Endgame: House passes clean debt-ceiling hike, 221-201

posted at 6:01 pm on February 11, 2014 by Allahpundit

Voting yes: 193 Democrats and just 28 Republicans. Boehner did, as expected, find the votes. Barely.

An interesting, if predictable, mix of leadership (Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, Issa), retirees (McKeon, Coble, Wolf), and blue-state centrists (Nunes, Grimm, Peter King). Per Robert Costa, here’s how Boehner broke the news to the caucus this morning. Good luck squaring this logic with his big amnesty push:

Ahead of the midterm elections, Boehner argued that now is not the time to get drawn into weeks of dramatic headlines and fiscal battles with President Obama. “We’re not going to make ourselves the story,” he said. He spoke about the need for the party to not get mired in damaging endeavors

But they didn’t speak up or clap. Boehner just stood there for a moment after he finished, eyed the room, and walked toward his seat. On his way there, Boehner shook his head, then turned to the nearly mute crowd and wondered aloud why he wasn’t getting applause. “I’m getting this monkey off your back and you’re not going to even clap?” Boehner asked, scowling playfully at some tea-party favorites.

The last plan, to trade raising the debt ceiling for restoring COLA adjustments to military pensions that had been stripped out by Paul Ryan’s budget, simply couldn’t get 218 Republican votes. Per WaPo, Rep. Tom Cotton, a veteran and Mark Pryor’s challenger for Arkansas’s Senate seat, was especially grieved that he might be forced to vote for either a debt-ceiling hike or against restoring those military benefits. Solution: A clean hike and a separate bill on military pensions that passed this afternoon overwhelmingly, 326-90. Interestingly, Paul Ryan voted no on both, arguing that restoring the COLA adjustment meant taking money away from military readiness. He stood by his budget to the bitter end.

Exit quotation from Dan Foster:


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But….the giraffe!

WryTrvllr on February 11, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Anyone who wants to sell their US Bonds will have no problem finding a buyer. Depending on how smart they are, they may make a profit or loss on the investment. Getting “paid back” us never an issue.

The notion that the US will face a day when all its debtors demand instant payment is a fictitious scenario. The only time that would happen is if the economy as a whole went belly up – but in that scenario, debt still wouldn’t be the main concern. It’s always economic production and growth that is the priority, not debt reduction.

The defecit should always be controlled, but recessions are not the time to prioritize debt reduction. And the defecit is already coming back to reasonable levels after the temporary stimulus – many smart economists would actually argue that the defecit is being reduced too quickly and to soon, given that the economy has yet to really get off the ground running yet.

everdiso on February 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

bluefox on February 11, 2014 at 9:57 PM

when there is no choice …. then there is only 3rd party ….
and if there is no one who is conservative 3rd party …..
then I stay home and stock pile food and ammo ….

conservative tarheel on February 11, 2014 at 11:25 PM

I understand. Let’s hope we don’t reach that point. Defeating these traitors is my objective. That’s why I spend a lot of time, researching, making lists, reading and trying to stay up to speed.
Actually, I could use a secretary:-) Or a cook & housekeeper…

bluefox on February 11, 2014 at 11:29 PM

Not too concerned if the Republicans take the Senate this fall. The Dems in the minority will still call the shots regardless.

LeftoCenter on February 11, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Frankly, I don’t think the Republicans would be too concerned if they didn’t:-) All the Congress Critters care about is their seat!!

bluefox on February 11, 2014 at 11:33 PM

But….the giraffe!

WryTrvllr on February 11, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Yeah, heard about that the other day. Sad stuff.

zacmidnigh on February 11, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Johnny, everybody knows you caved, and no amount of spin will change that. You and the 28 betrayer will have to suffer the consequences. The funny thing about that is that your actions put a stigma on the GOP. 2014 will be the year of the great purge. GOP and DNC seats are not safe. I will vote independent all down the ticket. I doubt that the GOP will win the senate or keep the house. Even cheerleader Hannity wrote you guys completely off today

Brock Robamney on February 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM

John Boehner – what a noble politician! By voting against the vast majority of the Republican Conference, he was doing it a favor! How lucky are we?

FrankT on February 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM

The defecit should always be controlled, but recessions are not the time to prioritize debt reduction. And the defecit is already coming back to reasonable levels after the temporary stimulus – many smart economists would actually argue that the defecit is being reduced too quickly and to soon, given that the economy has yet to really get off the ground running yet.

Yada yada yada. Give more money to the financial sector and of course all will be well.

FrankT on February 12, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Coalition Government.

There is no republic anymore.

nobar on February 12, 2014 at 12:04 AM

Anyone who wants to sell their US Bonds will have no problem finding a buyer.

Currently, yes, that is the case. No one has trouble selling junk bonds, either. I’m not saying that US Bonds are junk bonds, mind you. I’m simply stating that it is possible to sell badly rated debt, so that is not a great measure.

Depending on how smart they are, they may make a profit or loss on the investment. Getting “paid back” us never an issue.

Yes, that is currently the case.

The notion that the US will face a day when all its debtors demand instant payment is a fictitious scenario.

