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I hate having to do this

I hate having to do this

Told ya so:

And please don’t tell me that we’ll give in on taxes now and make our stand on spending and entitlements over the national debt limit — ain’t gonna happen.

Ain’t gonna happen:

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said in Houston Thursday that Congress will not allow an impasse over raising the debt ceiling to result in the federal government defaulting on its spending obligations.

“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board.

Cornyn’s fellow Republicans, particularly in the House, have been trying to use the issue of the debt ceiling to force President Obama to agree to spending cuts.

Obama has said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling. He has insisted that if Congress refuses to raise the debt limit, the nation will default on its spending obligations, including veterans benefits and Social Security payments.

“I will tell you unequivocally, we’re not going to default,” Cornyn  said Thursday.

House Republicans, meanwhile, meeting at an annual retreat in Williamsburg, Va., told reporters that they are considering a plan to raise the legal borrowing limit for just a few months, postponing the debt-ceiling debate until March.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., expressed a willingness to consider a plan that would allow the White House to prioritize spending in case the borrowing limit is not raised.

Cornyn said that paying bills on a pro rata basis or delaying payment on some bills until the debt ceiling issue is resolved may be possible, “but my hope would be that we would not even go there.”

In an opinion piece in the Chronicle last week, Cornyn wrote that shutting down parts of government may be necessary if the White House and Congress cannot agree on a deal to slash spending.

“It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain,” he wrote. “President Obama needs to take note of this reality and put forward a plan to avoid it immediately.”

Never should have given Obama his pound of tax increases. Should have done the Christmas Plan and kept everything up for discussion. But what do I know.


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So we have the majority in the House, but do not use it…why? Harry Reid has no problem exercising his majority power in the Senate. Why are the GOP such…well you know the word.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to EBL. | January 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    The GOP as a group, starting with the Squeaker of the House, doesn’t have enough guts among them to string a cheap tennis racket.

    Reid rules the Senate with an iron hand and accuses Boehner of being a dictator. Squeaker cries, “Oh, nooooooo!” and folds up like a cheap Murphy bed.

    And Cornyn? Puh-leeeeeease…. All hat and no cattle.

      I just hope that we can rid ourselves of Mr. Cornyn, as he has proved himself, for lack of a better word, incapable of coherent thought.

      “We will raise the debt ceiling. We are not going to default on our debt.”

      Great, John. We already know that there is no problem servicing our existing debt. But what does that have to do with borrowing more money?

But, but… the Democrats and the Media will make us look like meanies.

Never should have given Obama his pound of tax increases. Should have done the Christmas Plan and kept everything up for discussion. But what do I know,

Yes, you were right.

The question is what to do now: in particular, what to do given that Obama apparently is winning the public-relations battle.

Why is it I keep getting the feeling that GOP leaders could play poker with a 7-year-old and still loose their shirts?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Socratease. | January 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    It’s because GOP leaders could play poker with a 7-year-old and still loose their shirts.

    It’s LOSE YOUR SHIRT PEOPLE. NOT LOOSE. CRIPES, we can’t even get something simple like this right, and you wonder why the GOP caves on taxes? PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELVES!

What pisses me off is seeing R’s cave in and accept the “BIG LIE” the Dems use to scare the public on this issue.

Specifically, the notion that refusing to raise the debt ceiling will result in a “default on the debt”. Nonsense. Did we default on the debt when the govt was partially shut down over the debt ceiling under Clinton?? NO! Federal revenues are about $250 billion a month, debt service is about $30 billion a month. So, obviously, there is ZERO danger of defaulting on the debt. Particularly when you consider it is the only spending the federal govt does that the constitution specifically requires them to pay.

If you give into your enemies (and D’s are, in every way, enemies of the Republic) false narrative on an issue, then you’ve already lost. Here we have Cornyn, generally a fairly solid R, accepting their “BIG LIE” at face value and letting that lie define the debate.

If I can recognize the lie as a lie, and prove their lie is a lie in a few sentences, how is it that a Republican Senator is incapable of doing so?

Yeah, ‘Stupid Party’ fits.

    Aarradin in reply to Aarradin. | January 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    The D’s “Mediscaring” of Social Security benefits is another huge lie that R leaders either accept openly or fail to refute.


    The ‘special issue’ bonds that Social Security has ($2.7 trillion worth) may be just IOU’s from one branch of govt to another, but they are officially counted as part of the national debt. Therefore, in the event of a partial govt shutdown due to the debt reaching the debt ceiling, social security checks WILL ALWAYS go out so long as the ‘trust fund’ still has ‘special issue’ bonds.

