Call the question…

The fiscal cliff curb has been stepped over. And now the chatter is focused on the coming trio of Wingnut-manufactured points of doom: the Debt Ceiling, the Sequester and keeping the Federal Government funded. Of the three, two have firm deadlines for action. Without new legislation, the Federal Government will need to shut down after March 27, 2013 and the automatic budget cuts of the 2011 Sequester will begin on March 1, 2013. Failing to resolve either (or both) of these flashpoints would be a bother and cause some trouble, but it would also be in the zone of normal impotent Wingnut foolishness. The GOP would be blamed for any and all problems. I expect they will eventually capitulate as more and more folks realized that the only objective of the modern Conservative movement is chaos.

That brings us to the debt limit. The wingnuts have very little leverage when it comes to the Sequester and a Government shutdown, but they have convinced themselves that taking the global economy hostage might improve their chances. And even here they are a deeply silly and insane group of grifters. They demand that the President agree to pay a ransom before they’ll allow the USA to pay its bills, but they also refuse to say what that ransom should be. They are like kidnappers who demand that you guess how much you’ll have to pay to get get back your daughter while promising to kill her if you guess wrong. It would be impossible to negotiate with such criminals and it is impossible to negotiate with the GOP over the Debt Ceiling.

The GOP (and many in the media) would like to link all three of these items in one new “Grand Bargain” negotiation/crisis/deal and drag it out through March, but that would be crazy. The Debt Ceiling is not like the other two flashpoints–there is nothing about it that can or should be negotiated. It is just about paying for the things that you’ve already bought (while the other two are about what you might or might not buy–or earn–in the future).

The wingnuts are like an inept sitcom Father who decides that he’ll stop paying all the family’s bills as a way to force them to agree to his budget/plan for a family vacation to Wally World. Every time he argues that he’s being “financially responsible” the laugh track gets turned to eleven.

There isn’t any reason to wait until February or March to have the Debt Ceiling fight. President Obama should call the question.  Let’s have the Debt Ceiling fight now. It won’t be any uglier now than it will be later, so let’s get it over it.

Technically we hit the Debt Ceiling last Monday. The Treasury Department has some tricks and dodges they can use to buy time for Congress to act, but they do not need to use them all. They could pick any date in the near future and say that this is when we can no longer pay our bills unless Congress takes action.  I say, make that date January 29, 2013 and refused to have a single negotiation with Congress about the matter. If Congress doesn’t act by then, then February’s Social Security checks and everything else will not be paid.  I don’t think that the Wingnuts have the sand for this fight (and if they do, you can always lay down the coin as a way to buy time until they fold).

Raising the debt limit is going to invoke a wingnut frenzy of self-destruction and stupidity whenever it happens and waiting (or linking it to other issues) will not improve things.

Let’s call the question and get this Debt Ceiling fight behind us.

Cheers

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

137 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Bring. It. On. Oh and good luck pissing off your Wall Street backer there GOP idiots.

  2. 2

    I read somewhere yesterday that the Obama Administration has some super-secret plan to go around Congress on the debt ceiling. I don’t know what that is — maybe it’s that “platinum coin” thing you guys linked to earlier today, though that sounds kinda crazy. But who knows.

    Knowing Obama he’ll let the debate get super-heated to allow the Republicans to look like dithering irresponsible idiots, then swoop in and do whatever it is.

    On another note, who wants some good news? It’s my weekly roundup of not-so-shitty stuff that happened this week. Enjoy!

  3. 3
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    The Tea Party is still the tail wagging the dog. All this crap is just cover for the one issue; shrinking the size of government

    They’ll promote any gambit, support any clown, blow our last dollar, if that objective is met. So, let’s sequester those districts, and states which have been gerry-mandered to invincibility, and who return less than a dollar of revenue for every dollar in entitlements received, and start cutting at those geographic points. The shrinkage would be a two-fer.

  4. 4
    TR says:

    He should print the platinum coin — with Ronald Reagan’s face on it.

    Not only would it be a fitting tribute to the man who ballooned the deficit, but it would be hilarious to watch the GOP vote against something honoring their one true god.

  5. 5
    Joe Buck says:

    It’s all up to president Obama. He either stands his ground or he doesn’t.

    If he makes it clear that there will be no concessions in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, Congress will raise the debt ceiling. They have to; their business backers will explain to them what happens if they don’t.

    If, however, he gives any hint that concessions are possible, this in itself will cause a crisis, as the wingnuts demand more and more, and they will be encouraged to play chicken. The consequence will be another downgrade of America’s credit rating and higher prices for American borrowing, which will make the debt worse.

  6. 6
    MTiffany71 says:

    the only objective of the modern Conservative movement is chaos.

    The better to prove that if the government cannot ‘protect’ us from chaos then we should look to corporations and churches to provide order. It’s a complete load of crap, but that’s the society the wingnuts want to create.

  7. 7
    Joe Buck says:

    To amplify my previous message: Obama and everyone else in the executive branch should refuse any meeting to discuss the debt limit. It is solely a matter for Congress. The president’s role should be limited to signing the bill once Congress passes it, and vetoing the bill if it attaches any conditions at all to the debt limit increase.

  8. 8
    Tim I says:

    I must respectfully disagree with you Dennis. These things never get solved before a hard deadline and in the case of the Debt Ceiling the President has one huge advantage – only he knows precisely when the Treasury will run out of tricks. The Republicans only know what Tim Geitner tells them, it’s a game of chicken in which only one side knows when the vehicles will collide.

