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#debt ceiling

You are beating up on President Obama just constantly, and it just is incredible to me that you don’t pay attention to the idea that the country was facing (a) potential depression, and you had a president that stepped in, offered leadership that pulled us off the brink, Sean. …You are having a tantrum. In fact, you’re mad at other Republicans — you say, why is the Wall Street Journal, why is the Weekly Standard, why are other Republicans saying to the Tea Party people, ‘You have gone over the line?’ You’re encouraging this kind of behavior, Sean!

…You hate the stimulus spending. You say ‘that contributed to the high rate of (joblessness) under the spineless Obama!’ I’ve heard your rap. But what I’m saying to you, Sean, is do you realize 40 percent of (stimulus) spending was on tax breaks for people? Tax breaks? …In other words, President Obama tried to spend some money, cut taxes for everybody in the country — as I said, 40 percent of the stimulus spending — and all you can do is say ‘Well, it didn’t exactly work as predicted!’ as opposed to saying ‘He tried something instead of just simply obstructing,’ which is what the Republicans have been doing all along.

Fox “News” contributor JUAN WILLIAMS, arguing with conservative nozzle of a douche Sean Hannity over the outcome of the debt negotiations — and President Obama’s overall job performance, on Hannity.

(via Mediaite)

The agreement would raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit in two stages by as much as $2.4 trillion. It represents a victory for Obama, in that it would allow him to avoid another politically grueling and economically damaging debt-limit fight in the heat of the 2012 presidential campaign.

However, Obama failed to secure other top priorities, including fresh measures to revive the flagging recovery and an end to tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Obama said he would pursue those priorities later this year, when a new congressional committee would begin the search for a broader debt-reduction plan, under the terms of the deal.

“The ultimate solution to our deficit problem must be balanced,” Obama said Sunday. “That’s why the second part of this agreement is so important.”

Republicans, by contrast, won severe cuts to agency budgets over the next decade and the prospect of deeper cuts to come, delivering on the campaign promises that helped them gain control of the House in last fall’s congressional elections. Democrats also agreed to stage a vote on a balanced-budget amendment, which has become a rallying point for tea-party-aligned conservatives.

The Washington Post, “White House, Congressional Leaders Reach Debt Deal”

“Sausage making is not pretty. But the sausage we have, I think, is a very different sausage from when we started.”

Senator DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D - California), on the torturous debt negotiation process.

Thanks, Jimmy Dean.

(via the New York Times)

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said Sunday morning that he was “very close” to recommending to his members that they sign on to a debt deal with President Obama and the Democrats.

Speaking on the CNN program “State of the Union,” Mr. McConnell said the deal included as much as $3 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years, with much of that decided later this year by a joint congressional committee.

“What conservatives want to do is cut spending,” he said. “We’ve come a long way. This agreement is likely to encompass up to $3 trillion is spending cuts.”

In addition, Mr. McConnell said the agreement would allow votes in Congress on a balanced budget amendment.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, a top Democrat in the Senate, cautioned on the same program that “there is no final agreement. No one has signed off on a final agreement.”

But he indicated the he and others were expressing optimism because of the ongoing discussions between the congressional leaders.

“If there is a word that would sum up the mood it would be relief,” he said. “Relief that we won’t default.”

The New York Times, “McConnell Sees Debt Deal ‘Very Close,’ Focus Is On Triggers for Cuts.”

Today, “progress” is partly defined by how slowly we get there.

THE WASHINGTON POST: How going into default will screw us all. Or, many / most of us. »

  • Monthly budgets might take a hit.  Treasury would have to conserve cash and prioritize its payments, endangering the estimated 80 million checks the government pays each month, including 56 million to Social Security beneficiaries and 8.3 million to disabled citizens.  The elderly, the disabled and anyone else counting on the government for unemployment assistance, food stamps or other benefits would feel the pinch.
  • Federal employees and contractors might not get paid. The federal government also processes an estimated 3.9 million payments each month for federal workers’ salaries as well as 1.8 million to non-defense contractors who do work for the government.
  • It might become more difficult to get a job. Consumers might hold back on spending, giving businesses even less confidence to hire people during a time when the economy is already growing at an anemic 1.3 percent. Anyone standing in the unemployment line could find it increasingly difficult to land a job.
  • It could become more expensive to get a loan. If the governments defaults on its debt, investors would demand that the Treasury pay them a higher interest rate to compensate for the added risk of lending money to the United States. That would send interest rates higher on mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit and car loans, because Treasury rates act as a benchmark for these and many other types of consumer loans.
  • Retirement portfolios might take a hit. 
  • Local improvement projects could get delayed or cancelled.

Read the whole thing here.

“Mr. President, Senate members: that’s not true.”

Senate Majority Leader HARRY REID (D - NV), on the Senate floor, reacting to reports that debt talks had “moved forward” and were “close.”

Jesus H. Christ.

House Republicans muscled through a revised debt limit plan without a single Democratic vote on Friday night and the Senate quickly killed it by tabling the bill indefinitely and moving to start consideration of a Democratic plan to avoid default.

The move now sets up an uncertain 72 hours as the Congress moves ever closer to the Tuesday deadline when the Treasury Department says the country will default on its financial obligations without an increase in the debt ceiling.

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said he intends to start the legislative clock ticking on Friday on a new plan to raise the debt ceiling, though it was also possible to allow time for negotiation.

The two votes came about 24 hours after the first Republican proposal backed by Speaker John A. Boehner stalled. On Friday, the House voted 218 to 210 in favor of a revised plan that would increase the federal debt ceiling in two stages, with the second installment of $1.6 trillion contingent on Congressional approval of a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. The Constitutional amendment provision was added to attract conservatives who balked Thursday.

The New York Times, “Senate Quickly Kills Boehner Debt Bill”

“There are a lot of crises that we can’t predict or avoid: earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes. This isn’t one of those crises.”

– President BARACK OBAMA, on the Republicans dicking around instead of trying to resolve the nation’s debt crisis.

OMG, I hope the President doesn’t say something we haven’t heard before!

“Good morning. We’re gonna default. Default default default. Default? Default. Default default, default! Republicans, stop being difficult. Because default is difficult. Difficult default is difficult. Default is definitely difficult. Ani DiFranco default is definitely difficult. Es deficil! Default that is. So, to sum up: don’t debate difficulty of defibrillating defaming defanging debilitating deballing desecrating D’Angelo DePalma deRossi DeGrassi Junior High default.”

OMG, I hope the President doesn’t say something we haven’t heard before!

“Good morning. We’re gonna default. Default default default. Default? Default. Default default, default! Republicans, stop being difficult. Because default is difficult. Difficult default is difficult. Default is definitely difficult. Ani DiFranco default is definitely difficult. Es deficil! Default that is. So, to sum up: don’t debate difficulty of defibrillating defaming defanging debilitating deballing desecrating D’Angelo DePalma deRossi DeGrassi Junior High default.”

THE WALL ST. JOURNAL (as quoted by John McCain in telling the Tea Party to piss off): "The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against... Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor." »