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Friday, January 28, 2022

Debt-limit chicken

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Like a high-stakes poker game with other peoples’ money, Democrats and Republicans continue to posture, ponder and pontificate in their game of debt-limit chicken as the deadline for raising the nation’s credit ceiling looms less than a month away.

Publicly, neither side appears willing to budge.  They fight the battle in the media through sound bites and carefully-staged press conferences.

Says often quoted political analyst Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia: “This is the natural gamesmanship you end up with in a highly-polarized political system in which neither side trusts each other or is willing to seriously compromise.”

But Sabato — like other longtime watchers of the political circus in Washington, thinks a deal will be cut.

“The dangers are just too great if they don’t,” he tells Jane Sassen of Yahoo News.

The secret to a deal, insiders say, lies with President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner. While both play their hardline parts in competing press conferences, staff members work long hours to try and reach a compromise that will stave off financial disaster and a government shutdown if a deal is not cut by Aug. 2.

Former President Bill Clinton is proposing a “min-deal,” which he says could move the August deadline until later in the year and allow more time for a long-term compromise.

“I hope they will make a mini-deal,” Clinton says. “There are some spending cuts they agree on… and Obama can take those and get an extension of the debt ceiling for six or eight months.”



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8 thoughts on “Debt-limit chicken”

  1. “We’re all stuck in the back of a bus being driven by drunk lunatics.” …extract from post

    Amen…! : (

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. My point would be that if the debt limit is so critical, then why did the Republicans have no problem with it during the Bush presidency?

    I remember Tom Delay announcing that his party had removed “all the fat” from government; that there was nothing more to do in that regard. Within a few years (and a different president) that has changed.

    In ’05 or ’06, the House voted one day to cut $39 billion from the budget in the form of veterans benefits, education, etc. Several days later the same House voted to expand tax cuts by around $70 billion. I sent my congressman a letter inquiring as to the paradox in this, and his reply was that his party was going to show “fiscal responsibility.”

    I consider the citizens to be poorly served by the two parties. The Democrats are as useless as henpoop on a pump handle, spineless now but ready to pounce with authoritarianism when they have the chance. The current president is tacking to the right of Ronald Reagan, but that apparently isn’t enough for the Republicans at this time.

    Being old enough to have indulged in the Firesign Theater in my youth, I’m reminded of the song that was sung by the choir of The Church of The Presumptious Assumption Of the Blinding Light”

    Oh blinding light,
    Oh light that blinds,
    I cannot see,
    Look out for me.

    We’re all stuck in the back of a bus being driven by drunk lunatics.

  3. Trust me when I say I am not a Democrat, but the Repubs had no problem raising the debt limit seven times when Bush 43 was in office. And Boehner, McConnell, etc was right up in the middle of it.

      • point is that they had no qualms raising a debt limit without restrictions when Bushie was in office but now do when a democrat is in the Oval Office. Just another political ploy.

        • On the flip side, didn’t the Democrats do the same thing? Partisan politics in its basest idiocy.

        • We weren’t $14T in debt when 43 was in office, but I grant that the principle is actually the same. Were it not for the people having come somewhat out of their coma, it would all go so much easier again… politically.

          Raising the debt limit is a bad idea. Period.

  4. The solution to this impase is easy, but the will to do so is not; due to their rabid, ingrained partisanship supported by a nation be damned attitude.

    We need both massive spending cuts along with tax increases across all Federal venues of taxation and not simply the income tax.

    Inflation is alive and well in the marketplace, so too this inflation must be passed on in the tax base providing there are massive spending cuts now and into the future. There’s no other way to make headway against our crushing debt load.

    E.g., by simply scrapping Obamacare they’ll save 900 billion into the future. In addition if they cut all Federal programs by 10% including defense; I.E., no ‘sacred cows’ they could pull off a solution for this crisis. There’s also a host of programs that simply need to be deep sixed since they represent nothing but feelgood pork dispensed by Congressional reps to their constituents back home in Mayberry, USA.

    I’ve posted “The Government Fraud and Waste Report” a number of times during the past few months. I’ve calculated that 200 billion per annum could be saved by simply scrapping useless to wasteful government sponsored boondoggles not including my recommended ten percent cut across all government programs. Medicare fraud reached an unprecedented 80 billion last year; ie., outright stolen from the funding. These cuts would also include military and government pensions as well as active duty service and government personnel. Even Congress and the President needs a pay ‘haircut’…! : |

    This way no single party gets blamed because each crossed the line in a big way and did what’s necessary to save the nation from the financial embarrassment of sovereign default along with the brutal societal ramifications resulting from such.

    Carl Nemo **==

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