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NOTHING.  DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Or to put it differently: dare the GOP to refuse to raise the debt limit.

Consider  each scenario:

(1)  Obama invokes the 14th Amendment and/or the platinum coin option. The result?  Our national circus escalates to new heights, with impeachment a possibility.  Eventually, the debt limit gets raised, but months are wasted, perhaps endangering some of Obama's initiatives on immigration, guns, etc.  While he ultimately prevails on the debt limit,  Obama receives a firestorm of criticism from the mainstream media for using gimmicks in furtherance of a "power grab."

(2)  Obama simply follows through with his vow not to negotiate over the debt limit.  The result?  At first, a handful of prominent GOP congressmen make noises about not raising the debt limit, which leads to a growing chorus of criticism without and outside of the party.  The GOP then folds and raises the debt limit as scheduled, or does so shortly after going over the deadline and causing riots in the street (well, not literally, but you know what I mean).  Whatever damage occurs to the system gets roundly blamed on the GOP. If the damage is great enough, the GOP gets routed in 2014. Meanwhile, Obama earns plaudits from friends and foes for holding firm, and declining to resort to "gimmicks," perhaps easing the passage of other legislation later in the year.

Really, people, I don't think the choice is difficult at all.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Even better and easier than the platinum coin (7+ / 0-)

    The GOP wants to see Obama lose?  Let the limit be reached.  Tell the defense contractors no payments. Immediately close all foreign bases.  Withdraw for real from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Give all the troops in GOP states indefinitely unpaid leave and bankrupt their local economies.  

    Then wait and see who says uncle.

    BTW don't redeploy the troups afterwards. By then, we will have realized that they are unnecessary.  Two birds with one stone.

    •  This is the quite one I don't hear much about. (3+ / 0-)

      not raising the limit essentially hands Obama a line item veto pen. I can't imagine the R's wanting him to have such. I believe they will blink.

      In the meantime I love the platinum coin talk. Its great theater and Obama should just remain silent on the coin thing. Keeps em guessing. Even more pressure for them to blink.

      .....it's on the table, under the watermelon she demurred. Thanks, I was planning on shaving anyway he replied.

      by pdx kirk on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:26:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another option (8+ / 0-)

    Another option is to just ignore the debt ceiling. Obama needs to explain to the public that the debt ceiling amounts to Congress simultaneously requiring him to buy stuff and prohibiting paying the bills. It's like simultaneous orders to stand and sit. He should keep paying the bills, and dare Congress to impeach him. Let them explain to the public that they're impeaching the president for paying the government's bills. I'd be happy to run the 2014 campaign on that.

  •  THE PROBLEM (9+ / 0-)

    is that a "little bit of default" is like removing an eye - you can't put it back.

    It would have long term impact on borrowing costs just to continue servicing the existing debt.

    Very different from the "fiscal cliff".

  •  The message of the platinum coin is simply (6+ / 0-)

    that the federal government is the issuer and guarantor of money and that, therefor, it is simply a gross deception to argue that we are going to run out.

    Why is the Congress perpetrating this farce? Because our supposed public servants actually want to be rulers, to have even more than the power of life and death. And to demonstrate power, they have to inflict damage on someone. Nobody ever calls people who do good powerful.

    It is because power is a negative that the Constitution provides for it to be dispersed over the whole citizenry, only to be coalesced in case of emergency or to repell aggression.

    That the Republicans in Congress deprived the victims of Hurricane Sandy of emergency assistance is proof positive that they are the agents of deprivation and perhaps even unable to provide any service. They only succor their own electorate as a bribe to garner votes. It's an interlude, as the Rep. from Mississippi, Palazzo showed. That seven years after Katrina he's still begging for dollars is evidence that his attention to the needs of Mississippi has been sporadic. For shame.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:07:08 PM PST

  •  The problem with "do nothing" (3+ / 0-)

    Is if the Republicans don't give in. There are quite a few Tea Partiers who actually think it would be a good idea and Boehner may not be willing to make political sacrifices to pass a bill mostly on Democratic votes. Hitting the debt ceiling means a descent into a likely depression, vast hardship for many people, and a legal nightmare as everybody Obama cuts off will sue the government for what they are literally legally due.

    The 14th amendment works better, although there's a risk the courts may rule against it. Platinum coinage is best, because it's solid legally and throws the problem into the Republicans lap. They have to accept responsibility for risking inflation as long as they refuse to raise the debt ceiling, while getting no leverage over anybody in the meantime.

  •  a lot of people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    get sacrificed for some indeterminate period of time under option B.

    Not saying he should capitulate with ridiculous cuts, but saying if there is an A possibility it would be preferred.

  •  Atrios nails it for me. (5th best = "worst") (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn, eztempo

    Atrios nails it!

    Just raise the debt ceiling is best.
    Threaten to use coin if debt ceiling isn't raised, then debt ceiling is raised is second best.
    Third best is mint the damn coin and tell Congress to suck on it.
    Fourth best is continuing the idea that the debt ceiling is something to be negotiated over, and coming to some sort of "deal."
    Fifth best is can't pay bills and default.

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:56:36 PM PST

  •  The tea baggers will never cave. But there are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eztempo

    enough "corporate" Republicans who would never let the US default.

    It isn't just the little people who would get hurt. Wall Street, the big banks, and anyone holding Treasuries would take a massive hit. Those folks will take their money and go find a different political party if this keeps up.

    That money has no interest in the culture wars of the Tea Party- if anything they are on the opposite side. Obama out-raised McCain in 2008 from the hedge fund types. They supported Romney in 2012, but he was one of them.

    If things really look bad, Dimon, Blankfein, and their buddies are going to be on the phone with Boehner explaining that if he doesn't get his act together the DCCC is getting a couple of billion in extra donations next year.

    •  Sorry to say this, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew F Cockburn

      Obama is a  "corporate" Democrat and may be willing to throw us under the bus in order to continue to please the wealthy and powerful.

      It makes me sad to say it, because I hoped a community organizer would be pro-people, but his actions in the White House says otherwise.

      Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

      by AppleP on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:15:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course. But my point is the flip side: (0+ / 0-)

        the wealthy and powerful will throw the tea baggers under the bus because they recognize that Obama and the Congressional Democrats are mostly "corporate" types. The big money can't tolerate nuts like Bachmann in power. They need predictability.

        If we recognize this, we can stop screaming about the debt ceiling and just wait for the real rulers to tell Congress what to do.

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