  9. 9
    Dennis G. says:

    @TR: Better yet: Reagan and W Bush staring into each other’s eyes on one side with the Gadsden flag snake and motto on the other. We could call it the Tea Party coin.

  10. 10
    Ruckus says:

    Dennis
    I agree that we need to get this over with and move on. But of course I have skin directly in the game. I’m on SS and depend on that to eat regular. I could maybe forgo a check but more than that and I’m dumpster diving. So I’m trying not to be selfish here but…
    My calling the assholes making everyone’s life miserable won’t do any good, they work(OK I know that joke isn’t funny) for someone else and sure as hell won’t listen to me. They are convinced that government is THE problem. They and the people who vote for them, are morons in every sense of the word. We aren’t ever going to fix their stupidity, some things are just not possible.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    Dennis G. @ Top:

    [The Republicans] demand that the President agree to pay a ransom before they’ll allow the USA to pay its bills …

    Or, more precisely, Republicans demand that the President pay a ransom before they’ll agree to pay the bills a GOP House racked up.

    .

  13. 13
    Dennis G. says:

    @Tim I: True, but the assumption is that they have until the end of March. That narrative can be changed by calling the question.

    If Treasury says we hit that moment at the end of January, you change the terms of the debate and delink the debt limit from the other items. (And this would force a resolution of the debt limit before Geitner leaves at the end of the month)

    Regardless of how and when it plays out it will be another wingnut clusterfuck of insanity. This is known.

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    lay down the coin

    UNLIMITED PLATINUM CASH!1eleventy!

  15. 15
    EconWatcher says:

    We really need to drop the talk about the platinum coin. That would be a cute stunt, and to his credit, Obama doesn’t do cute stunts. He’s the adult in the room, and that hard-won reputation is what’s going to get us through this.

    He’ll use part of the SOTU, and maybe even the inaugural speech, to explain in very simple terms to Joe and Mary Sixpack what the Republicans did last time, how much damage it did, and how much more damage could be done. This is his natural strength. He’s a teacher.

    Then he can just step back with his arms folded and wait for them to cave. They will (or at least, a few dozen will, and that’s all that’s needed).

    I sweat a lot of things, but I’m not sweating this. Chill out. He’s got this.

  16. 16
    Culture of Truth says:

    They are like kidnappers who demand that you guess how much you’ll have to pay to get get back your daughter while promising to kill her if you guess wrong.

    Not so much a stranger kidnapping as they are the inept sitcom father threatening to burn the family house down to get their way.

    “Ok, go ahead. But where are you going to sleep tonight?”

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:

    The problem is that the Republicans believe they made Obama blink on the fiscal cliff. Whether that belief is well founded or not is irrelevant. They believe they have leverage, and will act accordingly.

    I think your kidnap analogy is a good one, but in the situation you posit, the only logical thing to do is bring in the SWAT team and pray they get a clear shot before the kidnappers get antsy and start wasting hostages. I’m not sure what Obama brings to the table that’s equivalent to a SWAT team.

  18. 18
    xian says:

    @EconWatcher: Stay tuned for firebaggish complaints that Obama caved! on the Platinum Coin.

  19. 19
    Culture of Truth says:

    Actually my impression is that most Republicans are well aware they got taken by Obama in this latest round, which is why they are so hell-bent to use the debt ceiling to win some concessions they didn’t get during the fiscal cliff talks.

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    All this crap is just cover for the one issue; shrinking the size of government screwing over poor people

    FTFY. If they actually cared about the size of government, they wouldn’t try to put defense spending- by far the largest and most wasteful part of discretionary spending- off limits for cuts. They just want to destroy the parts of government that help people too poor to buy influence in Washington.

  21. 21

    These guys hate the President and will do anything to make things difficult for him. THIS is the guy they hate.

    F*ck them.

  22. 22
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Actually my impression is that most Republicans are well aware they got taken by Obama in this latest round,

    Yes. Just trying to recover erectile function.

  23. 23
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yeah, I assumed it was clear I meant ‘Gore the other guy’s Ox’.

  24. 24
    Jennifer says:

    As I said over at Mr. Bogg’s:

    I really don’t see the president as having lost any leverage, since the position needs to be “no negotiation” anyway. None of us get to refuse to pay our bills unless we get our way. Congress was the one writing the IOUs, and if certain members of the current Congress aren’t responsible enough to pay the bills, well then, maybe they shouldn’t be there. Sure, our credit rating will take another hit, but that might happen anyway if they pull the same kind of shit this time around, which I fully expect, and they’ll have to own it. I have this Hello Kitty-tinged dream in which Obama simply announces that “these are bills Congress promised to pay and it’s up to Congress to pay them regardless of whatever else is going on in the world. When Congress authorizes spending, they promise to pay for it, and either their word is good or it isn’t. It can’t perpetually be up to a third party to agree to ransom demands to get them to keep their word – at some point, it’s got to boil down to whether or not they are sincerely interested in dealing with the responsibilities of the job they’ve sought out and whether or not they are honorable and good for their word. So…we’re not going to negotiate on this. Congress needs to work to figure out how they’re going to pay for the things they authorized and promised to pay for, and if they aren’t able to do the job the people elected them to do, I will take whatever steps I can take under my executive powers to resolve the problem and clean up the debts Congress authorized but refuses to pay.”

    Yeah, I know. Obama’s no Django, but if I heard him say something even close to the above, it would be the best sex I’ve had in years

  25. 25
    Culture of Truth says:

    As I recall from the last time this happened, the odd thing about the debt ceiling crisis is that it actually hands the President an enormous amount of power. If the US doesn’t have enough money to pay its bills, the President can choose which ones to pay.