This is a fictitious scenario that I never put forth. I suspect having even a small percentage of US debt called at one time would have disastrous results on our financial markets and overall economy, assuming media outlets find out and accurately report it.

The only time that would happen is if the economy as a whole went belly up – but in that scenario, debt still wouldn’t be the main concern.

This is true under the fictitious scenario of all debt being called at the same time. This is not true under the scenario of the US not being able to service the debt due to rising interest rates causing some lesser percentage of the national debt to be called. And for that, we’re only talking about having interest rates return to historical norms or a little more, not the crazy numbers from the Carter administration.

It’s always economic production and growth that is the priority, not debt reduction.

…until the debt begins to cause declines in economic production. No one really knows where that point is, but once we hit it, Katy bar the door.

The defecit should always be controlled,

Agreed. Let’s control it out of existence. Just out of curiosity, was the highly touted surplus under Clinton a good thing or a bad thing?

but recessions are not the time to prioritize debt reduction.

But, but, but…we aren’t in a recession and haven’t been for years. Isn’t this economy great!

And the defecit is already coming back to reasonable levels

Another thing I’m curious about: did you consider the (lower) deficits under Bush to be reasonable at that time? Or did you consider the Bush deficits at that time to be “unpatriotic?”

after the temporary stimulus

The temporary stimulus that so many smart economists clamored for that didn’t prevent our economy from sinking like a stone and has contributed to the ultra-slow recovery we are currently experiencing by sending false market signals? That “stimulus”?

– many smart economists would actually argue that the defecit is being reduced too quickly and to soon, given that the economy has yet to really get off the ground running yet.

everdiso on February 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Here’s something to hang your hat on:

If smart economists knew as much about the how the economy works as they think they know, we wouldn’t be where we are, and they wouldn’t be surprised every month when a new set of economic reports come out.

yaedon on February 12, 2014 at 12:26 AM

“I’m getting this monkey off your back and you’re not going to even clap?” Boehner asked, scowling playfully at some tea-party favorites.

Someone buy this guy a pair of clown shoes and make him wear ‘em. It’s the only thing Weepy McCrybaby is missing at this point.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 12, 2014 at 1:02 AM

I read and read and read — many of you who used to think differently – some from one perspective and some from another.

I am sick to death of all the fighting and no one knowing what to do to save our world. Some have given up. It’s sickening.

For you who have given up – get up and fight. You can but you don’t thing you can. Again, sickening.

I have left the Republican party and moved independent. I WILL be glad to go back if the party straightens itself out. For now, I am advocating Ben Carson. He’s a leader but not a professional politician.

No, I don’t agree on the most conservative things I believe in– but he doesn’t agree on the progressive things I disagree with in accordance with him.

There is no future unless both of the parties now established are taught a lesson.

I am so disheartened by those who say they will not vote or will vote for Democrats. After you and your children live under 150 years of Commie leadership, do you truly think heaven will be yours???

Greyledge Gal on February 12, 2014 at 1:36 AM

They have all year to work on the budget and trim the fat. Fighting these debt ceiling increases is lazy man’s politics.

cimbri on February 12, 2014 at 2:12 AM

yaedon on February 12, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Thank you. You said everything that I was going to say and more besides very eloquently.

Theophile on February 12, 2014 at 2:16 AM

Alternate headline: FU TEA PARTY!

iwasbornwithit on February 12, 2014 at 2:30 AM

The temporary stimulus that so many smart economists clamored for that didn’t prevent our economy from sinking like a stone and has contributed to the ultra-slow recovery we are currently experiencing by sending false market signals? That “stimulus”?

yaedon on February 12, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Not to mention that the “temporary” stimulus wasn’t so temporary. It was added to the baseline and “stimulates” the economy annually.

besser tot als rot on February 12, 2014 at 2:50 AM

I know that there is someone out there willing to Take The Appropriate Action solicited by this……

I just want to make sure that they put the video on You Tube…..

williamg on February 12, 2014 at 2:50 AM

The Democrats wanted, no, NEEDED a fight over the debt ceiling. They knew the Republicans would lose but felt the “tea party” wing of the party would force Boehner into it. The House would pass a bill with some linkage to something else, and Reid would just ignore it and refuse to bring the bill up for a Senate vote. Obama would probably allow something to default and blame the Republicans, and the Republicans would eventually be forced to back down again.

But no. Boehner deprived the Democrats of the battle they so desperately wanted. Now there is nothing to stand between the public, Obamacare, and a Republican landslide in November.

You might not like the tactics, but the strategy is brilliant. Those calling for Boehner’s head remind me of General Charles Lee who petitioned the Continental Congress for the dismissal of George Washington for being a spineless coward in his retreat from New York. Not saying that Boehner is a Washington, just saying that history is full of strategic retreats and is also full of critics of those retreats who just wanted to fight for the sake of fighting even if it would have cost them the war.

Boehner just saved the 2014 elections for the Republicans and nailed the Democrats’ coffin shut.

crosspatch on February 12, 2014 at 2:56 AM

crosspatch on February 12, 2014 at 2:56 AM

Let’s say you are right…what does it matter if they don’t vote for, or advance, conservative causes when elected? You are also admitting that he is not voting to do the right thing, but for political purposes. Not exactly a profile in courage.

iwasbornwithit on February 12, 2014 at 3:19 AM

Speculative political strategy is rubbish. The Republican establishment doesn’t care about any of that when it’s time to push amnesty or attack the Tea Party.

