If default would be a catastrophe, why is Obama opposed to a short-term deal that would avert it?

posted at 4:32 pm on July 14, 2011 by Allahpundit

I tossed that question out on Twitter this morning and no one had an answer. Verum Serum and Ace have been thinking the same thing and they don’t have answers either. Simple question: If, as the White House insists, hitting the debt ceiling would be the economic equivalent of an asteroid hitting the Earth, and if the only way to avoid that (i.e. the only way to get something through the House) is with a scaled-down bill that would raise the ceiling only until mid-2012, why isn’t the Lightbringer okay with that? Granted, it would mean he’d have to face another asteroid next year in the middle of the campaign, but so what? How is that a reason to let this asteroid hit right now?

To put it another way, is there any policy reason why Obama won’t agree to a short-term deal or is this really as horribly cynical as it looks — that he simply refuses to do anything that might complicate his reelection campaign, even if that means a default by the United States? Jake Tapper pressed Carney about that in today’s briefing — which is worse, default or a short-term deal? — and Carney actually said, no joke, “Both are bad; I can’t choose which is worse for you.” In a sane world, that answer would shatter the White House narrative that hitting the ceiling is an avoid-at-all-costs risk since, evidently, the Perpetual Campaigner thinks another slugfest over this next year is a greater risk than defaulting now would be. The only policy rationale I can come up with for his position is that, in the middle of a brutal campaign, the two sides will be even further dug in than they are now such that there’ll be zero chance of a deal next year compared to the very, very slim chance that there is for one now. But who knows if that’s true: If the presidential race is tight at the time, which is likely, brinksmanship will be extremely risky for both sides lest a default occur and their party be blamed by the public right before the election. In fact, if the economy is still sluggish and the GOP nominee is benefiting in the polls, Republicans will have added incentive not to risk their political advantage by going to the wall on the debt ceiling. So there’s no reason to think Debt Ceiling II would necessarily be bloodier than Debt Ceiling I. The only sure thing is that it would take away time from Obama to fundraise and campaign, which, I guess, is worth gambling the full faith and credit of the U.S. government on.

Chuck Schumer, among other liberals, has innocently wondered whether the GOP is deliberately trying to tank the economy for political advantage, so let me repay the kindness here. Is Obama drawing the line on short-term deals because he thinks that, if it comes to this, he might be able to spin a default next month for electoral gain? There’s already reason to believe that voters will blame the GOP if we hit the ceiling; if that’s so, then O has a ready-made scapegoat for his biggest political liability next year. Unemployment still above nine percent come fall 2012? Why, that’s the Republicans’ fault for letting America default, the DNC will say. If only we’d reached a debt-ceiling deal, you see, then we never have had that jolt and unemployment would be below eight percent and dropping. That’s what Obama’s economists will claim. You trust his economists to tell you the truth about unemployment, don’t you?

Needless to say, the House’s next move now should be to pass a short-term debt-ceiling increase keyed to something like $1.5 trillion in spending cuts and dare Obama to veto it. That would accomplish the same thing as McConnell’s plan, basically, by putting the decision on the ceiling squarely in The One’s court. If he’s so appallingly self-centered that he’d veto an opportunity to avert default simply to avoid making his own life tougher next year, then let’s make sure everyone knows that. And if House Republicans are unhappy with such a small bill, good news: The “big” bill was kind of a joke anyway. I’ll leave you with this video of Reid dumping on Eric Cantor on the Senate floor this morning, which is the latest attempt by Democrats to confound the Republican caucus by driving a wedge between him and Boehner. That’s another example of them putting politics above policy: If getting something passed to avert a default is paramount and the House is the big stumbling block in that endeavor, all this does is slow things down further by aggravating tensions among the GOP and reducing Boehner’s “moderate” leverage. And yet, here Reid is anyway. Go figure.

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bayam on July 14, 2011 at 6:14 PM

You do realize your screwing the future. Not that you care. This kind of mad spending , borrowing.and money printing has a cost and it will not be pretty. All you and the boy king did was kick the can down the road. Funny even Obama understood this when he was a Senator.

CW on July 14, 2011 at 6:26 PM

*you’re

CW on July 14, 2011 at 6:27 PM

If default would be a catastrophe, why is Obama opposed to a short-term deal that would avert it?

I say he’s bluffing.

Someone should call him on it.

Lily on July 14, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Also if you pause the ad at the beginning, Paul highlighted the word MISES in the opening.
Someone named Jon Downs at FP1 productions produced the ad.

Spathi on July 14, 2011 at 6:26 PM

——

Take your spam elsewhere.