    Judging by that freerepublic thead, some wingnuts seem to think he has to make across-the-board cuts, or make cuts to social programs, or cuts that make Democrats look bad. But he doesn’t, they can’t make him, and this is what drew howls from wingnuts the last time.

  26. 26
    Paul in KY says:

    @burnspbesq: Drones!

  27. 27
    👽 Martin says:

    Honestly, Obama should just start canceling defense appropriations contracts – one per day from here on out. Do it very publicly.

    The most recent round of spending Congress sent him was defense appropriations. It was actually signed after we went over the debt limit. Technically, we have no ability to pay for those contracts. Start canceling them.

  28. 28
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @Southern Beale: Kudos! Thank you for the good news.

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):
    I think it’s very important that we tell it like it is, rather than using wingnut framing. If their real goal is to reward the rich and screw everyone else, we should say that they’re rewarding the rich and screwing everyone else. Calling it “shrinking government” is letting them define the issue in a way that makes them look good and us look bad. If we want public support, we need to take over the messaging so we look good and they look bad.

  30. 30
    burnspbesq says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Drones!

    Hey, if you can figure out a way to take out the House Republicans with minimal collateral damage using drones, I am all for it.

  31. 31
    Culture of Truth says:

    @👽 Martin: The last time, this was met with a furious gnashing of teeth on Fox screaming “he can’t do that!” which always means of course that he can and should.

  32. 32
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jennifer:

    Given what happened to interest rates on US government debt after the last credit downgrade, I say bring on the next one.

  33. 33
    NonyNony says:

    @burnspbesq:

    the only logical thing to do is bring in the SWAT team and pray they get a clear shot before the kidnappers get antsy and start wasting hostages. I’m not sure what Obama brings to the table that’s equivalent to a SWAT team.

    I think @👽 Martin has got it in one:

    Obama should just start canceling defense appropriations contracts – one per day from here on out. Do it very publicly.

    Angry money guys losing money is the closest thing to a SWAT team that you’ve got to release against Congress. “Release the Hounds!”

  34. 34
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @burnspbesq:

    That sounds more like the philosophy of an anarchist, than an attorney.

  35. 35
    burnspbesq says:

    @NonyNony:

    Before I jump on that bandwagon, I’d like to see the canellation-fee provisions in those contracts.

  36. 36
    Napoleon says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Honestly, Obama should just start canceling defense appropriations contracts – one per day from here on out. Do it very publicly.

    Short of and end around by using the 14th amendment or magic coin his best option is to not pay things that will put maximum pressure on the Republicans, like only social security checks and inferstructure projects in red states or defense.

    (after some earlier threads I got to thinking that these paths are not mutually exclusive – he could go the non-payment route and if they still don’t come around, and after the point the public has soured even more on the Republicans deposit the magic coin or declare the debt ceiling unconsitutional).

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    That sounds more like the philosophy of an anarchist, than an attorney.

    Can you say “I’m sick of this shit?”

    Yeah, I thought you could.

  38. 38
    Cassidy says:

    @Jennifer:

    but if I heard him say something even close to the above, it would be the best sex I’ve had in years.

    I like the guy too, but maybe you need to go out this weekend.

  39. 39
    Paul in KY says:

    @burnspbesq: How about the next CPAC Convention? Could get the local SEIU to keep all the staff away.

  40. 40
    Culture of Truth says:

    like only social security checks and inferstructure projects in red states or defense.

    He has to cut welfare and foreign aid first. I read that in the wingnut handbook

  41. 41
    MattR says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    He has to cut welfare and foreign aid first.

    I assume that is limited to Muslim countries. No chance they would support cutting Israel’s cash.

  42. 42
    sparrow says:

    @Napoleon: Cancelling defense contracts and targeting redstaters social security checks may sound good to your ears, but to mine (and those attuned to fox news), it sounds TERRIBLE for the president. Fortunately, Obama is smarter than that.

  43. 43
    Dennis G. says:

    @Culture of Truth: Perhaps they should stop payroll to Congress and their staffs now to help focus their attention to the issue…

  44. 44
    Culture of Truth says:

    @MattR: Yes. Also urban welfare.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    @Paul in KY:

    How about the next CPAC Convention? Could get the local SEIU to keep all the staff away.

    Given that CPAC 2013 is being held at something called the Gaylord National Hotel, on the Maryland side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, this seems like a particularly good idea. If it were being held at its traditional location on Mass Ave, I would worry about blowing up an embassy or two.

  46. 46
    Culture of Truth says:

    Fox News, 2011:

    Entitlement benefits could be withheld if the cash flow dries up over an impasse in Washington on raising the debt ceiling.

    Obama issued the warning on Tuesday when he said Social Security payments and veterans’ checks, among other payments, could be at risk if negotiators don’t reach a deal to raise the debt limit above $14.3 trillion by Aug. 2. That’s when the Treasury Department says the government will stop being able to borrow money.

    “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” Obama said in an interview with CBS News.

  47. 47
    Xenos says:

    Are cancellation fees on federal contracts enforceable? I hqve heard that all the contractor can claim are what amounts to equitable rights. Terminating a contract just recently awarded won’t allow for much in the way of equitable damages.

    Not an area of specialty for me, though. Maybe this is a reliable guide, maybe not.

  48. 48
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Can you say “I’m sick of this shit?”

    My tolerance for reasonableness has taken a few hits, and I’m ready to rock n roll.

  49. 49
    Hill Dweller says:

    Also, too, Geithner, who would be doing the shuffling of resources, is leaving in a few weeks. That should add an interesting twist to the wingnuts latest extortion attempt.