The GOP Establishment cares about getting amnesty through, and it doesn’t care much about spending and debt, and that is all there is to it.

David Blue on February 12, 2014 at 3:32 AM

LOL – comparing Boehner to George Washington.

besser tot als rot on February 12, 2014 at 3:48 AM

Greyledge Gal on February 12, 2014 at 1:36 AM

Voting Republican is a garbage vote. I don’t know how anyone can justify it after these results. The House is controlled by a Tax & Spend Progressive. The Senate Minority leader is a closet Tax & Spend Progressive. Voting Republican gets these guys back in power. They will never ever repeal Obamacare or shrink the size of government. Vote your conscience and put in a conservative, or vote for the opponent of Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy and McConnell and you will send a message to the GOP that they are next

Brock Robamney on February 12, 2014 at 5:55 AM

So why do we have a debt ceiling?

Decoski on February 11, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Probably for the same reason we have a border–so it can be crossed with impunity!

Don L on February 12, 2014 at 6:07 AM

Up Next, Amnesty. He thinks we will fall for the “it’s all the Tea Party’s fault ” or “it’s the Democrats Fault”. No, mr Oompa Loompa, it’s your fault

Brock Robamney on February 12, 2014 at 6:14 AM

The Uniparty shall spend your and your children’s money where, when, and how it sees fit. Now pay up!

Franklin100 on February 12, 2014 at 7:04 AM

The Uniparty

Franklin100 on February 12, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Heh. I like it. I think I’ll shamelessly rip this off.

yaedon on February 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM

Hey bayam. Glad you’re back.

rogerb on February 12, 2014 at 8:02 AM

the Pubs pounce like a cheetah on a wounded gazelle.

Bishop on February 11, 2014 at 6:10 PM
.
.
.
Cheetah=Establishment and RINOS;

Wounded gazelle=Conservatives and Tea Party?

O/T Power out, running house on gen, few trees down and only 18 more hours of freezing rain. Rich snobs (chuckle) where I live don’t prepare and end up at my house. I have a whole house gen that runs on natural gas (automatic) and a backup gen 13,500 rated with a 200amp manual cutover just in case. Power should be out no more than two or three days with this storm.

They do bring me plenty of beer and are nice enough to watch me clear trees so they can get out of their driveways. At night our house looks like an alien space ship has landed. We get lots of storms at this house.

Wife just shakes her head as she thinks I turn on all the outside lights at night just to show off. Not true at all as the Koi in my pond enjoy the lights.

HonestLib on February 12, 2014 at 8:16 AM

I have never voted for a Democrat in 42 years. This year I would vote for a lesbian in a Che shirt before my congressman (Wittman) gets my vote or the votes of the other three voters in my family.
The GOP must go so we can fight the Donkeys without them digging the ground out from under our feet.

Capt Blasto on February 12, 2014 at 8:16 AM

The Democrats wanted, no, NEEDED a fight over the debt ceiling. They knew the Republicans would lose but felt the “tea party” wing of the party would force Boehner into it. The House would pass a bill with some linkage to something else, and Reid would just ignore it and refuse to bring the bill up for a Senate vote. Obama would probably allow something to default and blame the Republicans, and the Republicans would eventually be forced to back down again.

But no. Boehner deprived the Democrats of the battle they so desperately wanted. Now there is nothing to stand between the public, Obamacare, and a Republican landslide in November.

You might not like the tactics, but the strategy is brilliant. Those calling for Boehner’s head remind me of General Charles Lee who petitioned the Continental Congress for the dismissal of George Washington for being a spineless coward in his retreat from New York. Not saying that Boehner is a Washington, just saying that history is full of strategic retreats and is also full of critics of those retreats who just wanted to fight for the sake of fighting even if it would have cost them the war.

Boehner just saved the 2014 elections for the Republicans and nailed the Democrats’ coffin shut.

crosspatch on February 12, 2014 at 2:56 AM

Answer me this question, enabler of politicians that are out to destroy this country:

WHAT GOOD IS HAVING THE GOP WIN THE SENATE IF WE ARE GOING TO HAVE THE SAME LEADERSHIP THAT HAS NOT ONCE EVER CUT SPENDING OR ADVANCED LIMITED GOVERNMENT PRINCIPLES?

tcufrog on February 12, 2014 at 8:27 AM

“I’m getting this monkey off your back and you’re not going to even clap?” Boehner asked, scowling playfully at some tea-party favorites.

You know, Mr. Boehner, the scorpion didn’t get any applause from the frog either.

But unlike the scorpion, you appear to expect some? Good to know.

Oh, and hello HA! Good to finally be here!

Llanite on February 12, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Not only did Republicans lose the vote, but I see this morning they’ve also lost the narrative.

It’s one thing to surrender. It’s another to let the opposition make you slaves.

I would say it’s about time for a mutiny. But there is no leadership against which to rebel.

