wake up! The first thing Americans can do is to recognize that no, entitlement cuts are NOT the hairshirt and punishment we must all receive in order to sacrifice for those to whom the concept of sacrifice, humilty, proportion, decency and justice are unknown quantities.

    If they insist on entitlement cuts, then we must rid ourselves of all of them who would approve such unmitigated immoral, economically useless and indefensible crap. And yes, I'm talking Democrats as well as Republicans.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:16:24 AM PST

    •  No one who wants to cut Social Security Benefits (42+ / 0-)

      is a Democrat.

      I don't care what they try to call themselves.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:23:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately... (8+ / 0-)

        All evidence points to the fact that President Obama WANTS Social Security (SS) cuts. The GOP isn't "forcing" him to offer the chained CPI... Not at all. His past actions speak to this fact:

        For example, by appointing conservative, anti-SS corporatists like David Cote, Alice Rivlin, Alan Simpson & Erskine Bowles to his 2010 "cat food commission" (AKA National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform), Mr. Obama was most certainly striving for a preordained result. Then there's his statement during the first debate with Romney that his view of SS "reform" is basically the same as Romney's.
        the list goes on, but I'll only depress myself further.

        The Goldstone Report: Still accurate, relevant, and damning.

        by DFH on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:32:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is a mis-characterization (4+ / 0-)

          of the President's position.

          The President no more wants cuts to SS than anyone here on this site.

          If the President has a position that we might argue with, it is simply his apparent belief that he must get a deal almost at any price.

          It is fairly clear that if the President felt he had a free hand, to mold policy as he sees fit, then we would have had a much bigger stimulus, the American Jobs Act and some form of Public Option in the Healthcare Bill.

          I think he underplays the strength of his hand, and I think it is for two main reasons.

          He trends towards "centerism" as a political philosophy, and he surrounded himself with Washington Insiders, and Beltway Democrats both in Cabinet and as advisors.

          But to suggest that he wants cuts to Social Security is simply wrong. It would not be wrong to suggest that we might get them anyway.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:01:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hayate Yagami, Aspe4, JesseCW

            when he's been talking about cutting it since before he became president, and has offered it up for cuts on 3 separate occasions...then the most likely explanation is that he wants to cut it (even if only to "reduce the debt" or some other faulty reasons).

            •  I'm fairly confident (4+ / 0-)

              that lots of people will disagree.

              However, did you miss it when Obama insisted that SS was no part of the Debt?

              There are many people that simply hear what they want to hear, and disregard the rest.

              There are also things we can, and should criticise the President for, but suggesting that he wants to cut SS is not one of them

              He put the suggestion on the table, and I agree, that was shocking and should be resisted.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:24:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  he said it isn't part of the debt (0+ / 0-)

                but he keeps trying to cut it anyway. there are other reasons he might want to cut it besides the debt, such as "strengthening it", or getting a "grand bargain", or other such nonsense.

                But listen, you refuse to pay attention to both his words and his actions over many years, because you simply don't want to believe it.  So I'm pretty sure there's no use discussing this with you any more since it's clear you are only going to believe what you want to believe.

                •  SS Does Affect the Debt (0+ / 0-)

                  It doesn't increase it though. The SS surplus, by law, must be invested in treasury bonds. When the chained CPI happens, the lower COLA will mean increased revenue for SS that will be invested in treasury bonds so that's less money the gov't has to borrow from foreign countries or from private individuals. Thus it will appear as if they've cut borrowing since more of it will be intra-governmental, i.e. from SS. That's the only reason I can think of that the Dems and Repugs want to enact chained CPI.

                  Most of the late 1990's budget surplus was from increased SS payroll tax payments.

                  "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

                  by Aspe4 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:23:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Ditto with Medicare and Medicaid. (4+ / 0-)

        I'd also add public worker pensions to the list.