  50. 50
    johnny aquitard says:

    @MTiffany71:

    the only objective of the modern Conservative movement is chaos.

    The better to prove that if the government cannot ‘protect’ us from chaos then we should look to corporations and churches to provide order

    This the exact same objective and rationale of terrorism. Just substitute ‘corporations and churches’ with whatever organization or religion the terrorist seeks to supplant the government with.

  51. 51
    Napoleon says:

    @sparrow:

    Oh I am sure he would not do that, and I was half joking. I do think though that he could stop payment on the contracts (but not cancel) and perhaps across the board cut SS checks by, say, 50%. The Republicans disproportately get their support from the old so the lines to the Repubican’s congresional offices will be on fire from people saying “I voted for you and you won’t vote so that I can get my SS checks!!!” In the last couple of weeks I read where in Mitcb McConnel’s state in 3 counties the majority of income are government transfer payments, and those counties went heavily for Romney. I am sure they can come up with some kind of scheme that on its face doesn’t look designed to exclusively stick it to Republicans while in reality putting more presure on their base then the Dem base.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Eggs/omelettes.

  53. 53
    Culture of Truth says:

    When he threatened not to send SS checks, the GOP *really* lost their minds, simultaneously insisting the debt limit was no biggie so Obama should send those checks out pronto, and also it was great leverage because were was broke.

  54. 54
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I salute your precision warfare.

  55. 55
    liberal says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Honestly, Obama should just start canceling defense appropriations contracts – one per day from here on out. Do it very publicly.

    Agreed—not paying military contractors should be at the top of the list.

  56. 56
    Liberty60 says:

    @Dennis G.:
    Much more tasteful than the design I submitted of Reagan teabagging Lady Liberty.

    Art is a matter of subjective opinion, it appears.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @liberal:

    not paying military contractors should be at the top of the list

    That’s like my pipe-dream (and burnsies)

    Fun to talk about, though..

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Hey, if you can figure out a way to take out the House Republicans with minimal collateral damage using drones, I am all for it.

    Invite the Republican caucus to a retreat at Camp David. The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.

  60. 60
    Hoodie says:

    I wish people would actually listen to what Obama says. He has already called the question by saying that he will not negotiate the debt ceiling. He doesn’t make flat statements like that if he doesn’t mean it, especially after four years in office. That doesn’t mean he won’t negotiate, but the grounds of that negotiation is going to be the sequester and, more generally, appropriations for the next year. That is not trivial, but it is doable as a matter of horsetrading.

    The debt ceiling is a sideshow. Gingrich as much as admitted that today, and if there ever was someone who knows how to put on a show, it’s Gingrich. Some Republicans want to fixate on the debt ceiling not because they actually plan to use it, but because it’s theatrical bullshit that relieves them of the burden of having to talk specifics on budgets. It’s the same as the Balanced Budget Amendment, nonsense masquerading as actually doing the job. The big money is in Medicare, Medicaid and Defense, and those are things that they don’t really want to talk about. Hell, they didn’t even take chained CPI for SS when it was offered to them.

    The House Republican caucus is like a shopworn vaudeville act. They made a career out of bitching about everything while being responsible for nothing, kind of like FoxNews. However, that act eventually gets stale. All this teabaggery was simply an act dreamed up to crowd out the memories of the nightmarish Bush presidency that preceded it. It has no substance.

  61. 61
    liberal says:

    @Roger Moore:

    All this crap is just cover for the one issue; shrinking the size of government screwing over poor people

    IMHO, that’s not their #1, but rather their #2. #1 is “The truly rich should pay no taxes whatsoever.”

  62. 62
    liberal says:

    @xian:
    I’m very fond of the platinum coin solution, but I’m not going to cry if Obama doesn’t move it forward.

    The one thing that will get me really, really pissed is if entitlements and other sensitive spending is cut in a way so that the Republicans can avoid taking blame for it, or even foist the blame on the Dems (so they can run to their left on the issue in the future).

    AFAICT the Republicans are going to try to do it that way.

  63. 63
    Yutsano says:

    @👽 Martin: Y DO U NOT SUPPORT TEH TROOPS U LIBRUL FASCIST??

    You realise, of course, that will be the response. Flecked with spittle, even.

  64. 64
    liberal says:

    @Dennis G.:
    Please, please can you amend your artwork and throw in Uncles Miltie and Friedrich?

  65. 65
    Hill Dweller says:

    Kilgore(at Washington Monthly), Sargent(WaPo) and MacGillis(TNR) have good articles hammering the media for normalizing this hostage taking. Their refusal to accurately describe the wingnuts’ insanity gives the public a false impression of the situation.

    There is no way in hell Dems could get away with the things wingnuts have done in the last 4 years.

  66. 66
    Napoleon says:

    @Hoodie:

    I think it does have some “substance” (to the extent that word can be applied to anything the Republicans do) in the it has been obvious for years that their plan (which large parts of the media are willing to assist in) is to get the Dems to be the ones that propose cuts to popular programs (heck, did Bush ever actually make a proposal to cut SS? I don’t think he did, he was pressuring Dems to unilaterally make an initial offer). So the fact they control the House and therefore the initial part of the budget process is useless to them, because to use that process they would have to make the initial move on cutting entitlements. So they see the debt ceiling thing as a magic bullet which will force the Dems to make the first move. That is why it would be insane for Obama to ever make any kind of offer or counter offer of any kind (and the last time around he pointedly said if they have something they want to cut they should do it in the budget).

  67. 67
    Napoleon says:

    @liberal:

    Please, please can you amend your artwork and throw in Uncles Miltie and Friedrich?