    Here’s how: SS is currently running a deficit of about $50 billion a year, so just about $4 billion a month. So, SS presents $4 billion in ‘special issue’ bonds to be redeemed by Treasury. This reduces the national debt by $4 billion. Treasury, being empty, has no cash to ‘buy’ them so they sell real treasury bonds to the public (or, under Obama, sells them to the Fed – ‘paid for’ with freshly printed money). This increases the national debt by the same $4 billion. So, its a wash. Regardless of what the SS deficit is, they can still send out checks with no effect on the total federal debt until they burn through $2.7 trillion in ‘special issue’ bonds. That’s not expected to happen for about 2 DECADES.

    This is not a difficult concept. But I’ve yet to see a single MSM reporter or elected R in DC spell out just how huge a lie Obama is engaging in when he says the social security checks might not go out. Its pure demagoguery. Scaring seniors dependent on those checks is pure evil. We just went through this debate 18 months ago and yet Obama is trotting out the same lies and NO ONE is calling him on it.

    Similarly, pay for the military will continue even if R’s refuse to hike the debt ceiling. This is because current revenues can be spent on the debt, the big 3 entitlements, the military, etc, etc, etc up to the total amount of those revenues. The president has discretion as to what will not get spent (ie the monthly deficit) above current revenues. So, the only way the military would NOT get paid is if Obama deliberately prioritized them so low that he blew through $3 trillion (annualized) in revenues before getting to the military.

    Similarly, the notion that the debt fight could lead to a downgrade in the debt is pure nonsense. The downgrades to our credit rating come as a result of the size of the debt, the size of the deficit, and the complete lack of a plan to ever again achieve a balanced budget. So, the exact opposite is true. If they hike the debt ceiling in exchange for nothing, they practically guarantee a credit downgrade. On the other hand, regardless of how long the debate takes and regardless of whether the govt is partially shut down, if the final deal results in significant spending cuts and/or an actual budget plan that realistically leads to a balanced budget within 10 years, then there’s a good chance the credit rating agencies will not downgrade our credit.

    Yet another Big Lie is the notion that a partial govt shutdown as a result of a debt ceiling standoff will have a crippling effect on the US economy or on the world economy. Again, look what happened less than 20 years ago under Clinton when we actually went through this. The president prioritizes spending, shuts down the most useless items (stuff that no one would ever miss, like the EPA or Americorps or the depts of Energy or Education), and the economy chugs right along without ever noticing. The imbeciles in the press freak out, but not spending money we don’t have on things we shouldn’t be spending on to begin with is good, not bad, for the economy.

“House Republicans, meanwhile, meeting at an annual retreat in Williamsburg, Va., told reporters that they are considering a plan to raise the legal borrowing limit for just a few months, postponing the debt-ceiling debate until March.”

OR until APRIL.

Which seems like not bad idea to me.

Barring that, just step back.

Let it burn.

    serfer1962 in reply to Ragspierre. | January 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Rags and then what? Another extention and never any cuts! Never.

    Cornyn is an enemy of the Tea Party as so many senatoers are. They must be primaried OUT.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 19, 2013 at 9:36 am


    What I said echoed the Prof.’s “modified Christmas strategy” (I thought). Yet nobody disagreed with him.

    The incremental, time-release strategy is designed to sap Obamic political capital, give time to educate, and leverage to pass a real budget. Is that good? If it works.

    A lot of you don’t get it.

    There will be no meaningful cuts in anything we want cut, although there could well be cuts in defense that will hollow out our strength. Because, despite how I feel or you feel, there is no political will to cut. Or not enough.

    Hence, just step back and let it burn. It will anyhow.

The selling out is going according to plan…

I actually like the current plan of a 3 month extension and focusing the debate on getting the Senate D’s to pass a budget.

Four years overdue, but this might actually do some good.

Remember last year when Obama’s budget got voted down 97-0 in the Senate and 413-0 in the House? That budget, so freaking horrible not a single D in Congress could bring themselves to vote for it (not even the 1/3 or so of their caucus in safe ‘majority-minority’ VRA districts), is essentially what current spending is like now. With no budget in place, ALL of the temporary (HUGE!) spending hikes Obama put in during his first few months (Stimulus, ‘Porkulus’, parts of TARP, etc) have been treated as if they are baseline and have been increasing automatically every year since.

If Senate D’s can actually be forced to pass a budget, it will be very difficult for them to maintain current levels of spending (yeah, I know, they’ll try, but it will be VERY embarrassing to document what’s actually been going on as part of an official budget).

    sybilll in reply to Aarradin. | January 18, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Aarradin, I have wanted to scream that from the rooftops. Problem? 50% of this country doesn’t know about, nor give a hot damn about the facts you quoted. The only news of late that has gotten their attention is the fact that their paycheck is smaller, and that JLo and Nikki Minaj got into a spat on American Idol. Bottom line is, unless it hits the average American’s pocket book, it goes unnoticed, unreported, and discarded like last week’s reject from the Bachelor

    Sanddog in reply to Aarradin. | January 19, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Will Reid actually pass a budget or will Boehner get punked once again?

