Washington is fighting. Nothing too new there. Call it almost business as usual. Republicans and Democrats not seeing eye-to-eye. No big deal.
But this time it's gone a bit farther, and for the first time in 17 years we have a shutdown. But that's not too earth-shattering. It's happened before and will probably happen again. What's the concern?
The concern is that Big Business relies on the GOP to protect them. To fight all regulations and allow them to run wild in the streets. In return the Republicans are given money for their campaigns. It's a vicious cycle and one that costs the middle class both fair representation and money.
What has changed and the president made it clear in his Thursday meeting with titans of big business in a private White House meeting, is in the recent past, there was a spokesperson for the GOP, someone who represented their unified party.
That no longer exists -- it's like trying to negotiate with a foreign government in the middle of a civil war. Who really represents the country -- or in this case, the party?
We know who it isn't. It's not John Boehner. It also isn't Mitch McConnell who wasn't even allowed to speak after the closed door session with the leaders of both houses in the Oval Office.
On appearances, there's Senator (Rafael Cruz) running the House of Representatives, and a small faction of the House majority party. At the same time he's being shunned in his own chamber, the Senate. His objective appears to be destruction of the United States. Total anarchy. It's the asylum being run by the insane inmates and there's no one to negotiate with. Certainly nobody sane.
Under this uncertainty, Big Business can't thrive. So they're switching beds. They're leaving the comfort of their money stuffed Republican mattresses and coming over to sleep with the Democrats. It's an uneasy alliance at best, but until the Repubs can get their House in order, the certainty, and the will of the people, is being represented by Obama and the Democrats.
Here's how PBO put it to CNBC's John Harwood. It's the same dire warning "O" gave big business. The first day of the government shutdown, the market dropped. The second, a day after meeting with the president, the market's crashing big time. So fear has gripped Wall Street. It should ripple and reach the Republicans soon -- or they won't have two nickels to rub together come next election. It seems this assessment is enough to leave more than the president "exasperated."
Revenues are swell-- mandatory, in fact-- but Steny Hoyer also said that President Obama and the Dems are ready to accept significant spending cuts, or as The Hill called them, reductions. Define "significant" por favor. "Significant" cuts to Medicare? Social Security? Those reductions?
Meantime, Republicans are pleased as punch with themselves and their threats to shut down the government. Crash that economy! Go-o-o GOP! Rah! America first! Aren't they just totes adorbs?
Rejecting GOP ultimatums, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that new revenues must accompany spending cuts as Congress prepares to jump headfirst into a series of high-stakes budget debates. [...]
Hoyer, the Democratic whip, said it's "categorically not true" that the last deal takes new revenues off the table in the coming talks.
"I certainly reject it out of hand," Hoyer said during his weekly Capitol press briefing. "You cannot get to where we need to get — to get our country on a fiscally sustainable path — without additional revenues."
It starts to get comical now, because Eric Cantor opened his big mouth and this WTF Moment fell out:
"It’s time for President Obama to stop putting our credit rating at risk and acknowledge we need a credible deficit reduction plan attached to any increase in the debt limit."
That would be the spending that Congress approved, that Congress put on the Giant U.S. Visa card, the bills they racked up and voted for, the same ones Republicans are now refusing to pay now that they're coming due.
They are the ones who are willing to hold everyone in the country hostage and put our reputation and the world economy at risk in order to get their ridiculous, disastrous spending cuts. It's all explained in this post: You are about to enter another dimension, a dangerous land of debt ceiling negotiation. Next stop, the Deadbeat Zone!
All the projection in the universe won't convince America that it is the president who is playing with lives when it is those on the right who have publicly and proudly said they are using the debt ceiling as leverage, as ransom. Stick that in your debt deal and smoke it, Cantor.
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.
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