Enough! Washington, DC has become the laughingstock of the entire world, all because of a merry band of "patriots" intent on forcing their minority view onto the majority. Under a very cleverly disguised pretext of fiscal responsibility, the Republican Party has attempted to--and very nearly succeeded in-holding the entire country hostage to their destructive demands. No matter how reasonable and sane the President and the Democrats have been in responding to the their demands, they have only become increasingly emboldened and reckless.
At this point, as the clock steadily ticks and congress appears as chaotic and dysfunctional as it ever has, in the words of the Tea Party Queen: "Don't retreat. Reload!"
I have been puzzled and somewhat amused by the growing chorus of those pushing the President to use the 14th amendment. In my view, this would be a major trap and would play directly into the hands of the GOP. Darrell Issa would love nothing more than to begin impeachment hearings on this President--the culmination of his wet dream.
However, it has become increasingly clear to me that the Republicans are behaving as enemies of the state. How should we deal with an enemy of the United States who imperils its future? President Obama, double down. We should go all in.
Follow me below the fold and I will tell you how.
Step 1: Harry Reid should introduce a Senate bill that will reduce the deficit by $5 trillion. Load it up with every Democratic wish imaginable. The ratio of revenue to spending cuts should be at least 4 to 1. Eliminate all corporate welfare. Close every corporate loophole. Raise the tax rates for the very wealthy (those making more than $500,000) to 50%. For millionaires, institute a flat tax of 60%. Get rid of the alternative minimum tax.
While we're at it, let's include $1 trillion in stimulus. For an economy the size of the United States, that is just a drop in the bucket. It is going to take a sledgehammer to shake this economy out and put it back on solid footing.
Step 2: After this bill is introduced into the Senate, the President should endorse it and call a press conference to announce that if this bill fails to reach his desk for his signature, he will be left with no alternative than to issue an Executive Order invoking the 14th amendment.
Oh how the Republicans would howl! Impeach him! Impeach him! Would the American citizens really want to impeach a President who has just stood up to the hostagetakers and provided a solution for saving the country from a debilitating default?
The President must explain that there is no more time for negotiations with the Republicans. They have proven over and over again that they are children and cannot be trusted to make such grave adult decisions. President Obama should summon all his oratory skills and make his case to the American people, completely lambaste the Republican Party for their hostagetaking and expose them as the corporate shills they are. Now I am no speech writer (as you have probably deduced by reading this, my first diary) but I suggest the following:
For months, I have been actively negotiating with the Republican Party on ways to improve the American economy, to set our fiscal house in order, reduce the deficit, and stimulate growth. At every turn, I have been rebuffed. Congressman Cantor and Speaker of the House John Boehner have walked out of negotiations 3 times over the past month. Each time, they walked out when the negotiations pivoted to the discussion of shared sacrifice. When we ask that the wealthiest Americans give back to this great nation which has allowed them to become so prosperous, the Republicans walk away.
In February, every Republican in the House and Senate voted for the Ryan Budget. That Budget would eliminate Medicare as we now know it. It would institute draconian cuts to every part of our society's safety net including senior citizens and poor women and children. At the same time that their budget makes these inhumane cuts, it protects the wealthy. In their plan, nothing is asked of those who have continued to prosper even as those less fortunate are suffering. The worst part of their budget is that even after making all these cuts, there would still be a $330 billion deficit in 10 years and would not even balance the budget until the year 2040. So when I hear them speak of a constitutional balanced budget amendment, I have to wonder why they did not apply that to their own budget. Their budget tells us everything we need to know about their priorities and what they believe is important to preserve and protect in America.
I have bent over backwards in trying to resolve this current debt ceiling crisis. Which, by the way, is a manufactured crisis. In the past, all of them have voted repeatedly to raise the ceiling under Ronald Reagan, both George Bush's as well as President Clinton. At a time when the economy is sputtering along after a great recession, they have chosen this time to hold the country hostage. Due to this current stalemate, I must now take drastic action. I will not allow this country to go into default. The United States of America is not a deadbeat nation. We pay our bills. Were we to cause a default, we would be forced to delay payments on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, paychecks to our men and women in the armed forces, defense contractors who supply equipment for our brave men and women fighting in two wars. One of our uniformed servicemen currently deployed in battle asked Admiral Mullen whether he would continue to receive a paycheck. Don't these soldiers have enough to worry about on the battlefield? Should they have to now worry about whether or not they will be able to pay their bills and support their families, who are supporting them while they are so far away from home for such extended periods of time? Should they be worrying about this and should be even be facing a crisis? Or has someone manufactured a crisis?
I do not take lightly what I am about to do. For the good of the country and to ensure its continued preeminence and stability as a nation, I must act. If the congress fails to send me a bill to increase the debt ceiling by August 2, I will sign an executive order authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to immediately raise the debt ceiling by $5 trillion. Many on the other side will disagree with what I am about to do and I am sure they will fight me on this. But unlike them, I choose to fight FOR the American people, not against them. I refuse to make a choice between paying senior citizens or veterans. I will raise the limit and make sure Social Security and Medicare recipients as well as veterans receive what they are owed.