    And make sure the style of the artwork is Soviet Realism.

  68. 68
    JoyfulA says:

    January 15 is a quarterly estimated payment date for the self-employed, so the Treasury ought to be getting a pile of money from me and (mostly) others about 1/20 or so.

  69. 69
    ksmiami says:

    @Napoleon: exactly – then cut off every red state defense contractor… sorry. SCREW the GOP monsters.

  70. 70
    chopper says:

    @Hoodie:

    the smart move for Obama really is to say it’s Congress’s problem and start turning the screws by threatening to hold off paying certain bills.

    after this last fiasco congress is about as popular as VD.

  71. 71
    👽 Martin says:

    @Yutsano:

    You realise, of course, that will be the response

    I don’t think the ‘support the troops’ BS will work against Obama. He’s won the national security debate for the Dems for the immediate future.

  72. 72
    Maude says:

    @Hill Dweller:
    Mayor Bloomberg castigated the media for not caring about gun violence. He said they covered Newtown and Aurora, but 33 people a day die from gun violence.
    He is going to be a big help on this issue.
    Bloomberg radio is twenty years old today.

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    @👽 Martin: In wingnut world none of that matters. After all it was really the SEALs that took out Bin Laden. BENGHAZI!! Also. Too.

  74. 74
    Hoodie says:

    @Napoleon: Oh ye of little faith, you think Obama doesn’t know that? The debt ceiling was only useful as a weapon when the economy was really fragile and there was an impending presidential election. While the economy is no great shakes now, it’s demonstrably improving and any shock now caused by a debt ceiling shenanigans would be laid squarely on the House R’s. That’s why they caved on the tax stuff. They aren’t going to do shit on the debt ceiling either, and Obama knows that but has to act like it’s a legitimate issue because the script requires it. He will, however, make certain deals on budget and tax stuff, so it’s quite likely he’ll get some more goodies, such as closing the carried interest loophole and other tax expenditures. It will probably cost something on the entitlement side, but probably so riddled with exceptions to protect the poor and disabled that it will be toothless.

  75. 75
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Would be so cool if Prez O and his acolytes would talk in public and in the press with the precision and forcefulness and direct, unflinching name calling as in this post.

    I wonder…I wonder why it is that they don’t?

  76. 76
    JGabriel says:

    Well, anyone supporting the Platinum Coin Solution should probably sign the White House petition:

    WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

    Direct the United States Mint to make a single platinum trillion dollar coin!

  77. 77
    notgonnahappen says:

    If people such as the posters on this blog site don’t talk about it we would not be subject to another faux drama resulting in a last minute vote again. That is EXACTLY what is going to happen!

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Really? Lame, even for you.

  79. 79
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    exactly – then cut off every red state defense contractor… sorry. SCREW the GOP monsters.

    @ksmiami: This is why contractors, and the DoD, put major contract work in all fifty states. You can’t cut the F35 work in, let’s say, Georgia. When you cut F35 work, you just cut upwards of thirty thousand jobs, high-paying jobs, spread evenly through every state of the Union.

    Are cancellation fees on federal contracts enforceable?

    @Xenos: No. There’s really no such thing. The government can cut the contract at its leisure if it so wishes. Consult the FAR for clarification. The government can cancel at its whim – and if the GOP pushes this they absolutely should – but that pain gets spread to all the states as I stated above, not just the ones run by the shitheads.

  80. 80
    Chyron HR says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Well, gee, Tim, according to you “Prez O” is “lost” without a teleprompter. Why are you wasting our time with questions you’ve already answered for yourself?

  81. 81
    kindness says:

    Sequestration…..am I the only one who actually hopes that happens? Yes, it would mean terrible cuts to several very good programs, but it cuts Defense even more. In fact I think that sequestration is the only way the Defense budget will get cut.

    And lord knows as we all do that the fix to sequestration will be to continue to allow all the non-defense cuts to happen and the elimination of the defense cuts. Because that is how Washington plays it.

  82. 82
    mclaren says:

    The fact that we are even discussing the deficit shows how completely the billionaires have hijacked the discussion.

    Fuck the deficit. The big problem in America right now is JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS.

  83. 83
    Kip the Wonder Rat says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Not quite true. For instance, to partially use your example, President O could decide that we don’t need any C-130 upgrades. BAM! There goes a ton of jobs in wingnut ground zero, AKA “Cobb County, Georgia” since almost nobody else does such upgrades and nobody else’s rice bowl depends on upgraded C-130s.

    I’m sure that are other ways to micromanage this that would allow him to make his point with fairly precise pain targets.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    This is why contractors, and the DoD, put major contract work in all fifty states. You can’t cut the F35 work in, let’s say, Georgia. When you cut F35 work, you just cut upwards of thirty thousand jobs, high-paying jobs, spread evenly through every state of the Union.

    Yep.

    Seldom discussed in the power of the military-industrial complex is the fact that defense spending is the only form of job stimulus program that’s ideologically acceptable across the political spectrum.

  85. 85
    Suffern ACE says:

    @kindness: No, you aren’t alone there, although the whole thing is nebulous since no one knows what exactly is going to be cut. 120 billion this year then 1.0 trillion from capping for ten years. It seems unlikely that that 1.0 trillion cap is actually ever going to happen.

    I was reading something by something called the “bi-partisan policy group”, which is basically Pete Dominici, someone from the Hudson Institute and a bunch of retired generals that predicted a hollowed out military and then didn’t even bother to discuss anything else. (Wow. A board of ex generals and admirals don’t think we should cut anything!).

