Dancing on the Debt Ceiling

With time running out to raise the Debt Ceiling before American goes into default for the first time in history, President Obama took his case straight to Monday Night Prime-time. Politics aside, the speech was pure Bartlet and kicked some serious ass from the Bully Pulpit. Sure The Pres blatantly and repeatedly called out House Republicans for holding the country hostage to pass their Tea-Party economic plan, but it was his plea for a rational compromise that made Obama seem like the only adult in the room.

While obviously loaded with slanted language to push the Democratic point of view, Obama brilliantly simplified the discussion in such a rational manner hard to argue against unless you absolutely don’t want taxes raised on the top 2% of Americans, those making $250,000 and up.

Propaganda from the left and right has made it that most of America has no idea WTF anything is about. The debt ceiling conversation is in regards to paying the bills we already accrued, not future budgets. If we don’t pay back what we already spent, our credit is screwed, and the economy crashes. Its that simple. That’s why the debt ceiling has been raised 112 times, by every President since its creation, and even 17 times during Reagan’s 8 years.

Obama acknowledged that both parties hold blame to the budget crisis, and likewise, both hold responsibility to curtail spending and get it back on track. The problem can’t be fixed by spending cuts, or raising taxes alone, but instead compromises must be made and both must take place. Obama’s compromise would piss off both parties, but more importantly, would cut the deficit by $4 trillion dollars.

Unfortunately, one particular party in Congress wants nothing to do with compromise, and would rather see the country crumble than say “yes”.

“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government.”

"Ok lets have a Disappointed-Off. Go!"

The President blamed the impasse not on all Republicans, as he was clear that Senate Republicans want to make a deal. He instead targeted the close-minded stubbornness of House Republicans who have hijacked the process to take advantage of the vote to make historic cuts without removing loopeholes and temporary tax cuts to the wealthiest 2%. Their entire plan is to cut government spending to levels lower than we had during Eisenhower and keep tax rates for the rich lower than they were during Reagan. It just doesn’t make sense.

He then hit home when he called out their bullshit with a quote from their honorary leader, Ronald Reagan:

“Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment?  And I think I know your answer.”

You’d think so, but then House Speaker John Boehner followed Obama with his own significantly less-impressive speech that  came off as a blame game and showed no interest in compromise. The plan, of course calls for cuts, with no raising taxes. It also calls for a bi-partisan  “super congress”, a board made up of select House Representatives and select Senators to fast track the budget conversation. Unfortunately, no one trusts the Republicans and many see this as a ploy for Tea-Party Republicans to fast-track their ultra-right wing philosophies not shared by the rest of the country.

Boehner’s House Republican bullshit plan also offers a “solution” that raises the debt ceiling temporarily only to vote on raising it every 6 months. This is an obvious ploy to stall government and bring the conversation back up during election time to divide the country further, so thankfully Obama rejects it outright.

Obviously the big problem with rooting for Obama in this speech is that he let the conversation even get to this point. He knew Congress will never let us default, yet he still allowed budget talks to be tied to the debt ceiling. This speech is Obama trying to finally be the one to set the narrative.

Barry always bends too far to appease Congressional Republicans, and all of his programs and policies are harmed because of it. Here the Big Compromiser strikes again, though someone will have to tell me why in this case the 98% had to give tit-for-tat with the 2%.

In the end, the President pleaded with the American people to see through the political games and to make their voice heard and contact their Congressmen and tell them to get their heads out of their asses before we default.

I love seeing the Bully Pulpit get pulled out for a good speech, and Monday night was Sorokin-esque.

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One Comment

  1. President’s budget sinks, 97-0
    By Alexander Bolton – 05/25/11 06:15 PM ET

    The Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject a $3.7 trillion budget plan that President Obama sent to Capitol Hill in February.

    If Obama is as smart as his apologists say he is, how could he be so stupid to put up a budget that gets trounced 97-0??
    He isn’t stupid. He knows that most people never paid attention to his lack of budget leadership or a 97-0 vote.
    The President doesn’t care to take the lead in reducing spending. He knows that he can fire up his apologists in the class warfare “tax the top 2%” narrative.

    The parasites are clearly going to vote for more blood from the producers.

    “The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

    ‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”
    — Robert A. Heinlein