Would you mind giving me a small loan? All I need is two trillion dollars.
I’m good for it. Seriously.
Democrats seek to up debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion
By DAVID ROGERS | 1/20/10 8:47 PM EST
Upping the ante just a day after losing their 60th Senate seat, Democrats moved Wednesday to seek a $1.9 trillion increase in the federal debt ceiling and give the Treasury adequate borrowing authority past November’s elections and into next year.
Republicans were caught off guard by the scale of the increase which follows a $290 billion short-term debt increase approved prior to Christmas. “That’s just escapism of the worst sort,” Sen. Judd Gregg (R.,N.H.) told POLITICO. But Democrats countered that their only alternative would be to give-in to a Republican strategy of forcing multiple smaller debt ceiling increases, designed to bleed them politically before November.
This perception was reinforced by a meeting Tuesday between Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). By going now with the higher $1.9 trillion target, Democrats are making a high-stakes gamble that the party can pull together once more to put the debt ceiling issue behind them for this election year.
“We have to do this. The alternative is worse,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D—Mont.) in a brief interview.
Why can’t the Democrats do their “high-stakes gamble” with their own $2 trillion?
So the Democrats are clearly playing politics – wanting a massive and risky debt ceiling increase of nearly $2 trillion so that people will forget before the November elections.
And Republicans are being depicted as playing politics by making Democrats pass smaller, more incremental increases that would make Democrats look bad.
But Democrats look bad all by themselves. And the incremental increases have never been anything even close to such a massive sum. From Bloomberg:
The debt limit increase, raising the legal cap on government borrowing to about $14 trillion, would be the fourth in 18 months. A $1.8 trillion boost would probably be enough to prevent lawmakers from having to raise the limit again before next year’s midterm elections.
Such an increase would be more than twice the size of each of the past three debt limit increases, each of which lifted the cap by $800 billion or less.
So it’s really just political demagoguery to accuse the Republicans of pursuing a purely political agenda. And this is how the leftwing political establishment and the leftwing media present a narrative instead of just presenting the facts.
There are actually more than a few people who think that the government is irresponsible, and shouldn’t have so much money to spend all at once, lest they piss it away and waste it. I’m one of those people.
If your next door neighbors aren’t massively in debt, they’re probably such people, too.
Even Democrats were reluctant to vote for the last debt ceiling increase (of $290 billion) just before Christmas without a significant effort to reduce spending.
So to solve this problem – or at least go through the motions of pretending to solve it – “the Obama administration reached a tentative accord with congressional Democrats to create a version of the panel by executive order. Obama’s proposal “would require Congress to vote on the commission’s recommendations without making any changes.” And “with a commission created by presidential order, congressional leaders would promise to bring its proposals to a vote although such a vote wouldn’t be required by law.”
And that kind of crap-sandwich is what’s making Republicans roll their eyeballs about 180 degrees:
[Republican Senator Judd] Gregg told reporters that the proposal to create a commission by executive order was “a very cynical act by the administration” that “is by definition partisan and the whole purpose” is to have a bipartisan body.
“There is no way you can require a vote” by Congress so “it’s a nothing-burger,” Gregg said.
Which is to say that Obama wants to get a blank check of $1.9 trillion, which he hopes will tidy him over until AFTER the November midterms so Democrats won’t look bad coming for mere hundreds of billions in dribs and drabs. And Republicans are supposed to go along with that, because they obviously should make the Democrats’ political fortunes the center of their world. In exchange for this fools’ bargain, Republicans (and the fiscally responsible Democrats who don’t want to vote for it either) would get a commission that would have the power to impose nothing — the nothing burger.
I bet a nice, big, juicy nothing burger sounds pretty good to you. Just don’t try to count on actually ever being able to eat it.
And by Obama’s demagoguery narrative, the Republicans will be evil if they don’t go along with this stupidity.
Note to Congress: try spending less.
I know one place you could start: the Obama White House averaged one party every three days during Obama’s first year.
Back in January 2009, before he signed his failed $787 billion stimulus bill into law, Barack Obama told America that everyone must sacrifice for the greater good. Everyone must have “some skin in the game.”
What he meant, of course, was that everyone would have to sacrifice to lift American out of the worst recession since the Great Depression except for Barack and Michelle Obama.
A party every three days, and nothing but the finest at the White House. That’s a lot of Black Sea caviar and French truffles.
So you can see why Obama wants that $1.9 trillion.