You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a dangerous land of debt ceiling negotiation. Next stop, the Deadbeat Zone!
But when it comes to that pesky debt ceiling issue, the proverbial platinum coin solution is out, and negotiations are out, which means playing hardball is apparently in.
Via LiveWire, here is White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's statement on the political game-playing:
"There are only two options to deal with the debt limit: Congress can pay its bills or it can fail to act and put the nation into default," said spokesman Jay Carney. "When Congressional Republicans played politics with this issue last time, putting us at the edge of default, it was a blow to our economic recovery, causing our nation’s credit rating to be downgraded. The President and the American people won’t tolerate Congressional Republicans holding the American economy hostage again simply so they can force disastrous cuts to Medicare and other programs the middle class depend on while protecting the wealthy. Congress needs to do its job."
Still, GOP Congress members are once again inanely threatening default. They see nothing wrong with holding everyone in the country hostage to get their precious, and equally inane, spending cuts (read: slashing Medicare, Social Security, among other vital programs at the expense of those who so badly need them). They really are heading down Sociopath Lane these days, are they not?
"This now puts all the pressure back where we believe it belongs: on the Republicans," a senior administration official told the Huffington Post. "There are no magic coins. There is no way to get out of this. We feel fine about the politics of it. We think we are in a stronger position if Republicans realize there is no out."
To repeat what should now be clear to every American, but isn't: Approving the debt ceiling means paying off what Congress members themselves have already approved and spent. So Republicans are refusing to pay their own bills. How responsible of them.
The debt ceiling needs to be raised periodically because both parties in Congress have approved tax cuts and spending increases over the years, knowing full well they will add to deficits. By doing so, they increase the country's future borrowing needs.
That's why raising the debt ceiling is not a "license to spend more," as some Republicans assert. It simply lets the Treasury Department continue to pay all the country's obligations that Congress has already approved -- whether it's a payment to a federal contractor, a Social Security check to a senior, or interest on the debt to a bond investor.
[O]n August 5, the credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit rating of US government bond for the first time in the country's history. Markets around the world as well as the three major indexes in the US then experienced their most volatile week since the 2008 financial crisis with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging for 635 points (or 5.6%) in one day. Yields on US Treasuries, however, dropped as investors, anxious over the dismal prospects of the US economic future and the ongoing European sovereign-debt crisis, fled into the safety of US government bonds and bonds of other safe haven economies.
The GOP seems to be vying for former Rep. Joe Walsh's "Deadbeat Dad" title, and that's pretty pathetic.