Marcus Traianus on February 12, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Heh. I like it. I think I’ll shamelessly rip this off.

yaedon on February 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM

The Uniparty

h/t Angelo Codevilla

Credit belongs where credit is due

Franklin100 on February 12, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Answer me this question, enabler of politicians that are out to destroy this country:

WHAT GOOD IS HAVING THE GOP WIN THE SENATE IF WE ARE GOING TO HAVE THE SAME LEADERSHIP THAT HAS NOT ONCE EVER CUT SPENDING OR ADVANCED LIMITED GOVERNMENT PRINCIPLES?

tcufrog on February 12, 2014 at 8:27 AM
.
.
.
I just looked at yearly federal spending by year starting with JFK and I only saw a few years when the RATE of spending slowed, but never decreased from the prior base budget. No matter who was in Congress or President.

I remember the Bush years and Karl Rove always using the stat that the deficit % when compared to GDP was lower than blah blah blah. I will add that when President Obama says he has lowered the deficit spending under his watch more than any other President, I just shake and head and mutter no sheet Sherlock. My 11 year old daughter could lower the yearly deficit from 1.3t to 800B by raising taxes. Most increases through marginal rate adjustments(receipts) are temporary as people adjust and receipts then go back to being around 18% to 19% of GDP.

President Clinton saw this happen as receipts jump to 20% then settled back down from his MTR increase. It gets a little muddier, but this post is already too long so I will only mention in passing the effect of his lowering capital gain rates was positive.

Trick is to grow GDP and collect taxes at a rate of 18.8% (my magic number).

I know Bish…..did I pull the lever the second time?

HonestLib on February 12, 2014 at 9:09 AM

REPLACE…….BOEHNER…….NOW!!!!!

This guy is gutless, spineless, and now useless!

pilamaye on February 12, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Apparently the caucus supporting Boehner and other House Republican leaders now consists primarily of Democrats.

Nomas on February 12, 2014 at 9:27 AM

But no. Boehner deprived the Democrats of the battle they so desperately wanted. Now there is nothing to stand between the public, Obamacare, and a Republican landslide in November.

Boehner just saved the 2014 elections for the Republicans and nailed the Democrats’ coffin shut.

crosspatch on February 12, 2014 at 2:56 AM

LOL, wow.

You might want to take the temperature of the eggs you presume are going to turn out in droves for the GOP in November before you go counting your landslide chickens. You know, the eggs that the GOP keeps spitting on, calling names, whose values on policies the GOP has wholesale turned its back on, etc.

Between this moronic belief on the part of the GOP, and their entire gameplan apparently being to let Obamacare blow up (which Obama and the Dems are weekly taking steps to illegally ensure does *not* happen – only to escalate in coming months, I assure you), the GOP is likely in for a very rude surprise in November.

Midas on February 12, 2014 at 9:28 AM

And the defecit is already coming back to reasonable levels after the temporary stimulus – many smart economists would actually argue that the defecit is being reduced too quickly and to soon, given that the economy has yet to really get off the ground running yet.

everdiso on February 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Sorry, but you jumped the shark here. The deficit is approaching the inflated level it was after Bush’s final year in office. A year in which it was close to double the previous years due to the economic crisis. PBHO promptly declared that final Bush year to be the “baseline” and doubled that deficit his first year in office. We are now approaching, but still far from, the annual deficit that we had in Bush’s last crisis year in office.

But the worst part is that our GDP growth has been and remains close to non-existent. Sure, we have the occasional quarter at or above 3# but most of the past 5 years we have been below 2%. The key measure is the debt to GDP ratio and we are losing ground at an alarming pace.

MJBrutus on February 12, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Perfect storm

A socialist president Obamacare
a corrupt senate leader dirty harry
A gutless, weak GOP leadership in the house

When historians look back at this period, Boner, cantor, etc. will be looked at as cowards and democrat lite hacks!

Danielvito on February 12, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Boehner just saved the 2014 elections for the Republicans and nailed the Democrats’ coffin shut.

crosspatch on February 12, 2014 at 2:56 AM

I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I’m not going to war with the GOP just yet. If Boehner goes anywhere near the amnesty issue this year though, then the rationale for “retreating” will look like BS.
If he’s avoiding an uphill battle with the Dems, he’d better not pick a fight with the base either.

I am so disheartened by those who say they will not vote or will vote for Democrats.

Greyledge Gal on February 12, 2014 at 1:36 AM

Don’t be…I noticed alot more comments than usual on this thread about giving up on the GOP right here! and right now!
Don’t assume all commenters have good intentions or honest motives in trying to convince others to do the same. There’s still plenty of us that still remain determined.

lynncgb on February 12, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Rightly or wrongly, there are 30+ GOP House conservatives who won’t for ANY debt ceiling increase. Therefore it became impossible for the caucus to agree on ANY rider — risk corridor, Keystone, military pension, etc. Pick your rider. There weren’t the votes for the underlying bill. That is a fact.

Boehner is about a dozen votes of a solid, working center-right coalition, so every vote is a “thread the needle” experience.

Last fall Boehner and the leadership gave the House conservatives EVERYTHING they asked for — pushed by Cruz, Lee, DeMint, and so forth — which the leadership accurately predicted would lead to disaster. The conservatives in the caucus chose the wrong fight on the wrong bill rather than the debt ceiling, and forfeited their leverage.