        The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

        by teacherjon on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:44:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  and i would rec. your comment 1000X as well, PL. (12+ / 0-)

      America...where we fight over who can be allowed to have a marriage license but don't give a shit about who can have an assault rifle.

      by dear occupant on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:19:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understand everything you say. (5+ / 0-)

      And you are convinced it is all a ruse. The thing is, what if you are wrong this time? I'm sure you know you have made mistakes in the past, as all humans do. What if you just got it wrong this time, that is always possible, right?

      What you have to ask yourself if that happens is if the potentially horrific consequences to the lives of millions of people in America (not to mention any spill-over effects into other economies) were worth the risk. That's the thing - the downside is much worse if you are wrong than there is an upside if you are right. I'm not as sure as you are that it is a ruse, and I'm never positive that I'm right. There is some chance, whatever you think it is, that millions of people could die as a direct cause of this. There are also plenty of scenarios where there isn't mass death but there is mass suffering. I am scared of the fiscal cliff, not so much for what I think it will mean as for what it potentially could mean.

      •  No (17+ / 0-)

        he's not wrong. That's what the 14th Amendment states, very clearly.

        What part of this did you not read?

        4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
        This "cliff" is a ruse. And the sooner we all understand this and stop listening to bullshitters, the better off we'll all be.

        It is time to #Occupy Media.

        by lunachickie on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:53:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is a "cliff" and then there is a ceiling. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          renbear, Larsstephens

          Different animals.

          For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

          by Anne Elk on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:08:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then say what you mean (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timothy J, JesseCW

            if it's a "ceiling" we've been talking about all this time, then why is it being referred to ad nauseam as a "cliff"?

            The point stands--it's a ruse by the corporate bullshitters.  

            It is time to #Occupy Media.

            by lunachickie on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:47:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because the "Celing" is (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timothy J, lunachickie

              a regular feature that can be dealt with administratively, and the so-called "Cliff" requires primary legislation, and was deliberately put there, by both sides, to get a budget deal done ... or else!

              The Debt Ceiling isn't real. It is an artifice that has no meaning for two reasons ....

              The legislation authorising the spending supercedes the previous ceiling limit AND as the spending has been already authorised by Congress, the 14th Amendment means simply that the debt is valid, and can not be defaulted.

              It's high time the President simply said so.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:07:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Politics depends partly on whether (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Simplify, salamanderempress

                there is consensus that a given arrangement is in effect or not. If both sides agree that there is a cliff, then there is a cliff. Sure, there isn't a physical cliff, but there is agreement, for good or ill, that a cliff exists. Ergo, there is a cliff. Why there is a cliff is open to discussion, but there's no denying that a cliff was created by the White House and the Congress, and that both sides accept that it is, and will be, in effect until something is done to change it.

                I should also point out that, on a similar basis, the President agrees that the 14th Amendment does not apply to the debt ceiling. Not to say that it couldn't be argued  to apply, but no one is making that argument outside of the government. On that basis, the 14th Amendment is irrelevant currently.

                For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                by Anne Elk on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:54:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  And the emperor's clothes look mighty fine. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lunachickie

                  Both parties say so, and so it is!

                  Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

                  by Simplify on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:59:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's politics for ya! (0+ / 0-)

                    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                    by Anne Elk on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:00:48 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We need more loudmouth innocent children (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lunachickie, JesseCW

                      Don't give up on objective reality.

                      History teems with instances of truth put down by persecution. If not suppressed forever, it may be thrown back for centuries. [...] Persecution has always succeeded, save where the heretics were too strong a party to be effectually persecuted. [...] The real advantage which truth has, consists in this, that when an opinion is true, it may be extinguished once, twice, or many times, but in the course of ages there will generally be found persons to rediscover it, until some one of its reappearances falls on a time when from favourable circumstances it escapes persecution until it has made such head as to withstand all subsequent attempts to suppress it.

                      - John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

                      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

                      by Simplify on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:07:38 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's the point: it is objective reality. (0+ / 0-)

                        There is a cliff precisely because both sides agree that there is a cliff. It came into being because there was an agreement to create one. Going around saying that it's a figment of someone's imagination is about the same as saying that announcing your engagement to be married is non-factual because it's just an agreement between two parties. There is no object you can point to called "engagement"! I find this constant raging against the financial cliff's existence to be somewhat quixotic.

