Could today have been the deadline as easily as yesterday?

posted at 11:25 am on August 3, 2011 by Tina Korbe

It’s a bit of a relief, really, to have reached this day. For months, that hyped-up deadline loomed ahead — Aug. 2, Aug. 2, Aug. 2. At the last minute, in the sort of dismal, ineffective, eleventh hour deal everybody had come to expect, Congress passed and the president signed a bill to raise the debt ceiling. In consequence, at least one glorious thing can be said for Aug. 3: It need not be dominated by debt-ceiling-related headlines. But, somehow, it’s hard to let go.

It’s especially hard to let go in light of a new page launched last night on Congressman Tim Huelskamp’s (R-Kan.) website. Before the deadline, a few congressional representatives could be heard saying the nation would not default on its obligations if Congress continued the debate beyond Aug. 2. The faint of heart were not among them. After all, anyone who said that was mocked, dismissed as extreme and unaware of the crisis at hand. But Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told us: Just look at the books. Treasury has the money it needs to meet our obligations. Now, Huelskamp has made it very easy for us to peek into Treasury’s finances.

The Back of the Envelope: Tracking the Treasury” highlights the daily cash flow of the U.S. Treasury and lists the payments that will come due in August. Take a look and decide for yourself. Was Aug. 2 really the deadline? Or might we not just as easily have been still debating the debt ceiling today?

What about the bills to be paid? Huelskamp’s site lists four:

  • August 1st – $18 billion in Medicare payments
  • August 3rd – $23 billion in Social Security and Disability benefits
  • August 10th – $9 billion in Social Security benefits
  • August 15th – $33 billion Interest payment on our National Debt

But what would have been the advantage to delaying the deadline? Given Congress’ great propensity to procrastinate, perhaps not much. But, ideally, as Congress came closer to a deal, Treasury could have eased the tension and given Congress time to actually consider the latest legislation, in line with the transparency promises of Republicans and Democrats alike, who have all agreed it’s important to actually read a bill before passing it, however rarely they actually do that. In that time, Congress might have been able to amend the deal to eliminate any question of a credit downgrade.

“I’d have been willing to spend more time to get a better deal,” Huelskamp said in a phone interview this morning. “Most of our conference thought there was a default impending. If they had known the truth, they might have been more willing to stand for Cut, Cap and Balance. We would have gotten a much better deal if we had challenged the administration’s numbers and forced Tim Geithner to be honest about this.”

Huelskamp said he hopes his site will highlight and confirm “the attempt of this administration to mislead on the default issue.”

“Given the numbers we have, we weren’t even close to zero,” the Congressman said. “The headlines this morning all say, ‘Default was averted’ or “A crisis was averted.’ It wasn’t going to happen. Quite a few insiders knew that but nobody would touch that on both sides. This administration misled us. They had the numbers all along and they tried to leverage this deadline to get Congress to do what they wanted and Congress fell for that. The potential destabilization of the markets is worse. It wasn’t a game of chicken; it was the willingness of this administration to put out false numbers and use that to get their way in this debate.”

However maddening those facts might be, moving forward, what matters now is the work of the Super Committee. Huelskamp said it’s extremely important that someone who has consistently voted for spending cuts be appointed to that body. And, so far, he hasn’t heard anything from leadership that suggests his “no” vote on the debt deal would disqualify him.
“If the Republican conference wants to prove it’s concerned about cutting spending, then they’re going to have to put someone on there who has voted that way that would show to the electorate that we were really serious about what happened in 2010,” he said.
A site like Huelskamp’s has relevance for whoever ends up on the Committee. Most basically and most importantly, it serves as a reminder to look at the numbers and live in reality. The only faction consistently criticized as unrealistic throughout the debate was the Tea Party — when, in fact, conceding to Tea Party demands might have gotten us to the $4 trillion in cuts Moody’s and S&P’s say are so critical if the country wants to avoid a Greece-like decline in credit. Meantime, the president and progressives were the ones burying their heads in the sand, ignoring the obvious: The out-of-control spending has got to stop. They seem poised to do it again as the Super Committee prepares to do its job. Yesterday, President Obama couldn’t utter his now-famous phrase — “balanced approach” — enough. To mollify his base, he’s putting the highest of premiums on tax increases and on spending measures like an infrastructure bank that threaten to hurt as much as help. Republicans better brace themselves for the next round. Aug. 2 was never the drop-dead day and the deadline isn’t “past” now, either. The fight is anything but over.

 


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As usual the democrats used fear to pass legislation.

meci on August 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

The deadline?

There was no deadline. It was hype. We’ve already passed the point of cut, cap and balance…and unless something drastic is done, soon, like cut, cap and balance, we’ll be right back at it, trying to figure out how much more we can spend right after we realize the “cuts” contained in the “Bill” Obama signed were all phantom cuts.

The global markets understand this. Our biggest competitors understand this.

Our elected officials? Apparently, the majority of them don’t have a clue.

coldwarrior on August 3, 2011 at 11:30 AM

But the deal was a victory for the Tea Party. Someone important said that on TV.

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Bigger cuts and balance budget amendment are needed.

