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The New York Times reported a new and potentially telling anecdote from the height of last summer's debate over raising the debate ceiling.
Ryan, the paper said, urged his own party's leadership to scuttle a grand bargain with President Barack Obama, in part out of concern that a deal may result in a second term for Obama .
"Boehner was negotiating with Obama. Ryan had gone to Cantor and to Boehner saying he doesn't support the policy, he doesn't think it could be sold to the conference, and, three, he thought it would guarantee the [president's] reelection," said a GOP aide who spoke anonymously in order to discuss private deliberations.
This brings us to the most important aspect of the debt ceiling “crisis” that the Republicans are ignoring.
If Republicans become obsessed with their agenda and refuse a reasonable deal, and the Democrats do not cave, the executive branch will be faced with an inability to continue its operations. This could mean, for example, that the troops in the various wars could not be supplied or paid, that air traffic controllers could not be paid, that the US government could not roll over the debt that comes due or issue the new debt that pays for 43% of federal budget expenditures. A shutdown today would be different in its reach from the Newt Gingrich government shutdown in the 1990s. Then the federal government got by with shutting down "nonessential government.” A shutdown today would require halting 43% of federal expenditures. If we were to include the wars, nonessential spending might actually total 43% of expenditures. But, of course, Republicans don't want to include the wars with nonessential spending.
The US dollar could plummet in exchange value and lose its role as world reserve currency. The US would no longer be able to pay its oil bill in its own currency, and as its balance of payments is heavily in the red, the US has no foreign currencies with which to pay its oil import bill. Or its manufactured goods import bill, or any other bill.
We are talking about a crisis beyond anything the world has ever seen. Does anyone think that President Obama is going to just sit there while the power of the US collapses? He doesn’t have to do so. There are presidential directives and executive orders in place, put there by George W. Bush himself, that President Obama can invoke to declare a national emergency, suspend the debt ceiling limit, and continue to issue Treasury debt. This is exactly what would happen.
The consequences would be that the power of the purse would transfer from Congress to the President. It would be the end of the power of Congress. Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, have already given away to the President Congress’ Constitutional right to decide whether the country goes to war. Now Congress would lose its power over debt, taxes, and the budget itself.
Republicans need to decide whether the advantage of delivering a blow against “leechdom” is worth such extreme risks.
Obama had proposed to Republicans a "grand bargain" that accomplished a host of individual things that are unpopular on their own, but that just might pass as a huge package jammed through Congress with default looming. Obama offered to put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts on the table in exchange for a tax hike of roughly $100 billion per year over 10 years. Meanwhile, government spending would be cut by roughly three times that amount. It's no small irony that the party's dogmatic opposition to tax increases is costing the GOP its best opportunity to roll back social programs it has long targeted.
"Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes," Boehner said in a statement. "I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase."
When word leaked out this past week that Obama was proposing cuts to entitlements, Democrats in Congress and outside advocates kicked their opposition into high gear, making it clear that no bargain would win their support if it contained any cuts to Social Security or Medicare beneficiaries. That opposition may have broken the back of the bargain.
S&P cut the long-term U.S. credit rating by one notch to AA-plus on concerns about the government's budget deficit and rising debt burden. The action is likely to eventually raise borrowing costs for the American government, companies and consumers.
"The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics," S&P said in a statement.
Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
To date Republicans have set an all-time record for filibusters in Congress. They have blocked or impeded nearly every recovery act possible.
When the Democrats regained tenuous control of the 110th Congress in 2007, filibusters by the new Republican minority skyrocketed. Following the landslide victory of Barack Obama and progressive Democrats in 2008, there was a clear mandate for change in reform in America, yet the 111th should set a new record for filibusters as part of a clear pattern of obstruction from those who do not want change or reform.
Lou Gerber, the Legislative Director of the Communication Workers of America writes, “Under Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Republican Senators have instituted “new math” in which 60 votes have replaced 51 votes as the required majority to pass legislation.”
Ali Frick of ThinkProgress adds, “The Republicans have become experts at using Senate filibusters — or often just the threat of filibusters — to block the Democratic agenda while in the minority.”
There is more. Wes Rackley documents that while only 3 Bush nominees have been held up more than 3 months during his first year, 63 Obama nominees have been subjected to delay tactics, leaving important posts left unfilled.
Conservatives from both parties, but mostly the Republicans have held up health care reform for almost a year now. There was even a manual on procedural ways to obstruct reform written by Sen. Judd Gregg, (R-NH) leaked.
Sen. Judd Gregg, (R-NH) has penned the equivalent of an obstruction manual -- a how-to for holding up health care reform -- and has distributed the document to his Republican colleagues.
Insisting that it is "critical that Republican senators have a solid understanding of the minority's rights in the Senate," Gregg makes note of all the procedural tools the GOP can use before measures are considered, when they come to the floor and even after passage.
He highlights the use of hard quorum calls for any motion to proceed, as opposed to a far quicker unanimous consent provision. He reminds his colleagues that, absent unanimous consent, they can force the Majority Leader to read any "full-text substitute amendment." And when it comes to offering amendments to the health care bill, the New Hampshire Republican argues that it is the personification of "full, complete, and informed debate," to "offer an unlimited number of amendments -- germane or non-germane -- on any subject."
(Reuters) - The United States lost its top-tier AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's on Friday in an unprecedented blow to the world's largest economy in the wake of a political battle that took the country to the brink of default.
The White House reacted to the Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by calling for more bipartisan compromise to "put our nation on a stronger fiscal footing."
But the administration didn't miss the chance to say, in essence, "I told you so."
"Over the past weeks and months the President repeatedly called for substantial deficit reduction through both long-term entitlement changes and revenues through tax reform, with additional measures to spark jobs and strengthen our recovery," press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
"That is why the President pushed for a grand bargain that would include all of these elements and require compromise and cooperation from all sides."
S&P, the credit rating firm that reduced the nation's rating from AAA to AA+, said the recent plan to raise the debt limit while reducing the debt "falls short" of its expectations, but also offered broader condemnations of America's political process.
Rating agency Standard and Poors (S&P) downgraded the US credit rating from AAA to AA+ Friday. We’ll see if it has any practical effect in the rates investors will demand from Treasuries due to the downgrade. Our initial guess is it won’t have any effect because investors are not political they are practical and the simple fact is the US Treasury market is the only one big and liquid enough to trust.
As for the downgrade, S&P pointed out the debt ceiling bill didn’t include any revenue increases. S&P knows revenue will have to be raised from current levels, otherwise the goal of real deficit and debt reduction is not possible. So it wasn’t just about cuts, the downgrade came after S&P made the common sense analysis that revenues are necessary as well. Obama’s $4 trillion grand bargain with House Speaker John Boehner included $850 billion in revenue. Boehner walked out when Obama moved the goal post higher, to $1.2 trillion in revenue over 10 years. Obama did that because the ‘gang of six’ (3 Republicans, 3 Democrats) in the Senate agreed to that number in their proposal.
Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by Blackmarketeer
Obama and the dems wanted to raise the debt ceiling. Without adequate revenue (taxes) the credit rating would fall.
Those opposed did not want the debt ceiling increased. They wanted spending curtailed. Obama and the left wanted to increase spending.
The left failed.
Re-writing history and placing the blame on others (while a common tactic) is also a fail, regardless how many times you use it.
Look it up.edit on 14-8-2012 by beezzer because: (no reason given)