Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 26, 2011

Obama's Artificial Debt Crisis

Barack Obama planned all along to make Social Security and Medicare cuts. In early 2009 he had a dinner with conservative commentators. David Brooks was there and a few days later said:

[H]e's clearly demonstrated this week that he's committed to tackling the big entitlement projects - Medicare, Social Security - that are the real fiscal disaster waiting to happen. So, it's not only short-term spending, but there's long-term fiscal balance, that's very much in his mind, which was not in his mind, or at least not talked about as much, during the campaign.

To be able to make those cuts Obama needed a crisis.

The debt ceiling could have been lifted earlier when the Democrats still held the House. Or the lifting could have been attached to a must-agree-on bill like the budget. Or the debt ceiling, which is anyway superficial as congress dictates the spending and the revenues in other laws, could just be ignored. But no. A fight over the debt ceiling is the Obama planned crisis that would allow for entitlement cuts.

The expectation was that the Republican would agree to the deal Obama would offer. He gave them some 50% of their points even before starting negotiations. He added another 40% since they started. The republican leadership in the House as well as Obama thought they had a deal. Both had miscalculated.

The tea party side of the Republican caucus is bigger then Boehner and Obama had thought and it wants 150%. Only cuts but  not a penny revenue increases no matter of how much they are needed. Most Democrats are unlikely to be suicidal enough to agree to that.

While there still might be a last minute deal the small chances for a selective default, a temporary stop of interest payments, are increasing. That would trigger a downgrading of U.S. debt.

It would be very interesting to see how the financial markets would react to such an event. Many financial instruments and papers depend on the validity and the high rating of U.S. debt. If that is in doubt and things unravel I'd expect considerable chaos and some of the banksters to make huge profits from it. The White House is unlikely to be prepared for a default event. Some hectic unplanned moves from it that would likely worsen a default or downgrade situation.

Still a selective default, which in itself can and would be healed over pretty soon anyway, is not a big catastrophe. There is even a positive side to it. It would decrease the U.S. standing in the world and thereby lower its capabilities to wage more wars.

What the U.S. really needs is jobs and the programs to create them. Instead it gets austerity. Additionally it may now get a new chaotic debt crisis that would expand and extend the recession.

Whatever. The point is that there was no need, not one, to get into this situation. We all know who we have to thank for it.

Posted by b on July 26, 2011 at 02:14 PM | Permalink

Comments

Michael Hudson's “Wall Street's Euthanasia of Industry” is a lengthy but must-read analysis of what is going down in Europe and the US. Of course what he is describing in his article is the Shock Doctrine. And the banks and their cronies at the S&P and Moody’s are telling Obama and his European counterparts to use shock therapy on their people and they are gladly doing it:

http://michael-hudson.com/2011/07/the-euthanasia-of-industry/

”The Obama administration raised the financial sector’s bailout to $13 trillion. This has vastly increased the government debt. And now, Mr. Obama wants to bring it back down by cutting back Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other social spending – to transfer wealth and income to the top of the economic pyramid. At the start of his administration he appointed a Deficit Reduction Commission led by advocates of cutting back Social Security and Medicare: Republican Senator Alan Simpson (McCain’s economic advisor!) and Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, representing the right-wing Democratic Leadership Committee cite above. The aim of this commission was to give Mr. Obama an “experts’ report” supporting the diametric opposite of the liberal constituency that voted for him.”

“This is how he is doing what politicians are supposed to do: delivering his constituency (liberals, racial minorities, urban dwellers and the poor – in fact, the American mainstream) to his campaign contributors. In that respect Mr. Obama is America’s version of Tony Blair, or Greek Prime Minister Papandreou, nominal head of the Socialist International – taking a position way to the right of Greece’s Conservative party when it comes to imposing austerity and privatization sell-offs to bail out bankers to save them from taking a loss. And Sec. Geithner has been pushing Europeans to take a hard line to make sure that bondholders do not take a loss on their bad investments. He is insisting that Europe impose depression conditions as bad as those in the United States. With full support from Mr. Obama!”

Here is Michael Hudson discussing this article of his on Guns and Butter, a radio program broadcasted out of Berkeley, California:

http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/71485

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 26, 2011 3:14:52 PM | 1

There is so much posturing in Congress; and the false crisis is being stretched out to the supposed deadline of August 2. Now that Obama has shown his hand; that he wants cuts to Social Security and Medicare, the anger has built up among his former grassroots supporters. The political betrayal has become so obvious now that he is looking like a one term president. In a lot of comments on Democratic blogs, it looks like the folks have finally got his number. The 2012 election will probably be a time when the last illusions of US democracy are crumbling before the eyes of the voters.