I think the trashing of the leadership is beyond ridiculous.

matthew8787 on February 12, 2014 at 9:55 AM

If ANYONE has had doubts that the GOP and Democrats are both sides of the same coin, then here’s your proof.

Except for some differences on some social issues, both sides are the lapdogs for a plutocratic government. You want to know who the 1% are? Just look any politician in their face. They have become a Political Class ™ who are NOT looking out for you or the country.

And if you’re satisfied with the trickle down handout you receive, then you’re just as much part of the problem as the Political Class ™.

These folks aren’t working for you.

Walter L. Newton on February 12, 2014 at 9:58 AM

But no. Boehner deprived the Democrats of the battle they so desperately wanted. Now there is nothing to stand between the public, Obamacare, and a Republican landslide in November.

You might not like the tactics, but the strategy is brilliant. Those calling for Boehner’s head remind me of General Charles Lee who petitioned the Continental Congress for the dismissal of George Washington for being a spineless coward in his retreat from New York. Not saying that Boehner is a Washington, just saying that history is full of strategic retreats and is also full of critics of those retreats who just wanted to fight for the sake of fighting even if it would have cost them the war.

Strategic retreats, one after another, are demoralizing as all hell, especially for a base which wants to Sherman” on DC.

It looks to me like surrender with a handy excuse of strategy.

Anti-Statist on February 12, 2014 at 10:04 AM

DisasteR begins with a D and ends with an R.

So why spend hundreds of billions in 2014 to hold an election between D&R when the end result is the same regardless of who wins? If you get D’s elected then they will tell you up front that Obamacare, increasing govt spending, fundamentally transforming America, higher taxes.. will happen and if you get R’s elected they will tell you up front that Obamacare, increasing govt spending, fundamentally transforming America, higher taxes… won’t happen but it ends up happening anyways. If they both produce the same end result then what’s the point of D or R? Tea Party needs to stand up big time in 2014 or as a country, we are forever screwed.

stuartm80127 on February 12, 2014 at 10:08 AM

I’ve been thinking about the whole situation with Boehner. Let me add my two cents here…

Boehner has a tough job. The job contains both big and small goals. Near term and long term goals.

The Dems would love to take the focus off of Obamacare by any means necessary. Immigration. Impeachment. Whatever. Obamacare is the biggest and best card the GOP has to play for ’14 and ’16.

Boehner managed to avoid firing up the Dems, but at the risk of deflating the base. It is a fine line to walk, but he is probably confident that he can thread that needle, or at least it as the least bad option.

What happened is that virtually all of the GOP voted against it and the Dems are on record of being for it.

The GOP is always at huge disadvantage. The Dems control the messaging. Except for Fox, there is no outlet for them to make their case known. I don’t like the deal any ore than 99% of you, but we gotta play the cards as they’re deal, instead of how we’d like them to be.

307wolverine on February 12, 2014 at 10:25 AM

And the defecit is already coming back to reasonable levels after the temporary stimulus – many smart economists…
 
everdiso on February 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

 
I’m guessing you’re not talking about the $3 trillion (trillion with a T) QE program, so when exactly did they pass this temporary stimulus you’re referring to?
 
Hint: It’s a trick question. It’s tied to the reason Reid/Obama hasn’t passed a budget since ’09.

rogerb on February 12, 2014 at 10:33 AM

And the defecit is already coming back to reasonable levels after the temporary stimulus – many smart economists…

everdiso on February 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

The only “smart economists” go by the names of Von Mises, Hayek, Friedman, Smith, and Rothbard. I always find it amusing that if someone accepts 10 cents from Exxon or some other private company their findings are biased.

However, the same people who would condemn a study partially funded by Exxon have no trouble with the findings of someone who is employed by the government. No conflict of interest there, eh? No sirree.

307wolverine on February 12, 2014 at 10:41 AM

crosspatch on February 12, 2014 at 2:56 AM

I like your analogy but a lot of people are not familiar with the Battle for Brooklyn (Long Island). Another way to say it would be that the Dem leadership bewailing a GOP shut down of government was like Brer Rabbit pleading not to be thrown in the Brier Patch.

KW64 on February 12, 2014 at 10:43 AM

The argument against fighting over the debt ceiling is that we can’t default on the debts we’ve already racked up.

OK. Can somebody explain, then, when and where we have those fights before the debt is racked up? And why they aren’t happening?

Don’t incur huge debts for spending that isn’t happening in a time of national emergency. That’s so elementary as to be nearly infantile. And now Republicans have joined Democrats in not supporting that simple tenet. Which leaves me wondering where I can turn for fiscal sanity.

FishingwFredo on February 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Keep in mind only 28 R’s did the treason.

Go after the guilty.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 11, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Not exactly true. Our gop congresscritter, bill flores didn’t vote for the debt increase but he did vote for the budget bill which increases spending. Which we just found out that he is getting us millions of dollars for West, TX school rebuilding from FEMA. What a coincidence? His vote for the budget also included funding for obamaocare. And he evidently felt like the veterans should be the only ones to help fund this.

