Sen. Ron Johnson: We could operate under a debt ceiling budget for days or even weeks

posted at 1:00 pm on July 7, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Should Congress decide not to raise the debt ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline set by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the government could continue to operate for days or even weeks, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said today on a conference call with bloggers.

“Next year, if we don’t increase the debt ceiling, I don’t think anybody is looking at living under a debt ceiling budget for an entire year,” the senator said. “But as opposed to caving, to not getting the fiscal controls we need, if we had to live under a debt ceiling budget for a couple days or a couple weeks, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, if you plan on it.”

That’s because $2.6 trillion would still flow into the Federal Treasury next fiscal year, Johnson explained.
“That is more than enough to make all debt payments,” he said. “It covers 100 percent of Social Security — and still leaves about $1.6 trillion to cover about $2.6 trillion worth of spending. If this administration misses one payment to a Social Security recipient, if they miss one payment to a soldier, if they miss one debt payment, that is a choice they are making. It doesn’t have to be this way if they plan for it.”

Johnson compared the situation to a business reorganization after a bankruptcy.

“I’ve been on the unsecured creditor side of a customer going bankrupt,” he said. “If you come to me as an unsecured creditor in a bankruptcy situation where the customer is going through a reorganization and you say, ‘Secured creditors are getting dollar for dollar — that’s interest on the debt, that’s Social Security. The rest of you guys, until we get this figured out, will basically get 60 cents on the dollar. Once we go through the reorganization, once we get this figured out, you’ll probably get 98 cents on the dollar.’ I’d be going, ‘That’s a sweet deal.’ I’d do that in an instant.”

Johnson also had harsh words for the secrecy that has characterized negotiations of a debt limit deal.

“It was very irresponsible to assume they were going to get an increase in the debt ceiling because nobody knows what the deal is going to be,” he said. “We’re supposed to take a look at this — some deal that’s been struck behind closed doors by a couple individuals that’s going to decide the financial fate of America — and we’ll get two days to take a look at that? Again, let me use the word — it’s disgusting. It’s disgusting the way this process is playing out.”


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What would an actual accountant know about the debt?

Shouldn’t we ask a lawyer? /s

tetriskid on July 7, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Rush and Rand are also calling on Obama to prioritize spending – we will not default.

MeatHeadinCA on July 7, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Again, let me use the word — it’s disgusting. It’s disgusting the way this process is playing out.”

new to the senate I guess.

rob verdi on July 7, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Who?

phreshone on July 7, 2011 at 1:04 PM

new to the senate I guess.

rob verdi on July 7, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Ron Johnson is an accountant and a businessman. So he actually grasps how budgets & basic math work.

tetriskid on July 7, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Ron Johnson
Paul Ryan
Scott Walker

Wisconsin rocks.

oh, and the Packers win the Superbowl.

Good year to be a cheesehead conservative.

PackerBronco on July 7, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I have to point this out, lest anyone forget. The Lady from Wasilla was the FIRST major figure out there suggesting that the debt ceiling does not have to be raised, but that the interest can be serviced thus averting U.S. default.

But of course she doesn’t know anything and we should talk about her, even though she’s been right and ahead on ALL the issues.

milemarker2020 on July 7, 2011 at 1:12 PM

‘Secured creditors are getting dollar for dollar — that’s interest on the debt, that’s Social Security. The rest of you guys, until we get this figured out, will basically get 60 cents on the dollar. Once we go through the reorganization, once we get this figured out, you’ll probably get 98 cents on the dollar.’

Hey, Ron? Social security recipients aren’t secured creditors, they just paid a tax for 40-odd years, and believed a lie.

Vashta.Nerada on July 7, 2011 at 1:14 PM

WOW! Someone who gets it. He will be ground between the twin wheels of “play along to get along” or you won’t get any $$ from the party. And the corrupt “this is not how we do things in Washington, therefore, you should shut up & sit down!”

Good luck, Mr. Johnson!