The party hacks don't want to give up on Obama, though. They argue against a challenger to the president in the primaries, regardless of the fact that he has fully exposed himself as a fraud and a tool of the plutocrats. We are in for a rough time no matter who is elected.

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 26, 2011 3:31:15 PM | 2

I have had a feeling for some time that the deal was done and Obama was going to give away the farm for a a handful of magic beans. As time goes on and this high drama plays out it becomes more and more apparent that is what will really happen.

the mere fact that Obama gives so much importance to boehner is in itself very telling. the democrats in the senate would already give him what he wants and that is all that is needed as seen by the health care bill which was decent coming out of the house and then completely gutted by the senate. the same would happen to any debt ceiling bill or budget...the house passes theirs, the senate passes theirs and then the two are reconciled to look like the senate bill for the final. this is not enough for obama and his masters so they have to have something really really outrageous from the house to be able to compromise and get what he wanted in the first place.

my disgust for obama continues to grow. he has betrayed so many people who placed so much hope in him. one would can only hope that his wife and children will grow to despise him as he so richly deserves.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 26, 2011 4:49:49 PM | 3

DoS,

Don't you think the PTB had planned to have O bam bam play this part when they tapped him to run, oh, so long ago?

What I mean is, wasn't it diabolical to have a dark-skinned man, play the part of the thug? And all those who supported him, just because he appeared to be different, are now asking themselves, "WTF?" and wallowing in confusion... and now what do they do?

Personally I'm surprised at how many Obama stickers I still see on the bumpers of cars around these parts. Some people will die thinking Obama is the best thing to happen to Washington since Kennedy, just because he's black (kinda racist thinking, but that seems to be the reason people 'like' him). I laugh at the freaks on the right-leaning blogs who hate Obama, yet they fail to see how he's just continuing all the policies they supported when Bush was the figurehead. Honestly, the longer I live, the more I see people as being stupid, dangerous animals who are easily manipulated and are quick to foul their pens – and just as quick to attack someone who forces them to think.

The biggest problem all the left-leaning folks have is dealing with the reality there are insidious institutions that have been in place for generations to wipe any real progressive platform right under the carpet. Instead they'd rather everything be Mr Roger's neighborhood and everyone should play nice, just like they believe they, themselves, do.

America has a dark, dark history and yet we pretend we're the good guys... and this is why so many of my fellow countrymen are willing to die for the belief's and interest's of big corporations.

I could keep ranting, but like most rants, I don't think I'm making much sense to anyone but me... and writing this, like the wrench I threw today when I was pissed-off, are just ways to blow-off steam and I know they don't accomplish much. But still I do them.

I was born in 1969 and most of my life I've heard the media and our leaders screaming dire warnings about this or that, and I'm tired of it. I know it's all bullshit, why can't more people recognize feces when they're presented with it?

Peace, and may things go easily and well for all of you :)

Posted by: DaveS | Jul 26, 2011 6:29:32 PM | 4

I think Seigniorage is the way to go. First of all, the fact it is ignored by all in DC says so much and lends even more credence to the obvious fact this debt hostage kabuki is all a lie, all more Shock Doctrine.

Beyond the Debt Ceiling: The $30 Trillion Plan for Ending Borrowing and the National Debt

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jul 26, 2011 8:17:03 PM | 5

The immediate effect of a dramatic cut in spending will be recession, which will immediately lead to a dramatic increase in government debt due to increased unemployment insurance claims, food stamps, combined with a decrease in taxable income. Such increased debt could quickly swamp the supposed debt reductions, leaving the government worse off, necessitating further cuts.

If Obama is truly in cahoots with the Republicans, most of the cuts will start in 2013. Otherwise he is doomed electorally. Of course, he may be doomed anyway, since since signs of a double dip recession are becoming more obvious every day.

But does Obama care? Win or lose electorally, he'll emerge as the wealthiest disaster capitalist ever. Talk about greed!