We are not voting for any more repubs for federal office. We will vote for conservatives running for State offices. We’ll never vote for a demonrat since they are babykillers. But, come to think of it, since obamaocare funds babykilling and repubs voted to fund it, it appears demonrats are not the only ones in favor of babykilling. We’ve got a lot more rino’s in Texas that need to be voted out. Hopefully we will find some more Ted Cruz’s.

johnny reb on February 12, 2014 at 12:07 PM

What is really distressing and disturbing about all this, is how they always say we are going to do this because that party or the president is going to do that or whatever their stupid reasons are. It is always about themselves, their party or big business but rarely do you hear them just stand up for the people. WHAT ABOUT US, we hardly ever see them fight for the American people. How this debt will effect us and future generations. It is always about covering their asses or interest but the people not so much, we are probably not even a second thought if we are a thought at all to our “masterminds”.

One_If_By_Land on February 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Is there any kind of consensus among commenters here as to what the mid-term (next four years) goals should be for the GOP?

Forget RINO v. Conservative and forget names…

What do Hot-Air commenters *realistically* want the GOP to accomplish over the next four years – in order of priority, with the understanding that out of say five goals, only three at best may be accomplished.

For me:
1) Keep the House
2) Win the Senate
3) Win the presidency
4) Amendment to significantly limit size, scope and perhaps number of executive branch departments.
5) Balanced budget amendment that limits govt spending to percent of GDP (with short-term emergency exceptions for war, disaster).
6) Tax illegal immigrants and those who aid and abet them to recoup the costs American citizens have borne because of them – the proceeds are refunded to American citizens.

DrDeano on February 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

If the spending bill (replacing our constitionally required budget) from last month was only 1.1 Trilion for 8 months of spending, and we are taking in 2.5 trillion or so per year in taxes, why do we need to increase the debt ceiling? What’s missing from this equation?

oldroy on February 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Currently, yes, that is the case. No one has trouble selling junk bonds, either. I’m not saying that US Bonds are junk bonds, mind you. I’m simply stating that it is possible to sell badly rated debt, so that is not a great measure.

Yes, that is currently the case.

it is currently the case, and has always been the case, and as of now there’s no reason to believe that will change any time soon.

This is a fictitious scenario that I never put forth. I suspect having even a small percentage of US debt called at one time would have disastrous results on our financial markets and overall economy, assuming media outlets find out and accurately report it.

True, there is a danger of a run on US bonds occurring – but again, that only happens based on economic forecasts – i.e. if the US economy is expected to drastically drop off relative to other world economies. That is the only time a huge selloff will occur – and again, at that point the debt still won’t be the big issue – the issue will still be the economy itself.

This is true under the fictitious scenario of all debt being called at the same time. This is not true under the scenario of the US not being able to service the debt due to rising interest rates causing some lesser percentage of the national debt to be called. And for that, we’re only talking about having interest rates return to historical norms or a little more, not the crazy numbers from the Carter administration.

rising interest rates have as many benefits as they do downsides, and correlate with greater economic growth and a stronger economy in general. they are not simply a net negative in a vacuum.

…until the debt begins to cause declines in economic production. No one really knows where that point is, but once we hit it, Katy bar the door.

But see, there is no process by which the debt causes decline in economic productions. There is no such causal link – this is the great lie of the entire Debt Panic movement. Cutting the debt doesn’t boost the economy, raising the debt doesn’t hurt the economy. That’s not how it works. There are issues to be concerned about with too much debt but this idea that debt causes the economy to decline just doesn’t even make sense.

Agreed. Let’s control it out of existence. Just out of curiosity, was the highly touted surplus under Clinton a good thing or a bad thing?

Debts and defecits can be useful tools. They are not pure evil. Especially during tough economic times, a country can leverage its debt to boost the economy.

When the economy is booming, that is when you cut deficits – because the economy at that point doesn’t need government stimulus, and in fact that stimulus will likely only exacerbate inflation and related problems at that point.

when the economy booms like it did under Clinton & Newt, then yes, absolutely, the budget surpluses were the right idea.

The problem is when you start running defecits during good times, like in the bush years – that inevitably leads to inflationary bubbles, which then go boom.

But, but, but…we aren’t in a recession and haven’t been for years. Isn’t this economy great!

Technically correct, we haven’t been in reccession for a while now. But the economy is still trying to kickstart itself out of the ditch and back onto the highway, and its not there yet.

Another thing I’m curious about: did you consider the (lower) deficits under Bush to be reasonable at that time? Or did you consider the Bush deficits at that time to be “unpatriotic?”

nothing to do with patriotic or unpatriotic, just smart and not smart.

the Bush defecits were simply stupid. the economy was cruising, everything was working smoothly – and he decided not only to introduce a massive unfunded tax cut (which led directly to an inflationary bubble), but then for the first time in US history starting a major war(s) without ever actually funding it. He started trillion dollar wars while actually cutting taxes at the same time – completely stupid. criminally negligent, even.

The temporary stimulus that so many smart economists clamored for that didn’t prevent our economy from sinking like a stone and has contributed to the ultra-slow recovery we are currently experiencing by sending false market signals? That “stimulus”?