    If someone could actually find better analsis, it would make sense to talk about it.

    Also, I’m might be open to the idea increasing taxes for Medicare AND means testing that program. But if someone wanted to object, please let me know what those objections are.

  86. 86
    Suffern ACE says:

    @mclaren: So, what’s your idea on how to create them there jobs? Or are you going to punt and say that’s not your job again. Surely there are lots of progressive jobs program ideas formulated and floating around out there now that we’re 52+ months into a slack jobs market and 10 or 11 years into stagnant wages. Surely, you must have read something worth sharing.

  87. 87
    freelancer says:

    @mclaren:

    Great, it’s gonna be one of those nights.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suffern ACE: Means testing makes it like welfare; easier to cut. Universality means that everybody gets it and everybody likes it. Also, means test will decrease the size of the risk pool and increase costs.

  89. 89
    Maude says:

    @freelancer:
    We know which four keys to break on her computer. If this keeps going, soon she won’t have any keys.

  90. 90
    The Dangerman says:

    I wish I had a dollar for each the the deficit came up as a concern of Congress between 2001 and 2007… oh, wait …

  91. 91
    Maude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I have tried to explain means testing. It doesn’t seem to register with some.
    NJ Medicaid was cut by the income level from around $24,000 for a family to about $5,000. Working poor were shut out.

  92. 92
    Djur says:

    @kindness: The domestic cuts would be terrible any time, and it’s not the time to cut defense. If we were talking about transferring that defense spending to social programs, sure, but I don’t see what benefit we get from taking away a few scoops of slop out of the Pentagon trough and throwing it away.

  93. 93
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Maude: Aren’t the working poor then supposed to gain subsidized coverage after the ACA?

  94. 94
    General Stuck says:

    @Maude:

    Are you saying means testing, true means testing on a ‘sliding scale’ caused poor people to be shut out?

  95. 95
    Todd says:

    Given all the petitions circulating now, if I petition to have a lifetime supply of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and the perpetual presence of a coterie of depraved attractive women to satisfy my every whim, would that get any traction?

  96. 96
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @kindness: Keep this list of information in mind. Sequestration, if it occurs, really only affects defense.

  97. 97
    General Stuck says:

    And also too, it is not really means testing, simply having a progressive payment structure.

  98. 98
    General Stuck says:

    @Todd:

    Let’s start a petition to have no more petitions.

  99. 99
    Djur says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Increasing Medicare taxes: we need expansionary fiscal policy right now, and increasing broad-based taxes is contractionary.

    I’ve never cared much about the ‘welfare’ argument against cutting Medicare, both because I think welfare is good and that austerity hawks will try to cut it regardless of whether it’s ‘welfare’. But we should be trying to expand Medicare, not contract it. Expanding Medicare would give us leverage to reduce medical expenses, which is the major fiscal problem with the program.

  100. 100
    General Stuck says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    You know, I still can’t believe the republicans signed on to the supercongress committee, with a live trigger that exempts almost everything they hate and want to cut. It’s like Daffy Duck is pulling the strings for the GOP these days. Obama and Biden must have danced a jig after they shook on that.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @General Stuck: No. Means testing changes the public conception of a program and makes it easier to starve and then kill.

  102. 102
    Todd says:

    @General Stuck:

    Let’s start a petition to have no more petitions.

    Oh sure, do it when I want to have one signed that I could really enjoy.

  103. 103
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Not to mention that Medicare is more efficient than private sector insurance.

  104. 104
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I don’t agree, with regards to medicare, so long as it isn’t sliding scale kind of means testing. It may not be a good idea, unless you get something really good for it, but it is patently progressive and the wingers would get nowhere with the welfare charge.

  105. 105
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: 47% of the population voted to “not really voucher, quit calling it a voucher. That’s not fair” Medicare in the last election. Even if they were voting to “Keep my Medicare. Screw you Lazy Kids”, how much broad support can that program said to actually have?

  106. 106
    liberal says:

    @General Stuck:

    You know, I still can’t believe the republicans signed on to the supercongress committee, with a live trigger that exempts almost everything they hate and want to cut.

    I think it exempts only nondiscretionary spending, right? I would figure most of the discretionary non-defense stuff is up for axing.

    I assumed the Rethugs signed on to it because they figured (and perhaps figure) that they can roll the dems on the national security issue (exempting military and slashing non-military). Hopefully they’re wrong.

  107. 107
    liberal says:

    @General Stuck:
    Not in the short run, no. The concern is a slippery slope, whereby it’s made less and less universal slowly, until you get to the point where you can scream “WELFARE FOR THE BLAHS!”

  108. 108
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    It obviously exempts the benefit structures to the safety net, which the republicans want to cut most of all, though leaves open cutting medicare providers. Then the other half is military, which is doubly bewildering why the nutters signed off on it.

    I assumed the Rethugs signed on to it because they figured (and perhaps figure) that they can roll the dems on the national security issue (exempting military and slashing non-military). Hopefully they’re wrong.

    What they assumed was that the country did not support Barack Obama, and like them, thought he was the worst president in history, and he would be easy to roll in a high profile showdown of a supercommittee. And that they could have their way with slashing medicare, ss, whatever, and never see the trigger be pulled on a sequester. They were obviously mistaken.

  109. 109
    Djur says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I’m glad those programs are safe from cuts, but a lot of those are mandatory spending anyway. Once you’ve pared away mandatory spending, defense, and the protected programs listed at that link, you get around 10% of the total federal budget — about $370 billion a year. $50 billion is a significant chunk of that, and a lot of those are really important programs. The NIH is in there, for instance, and its budget is only $30 billion a year. NSF gets $7 billion. This is the stuff that we need to worry about getting cut.