                        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                        by Anne Elk on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:08:21 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  You'll have to (0+ / 0-)

                      excuse some of us who find flippancy to this end to be a very large part of what's wrong with our party.

                      That's politics for ya!

                      It is time to #Occupy Media.

                      by lunachickie on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:41:27 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  So many seem to still confuse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens

            the issues. People don't get finance all that well here, but to minimize something as serious as this out of ignorance is really dangerous. obama knows the difference between a debt ceiling, a deficit, and the fiscal cliff, so I am not all that worried.

        •  umm (0+ / 0-)

          the debt won't be "authorized by law" if they don't raise the debt ceiling.

          so you are wrong, lunachickie.

          •  But there's no default (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie

            Shutdown, maybe, but no default.

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:08:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sure it is. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Simplify, PhilJD, JesseCW

            All government expenditures have their basis in laws.  The executive doesn't just get to spend money congress hasn't said should be spent.

            Now it's true that the debt ceiling causes a conflict between laws - one saying spend this money, the other saying you may not spend this money.  So it seems to me in that situation the president has to decide which of congress' conflicting mandates he'll follow.

            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

            by jrooth on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:52:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  They keep saying this (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RF, AoT, cslewis, JesseCW

        as money keeps getting bailed down the ravening maw of AIG, Citibank, RBS, UBS, Lloyds TSB, Barclays, etc. etc.
        Meanwhile the bosses and ex-bosses of those outfits are wandering around scott free without so much as a slap on the wrist.
        I was worried after Lehman Bros. cratered, and bought into the quick fix narrative, and even the next quick fix narrative down the line, but until the root causes of this mess are analysed and repaired, and strict laws put into place to prevent anything happening again, holding the average citizen hostage for what is not the average citizen's problem has got to stop.

        "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

        by northsylvania on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:57:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Their brand is crisis (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cslewis, Aspe4, Steven D

          Crisis is the only thing that lets them get away with what they're doing.  They cause these crashes and then use them as an excuse to gut the government.  And they do it again and again and again and again.

          The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:05:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Congress lacks the power to default (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cslewis, PhilJD, JesseCW

        on debts.  It's as simple as that.

        If you're worried you obviously listen to the very serious people of the punditocracy too much.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:45:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •   ^ This ^ (0+ / 0-)

        Classic example of misplaced and misprojected concern.

        The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

        by ozsea1 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:19:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, couldn't have ranted better! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, jpw, twigg, cslewis

      It's a shame the President seems afraid of the Republicans on this "debt ceiling issue" when the Republican majority House ALREADY spent the money.  It is the House in America that controls the purse strings, and they've SPENT the money that they are pretending to be so outraged about spending.  They ARE the "debt ceiling" in this country, and by approving the money we've spent to this point, the House has ALREADY raised the debt ceiling.

      If they destroy the world's largest economy, they destroy their own future as a majority.  And they know that.  And Wall St. knows that.   So what do you think will actually happen?

      And by pretending the "debt ceiling" is a real issue, Obama is complicit in this silliness and deceit.  It is only designed to shove unpalatable stuff down America's gullet.  (SS and Medicare cuts come to mind).

      The "fiscal cliff" is another bogus "crisis" that was intentionally MANUFACTURED by Republicans AND Democrats (including the White House) to give themselves cover to vote in ways that might piss off their constituents.  (Or, in other words, vote in ways that don't represent the people who sent them to Washington in order to represent them).

      Could THIS be why people are cynical about our government?

      The reason none of these bogus "emergencies" will actually matter (the stock markets would be down 10 percent if people in the know really expected the drama of the "fiscal cliff" to play out) is that nobody in Congress ever intended for these artificially created crises to happen.  They were always only intended as theater for public consumption.  

      Great diary about a crucial issue.  It's important that when Chicken Little cries, not everyone listens.  

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