If smart economists knew as much about the how the economy works as they think they know, we wouldn’t be where we are, and they wouldn’t be surprised every month when a new set of economic reports come out.

This isn’t true, though.

The Stimulus absolutely stopped the economy from sinking like stone, and avoided the much more dire economic predictions from that time period.

And in direct contrast to the many examples in europe who chose the opposite strategy – Austerity – and fell into an economic abyss whcih only recently they have figured out they need to use stimulus to get out of.

This is why the US economy has recovered better than most other countries from the economic disaster.

And the truth is the stimulus should likely have been larger, and the economy would likely be in better shape than it is now if it had been.

Many red states, for example, chose to slash government spending and jobs at the time, and that has been a huge drag on unemployment and economic productivity ever since. And many of those red states chose to use that stimulus spending simply to pay off their debt instead of injecting it back into the economy, which unfortunately wasted much of the potential impact the stimulus should have had.

The various recoveries around the world have done a pretty thorough job of proving that stimulus was the right approach, and austerity very wrong.

everdiso on February 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

oldroy on February 12, 2014 at 12:29 PM

The spending bill passed last month only represented the discretionary spending of the federal budget.

The non-discretionary spending (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Debt Service, etc) is substantially larger – and growing substantially which is why reform in these areas is needed.

Athos on February 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

The spending bill passed last month only represented the discretionary spending of the federal budget.

The non-discretionary spending (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Debt Service, etc) is substantially larger – and growing substantially which is why reform in these areas is needed.

Athos on February 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Well then. What is the projected spending for the whole fiscal year? Are we allowed to know those numbers?

oldroy on February 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Many red states, for example, chose to slash government spending and jobs at the time, and that has been a huge drag on unemployment and economic productivity ever since.

 
Ha. I haven’t seen this approach to blaming the (R)s yet. Nicely done. California and New York must be busting at the seams with jobs, though, right?
 
Here’s a link to a red/blue map just so everyone else can play along, too.
 

…which unfortunately wasted much of the potential impact the stimulus should have had.
 
everdiso on February 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

 
Again, why are you pretending that stimulus spending stopped?
 
It’s still having an impact. We’re still spending it every year. We’re at over $5 trillion (with a T) in stimulus spending since 2009. It’s part of the baseline. It’s why Reid/Obama won’t pass a budget.
 
And by your own admission
 

Technically correct, we haven’t been in reccession for a while now. But the economy is still trying to kickstart itself out of the ditch and back onto the highway, and its not there yet.

 
Spending $8+ trillion (with a T) and counting hasn’t made much difference.

rogerb on February 12, 2014 at 1:11 PM

I’m guessing you’re not talking about the $3 trillion (trillion with a T) QE program, so when exactly did they pass this temporary stimulus you’re referring to?

Hint: It’s a trick question. It’s tied to the reason Reid/Obama hasn’t passed a budget since ’09.

rogerb on February 12, 2014 at 10:33 AM

.
.
.
I have tried to get my fellow libs to understand that the Federal Reserve’s (aka Central Bank) balance sheet has gone from 500B in 2008 to 3.1T in 2013, but I just get a blank stare. The assets the Federal Reserve is junk and the day will come soon to really pay for those junk bundled mortgage backed security they are holding. No Sarbanes Oxley for those boys.

I can not argue with you that the current debt of 17T, plus the 3.1T mentioned above, plus the fake receivable of 3.3 from the SSA accounting scheme…equals true debt of 23.4T. Side note, why the receivable to the SSA is fake in a GAAP kind of way….it really is a way to move debt off the balance sheet of the government so to speak. Hope that makes sense cause I ain’t too good at splaning thinks.

Now the discussion about the US being broke and the 100T+ in unfunded debts is a different conversation you will party disagree with my take.

HonestLib on February 12, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Not to mention that the “temporary” stimulus wasn’t so temporary. It was added to the baseline and “stimulates” the economy annually.

besser tot als rot on February 12, 2014 at 2:50 AM

Not the whole amount, but 550M was added to base budget for the following year and of course is being carried forward every year.

HonestLib on February 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

The Democrats wanted, no, NEEDED a fight over the debt ceiling. They knew the Republicans would lose but felt the “tea party” wing of the party would force Boehner into it. The House would pass a bill with some linkage to something else, and Reid would just ignore it and refuse to bring the bill up for a Senate vote. Obama would probably allow something to default and blame the Republicans, and the Republicans would eventually be forced to back down again.

But no. Boehner deprived the Democrats of the battle they so desperately wanted. Now there is nothing to stand between the public, Obamacare, and a Republican landslide in November.

You might not like the tactics, but the strategy is brilliant. Those calling for Boehner’s head remind me of General Charles Lee who petitioned the Continental Congress for the dismissal of George Washington for being a spineless coward in his retreat from New York. Not saying that Boehner is a Washington, just saying that history is full of strategic retreats and is also full of critics of those retreats who just wanted to fight for the sake of fighting even if it would have cost them the war.

Boehner just saved the 2014 elections for the Republicans and nailed the Democrats’ coffin shut.

crosspatch on February 12, 2014 at 2:56 AM

There is some truth here, and I might actually agree that this is a good thing if it was the FIRST time he’s done this. Its not. He’s done this since he was elected Speaker. Each time, he says he’s finding a more strategic hill to fight on, and then he caves. He FINDS ways to cave.