  110. 110
    General Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    Nothing would change in the basic pay in and pay benefit structure, for the un rich. The only change would be wealthy folks paying more in premiums and deductibles. There are types of means testing that would give some programs out there a visual aid with sliding scale means testing, to attack as welfare, but those programs actually are welfare already. Means testing would not change the basic government insurance model for medicare, one bit

  111. 111
    burnspbesq says:

    @Todd:

    perpetual presence of a coterie of depraved women

    Sure. Here’s who you get.

    Ann Coulter
    Ann Althouse
    Maggie Gallagher
    Jennifer Rubin
    Michelle Malkin
    Sylvia Hatchell

    Still want it?

  112. 112
    Djur says:

    @Suffern ACE: I don’t think most Romney voters had any idea what they were voting for at all. Most people vote for the Democrat or Republican because that’s the party they identify with, and that’s as much due to regional or cultural identity as with any policy specifics.

    I would say maybe 25% of Romney voters actually would agree with the Ryan plan if they had it explained to them in small words. Voters in liberal democracies are generally ignorant.

  113. 113
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:
    You’re misquoting. He said depraved attractive women. If you think that list matches his criteria, it says something very bad about your taste in women.

  114. 114
    eemom says:

    JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS. JOBS.

    omfg. Our very own “heeeeere’s Johnny!”

  115. 115
    Roger Moore says:

    @Djur:

    Voters in liberal democracies are generally ignorant.

    Voters in most liberal democracies can afford to be poorly engaged with politics because the news media is willing and able to publicize parties’ policy platforms and point out when they deviate from their promises. The reason the Republicans have managed to run so far off the rails is because our media has given up doing that. The media is still treating the Republicans as if they’re still the party of Eisenhower rather than a party that would treat the real Ronald Reagan as a RINO.

  116. 116
    Djur says:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah, I blame the media too. When it comes down to it, a democracy is only as free and fair as its elite chooses to make it.

  117. 117
    El Caganer says:

    @burnspbesq: You’re a cruel man.

  118. 118
    liberal says:

    @burnspbesq:
    LOL.

  119. 119
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @burnspbesq: What, no K-Lo?

  120. 120
    liberal says:

    @Roger Moore:
    As long as we’re going to…ahem…objectify women, MM isn’t so bad (though Atrios IIRC kept using a screenshot of some facial reaction hers that looked horrible).

    Re AC, this has always been a fav of mine:

    Coulter’s neck gained an amazing 3 vertical inches in 2006; inside sources attribute this to a strict regimen of deep-throating Satan’s scaly c**k. It’s projected that by 2010 Coulter will be able to plagiarize the Illinois Right to Life Committee website more deftly than she did in this year’s ode to mindless intolerance of tolerance, Godless, simply by snaking her grotesque head-ladder through the ventilation ducts of their office and skulking away with their webmaster’s hard drive clenched firmly in her masculine jaw.

    and

    Sentence: …and Adam’s apple removed with a backhoe.

  121. 121
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @kindness:

    And lord knows as we all do that the fix to sequestration will be to continue to allow all the non-defense cuts to happen and the elimination of the defense cuts. Because that is how Washington plays it.

    No. Just no. There is NO WAY the president will allow that to happen. I trust him completely.

  122. 122
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    So, what’s your idea on how to create them there jobs? Or are you going to punt and say that’s not your job again.

    Are you seriously implying that this IS McLaren’s job, and NOT the job of Prez O and congressional Dems? Seriously?

    Of course you are. It was VITAL to re elect Obama but he can’t do anything.

  123. 123
    Humble Lurker says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Hey, it’s not our fault you don’t know what the executive powers are. Or the history of effective boycotts and their effect on this country’s politics. Or Progressives who talk up how important they are and how they should be listened to but then have no real ideas to speak of. That’s on you, babe.

  124. 124
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @liberal:

    and Adam’s apple removed with a backhoe.

    No need to remove when it’s prominence has ben augmented with celery and non-dairy carbs, supplemented with anorexic levels of protein-defeating, non-caloric rice-cakes coated with Splenda and protein-powder.

    I just want to BBQ her short-ribs and her under-sized liver with some legumes sauteed in watercress water spiced with her self-deprecating ‘humor’.

  125. 125
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Humble Lurker:

    Shorter Humble: Obama can’t do anything but it was vital to reelect him shut up.

    I’m flattered by the “babe,” though. You wanna hook up? Email some pics.

  126. 126
    Humble Lurker says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    I’m a little old for your tastes. And by old I mean not prepubescent.

  127. 127
    kindness says:

    @Djur: So when is a good time to cut defense? I’m not being snarky, I’m serious.

    We spend more than the next 10 countries on the list combined. You look at all the empires in history and every single one got clobbered by their defense budget.

    The time is now buddy. I don’t want the US to be and empire.

  128. 128
    jp7505a says:

    Simply tell the GOP – raise the debt ceiling or the 14th amendment will be invoked. If they don’t like, see ya in court.

    I

  129. 129
    evodevo says:

    @Napoleon: 3 counties ! Try the eastern third of the state of Ky.

  130. 130
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Humble Lurker:

    You’re obsessed by your pedophilia fantasies. You think about that a lot, don’t you.

  131. 131
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Ted & Hellen: yep. I am doing just that. I mean I’m busy too, being employed and all. I don’t need a job. Lots of people do, though. Found any good lefty website where they actually think about creating them there jobs? Hard to actually get excited about a bunch of folks shouting jobs for four years who don’t then have a policy proposal to beat a tax holiday. Seems like they don’t actually care about jobs, but want attention.

