Harry Potter and the Deathly Deficit
Clever politicking on the debt ceiling: On Wednesday afternoon, every House Republican will receive a letter urging them to raise the debt ceiling.
Or, rather, a letter from President Ronald Reagan to Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker in 1983 urging Congress to raise the debt ceiling.
The letter reads:
This letter is to ask for your help and support, and that of your colleagues, in the passage of an increase in the limit on the public debt.
As Secretary Regan has told you, the Treasury’s cash balances have reached a dangerously low point. Henceforth, the Treasury Department cannot guarantee that the Federal Government will have sufficient cash on any one day to meet all of its mandated expenses, and thus the United States could be forced to default on its obligations for the first time in its history.
This country now possesses the strongest credit in the world. The full consequences of a default or even the serious prospect of default by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the cost, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns.
I want to thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent problem and for your assistance in passing an extension of the debt ceiling.
The letter is being sent to House GOP members by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
[Photo via PoliticsUSA]
The Federal Reserve is actively preparing for the possibility that the United States could default as a deadline for raising the government’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit looms, a top Fed policymaker said on Wednesday.
This is not a game. You do not torpedo one of the largest economies in the world to score political points or to improve reelection chances. It won’t do either of these things. It will render America a deadbeat nation that cannot pay its bills or tend to its citizens while engaged in warfare across the globe.
Your move, Republicans.
I think I might pressure my mom into buying water and extra food.
"Republican leaders in the House of Representatives want to rein in the programme’s runaway growth. In their budget outline for next year they proposed cutting the amount of money to be spent on food stamps by roughly a fifth. Moreover, instead of being a federal entitlement, available to all Americans who meet the eligibility criteria, the programme would become a “block grant” to the states, which would receive a fixed amount to spend each year, irrespective of demand. The House has also voted to cut a separate health-and-nutrition scheme for poor pregnant women, infants and children, known as WIC, by 11%…
When Moody’s Analytics assessed different forms of stimulus, it found that food stamps were the most effective, increasing economic activity by $1.73 for every dollar spent. Unemployment insurance came in second, at $1.62, whereas most tax cuts yielded a dollar or less. All the talk in Washington these days, however, is of cutbacks—even for the hungry."
I honestly don’t give a shit about “Shared Sacrifice” because I didn’t fuck it up. I didn’t crash the economy, neither did teachers or public union workers or anyone like that. The people who earn less now than their fathers did 30 years ago didn’t fuck this up. You know who fucked this up? The very, very rich people!
It drives me insane that Congress and the President aren’t repeating this over and over and over again. It isn’t just good politics, it’s the goddamn fucking TRUTH.
Demanding that the middle class and the working poor share a sacrifice is morally wrong. The middle class and the working poor have been making a sacrifice for ten fucking years.
I’ll say this again: there are more of us than there are of them. Just give me a torch and a pitchfork, and tell me when to show up.
"The US budget is like a 1st grader playing Oregon Trail. Spend all the money on ammunition so you can shoot at stuff, then wonder why your wagon is falling apart and everyone is dying of dysentery."
New Rule: Note To Texas Governor Rick Perry
“Here on planet reality, may I point out that there is no such thing as spiritual solutions to national problems. If that’s where we are as a country, if our official government policy is “yee haw… Jesus take the wheel!” then we’re dead already.” ~Bill Maher
"So, just as Senate Republicans last December were threatening to shut down all legislation just to enshrine the top tax bracket at 35 percent rather than 39 (which they wound up getting as a “temporary” arrangement for now), now all Congressional Republicans have taken us to the brink of a total government shutdown just a few months later because they insist on cutting social services rather than addressing debt through increasing revenues above the current historically low tax rates. There is no other way to describe this situation than as a class war."