Archive for debt limit

Senate Democratic leaders are planning to go on offense on raising taxes

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feeling your cheerios

Dems are feeling their oats.

Via The Hill:

Democrats are planning to capitalize on the Republican Party’s poor handling of the recent fiscal showdown by parlaying it into another legislative victory. Congressional Democrats want Republicans to sign off on $50 billion worth of tax increases to eliminate the sequester’s automatic spending cuts.

Yeah, like that'll happen. But one Democratic aide said the situation looks more promising now because the GOP is feeling the heat "after what they did to the country by following the Tea Party agenda, to show they are willing to come to the table and compromise.” Plus, they think Republicans will feel incentivized because a hunk of the sequester for 2014 will hit defense programs.

Okay Dems go for it, and don't blow this one:

Democrats say they would not accept any budget deal unless it includes tens of billions in new tax revenue. Their opening bid is $1 in new taxes for every $1 in spending cuts to offset the cost of ending sequestration for domestic and defense discretionary spending programs.

House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell undoubtedly are pointing and laughing as we speak. However, Americans don't want them to control the House, but they do want Boehner to go and Obamacare to stay.

So Democrats do have some leverage. And while they're at it...

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking Senate Democratic leader, will propose legislation that would reduce Congress’s authority over raising the debt limit.

It would give the president authority to raise the debt limit and merely allow Congress to vote on a resolution of disapproval to block action.

Yes, please and thank you.

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Paul Ryan: Use #GOPshutdown, debt ceiling as leverage to deny women access to birth control

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ryan ugh this guy

Back in February, we posted that the Obama administration clarified the contraception mandate to accommodate religious groups.

Then in September, Politico reported this:

The chamber further adopted a “conscience clause” that postpones until 2015 an Obamacare requirement that employers cover birth control as part of their health-insurance packages.

Yes, House Republicans did that, even though over half of the electorate are women. It was one more attempt to hold our government-- and the world economy-- hostage making a ridiculous laundry list of demands, including a “conscience clause.”

It is now October, and Paul Ryan (R-WI) has come out from under his rock. He said this in a private meeting with House Republicans, via WaPo:

Ryan, who stood up and railed against the Collins proposal, saying the House could not accept either a debt-limit bill or a government-funding measure that would delay the next fight until the new year.

According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as “leverage” for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a “conscience clause” — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Think Progress put it this way: "Republicans in the lower chamber are still hoping to use the talks as “leverage” to limit women’s access to contraception."

The War on Women continues.

Hey GOP, how's that "outreach" thing workin' for ya?

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Welcome to Raffy World

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charlie sheen winning smaller

Check this out, via the conservative publication, the Washington Examiner:

The survey’s findings mirrored other national polls: More voters blame the Republicans for the government shutdown than blame President Obama or the Democrats. But Cruz argued, based on the poll, that Republicans are in a much better position than they were during the 1995 shutdown because this impasse is defined by a disagreement over funding for the Affordable Care Act as opposed to a general disagreement over government spending.

Rafael "Ted" Cruz conducted his very own poll to convince his pals that the GOP shutdown was helping the Republican party.

Maybe Raffy should take a gander at this post by Tom Holbrook at Politics by the Numbers:

In fact, there is not a single poll in this series of 44 polls in which the Republican party registered a net positive rating, and not a single case in which the net Republican rating was higher than the net Democrat rating.

Even worse for the Republicans is that their favorability rating continues to degrade. Their average net rating was -13 prior to the 2012 election and has averaged -22 since then. Meanwhile, the net rating for Democrats has shifted from and average of +.6 prior to the election to an average of +2.3 since the election... [T]he somewhat pronounced negative turn for Republican party favorability following the election, coupled with the corresponding smaller positive turn for the Democrats, has led to an impressive shift in the Democratic in advantage in favorability.

But Raffy sees all this as a win.

Raffy World

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Elizabeth Warren: "Stop the presses: I agree with Wall Street."

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elizabeth warren via New York Magazine

I get emails:

Laffy,

The United States Treasury says that in exactly one week, it won't have enough money to pay the government's bills.

We're not in this position because President Obama or the Secretary of the Treasury spent more than they were supposed to. And we're not in this position because investors refuse to buy our bonds.

We're in this position for one reason, and one reason only: because Congress told the government to spend more money than we have, and now Congress is threatening to run out on the bill. This isn't about new spending. This is about paying for the bills we've already run up.

The idea that we can renege on our debts without paying a high price is a fantasy – a very dangerous fantasy.  

We must raise the debt ceiling – and we must do it now. Tell Congress to do its job, pay our bills, and prevent the first default in the history of the United States.

Consider what happened in 2011, the last time the government came to the edge of a voluntary default.

Even the possibility that the government would not make good on its debts spooked investors and pushed up interest rates. According to experts, even talking about default cost the government $19 billion over ten years.

And consumers and businesses got spooked too. The S&P index dropped by 17 percent. $800 billion dollars in retirement assets vanished. Mortgage rates went up nearly three-quarters of a point. The result was less consumer spending, fewer business investments, lower home ownership rates, and slower job growth.

That's what happened the last time Congress came to the edge of a voluntary default. What happens if we actually default?

Some economists estimate that the rise in interest rates will cost us $75 billion a year. Social Security checks and Medicare reimbursements will be delayed. People won't be able to pay their mortgages or small business loans. Interest rates will spike, and the credit market could freeze.

If we default on our debt, we could bring on a worldwide recession – a recession that would pummel hard-working middle class people, people who lost homes and jobs and retirement savings and who are barely getting back on their feet.

I don't always see eye-to-eye with Wall Street CEOs, but on this one we agree: We can't run out on the bill and cause financial calamity for working families.

Tell Congress to stop playing with the lives of every American and start doing what the American people sent us here to do. Raise the debt ceiling and pay our bills now.

This fight is about financial responsibility. I can think of a lot of things we could do with $75 billion dollars. We could ramp up Meals on Wheels and Head Start. We could give students some relief on their loans. We could invest in more medical and scientific research. We could pay down the debt.

But if we default on our loans, we've just flushed money down the drain. That's about as irresponsible as it gets.

For many things that we do in Congress, we can make a mistake, and then back up and fix it. A default on our national debt is not one of those things. If we default, this country will pay.

We are the United States of America. We always pay our debts – in full and on time. That's who we are.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

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