Posted by: JohnH | Jul 26, 2011 9:33:21 PM | 6

the US, guided by israeli "might makes right" philosophy, has decided on a military solution to peak oil, but that's politically unacceptable, so a pretext had to be provided, and was provided on 9/11, most likely with israeli participation... which makes the truth even more unacceptable.

meanwhile, america cant pay for both the military and social programs.

cuts in social problems will lead to domestic unrest, but that's what the military's for --subduing malconents... not to mention the magnificent looting opportunities afforded by the wars.

absent some unifying vision for the future, based on truth instead of neocons' fantasy "realities", we will not be able to deal rationally with peak oil, ageing populations, climate change, or anything else.

but the truth is intolerable.

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 27, 2011 1:04:35 AM | 7

The debt ceiling was raised seven times under Bush Jr.

And there are no hordes of lobbyists running around Congress concerning this "crisis" -- compare that to the time when they were discussing financial regulations in Congress. Or the bailout. Or TARP. Bank and financial lobbyists everywhere. Today, there are hardly any. They definitely show signs of NO CONCERN.

Kabuki theater at it's finest. All to implement the Shock Doctrine...

BTW, Rep. Cantor is shorting US Treasuries last June. AFAIK, he still is. Money to be made!

Posted by: Susan | Jul 27, 2011 1:09:23 AM | 8

Jobs and the programs to create them? Somehow jobs existed prior to this government. What is needed, in my emphatic opinion, is for the government to stop doing things that destroy the private economy (i.e. "jobs").

Ruining the currency, ruining the finances of the government, encouraging your corporate cronies to ruin the entirety of the financial system and the property market: these would qualify as things that destroy the private economy.

The proper measure is simply to stop doing them.

i.e. "When you're in a hole, stop digging!"

In my view, such "jobs programs" as successive governments have produced are less effective than lipstick on a pig, and intended equally as seriously ... they're not even kabuki theatre ...

Posted by: ScuzzaMan | Jul 27, 2011 8:51:31 AM | 9

All great posts on the state of Obama politics. As time goes by, even Americans are beginning to finally get it. Obama was vetted and elected with the blessings of the real rulers of America. The malignant 1%ers. Don't think you're safe from the politics of the "Global Plantation", because it's coming to a country near you. The new world order, fostered by the mega-corporations, has amassed such wealth and control over global politics, it's like a runaway train. Using the West's military to enforce their will, workers are screwed. The battle lines are drawn, workers vs. the giant corporations. We've lost here in the U.S., hope the rest of the planet can resist.

Posted by: ben | Jul 27, 2011 9:09:16 AM | 10

Most would rationalize that the Oligarchs would not want to foul their own nests, I am sure they have heard what happened to their ancestors during the French or Russian Revolutions. There is one big problem with this. The Elite Families and Multi-National companies have trillion dollars worth of bad derivative bets on their books. Ireland taxpayers are obligated to pay off all of Ireland’s banks bad debt forever. The Greeks are selling their beaches and heritage to the Oligarchs.

The Elites have decided to crash the PIIGs and USA governments rather than taking a haircut for their bad debt. Are the top 1% betting that right wing ideologues, mass marketing and black ops will keep the hoi polloi pacified?

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 27, 2011 11:25:07 AM | 11

Are the top 1% betting that right wing ideologues, mass marketing and black ops will keep the hoi polloi pacified?

Yes.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 27, 2011 12:59:50 PM | 12

I've been waiting for the Oligarchs to step in and lay down the program the R's and D's must implement.

I've been wondering how heavily the Wall Street Gang Banksters are in to betting against US Treasuries.... Nah, they couldn't be in that deeply, to cover other losses, could they?

I figure right now the Oligarchs are not sure which party they want in the WH in 2013. They must be testing the winds, taking internal polls to see what might happen in the Congress before deciding whether to have Obama remain or install a Repub such as Romney.

I've been trying to read between the lines in how the MCMers (members of the Mainstream Coporate Media) are covering Obama. There has been an uptick of cricticms, restrained but there. However, it seems to be of such a nature that theycan turn on a dime and continue backing Obama. That's why I figure the Oligarchs, Olis for short, have not come to any decision as to who will carry out their plans best starting in 2013. Obama has worked so well to neuter the Dems from acting on purported party principles that perhaps they want to keep Obama in place.

Early days, but decision time is getting close.

2008 was easier: It was clear any Dem would win, so the Money Men just had to get someone in position to knock off Hillary, who, I figure, they weren't sure they could control. Women had turned out to not be the best team players in regulatory positions, so best to defeat her in the primary and put in someone they could manage better. Hence, Obama. Exactly when they began to fill his campaign chest I don't know, but it was about now in '07.

Michael Hudson has done some great coverage of what's happening to US governance and its economy. See also his latest, at Naked Capitalism.

