Posts tagged: debt ceiling
“This week Congressman Raul Labrador voted to let America default on its debt for the first time in history, an act that would have plunged us back into recession. He has worked all week to find additional votes for the bill to ensure its passage and then turned around and voted against it. This vote is consistent with his history of flip flopping. At a recent interview on Meet the Press, Representative Raúl Labrador falsely claimed he supports closing loopholes saying, 'I am for getting rid of the loopholes'” — Idaho Democrats press release from Kevin Richert's blog. More here.
Question: Did newby Congressman Raul Labrador help or hurt himself with his no vote on the debt ceiling legislation?
Already the pundits predict a second major political meltdown when the Gang of 12 fails in their task to recommend the next major steps just as the holiday season descends on battle weary Americans who don’t seem to trust anyone on anything, especially when it comes to the economy and fiscal policy. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey finds broad support – as in 77 percent support – for the notion that Washington’s leaders “acted like spoiled children” in reaching the deal on debt and deficits. Trying to explain American politics to a British audience, historian Robert Dallek writes in the Daily Telegraph that, “something is at work here that makes you wonder if rational discourse is beyond the capacity of many American voters to understand”/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.
Question: Describe the next financial crisis this country will face as a result of congressional/presidential squabbling?
Despite what some in the Tea Party may think, the deal reached between the President and leaders of Congress is a victory for the Tea Party. How can one tell? Easy - just look at the reaction from the left. Speaking for all but one member of the Congressional Black Causus (Rep. Allen West of Florida), Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) called the deal a “satan sandwich.” Paul Krugman, convinced that American democracy itself is threatened, wrote that President Obama surrendered to Republicans in a piece at The New York Times/Joe Newby, Spokane Conservative Examiner. More here.
Question: Was the Tea Party the overall winner after the dust settled from the near debt ceiling train wreck?
The current debt ceiling/deficit debate going on is important to be sure. I've been doing a lot of ranting and raving about it for days now. I must thank the former speaker, however, for adding some much needed levity with the comment, “What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget … We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.” Oh, don't I wish! I wonder if she has a clue how idiotic that sounds. It's right up there with her comment when health care passed; she said we could then all read it and find out what was in it! To think this woman is one of the most powerful in the country/Dogwalk Musings. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Which statement made by one of the congressional partisans re: the debt ceiling showdown do you consider the silliest?
Freshman 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador's vote is among a handful that will decide today's expected tally on House Speaker John Boehner's debt and deficit reduction bill, according to The Hill. “He's leaning no but he's still undecided at the moment,” said Labrador spokesman Phil Hardy Thursday morning. The vote is expected to begin about 3:45 p.m. Mountain Time. Idaho's 2nd District GOP Rep. Mike Simpson, a subcommittee chairman and close ally of Boehner, is expected to vote for the bill. Labrador is among a group of 39 House Republicans who pledged to oppose any bill that raises the debt ceiling unless it includes major cuts, spending caps and a balanced budget amendment. Boehner's bill doesn't include a balanced budget amendment/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: What should Raul do?
Does any serious person believe the United States should cease or delay paying its debts? Social Security? Military retirement? Only in Washington, D.C., where extremists in both parties torpedoed a bipartisan agreement between President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner to cut the deficit over 10 years by $4 trillion by slashing government spending, reforming entitlements and closing tax loopholes while simultaneously reducing federal tax rates. Sensible Republican House leaders who understand the need for compromise, including my former colleague, Mike Simpson, were unable to sell this agreement to their tea party base because it closed some of the most egregious tax loopholes like those which enable hedge fund billionaires and General Electric to pay little or no taxes on their annual earnings/Walt Minnick, Idaho Statesman guest column. More here.
Question: Who will blink?
House Speaker John Boehner (pictured in AP file photo) leveled tough words at fellow Republicans Wednesday, telling conservatives who are unhappy his bill doesn't go far enough to “Get your ass in line.” Boehner's admonishment came during a closed-door meeting, during which House GOP leaders sought to rally support for their debt bill, according to two Republican sources who attended the meeting. The Ohio Republican told members he was working hard and didn't want to turn around and not see an army behind him. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia also said it was time to pull together and pass the House GOP debt bill, instead of feeding a storyline that pits Republican against Republican/Deirdre Walsh, CNN. More here.
Question: Will Boehner and mainstream Republicans be able to keep Tea Party Republicans in line long enough to forge a debt-ceiling compromise?
The late, great Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was asked back in 1993, when Congress was debating an earlier federal budget deal, if there “would be a fight until death” over taxes. Moynihan, intellect and wit in full flower, came back at NBC’s Tim Russert: “Fight until death over taxes? Oh no. Women, country, God, things like that. Taxes? No.” We may see a grand deal struck this weekend in the long running Washington drama over taxes, spending and debt and it is a safe bet no one will fight until death, even if the rhetoric makes all of what has been going on in the nation’s capitol sound like Armageddon. A deal must be struck. The only Armageddon here would be the shape of national and world economy should the United States of America default on its debt, even for a little while/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.
Question: What would you fight to the death over?
Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo and five other senators unveiled their $4 trillion bipartisan deficit-reduction plan Tuesday to praise, if not immediate support, from both President Barack Obama and a number of senators from both parties. The so-called Gang of Six proposes to immediately cut $500 billion out of the federal budget, impose spending caps on federal agencies and eliminate many tax breaks in exchange for reduced income tax rates and dropping the $1.7 trillion alternative minimum tax — along the same lines of the 1986 tax reform measure signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. The deal calls for cuts to everything from Social Security and Medicare spending to the Pentagon, and eliminates $1 trillion in tax breaks over the next 10 years/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Are you impressed that Idaho's U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo is one of the Gang of 6 that's trying to lead Congress & President Obama out of debt ceiling wilderness?