That means that Boehner isn’t concerned about the United States of America, or her citizens. He’s concerned about him. Everything he does is to further his own ends. How many times has he done something courageous, like start a movement to defund Obamacare? I can’t think of a one.

mrteachersir on February 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Yea, 28 R’s with Boner, all the Dems. What in the heck is the difference between GOPe and Dem?

captnjoe on February 11, 2014 at 8:16 PM

The Dems will drive the country off the cliff at 89 mph.

The R’s will drive the country off the cliff at 88 mph.

stopitchris on February 12, 2014 at 1:21 PM

I disagree with that impression. I do feel that the country isn’t beyond saving. Therefore, I do value voting and working within the system. What it takes though, are those who feel passionate about returning the country to more stable grounds to become involved in the process and move policy. Pointing fingers on a blog won’t do that at all.

Collectively, as conservatives, we came to the fight oh 50 or 60 years too late. The left has thoroughly infiltrated the arts, the media, the schools, the culture, and thus the body politic. The body is corrupted to the point it is impossible to revive (in my view).

As I alluded to with driving off a cliff, we are headed there, its only a matter of speed (time). While I appreciate your efforts, they will only amount to stepping on the brake pedal, slightly.

I stand with the system re-boot crowd. As a conservative who lives in a bluest of the blue states, I see precious little around me I want to conserve.

Sometimes I think of myself as an Alinsky-conservative. Crash the system. The wonderful thing that I do believe we could do in this country is “wiping the slate clean.” We could toss out all the laws on the books and return to the Constitution and start back from there. We could remove all the politicians and enact term limits.

The sooner this colossal mess comes tumbling down the better, as we will have more resources and time to rebuild.

stopitchris on February 12, 2014 at 1:39 PM

oldroy on February 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

The mandatory spending is estimated for the current FY to be around 2.5T, so we’re looking at a $3.5 to $3.6T total expenditure planned. I suspect that this will edge up a little before the end of the FY as things generally cost more than they were estimated to cost. It would not be a surprise if the final expenditure approached the President’s original request of $3.77T.

According to the National Debt Clock, we’re at $17.325T national debt now, about 107.6% Debt to GDP ratio. We could breach the $18T debt mark by the end of the calendar year.

Athos on February 12, 2014 at 1:42 PM

mrteachersir on February 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

You have hit the nail on the head. Captain Clink is always looking out for himself. I think that anything good he does is because he accidently falls into it. It is never by design, just by chance. Plus if you are drinking and tanning all the time, how can you think straight with all that alcohol and radiation floating around your brain.

One_If_By_Land on February 12, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Nancy Pelosi to Dems: ‘Don’t Gloat’ After Debt Ceiling Rout

Before the House voted to raise the debt ceiling without any spending reductions or restorations of the military pension cuts Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly warned her members not to act like Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and taunt the “mediocre” GOP leadership for caving.

When your opponent has to tell her caucus not to gloat…..Mr. Boehner…

…it’s time to go.

Athos on February 12, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Someone just gave me the best explanation on why they passed that bill so quickly …. coming SNOW STORM.
Little snow and they run for the hills.

ktrelski on February 12, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Some important points that I saw elsewhere:

“Whatever happens, the debt limit should not be raised unless we are put on a path to balance the budget in 10 years. That’s the bottom line.”

“Tax reform is a much-needed pursuit, but it’s not the answer to the debt limit. Tax reform, done well, should strengthen the economy and produce more revenue, but it obviously cannot cut spending—and excessive spending is the near-term and the long-term problem.”

Heritage’s chief economist, Stephen Moore, adds:

“By the way, one of the biggest ballooning expenses is interest on the debt, which rises from about $250 billion a year now to more than $800 billion in a decade. Wonderful: We will be paying more taxes not for vital public services, but to finance our past sins.”

“Of course, the Obama Administration and the media have found a way to spin the gloomy forecast by pointing to the CBO’s announcement that the budget deficit is down this year. The deficit shows how much government spending has exceeded revenue (the money the government is taking in from taxes) in a given year.”

A “clean” debt ceiling bill is a green light for Washington to keep up the binge spending. Ronald Reagan said it best: “This is like giving an alcoholic another drink.”

-west

mr_west on February 12, 2014 at 3:42 PM

…..TEA Party….

Enough said.

DannoJyd on February 12, 2014 at 11:38 PM

The GOP is always at huge disadvantage. The Dems control the messaging. Except for Fox, there is no outlet for them to make their case known. I don’t like the deal any ore than 99% of you, but we gotta play the cards as they’re deal, instead of how we’d like them to be.

307wolverine on February 12, 2014 at 10:25 AM

If the GOP were to announce – right now – that media organizations that act as Democratic party house organs will be cut off from government access by a future Republican White House, I imagine the MSM would discover it was in their interest to give more balanced coverage, starting now.

After all, the threat of ‘no access’ worked a treat for Saddam Hussein.

PersonFromPorlock on February 13, 2014 at 8:43 PM

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