Some Italian banks were downgraded to junk today. Instead of saying we don’t want to be like Greece, we might say we don’t want to be like Italy.

This was loss for the Tea Party, fiscal conservatives, and beleive that believe in the constitution.

Oil Can on August 3, 2011 at 11:34 AM

There was 100 billion in bonds that matured on the 4th. Treasury had planned on paying them by issuing 100 billion more. That’s why there wouldn’t have been enough money.

Samhain on August 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

“Most of our conference thought there was a default impending. If they had known the truth, they might have been more willing to stand for Cut, Cap and Balance.

That’s an incredible statement; everybody knew the “default” fairy tale was just propaganda. The Chicken Little hysteria is an purposeful strategy to heard American’s like sheep to support the Ruling Class’ interests above their own and the interests of America.

FloatingRock on August 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

But the deal was a victory for the Tea Party. Someone important said that on TV.

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Try watching the whole answer to Greta’s question in context. You may find it illuminating. Or not.

gryphon202 on August 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

There was 100 billion in bonds that matured on the 4th. Treasury had planned on paying them by issuing 100 billion more. That’s why there wouldn’t have been enough money.

Samhain on August 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

The government does that all the time. That doesn’t constitute “default” now anymore than it did 30 years ago.

gryphon202 on August 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM

When Boehner and Cantor and other Republican’s repeatedly used the “default” propaganda against the tea party, if they didn’t know it was fiction, they should resign for being incompetent morons. If they did know it was a lie, they should resign for corruption.

FloatingRock on August 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Try watching the whole answer to Greta’s question in context. You may find it illuminating. Or not.

gryphon202 on August 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Blaming her personal media maidservant for putting words in her mouth? Please.

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Did you watch the exchange?…

Gohawgs on August 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Blaming her personal media maidservant for putting words in her mouth? Please.

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

No. Merely pointing out that if you’re going to decide you hate Sarah Palin with the heat of a million suns, this isn’t the reason to do it.

gryphon202 on August 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

and forced Tim Geithner to be honest

LOL! Would have been the first time.

rbj on August 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

There seems to be some doubt as to whether the continuing resolution is needed on September 30th. Did the Democrats get away with deeming a budget passed by the Senate? I’d love to know.

If they didn’t get away with it, and we need to deal with this, I would tell Harry Reid that, if there is no budget out of the Senate there will be no continuing resolution, period. We’ll have to see if Boehner has the guts for that, but they’ve had 2 bites at the apple and have done nothing so far so they need to score on this one or get a new coach, if you know what I mean.

bflat879 on August 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

BTW… There’s running out of money, and then there is throwing it out the window… DC does the latter…
-
Running out would be more like spending matched income, but then income dropped, and even after cutting out the ‘toys and ice-cream’… the balance hits zero.
-
Throwing cash away is when (no matter the income level or change there of), ‘toys and ice cream’ are treated as priority necessities.
-
Barry is all about ‘toys and ice cream’ for his special friends… Looks like he can buy another round of ‘milkshakes’ for the gang now.
-

RalphyBoy on August 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

No. Merely pointing out that if you’re going to decide you hate Sarah Palin with the heat of a million suns, this isn’t the reason to do it.

gryphon202 on August 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Palin’s fine enough in my book, just not presidential material by a longshot. But I will never pass up the opportunity to irritate the zealots who march under her flag. It’s too much fun to point out your rank hypocrisy.

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

We’ll have to see if Boehner has the guts for that,

It was a good thought but unfortunately we already know that Beohner doesn’t have any guts. Actually, I don’t think that’s the problem, the evidence reveals that Boehner likes big government and has no interest in real spending cuts.

FloatingRock on August 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Henny Penny, the sky is falling panic attacks got the Democrats another legislative victory similar to that of Obamascare. The Rinos say they “went along” because they feared the stock market would dive (among other things). Well, the RINOS caved-BUT THE STOCK MARKET DIVED ANYWAY.

But DID THE RINOS REALLY CAVE or was this the result of PRE-ARRANGED DEALS WITH THE DEMOCRATS? Most RINOS want a debt ceiling raise since they, like the Democrats, spend like sailors on Honolulu’s Hotel Street just after coming off a carrier.

This latest fiasco- be it capitulation or conspiracy- has taught me that RINOa are nearly as unsavory and treacherous as the Democrats.

MaiDee on August 3, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Now let’s get back to the real story, Fast and Furious.

Russ Vaughn at American Thinker today:

excerpts:

To believe that no top administration officials were involved in Operation Fast and Furious is not only disingenuous, it’s dumb. Of course some top Obama administration officials were involved, if for no other reason than contemporary bureaucrats simply lack the intestinal fortitude to initiate such an ill-conceived and uncoordinated program without clearance from above.

-snip-

Anyone foolish enough to believe that Operation Fast and Furious was the brainchild of the head of the Phoenix ATF regional office, or even his agency bosses in Washington, needs to pay closer attention to how bureaucratic government operates, especially power-centered, leftist bureaucracies.