.... When governments are run by the rich, it is called oligarchy. Plato’s dialogues made clear that rather than viewing societies as democracies or oligarchies, it was best to view them in motion. Democracies tended to polarize economically (mainly between creditors and debtors) into oligarchies. These in turn tended to make themselves into hereditary aristocracies. In time, leading families would fight among themselves, and one group (such as Kleisthenes in Athens in 507 BC) would “take the people into his party” and create a democracy. And so the eternal political triangle would go on.

This is what is happening today. Instead of enjoying what the Progressive Era anticipated – an evolution into “socialism,” with government providing basic infrastructure and other needs on a subsidized basis – we are seeing a lapse back into neo-feudalism. The difference, of course, is that this time around society is not controlled by military grabbers of the land. Finance today achieves what military force did in times past. Instead of being tied to the land as under feudalism, families today may live wherever they want – as long as they take on a lifetime of debt to pay the mortgage on whatever home they buy.

And instead of society paying land rent and tribute to conquerors, we pay the bankers. Just as access to the land was a precondition for families to feed themselves under feudalism, one needs access to credit, to water, medical care, pensions or Social Security and other basic needs today – and must pay interest, fees and monopoly rent to the neo-feudal oligarchy that is now making its deft move from the United States to Ireland and Greece.

The whole piece is well worth reading.

Right now, it's almost impossible to keep up with what is really going on, but David Dayen at Firedoglake notes that the Reid and Boehner plans are nearly identical. Both have the Super Congress of 12 Caesars approach to future cuts. Unnamed cuts, but the 12 Caesars, depending on who they are (any doubts they'll be conservatives? Austerians?), can choose anything they want to cut for "savings."

One article had the 12 Caesars acting for a vote before the end of 2011, another for early in 2012. But, Obama needs to rush through his attacks on the New Deal and Great Society programs before the "rubes" cotton on to just what he's really doing to them.


Posted by: jawbone | Jul 27, 2011 1:10:19 PM | 13

"...the Money Men just had to get someone in position to knock off Hillary..."

hillary has that lewinsky baggage, too, so the israel-firsters will probably never trust her... so dennis ross is probnably the real secretary of state for the middle east.

anyhow,slick willie was browbeating bibi about israeli treatment of the palestinians, so then the lewinsky scandal breaks... at a whitehouse news conference with clinton, arafat is dumbfounded when all the reporters wanted to talk about was monica.

so, monica becomes the new queen esther, and the guy that got monica the job in the whitehouse (walter kaye) gives clinton a humidor as a leaving-the-whitehouse present.

Queen Esther and a prayer book: Jewish involvement in Monicagate

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 27, 2011 1:33:45 PM | 14

i got to say that the behavior of these people is, despite the comedic aspects, too goddamned grotesque to be funny any more... especially when you start counting the number of poople they've killed while disrupting the lives of millions more.

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 27, 2011 1:45:50 PM | 15

The JTA is a curious bird, indeed. Anyone have any intrigue on this organization besides Wikipedia's description? It's been around since 1917 as a news service for Jews in the Diaspora. Of course, as we now know thanks to Shlomo Sands, the Diaspora myth is a bunch of hogwash, and the majority of Jews are converts.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 27, 2011 3:48:58 PM | 16

Rollerball-Empcorp

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 27, 2011 10:50:48 PM | 17

My suspicion all along has been that Obama wants to privatize Medicare.

People call him Wall Street’s puppet but I think he is just as beholden to the insurers and pharma (I haven’t checked any numbers nor have I followed this debt ceiling crisis, so this is merely mho and my reading of Obysmal’s soul.)

Medicare does have serious problems - possibly some were deliberately created.

The Health care industry in the US is a gigantic and impenetrable mess - a serpentine state-corporate alliance. Transparent pricing does not exist, for one.

Sick care is still good for very considerable profits, concentrates on selling to those who can pay, be they corps who insure their employees, the rich, the desperate, etc. In fact, the growing gap between rich and the rest creates a small class that can be efficiently exploited, and the lowers can also still be squeezed. Health care, mother/baby care, elder care can’t be relocated to China, or at least not much. (Middle class will increasingly travel, but it will remain minor.)

O’s health care bill had two aims - make insurance obligatory and protect US Pharma.