    So far, the plan has been “make sure the bottom doesn’t completely fall out and then wait for the private sector to recover.” Top that.

  132. 132

    I suggest that the government shut down the border patrol. Tell the folks in Arizona to guard their borders.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bob In Portland: They’ll shoot anyone darker than ash blonde just to be sure.

  134. 134
    jp7505a says:

    @Djur: I suspect NOAA is in there as well. But who needs a weather service and hurricane tracking. The huuricane in 1906 in Texas and the 1938 hurricane in New England came ashore without the aid of hurricane hunters, the weather service or Jim Cantorre standing in Battery Park. SAndy would have come ashore also. Of course a lot more people might have died, like they did in 06 and 38 without the advanced warnings.

  135. 135
    mclaren says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Here are a few ideas for creating jobs:

    [1] Break up the giant internet monopolies and duopolies that are strangling internet bandwidth in America. Let dozens or hundreds of indie ISPs compete to provide fiberoptic service, with government subsidies in the form of low-cost loans. Once a significant part of America gets wired for gigabit fiber, you’ll see whole new industries appearing to take advantage of that, and tons of jobs will follow.

    [2] Break up the vertically integrated media monopolies currently controlling most of the world movies/music/book publishing — just four companies control it all. Hundreds or thousands of new companies will appear, creating tons of new jobs.

    [3] Drastically reform copyright. Make it 7 years with no extension. You’ll see tons of new jobs created to take advantage of the huge amounts of new public domain material.

    [4] Invest money to get a nationwide high-speed passenger bullet train system running. You’ll see many thousands of new jobs, if not hundreds of thousands: jobs building the new rail system, jobs in construction, jobs for the people building the bullet trains, jobs for the people maintaining the bullet trains, jobs in the industries that will spring up around the bullet train stations. Jobs, jobs, jobs galore.

    [5] Nationalize all the big pharma companies and make their researchers and other employees federal workers. Drastically reform medicine patents. After 7 years, make all drugs generic and freely available as public domain. Eliminate profit, make all big pharma zero-profit government operations. You’ll see tons of new small start-up drug companies spring up creating countless new jobs because they’re no longer crushed and stifled by big pharma’s control of patents to prevent small start-ups from researching chemically similar drugs.

    [6] Nationalize all the banks. Make them all credit unions. Zero profit. With conservatively-managed zero-risk investments, the banking system will stabilize and we’ll stop having gigantic boom-and-bust bubbles created by insanely risky investment schemes. This will kick-start the economy and create countless new jobs.

    We now pause to allow the usual ignorant incompetent kooks to scream their character assassinations in…3…2…1…

  136. 136
    mclaren says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Shorter Humble: Obama can’t do anything but it was vital to reelect him shut up.

    LOL. This is the constant refrain of the infantilized obots: their clay-footed idol is the savior of America, except when it comes time to actually set policy, at which point it is mysteriously discovered that he’s an impotent helpless insect ensnared in the iron cables of the congress/constitution/DC establishment/[fill in the contemptible casuistical sophistry of your choice here].

    Unless of course Obama decides to order the assassination of American citizens without even accusing them of a crime. Then, equally mysteriously, Obama changes from a helpless impotent insect into a world-bestriding god with powers far beyond those of mortal men, able to leap tall constitutional provisions like Amendment 5 or 6 of 14 with a single bound.

  137. 137
    mclaren says:

    @kindness:

    So when is a good time to cut defense?

    Let’s translate that sentence from Washington DC-speak into ordinary english, since America has no meaningful enemies and because of our good luck in geographical neighbors (Canada and Mexico) and our global separation from most of the other powers who might wish us ill (Pacific and Atlantic oceans), America hardly needs any defending. As Smedley Butler pointed out, America needs an adequate coast guard, some border troops, and that’s about it.

    So “When is a good time to cut defense?” translates to: “When is it a good time to stop murdering innocent women and children in foreign countries?”

    And there’s the rub.

    Because, of course, America’s military-police-prison-surveillance-torture complex (all part of the same system, revolving door whose actors tend to blur into one another) creates so many jobs that cutting our military-police-prison-surveillance-torture spending would ram the U.S. right into a major recession.

    If you think about it, you realize that there are only a handful of growth industries in America today: building weapons, building & installing surveillance equipment to spy on Americans, building and staffing prisons, and hiring police (whether private security or state or muni cops or DHS goons or TSA thugs, all part of the same system and all part of the exact same job-for-life sinecure). The only other big growth industries in America are: our broken medical-industrial complex, which is so inefficient it constantly cries out for more warm bodies; and our predatory loan personnel — the people who hound college grads for unaffordable payments, or hound sick people for insanely inflated bills they can’t pay, or who hound bank customers for payments on 35% credit cards whose interest rates prior to 1980 were never seen outside of back-alley mobsters like Guido the loanshark.

    You now understand why America can’t actually reform its medical system — that would destroy too many jobs. You also now understand why America can’t reform its criminally fraudulent financial system: that too would destroy too many jobs. Likewise, America can’t stop its military spending, because that would destroy many millions of jobs and crash the economy.

    Sadly, the United Snakes of Amnesia is now like a heroin addict hopelessly addicted to shooting Big H into its arm at a cost of thousands of dollars per day. That military spending is like heroin, keeping America’s economy afloat and our unemployment below 20%. If America stops shootingup the military-spending Big H, oh boy… Massive withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal so bone-wrenching and so convulsive it will kill the addict.

Comments are closed.