CW on July 14, 2011 at 6:27 PM

The Minnesota legislature had the cajones to stick to principle with the government shutdown engineered by Gov. Dayton. The Wisconsin legislature and Governor Walker had the cajones to stare down the miscreants in the Democrat party and the idiots in the public unions. Governor Cristie has the cajones to stick to principle in New Jersey. Governor Kasich stared down the Democrats in Ohio. The Democrats are folding all over the country. Do our federal legislators have the cajones to stick to principle and call the chief executive’s bluff? I hope so. This is the time to hold the line. Our country is depending on them.

stefano1 on July 14, 2011 at 6:30 PM

From GatewayPundit :

On July 14, 2009, Obama tells the country that he is responsible for the economy and memorably says, “Give it to me.”

“My administration has a job to do as well. That job is to get this economy back on its feet. That’s my job, and it’s a job I gladly accept. I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, “Well this is Obama’s economy.” That’s fine. GIVE IT TO ME. My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and carp and gripe. So, I welcome the job. I want the responsibility.”

CW on July 14, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Paul putting more early money into Iowa than any other candidate
Paul’s ad buy dwarfs Pawlenty, Bachmann

Spathi on July 14, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Sack.

Mason on July 14, 2011 at 6:34 PM

It’s not spam.

The ad is in response to the McConnell deal to give Obama power to raise the debt ceiling and Boehner’s\Cantor’s natural inclination to sell out.

Spathi on July 14, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Ron Paul Goes All In Against Republican Leadership (VIDEO)

GOP leadership gone rogue

Spathi on July 14, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Chuck I don’t have time to hunt down links for you. You can Google any of those names and ‘stimulus’ to find relevant articles. Or refer to WSJ / Barrons from the relevant timeframe.

bayam on July 14, 2011 at 6:14 PM

You have done this time and time again, which is why I call you a liar. It’s not personal, just a fact.

Chuck Schick on July 14, 2011 at 6:46 PM

stefano1 on July 14, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Excellent observation.

Mirimichi on July 14, 2011 at 6:50 PM

Simple reason. What Obama wants is a bad decision–increase the debt limit AND increase taxes. So, he’s doing the pushy salesman technique. “Make a decision right now! You have to make a decision RIGHT NOW! IF you don’t make a decision RIGHT NOW! This is going to be a catastrophe! A CATASTROPHE I TELL YOU!!!! NO! YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO SLEEP ON IT! IF YOU DO THAT, THE DEAL COULD BE GONE! MAKE A DECISION! Oh, and did I mention that horrible things might befall you if you don’t decide what I want you to decide RIGHT NOW?!

Come on, AP. He’s been pulling this same game for 2 1/2 years now… Witness the way the Stimulus went down (our country’s facing a catastrophe and only doing it my way will fix it), Obamacare (our country’s healthcare is in shambles, we will lose everything if you don’t do this now), Cash for Clunkers, the bail-outs…

It’s his M.O. One I’m sure he honed as a community organizer in the banks. “Just do it my way and nobody gets hurt.” Sound familiar?

UnderstandingisPower on July 14, 2011 at 6:50 PM

the middle class will bear the brunt of deficit reduction unless previous tax cuts for the wealthy expire.

bayam on July 14, 2011 at 5:11 PM

The middle class will bear the brunt of deficit reduction no matter what. The vast majority of the Bush tax cuts (80-85%) were for the first 4 brackets- the poor and middle class.

Repealing the Bush “tax cuts for the rich” are estimated to bring in ~700 billion over the next decade. Repealing the whole thing is estimated to bring in $350-$400 billion.

Do the math.

Chuck Schick on July 14, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Sorry I mistyped-

Repealing all the Bush tax cuts is estimated to bring in $350-$400 billion A YEAR.

Or 3.5 to 4 trillion over a decade.

Chuck Schick on July 14, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Chuck Schumer, among other liberals, has innocently wondered whether the GOP is deliberately trying to tank the economy for political advantage, so let me repay the kindness here. Is Obama drawing the line on short-term deals because he thinks that, if it comes to this, he might be able to spin a default next month for electoral gain?

Yes, indeed.

Terrye on July 14, 2011 at 7:33 PM

I love the way Obama says the Republicans are playing politics with our economy. There he goes with that projection again.

Susanboo on July 14, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Why is Obama holding the debt ceiling “hostage” for a measly $30-70B in new taxes per year for 10 years?

Seixon on July 14, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Why is Obama holding the debt ceiling “hostage” for a measly $30-70B in new taxes per year for 10 years?

Seixon on July 14, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Because this isn’t about the dollars, it’s about Obama making Republicans abandon their core principle of holding the line on taxes. For the last two weeks we have seen a concerted campaign orchestrated by the White House to demonize Grover Norquist and portray his no-tax pledge as the source of all gridlock in Washington, and all Republicans in Congress as his puppets. They are trying to scare the moderate and squishy Republicans into walking the plank.

THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT THE MONEY. They are trying to break the Republican Party, put the Tea Party in open revolt, and probably provoke Sarah Palin into running for President. It’s a Hail Mary to get Obama reelected by blowing up the GOP.

rockmom on July 14, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Why is Obama holding the debt ceiling “hostage” for a measly $30-70B in new taxes per year for 10 years?

Seixon on July 14, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Answer -Joe the Plumber.

As little Bammie revealed to Joe, his outlook on taxation is not about revenue and balancing budgets, it’s about his inbred notion of what is fair and what is not fair. He believes we should all have the same salaries and the same possessions, aside from the ruling elite perhaps.

slickwillie2001 on July 14, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Alan Greenspan, Hank Paulson, and the vast majority of preeminent Wall Street economists though the stimulus was a necessary step to avoid a much deeper recession.

Care to try again?

Chuck Schick on July 14, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Chuck I don’t have time to hunt down links for you. You can Google any of those names and ‘stimulus’ to find relevant articles. Or refer to WSJ / Barrons from the relevant timeframe.

bayam on July 14, 2011 at 6:14 PM

LOL, you have time to post here and make propaganda claims, but when asked to simply support those claims you can’t be bothered? You’ve done better.

P.S. You were much funnier at Captain’s Quarters.

Del Dolemonte on July 14, 2011 at 11:25 PM

“So yes, this is all about Obama’s re-election, not default.

Chuck Schick on July 14, 2011 at 4:49 PM”

Correct.

He wants a Trillion at least to bribe the unions, latinos, Acorn, GM, and GE votes.

We pass a small bill to keep it going, and if he doesn’t sign it, he owns the default.

We answer, we didn’t care what he wants, we were sent to stop the spending and that’s what we did. We’ll take it up after the elections, when we have the congress and executive.

If he gets re-elected with no debt cap, he’ll be lame duck, and there won’t be anything stopping him.

docjohn52 on July 15, 2011 at 4:12 AM

I think the Republicans should just pass a “no debt limit increase” bill, and let the President figure out where to cut.

ss396 on July 14, 2011 at 5:44 PM

I think it would be easier to persuade people to get behind that effort if sold correctly than it would be to accept another sham bill like the ’11 CR.

FloatingRock on July 15, 2011 at 11:53 AM

FloatingRock on July 15, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Sorry, I need to close some of my old tabs, this is the wrong thread.

FloatingRock on July 15, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Almost everything has been said on the goal and dark intentions of the Democrats, Obama and their handlers.

Consider this; Eric is Jewish.

Is it possible that Obama is Muslim?

Is it a likely guess that what we are seeing is a personal Muslim vs Judism conflict being played out?

It is not hard to build a case that he is or at worse he is not a practicing Muslim. Michelle appears to be a Christian, who brought Obama to her church, which just happens to have very strong Islamic ties.

Obama is said to attend church at Camp David, where no one can see him or verify that he does. However he never seems to be rushed to get to the golf course from Camp David on Sunday’s for a round of 18 holes.

The Clincher is his and Michelles arriving at church service just a it was getting out, to stand on the steps with the preacher for the photo op.

Is he a Muslim?

His first religion as a young child was Islam. People tend to be as an adult what ever faith they were exposed to as a child.

Obama has gone out of his way many times to visit great Mosques and clearly understands the requirements, including to enter a Mosque requires that you be Muslim. Perhaps they consider his childhood Islamic studies to be suffient to allow him to enter.

He has gone to great lengths to gain the support and admiration of the Islamic people. He has given comfort and support to Muslim groups that are considered terroist and pushed their agenda in his dealings with Israel.

When his religion became questioned he attempted to defuse the question by showing up at church…as it was being let out. He stood next to the preacher for the photo op so that it appeared that they had been in the service.

Perhaps it does not mean anything, but if you look at the picture of Obama sitting at the table facing Eric, everyone has a cup of coffee in front of them excpet, Obama and Biden. Muslims are not allowed to drink simulents, such as coffee.

This probably is as much a Muslim vs Jewish conflict as it is a socilist social justice driven agenda vs capitalism and our nations survival as we know it.

One other note. Obama is has the sole power to determine what is paid or not and in what order of priority. If we default will be only because he decided to do so.

There is enough revenue to pay for the debt interest and the entitlements of social security and medicare, but not enough to pay for everything. There is plenty of room for Obama to reorganize the priority of payments.

Obama has a vast number of funded projects and expanded government programs to find the funds he needs in to avoid a default. Doing so does not promote his own goals for our nation, which is not the one that he and Michelle want to exist once he is done with it.

Franklyn on July 15, 2011 at 1:01 PM

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