Social Security is a completely different matter, as it is a straight pay in - pay out system. There are no profits there to be had, though funds collected can of course be ‘re-allocated’ or ‘skimmed.’ The accounting is at least possible, and voters, if they bother to think for 5 mins, can intuit all this. Not so for health or sick care, which is a profit-making business cloaked in confusion.

daves asked: Don't you think the PTB had planned to have O bam bam play this part when they tapped him to run, oh, so long ago?

Yes. And he was the perfect, stellar match, unhoped for.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 28, 2011 9:21:44 AM | 18

meanwhile, america cant pay for both the military and social programs.

No. Comparing the two is false, there is no choice to be made here.

Because social programs (setting aside Social Security, seeing it as a straight pay in > pay out system, not that that guarantees no budgetary problems in the future) is a small part of the budget as compared to military costs. Like comparing a mouse to an elephant.

In fact, it is the gigantic and unsupervised, shoddily accounted military costs that are bleeding US citizens dry. To pay the military costs everyone has to rip off everyone else, earn as much as possible, pay taxes, etc. (Corps that dominate are tax exempt..)

Possibly the heavy burden of the military, plus: arms production - homeland security - defense research - space - prison system - international bribes, be it to Israel, Egypt or the UN, even if those latter costs are tiny, lead to delocalization and outsourcing and the death of US manufacturing (aka an internal economic circuit) in the first place.

To dominate costs, therefore as much as possible must be squeezed out from abroad, to accomplish that a global military hold, full spectrum dominance or whatever they call it is needed, the two feed into each other endlessly in a vicious circle, with some powerful ppl making out like bandits along the way.

Those powerful ppl can keep the voters in check with the blue screen and malarkey, and nothing will change until the ppl rise up.

US citizens and Iraqis will find themselves in similar positions.

Sorry no numbers for now.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 28, 2011 10:37:59 AM | 19

meanwhile, america cant pay for both the military and social programs.

No. Comparing the two is false, there is no choice to be made here.

of course there's a choice to be made.

the money comes out of the same pockets, whether that money goes back out as social security or bombs or loot.

the people who makes the laws make the choice, and they've chosen shaft poor people and send the money back to bombbuilders and looters.

the bombs will be good for dealing with "the ppl" when they "rise up", and the loot will be good for afterwards, when the bombs yield diminishing returns... then it's time to load the loot into the gulfstream and flit off to your refuge.

of course, it's gonna take lots more bombs for a long long time before our refuge of last resort is secured, expecially if we have to subdue a billion muslims to steal their oil to power our economy that supports the war machine we're using to steal the oil to power the economy that supports the machinery that secures our refuge.

simple, isnt it?

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 28, 2011 11:48:42 AM | 20

Rest assured my fellow bar flies, Barack Obama and other sociopathic politicians, who are being hired by the plutocratic power structure within our too-big-to-fail-'n'-jail banking system to give us plebs massive doses of a neoliberal form of shock therapy, will make certain that the holes in the social safety net are just small enough to prevent the fat cats on Wall Street from falling through it:

http://www.otherwords.org/media/safety_net

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 28, 2011 12:00:45 PM | 21

And this cartoon by the masterful Mr. Fish depicts Obama and his reverse-Robin Hood agenda to a T:

http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/obamahood_20110727/

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 28, 2011 12:27:50 PM | 22

Keep in mind, Noirette, Medicare and Medicaid serve as corporate welfare for the medical-industrial complex, giving our for-profit healthcare system a way to socialize its losses. And the amount of lobbying clout that seniors have pales in comparison to the amount of lobbying clout that the healthcare industry has. This is why I predict that Social Security will be targeted for a lot more cuts than Medicare and Medicaid.

And if you didn't know, as many don't, Medicare dollars are used to cover the cost of training medical residents. So if the healthcare industry really wants to convince us that it's part of the lean-'n'-mean world of free-market capitalism, then at the very least the medical profession should pay out of its own pocket to train its medical residents to become full-fledged physicians, as it is done in all other professions, except for the ones in the military. Otherwise, the healthcare industry should fess up to the fact that it's virtually identical to the defense industry in being a fat and bloated recipient of the great American nanny state.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 28, 2011 4:00:22 PM | 23

The unfunny joke is that the money spent by the US Government doesn't come out of anyone's pockets. That's what the word 'fiat' means. Every aspect of this crisis is either manufactured or misunderstood.

