Let's say it was 2006 and then Senator Barack Obama had his way and was able to block the increase in the debt ceiling.President George W. Bush then invoked the 14th amendment saying the debt ceiling was illegal and ordered the treasury to start issuing new debt against the will of congress.Wouldn't these same Democratic leaders have seethed with rage (quite justifiably) over the further erosion of congressional authority and the further elevation of executive power?
Steven - The issue isn't the political kabuki - Dems, Reps, Teabaggers, Obama are all happy to screw people in the service of their masters. The white hot rage on the right will be made manifest by a Brievik, some heavily armed Xian bloodthirsty nutcase whose hatred of Blackblack Oblackblack finally is pushed past the fundamental cowardice innate to that movement, ie, the 101st Fighting Keyboarders ("Arise Chickenhawks").These are bad people, Steven. When a liberal is angered, we try, unfortunately not hard enough, to change the policy, or far more commonly spew nonsense about 3rd parties. (Why, yes I'm a lib, and proud of it, but I recognize our issues.) When a teabagger is angry, he DREAMS of killing people, bathing in the blood of libs, muslims, blacks,those slutty women who sleep with men who are not him and then have gaybortions. And more and more often, some of these assholes are finding the "strength within" to kill the hated Other. I don't fear the Islamists, few in number as they truly are. They simply want you to convert or die. Most Muslims don't give a shit, they have their own lives to manage. I fear the American right-wing - they want control, to suck our your brains and replace them with THEIR version of Jesusjuice. If you're gay or liberal, and white, you can be redeemed if you mouth the appropriate phrases and cast your free will to the wind. (Of course, anyone failing the paper bag test, any woman inclined to think for herself, screw 'em. Lesbians are a special case because the church councils are still watching the films to determine if its a sin or not.) And there is a mechanism in place to allow the Baggers of Lightly Caffeinated Boiled Leaves to take power.Hell, here in the Cities, in the largest school district, (in Batshit Kwazee Shelley's Congressional district, with the schoolboard populated by her personal friends), the bullying policy specifically exempts GLBT teens from protection from bullying, and in fact protects the bullies - go ahead, beat that queer.The American right is the greatest threat to the future of the United States.
The President has other options. For instance: He could have gone on television the other night and explained to the American public exactly what the debt-ceiling is: A relic. An artifact from an earlier time when our monetary supply was tied to a precious metal.He could have explained that, way back, when we were on the gold standard, the government was constrained in the amount of money that it could it print by the value of the actual amount of gold reserves that it had on hand; that the government couldn't legally exceed the amount of currency it circulated above the actual value of its gold reserves, and that any additional monies that might be needed above the value of our gold holdings had to be created in the form of U.S Treasuries-backed debt.He could have explained that the debt-ceiling was enacted to make sure that the government didn't exceed a very specific hard asset-backed/soft asset-backed money-supply ratio; that the amount of money that the government created out of thin air could never be allowed to rise to a level where that money would cause our hard asset-backed monies to be devalued.He could have told the public how, in 1971, then President Richard Nixon took us off of the gold standard and moved the country’s monetary system to a fiat currency, and that since our monetary system is no longer based on a hard-backed asset, but rather all of our currency is now made out of thin air, there was no longer any need to maintain that hard asset-backed/soft asset-back ratio; that there was no danger of disparity-induced monetary devaluation.He could have clued the American public in to the fact that it’s been 40 years since the debt-ceiling ceased being used for the purpose for which it was designed; that in fact, the debt-ceiling no longer served any legitimate governmental or budgetary function at all.He could have shown the debt-ceiling to be what it is: A weapon. A figurative gun that Congress annually holds to the collective heads of the citizens of this country in order justify their willful misappropriation of socially intended monies into the pocketbooks of the few; how they’ve now become so brazen with its use, that they’re no longer merely waving that gun in threat, but actively using to rob.He could have neutered this argument in fifteen minutes.That would have been something, eh? To watch that orange-skinned, rat-faced asshole come on a few minutes after The President and try to follow up; stumble-bumble, hom-hom-hominaing his way through his prepared remarks.The President could have done that, but he didn’t. Instead, he’s chosen to play along with this kamikaze kabuki. I can only surmise that he continues to do so because he finds there to be some political utility in this fight. Maybe he just wants to keep that gun around, in case he ever needs to wield it himself…I don’t know.What I do know is that he has options, and the options that he’s chosen to pursue do not at all bode well for the future of this country.Of course, if he really wanted to, he could simply instruct Secretary Geithner to pay off the National debt--and that would be that.
To me, the stupidest thing in this whole idiotic mess is that the debt ceiling has to be raised to pay the budget that Congress already fucking approved.
Matt asks an interesting question. To put it another way....why not include the debt limit increase in the spending bill that will take us over the borrowing limit?As a matter of standard practice, it seems like a great idea. Just make it routine to include it in the Omnibus spending package.
Matt - damn! Brilliant! Just, wow, nice...
Matt,That's exactly how it's always been done: When the budget passed to the House, a raise in the debt ceiling was automatically passed as well. Off to the Senate it went.In Jan. of this year, the House repealed the rule that made this automatic.That's perhaps the biggest portion of disingenuousness in this whole fiasco: Everybody on both sides has known this was coming for six months. It's theater.
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