-snip-

…if government officials are willing to lie and obfuscate, as I believe Agent Newell and others most likely have, to a congressional investigating committee; and if the Justice Department is willing to stonewall document subpoenas and refuse to produce subpoenaed witnesses, this administration is in full Watergate mode. What conclusion is to be drawn from their behavior other than that there are much bigger fish to be caught in Issa’s net than a few overeager field operatives?

Are the big fish of the Obama administration ignoring the basic lesson of Watergate — that it’s the cover-up, not the crime, that can bring down a president? But then, in the present situation, we have illegal arms-smuggling, apparently to further a domestic political gun control agenda, which may have resulted in the deaths of Mexican citizens and two United States federal officers. Now that is a crime, a real and true crime, and most certainly a much more serious crime than a third-rate burglary.

Complete story: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/much_more_than_a_third_rate_burglary.html

Standard Disclaimer:

I have no idea, but I do know that you guys come up with really cool names for your fake scandals.

crr6 on July 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 3, 2011 at 12:03 PM

So, long story short:

Whenever president Abysmal wants legislation passed that gives him money to spend, he conjures up a “crisis”

Like the little boy who cried “WOLF!”

franksalterego on August 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Palin’s fine enough in my book, just not presidential material by a longshot. But I will never pass up the opportunity to irritate the zealots who march under her flag. It’s too much fun to point out your rank hypocrisy.

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

My rank hypocrisy? King, there is hypocrisy aplenty on both sides of the “Should Palin be president” debate. You won’t find it by looking to me. There are a number of reasons I think Sarah Palin is presidential material, and very few PDSers actually disagree with the substance of those reasons. Most of the PDSers just don’t think they’re very good reasons.

The mockery and other forms of derision I’ve subjected myself to here for honestly laying out my opinions should lay the “hypocrisy” meme to rest while you’re debating me.

gryphon202 on August 3, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Old news: Geithner Moves the Goalposts: Treasury Says August 10th Might Be the Drop Dead Date, Not August 2nd

The fake deadline was really for little Bammie’s birthday and monster fundraiser week that goes with it.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Simply put, calling it a success is just a long range meme placement in order to blame the TP when, not if, we get downgraded and/or the stock market continues to fall. Gold up to $1600+. Stock market? All gains in this year, lost. Cloward-Pivens still hard at work here to set the stage for less TP and more Obamnomics next fall.

AH_C on August 3, 2011 at 12:14 PM

We don’t owe the debt payment until the 15th.

Speakup on August 3, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Obama was scamming the entire country but only his parasitic constituents and cultists fell for it.

rplat on August 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Why Aug. 2nd. instead of the 11th?

It’d be kinda’ hard to scare Senior Citizens, if their checks had already sent out, after the so-called deadline.

There’s nothing sleazy about president Abysmal, and his tax-evading side-kick,

is there.

franksalterego on August 3, 2011 at 12:20 PM

So can someone explain something to me? Did we (Tea Party) release the hostages? Did SWAT shoot us? Was the baby safe? Did we take off our bomb vests?

I mean, we were in a hostage situation weren’t we?

TugboatPhil on August 3, 2011 at 12:22 PM

The deadline was important because Obama wants to fly back here (people are NOT looking forward to the traffic mess that probably will result, by the way!) for his stupid birthday party.

lizzieillinois on August 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I still want to see some “journalist” ask Duh One or some other lib who used the “Social Security check won’t go out” about why the social security fund can suddenly have no money MERE DAYS after a deadline.

When Bush (half-heartedly) tried to reform SS, we were told nothing is wrong, there is plenty of money, lockboxes and etc…

reaganaut on August 3, 2011 at 12:35 PM

There was 100 billion in bonds that matured on the 4th. Treasury had planned on paying them by issuing 100 billion more. That’s why there wouldn’t have been enough money.

Samhain on August 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

The government does that all the time. That doesn’t constitute “default” now anymore than it did 30 years ago.

Except they didn’t have the 100 billion in cash to pay the old bonds, and didn’t have the ceiling space to borrow the 100 billion to pay the old ones. So they were screwed.

Samhain on August 3, 2011 at 1:08 PM

There never had to be a day. Don’t you understand yet? Having a “default deadline” was a tactic to shape the conditions of battle.

J.E. Dyer on August 3, 2011 at 1:46 PM

The deadline was important because Obama wants to fly back here (people are NOT looking forward to the traffic mess that probably will result, by the way!) for his stupid birthday party.

lizzieillinois on August 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Ding, ding, ding. Do not mess with the planning of O’s birthday bash.

Fallon on August 3, 2011 at 1:46 PM

The real reason why Treasury said August 2nd was the run-out-of-money date.

Socratease on August 3, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Except they didn’t have the 100 billion in cash to pay the old bonds, and didn’t have the ceiling space to borrow the 100 billion to pay the old ones. So they were screwed.

Samhain on August 3, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I stand by my prior statement. The debt ceiling hasn’t been lowered in almost 40 years and there is a reason for that. Personally, I’d like to rewind the clock to 1912, but maybe I’m just a stodgy old bastard…

gryphon202 on August 3, 2011 at 11:51 PM