Posted by: Jeff65 | Jul 28, 2011 7:02:53 PM | 24

Obama is a Corporatist. Any business big enough is something he protects.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 28, 2011 7:19:46 PM | 25

Well, today, Friday, 7/29, Washington may have achieved complete gridlock in the debt ceiling legislation. Last night, Boehner had to withdraw from the scheduled vote his changed, with added harsher cuts, debt ceiling legislation. The Tea Party bat guano wacko set would not vote for it, nor would any Dems. Off the table.

Today, Boehner has reverted to the Cut (lots), Cap (set amounts spending can increase), and Balance (a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution) bill already passed by the House Repubs. That means there must be some changes, if it's to be voted on again. (These people have about zero finance and economics savvy). This is all to please the Tea Party rabid conservatives. I do not know yet whether the Super Congress of the Twelve Caesars is still included, but this will never pass the Senate.

Time is running out for Obama, and having to take actions instead of forging some kind of compromise, however rightward he has to go to do so, will be exceedingly difficult for him.

Apparently, more and more Democrats are telling Obama to use the 14th Amendment option (president has the duty to honor Federal debts and make payments). However, for Obama, that means giving up the huge leverage of this crisis to get to cuts and guts of entitlement programs.

Will he put his desire to have a means of going after SocSec/Medicare/Medicaid ahead of protecting the "full faith and credit" of the United States?

Hhhhmmmm. What to do, what to do, what to do.

This post has a bunch of links on reports about the Debt Ceiing Soap Opera. Too bad the suds are toxic to most of us, especially if we, unlike Eric Cantor, don't have money in hedge funds berring on a default.

David Dayen at Firedoglake has done great work on keeping up with what's happening. What no one can know is what is going to be tossed into the bill, things which would never get passed on their own....

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 29, 2011 12:27:02 PM | 26

Well, today, Friday, 7/29, Washington may have achieved complete gridlock in the debt ceiling legislation. Last night, Boehner had to withdraw from the scheduled vote his changed, with added harsher cuts, debt ceiling legislation. The Tea Party bat guano wacko set would not vote for it, nor would any Dems. Off the table.

Today, Boehner has reverted to the Cut (lots), Cap (set amounts spending can increase), and Balance (a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution) bill already passed by the House Repubs. That means there must be some changes, if it's to be voted on again. (These people have about zero finance and economics savvy). This is all to please the Tea Party rabid conservatives. I do not know yet whether the Super Congress of the Twelve Caesars is still included, but this will never pass the Senate.

Time is running out for Obama, and having to take actions instead of forging some kind of compromise, however rightward he has to go to do so, will be exceedingly difficult for him.

Apparently, more and more Democrats are telling Obama to use the 14th Amendment option (president has the duty to honor Federal debts and make payments). However, for Obama, that means giving up the huge leverage of this crisis to get to cuts and guts of entitlement programs.

Will he put his desire to have a means of going after SocSec/Medicare/Medicaid ahead of protecting the "full faith and credit" of the United States?

Hhhhmmmm. What to do, what to do, what to do.

This post has a bunch of links on reports about the Debt Ceiing Soap Opera. Too bad the suds are toxic to most of us, especially if we, unlike Eric Cantor, don't have money in hedge funds berring on a default.

David Dayen at Firedoglake has done great work on keeping up with what's happening. What no one can know is what is going to be tossed into the bill, things which would never get passed on their own....

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 29, 2011 12:27:02 PM | 27

$22 trillion Social Security surplus revealed on C-SPAN

We need to, something, cough.. WAR!....

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 29, 2011 11:26:23 PM | 28

As reports of a possible deal leaked out late Saturday night, it appears that Obama is meeting the Republicans—on their terms. Michael Tomasky on what to watch for today.

Was there ever really any doubt or question of this? There's never even been any real debate. The whole thing was orchestrated by the white house and republicans so that in the last minute (after railing for weeks about republicans not willing to raise the debt ceiling) democrats will have no choice but to vote for the "compromise".

The problem here is not so much the crazies on the right, but their chief enabler in the white house. I'd like to say, He's the greatest disappointment I've ever experienced in a president, but I wasn't expecting much in the first place (Bush didn't disappoint me - I expected him to be a horrible president). I hope folks are sick of this shell game.

Like a commenter said, regarding dealing w/the next election issue of this.. Who's going to vote for him? The Republicans who hate him? The Democrats he sold up the river? The Independents who saw that he's incapable of negotiating? (or a complete ass kisser, of acquiescence)...??

Who?

Doesn't matter, deep pockets $$$ decides...

Who?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31, 2011 10:56:58 AM | 29

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