JAM on July 7, 2011 at 1:15 PM

“If this administration misses one payment to a Social Security recipient, if they miss one payment to a soldier, if they miss one debt payment, that is a choice they are making. It doesn’t have to be this way if they plan for it.”

The reason that the GOP is losing so many of these arguments is that too many of them agree with the Dems or too many of them are too stupid to put forth arguments like Senator Johnson’s. The GOP should NOT be losing on this score, but they absolutely fail to get the right people in front of cameras to hammer home these points. Johnson is absolutely correct to turn this back on Obama and the Dems that the elderly and soldiers won’t get paid and that food won’t get inspected if the ceiling isn’t raised.

Establish priorities. For crying out loud, aren’t we still funding a successor group to ACORN? The list of cuts is endless.

BuckeyeSam on July 7, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Sen. Ron Johnson, get out in front of every media camera, microphone, and stenographer-journalist and shout this message just as you state it here.

America needs to be told the truth.

onlineanalyst on July 7, 2011 at 1:17 PM

No long term deal without a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. Either no new taxes, and no new spending or no increase in the debt ceiling. This country is spending itself into financial oblivion. If you don’t like 9% unemployment, just wait until it hits 20% when our interest rates triple. The time is now. Hold the line.

stefano1 on July 7, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Who?
phreshone on July 7, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Someone who clearly deserves more attention.

Count to 10 on July 7, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Who?
phreshone on July 7, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Just the senator who helped Senator Feingold retire.

strictnein on July 7, 2011 at 1:29 PM

We could operate under a debt ceiling budget

Being that we’ve been running without a budget at all for 800 days now….

cthulhu on July 7, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Oh my God… oh my God…. thrills running up my whole body… :)

Thank you so much, Tea Party, for putting people into office who have demonstrated that they get it.

McConnell and co. better be praying that the GOP nominate a conservative to win the White House. Otherwise, I foresee a clean-up in the aisle of the RINO leadership.

I certainly could live with a Senate Majority Leader Ron Johnson or Rand Paul!

TheRightMan on July 7, 2011 at 1:33 PM

The irony is that if the Republicans “win” the economy will improve and Obama will take credit ala Bill Clinton and Welfare Reform.

txmomof6 on July 7, 2011 at 1:36 PM

“Again, let me use the word — it’s disgusting. It’s disgusting the way this process is playing out.”

I agree completely with this assessment and it applies even more so to the GOP for their part in the secrecy.

Stephen Macklin on July 7, 2011 at 1:37 PM

What would an actual accountant know about the debt?

tetriskid on July 7, 2011 at 1:03 PM

What newspapers does he read?

faraway on July 7, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Sen. Ron Johnson: We could operate under a debt ceiling budget for days or even weeks

Or, years even.

UltimateBob on July 7, 2011 at 1:46 PM

I have to point this out, lest anyone forget. The Lady from Wasilla was the FIRST major figure out there suggesting that the debt ceiling does not have to be raised, but that the interest can be serviced thus averting U.S. default.

But of course she doesn’t know anything and we should talk about her, even though she’s been right and ahead on ALL the issues.

milemarker2020 on July 7, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Amen, brother. Amen.

UltimateBob on July 7, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Rush and Rand are also calling on Obama to prioritize spending – we will not default.
MeatHeadinCA on July 7, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Sorry, I don’t see any connection between the first part of that and the second part.

People keep blythely assuming that Barack Hussein Obama desperately wants to PREVENT the goal that he spent his entire life being groomed for and working toward — the fundamental transformation of the evil Imperialist American economy.

Why? What has this man ever said or done that would lead anyone to believe that?

logis on July 7, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I certainly could live with a Senate Majority Leader Ron Johnson or Rand Paul!

TheRightMan on July 7, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I mean, I guess I could live with that ;)

Nelsen on July 7, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Lots of good, supportive comments on this companion piece about Sen. Ron Johnson.
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/271298/ron-johnson-s-one-man-protest-robert-costa

onlineanalyst on July 7, 2011 at 9:53 PM