    It would be nice if we had some actual leadership in the republican party.

The Christmas plan is bold and new.

What are we? Amatures?

We’ll go with the tried and true.

Give Obama what he wants, then, we’ll (well, not us, we’ll be in a comfortable retirement) go with..

The Marshall Plan

The Republicans have convinced me they are as great a danger to the Republic as is Obama. Damn cowards!!!

We are trending into havoc. To reverse this trend I am more and more inclined to revolt.

    Right on — revolt is the word, all right. The longer we sit still for these derelicts manning the helm of the GOP, the deeper Hitler (did I say that?) will march his fascists.

    Letting these bozos stay in control is like ignoring a tumor growing on your forehead.

    snopercod in reply to Sally Paradise. | January 19, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Speaking of revolt, let me ask a hypothetical question: Suppose you were retired and your income consisted of social security supplemented with withdrawals from your 401(k) or IRA. Further suppose that you were paying several thousand dollars per year in income tax on the retirement plan withdrawals.

    So my question is, if your social security benefits stopped arriving, would you still pay your income taxes come next April, or just say “screw you”?

House Republicans, meanwhile, meeting at an annual retreat in Williamsburg, Va.

I guess their repeated retreating in Washington, D.C., wasn’t enough for them.

When do we stop hearing “they should have gone with MY idea”? It’s childish. Who cares about some random blogger’s pet idea? There’s no shortage of ideas. Yours is not special. Get over it.

I really like this blog, and I (usually) respect Mr. Jacobson a great deal, but come on.

Also, stop predicting they’ll cave. WTF is the point? Wouldn’t a good person urge them to do the right thing rather than saying you _know_ they’re going to do the wrong thing? What’s wrong with you people?

    Who’d have thought Gov. Chris Christie would start posting here? (Very exciting!)

    Tell me Mr. Christie, how’s your diet coming along?

    punfundit in reply to kohath. | January 19, 2013 at 2:00 am

    No, really, what’s wrong with us people? Go ahead. Tell us. Join the ranks of “random bloggers” who should be ignored because we’re nobodies.

      kohath in reply to punfundit. | January 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      They shouldn’t be ignored because of that. You miss the point.

      You know how a child will continually say “Mom, look at me. Look. Look mom! You’re not looking!” when they want attention? Because they don’t understand that they aren’t the center of the universe?

      Well, the “Christmas Plan” isn’t the center of the universe. It’s just yet another political gambit plan. Anyone can think of 20 of those. Some are good, some are bad. None of them are so great that we need to hear “they should have used MY idea” for weeks and months later.

      William Jacobson shouldn’t be ignored. This blog is really good. Vanity and defeatism aren’t what made it good.

    IrateNate in reply to kohath. | January 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Yeah, we gotta do the right thing. Except who decides what that “thing” actually is?

    For me, and perhaps anyone who has an ounce of common sense, the “thing” would be to realize that we will never get out of this hole we’re in until we first stop digging.

    For the majority of America? Who knows anymore; the prevailing attitude seems to be “hey – don’t cut my benefits, find somewhere else to “do the right thing.”

You hate having to say “I told you so?” Please, Did you really expect today’s intrusive government to actually listen to it’s citizens? This republic is on a slow march to tyranny, that will be stopped only with civil disobedience and mass protest. The government ought to be rightly scared of the people. The people are kinda pissed off at the corruption, abuse and mismanagement of an entirely too large administration.

Freddie Sykes | January 19, 2013 at 5:06 am

Not raising the debt ceiling does not mean defaulting on our debt. The current federal revenue is about the same as we spent in 2007, a time when Bush was accused of spending like a drunken sailor. Servicing the debt would take maybe a quarter of that revenue.

Obviously, the senate does not understand Social Security funding. Because the trust funds are actually part of the national debt, any amounts taken from these trust funds even if replaced by new debt would be debt neutral. Furthermore, not spending FICA taxes on SS benefits means that they would have to be credited to the trust funds and would thus raise the total debt beyond the ceiling. Not paying SS benefits would be a violation of the debt ceiling limit as long as FICA taxes are collected.

“Never should have given Obama his pound of tax increases. Should have done the Christmas Plan and kept everything up for discussion.”

Your basic assumption that republicans didn’t want to increase taxes and don’t want to raise the debt ceiling needs review.

And we’re supposed to trust that group of craven “establisment” republicans to protect our 2nd amendment rights?