Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Posts Tagged ‘debt limit’

Three Suicide Caucus Members Considering Taking Off Their Explosive Vests

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 8, 2013

They’re not quite there yet — that’ll take another week and about a five-hundred-point drop in the Dow — but they’re taking the first small steps:

The first cracks are appearing in the Tea Party’s push to dismantle the nation’s health care law as three House lawmakers with ties to the movement said they’d back a U.S. spending bill that doesn’t center on the Affordable Care Act.

GOP Reps. Blake Farenthold of Texas, Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Dennis Ross of Florida, all of whom identify with the Tea Party, said they’d back an agreement to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling if it included major revisions to U.S. tax law, and significant changes to Medicare and Social Security, as well as other policy shifts.

Last week at this time, they were all for the shutdown because they thought the Democrats would have caved by now. This week, they seem to be getting nervous.

MR’s readers might remember that last week I specifically mentioned Lamborn as someone in the Suicide Caucus who might be in a district that’s not as “safe” as he thinks it is because one out of five of the persons in Colorado Springs, the biggest city in his district, have Federal government jobs. Ross is in a similar situation, though in his case it’s not so much Federal workers as persons getting Social Security, Medicare and VA payments, Florida being a retiree haven. Not sure what the hook is for Farenthold — he barely won in 2010, but won without breathing hard in 2012, albeit against a candidate with far less money and backing. I doubt that it’s his conscience calling.

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Is John Boehner Going To Break His Promise Not To Default On Our Debt?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 2, 2013

Greg Sargent points out something that is so dangerous to the GOP Suicide Caucus that it’s got Republican apologists buzzing in the comments thread for Sargent’s post, trying everything they can to distract from it (italics are Sargent’s, bolding is mine):

It is the way Republicans themselves have defined the terms of the debate — specifically, what counts as “leverage” for them, and the ”concessions” they want from Dems – that strongly argues for Dems not to give any ground whatsoever, no matter what.

Here’s why: We don’t even know whether Republicans are actually prepared to allow default if Democrats don’t give them what they want. John Boehner has already conceded Republicans won’t allow default because: “I’m not going to risk the full faith and credit of the federal government.” Yet Ryan claims the debt limit gives Republicans leverage, anyway. But why? If Republicans are not prepared to actually default, why should Democrats give them anything in exchange for averting it? And if they are prepared to allow default — which Boehner himself defines as placing the country’s full faith and credit in jeopardy — then how can Democrats give them anything without rewarding and legitimizing a strategy based explicitly on a deliberate threat to unleash massive economic havoc if Dems don’t give Republicans what they want?

The House has the votes, right now, to pass a clean CR and end the shutdown. The Hastert Rule is no obstacle – it’s not even a real rule that requires a vote to ignore. Even if Boehner fears losing his speakership — as if he hasn’t already lost it in all but name — he can hang onto his seat and wait as the Suicide Caucus rips itself to shreds, if for no other reason than that the big business leaders who are aghast at the shutdown and at the prospect of a national default would likely dump tens of millions into his campaign coffers just to keep his seat from falling to a teabagger.

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Debt Limit Follies: China Learns Not to Trust Republicans

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 10, 2011

Buried at the very bottom of this story about China’s reading the Riot Act to Boehner and Company over the debt limit (as in: Stop it already, morons!), we find this:

Yuan Gangming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank, smelled some political wrangling behind the U.S. debt debate as the 2012 presidential election draws nearer and said Republicans “want to make things difficult for Obama.”

But with time running short before the U.S. Treasury exhausts its borrowing room, Yuan said default was a real risk.

“The possibility is quite high to see a default of the U.S. debt, which would harm many countries in the world, and China in particular,” he said.

Remember when Republicans like Mark Kirk (see photo above) were working to hamstring Obama on a bigger stimulus package by essentially telling the Chinese leadership not to loan the US any more money now that Obama was president because his budget numbers couldn’t be trusted? Even some conservatives reamed Kirk out for that move.

Have the Republicans totally forgotten that Kirk did this — and most of them approved? Do they think the Chinese are stupid? Now the Chinese are learning that it’s the Republicans whose word they shouldn’t be trusting when it comes to money.

By the way, why aren’t there any quotes in here from the anti-debt bond vigilantes and the Pete Peterson crowd talking about how a brief default will be totally worth it if it leads to less debt in the long run? I mean, isn’t that who the Republicans are doing this for?

(Crossposted to MyFDL and Renaissance Post.)

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Eric Cantor Is A Lying Sack Of Dung. Discuss.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 5, 2011

David Dayen must have been laughing his head off when he posted this bit of news from the Washington Post:

Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a contentious plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks with the White House by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies.

On the eve of debt-reduction talks led by Vice President Biden, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is the key to stabilizing the nation’s finances over the long term. But he said Republicans recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus after President Obama “excoriated us” for a proposal to privatize Medicare.

Bullshit. As David Dayen points out:

Um, Republicans aren’t dropping their Medicare phase-out plan because Obama was mean to them. They’re dropping it because it’s deeply unpopular and their constituents gave them an earful about it over the past two weeks. I’m sure this was preceded by freshman Republicans pleading with the leadership to stop the suicide mission. And no doubt Wall Street looking over the shoulder of the House GOP loomed large.

By the way, if Cantor thinks that Democrats and their allies will suddenly forgive and forget about Republicans and their vote to, yes, end Medicare, he’d better not watch TV in October 2012.

Now, Cantor is trying to take back the story. But both the story and his insistence that he’s still with Paul Ryan can be consistent. Cantor will press for the Ryan budget but the Medicare pieces won’t be a deal-breaker. I don’t know why he felt the need to pre-negotiate, but it’s a common Washington occurrence.

Flail away, Eric, fail away.

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