Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The sadly obligatory occasional debt ceiling post

The President on Monday called for compromise in the debt ceiling debate.

President Barack Obama called on the American public to pressure elected officials to work out a compromise to raise the federal debt ceiling and avoid a potentially devastating default.

A deal would allow the government to continue borrowing money to pay its debts after August 2.

The challenge came during the president's seventh prime-time televised address Monday night.

The president singled out House Republicans for intransigence and said the political showdown is "no way to run the greatest country on Earth."
(italics, ours)

Wait, what?

Wasn't there a bipartisan plan brokered on Friday between Senate majority leader, Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner? Why, yes. Yes, there was.

With markets waking, Washington’s debt standoff worsened significantly Sunday amid recriminations and distrust just eight days before the real threat on an unprecedented default.

Having broken off talks last Friday with the White House, Speaker John Boehner is still trying to achieve much of the same $3 trillion package in a two-stage process tied to raising the debt ceiling in increments of $900 billion first and then about $1.6 trillion next year.

But on the eve of a Monday Republican conference, Boehner’s would-be Senate partner, Majority Leader Harry Reid, was called to the White House on Sunday and then came out swinging, accusing the speaker of taking a “my-way-or-the-highway approach” that could never be acceptable to the Senate nor to President Barack Obama.

“Tonight, talks broke down,” Reid (D-Nev.) said. “Speaker Boehner’s plan, no matter how he tries to dress it up, is simply a short-term plan, and is, therefore, a non-starter in the Senate and with the president.”

Reid said he had begun drafting his own $2.7 trillion deficit reduction plan and urged Boehner to join him. But Republicans reacted angrily, saying Reid had been working with them Sunday afternoon up to the White House meeting and the sudden change-of-heart was dictated by Obama, jilted by Boehner but a major force in the whole struggle.

(italics, ours)

But as far as what this is really all about, here's Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, calling Obama's bluff and putting a nice neat bow on this whole sorry charade.

Quoting Obama:

The only bottom line I have is that we have to extend the debt ceiling through the next election.

As pathetically inept a negotiating and PR ploy as that may be, we commend the President for his honesty as his candor, intentional or not, revealed his true intentions.


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