Politics above Country–the tea party way

Eric Cantor (R-Va) apparently had much more of a hand in the debt ceiling debacle than we thought.  Just 10 days after the freshman class of the Congress was inaugurated, Cantor and the frosh booked it up to Baltimore Harbor for a retreat.  (retreat from what?  to days of work?)  and he told them how things were going to be.  All dewy eyed and excited about their new job, the frosh now had a way to fulfill their campaign promises. 

According to the Washington Post, it went down something like this?

A vote to increase the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit was coming soon, he told the caucus members who had gathered at the Marriott in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for a closed-door retreat less than 10 days after taking power. Think of it as a “hidden” opportunity, he implored them, a chance to achieve their goal of reining in the federal government and its spending habits.

“I’m asking you to look at a potential increase in the debt limit as a leverage moment when the White House and President Obama will have to deal with us,” said Cantor, one of several new House leaders who detailed the game plan for the coming months. “Either we stick together and demonstrate that we’re a team that will fight for and stand by our principles, or we will lose that leverage. 

With everyone, especially the  87  GOP newcomers all revving their engine, the plan was in place–the plan to take the country to the brink of potential disaster, again.  This time, that disaster resembled a default on our debt. 

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Debt Ceiling: a simple explanation

(and why we must do something immediately)

This isn’t funny, folks.  It isn’t  something that can be held at political ransom so those with a point to prove can make their point.  It costs money to run a country.  You have to bring in enough money to pay for running the country.  This is simple math. 

The ‘job producers’ (very wealthy)aren’t producing the jobs so let’s let them pay their fair share.  Revenues must be raised and spending must be sliced.   Until we can get the house in order, the debt ceiling needs to be raised.

The Senate now plans a vote at 1 pm on Sunday. 

Dodd-Frank, a year later…and the debt ceiling

What’s to not like? This questions is usually answered as ‘job killer.’ I have been thinking about this ‘job killer’ on every street. I have been told that if income taxes go up just 1% on millionaires, it will kill jobs. Instead, I am supposed to like having the budget cuts on the backs of the middle class and on seniors with both medicare and social security.Read More

Have we come full circle or have the goal posts moved?


The Hill:

The Treasury’s cash balances have reached a dangerously low point. Henceforth, the Treasury Department cannot guarantee that the federal government will have sufficient cash on any one day to meet all of its mandated expenses,”

“The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate.

“Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets,”

“The nation can ill afford to allow such a result.”

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Let’s pick on Eric Cantor for picking on students

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been a bit of a pain in the arse lately.  He has acted as one of the chief spokemen for the GOP in the debt ceiling talks and rumor has it that Rep. Bonher is less than happy with him.  Cantor’s main problem seems to be combating that old problem of just looking mean.  According to the Daily Beast:

As Monday’s White House budget talks got down to the nitty-gritty, Eric Cantor proposed a series of spending cuts, one of them aimed squarely at college students.

The House majority leader, who did most of the talking for the Republican side, said those taking out student loans should start paying interest right away, rather than being able to defer payments until after graduation. It is a big-ticket item that would save $40 billion over 10 years.

President Obama responded: 

“I’m not going to do that,” Obama said. “I’m not going to take money from old people and screw students,” not without some compromise on the tax-increase side.

And screwing students is exactly what that move would be.  How can a student pay interest  when he or she is still in school and in all probability does not have a job?  Where is the common sense here?  Does Cantor just speak to hear himself talk?  There are some very realistic cuts that can be made in the economy.  Student loans aren’t the place to start curbing the deficit.   Do these people really believe half that comes out of their mouth?


Debt Ceiling: What’s in it for Virginia?

Richmond Times Dispatch

Jeff Schapiro

Could this red-white-and-blue weekend augur red ink for Virginia?

Default by the federal government, unless the debt ceiling is raised by Aug. 2, has potentially devastating effects for state government.

The flow of dollars from Washington to Virginia — No. 1 in federal spending per capita — would slow to a trickle. Federal workers wouldn’t be paid, driving up unemployment and choking off income-tax revenue. Medicaid, the federally financed, state-managed health-care program for the poor that is Virginia’s fastest-growing expense, would go begging.

To keep the budget in balance as required by law, Gov. Bob McDonnell would have to start cutting.

Also, transportation dollars would evaporate, potentially slamming the brakes on a defining feature of McDonnell’s just-passed road-building program: debt. He is planning to issue $1 billion in bonds backed by an anticipated federal handout.

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Geithner Warns Sen. Johnson On Debt Ceiling

Fr0m Huffingtonpost.com :

Geithner was responding to a letter Johnson sent President Barack Obama in May, signed by 22 other Senate Republicans, that argued the government would have enough revenue to continue functioning if the government hit the debt ceiling and suggested the White House should make contingency spending plans for that event.

Geithner said in his letter that many members of the GOP, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, acknowledge that raising the debt ceiling is the responsible thing to do, and he quoted Boehner saying, “I think raising the debt limit is the responsible thing to do for our country, the responsible thing for our economy … if we were to fail to increase the debt limit, we would send our economy into a tail spin.”

Geithner also noted that Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a favorite of the Tea Party, said in 2010: “You don’t have much choice if you charge something on your credit card. You have to pay for it, and that’s effectively what this debt limit is … we’ve already spent the money. The question is now, do we shut down the government or do we fund what we’ve already done?

Even conservative icon President Ronald Reagan spoke out against playing with the debt limit, according to Geithner. Reagan wrote in 1983: “This country now possesses the strongest credit in the world. The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns.”

Why is this a political issue?  I don’t want to hear something stupid  Obama supposedly said 5-6 years ago.  It doesn’t really matter.  In fact, it is irrelevant.  Let’s put politics aside and do what needs to happen for the good of the country.  The money has already been spent.   If every American gave $5 bucks a month, think how we could reduce the debt.  Why shouldn’t we pay for it?  It is we who reaped the benefits.





Warner warns of calamity if Washington won’t act on debt

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said Friday that he feels like someone walking around Washington with a sign that says, “The end is near. We’ve got to act.”

During a stop in Richmond, Warner expressed disappointment that budget deficit talks led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had collapsed Thursday when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., walked away, blaming differences over taxes.

“People are still playing political games,” Warner said. “The idea that we can solve this on one side of the balance sheet is a fundamental lack of basic Econ 101.”

Warner, who has for months been working toward a solution with a bipartisan group of senators known as the “Gang of Six,” said Thursday’s developments gave new urgency to that effort, which has languished since Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., departed weeks ago.

“We’ve still got a few items outstanding, but if we can’t get those finalized, we ought to at least present what we have,” Warner said, adding he hopes they can do so in the next week.Read More