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Train wreck at Montparnasse - 1895
Let's assume for the moment that Republicans cave on the debt ceiling and agree to raise it. What Washington-created disaster comes next? The answer: the sequestration on March 1 followed by the expiration of stopgap government funding bills on March 27. In a letter to the heads of federal departments and agencies, acting White House budget director Jeffrey Zients wrote:
In the corning months, executive departments and agencies (agencies) will confront significant uncertainty regarding the amount of budgetary resources available for the remainder of the fiscal year. In particular, unless Congress acts to amend current law, the President is required to issue a sequestration order on March 1, 2013, canceling approximately $85 billion in budgetary resources across the Federal Government. Further uncertainty is created by the expiration of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (CR) on March 27, 2013. This memorandum directs agencies to take certain steps to plan for and manage this budgetary uncertainty.
Among those steps: prioritizing mission critical agency operations as well as those essential for preventing loss of life or negative health and safety consequences; review cost-slashing measures including hiring freezes, layoffs, buyouts, and furloughs; and reviewing grants and contracts to identify which may be cut.

Zients wrote that despite his guidance on how agency and department heads should prepare for the sequestration and potential government shutdown, the White House wants Congress to fix the problem:

The Administration continues to urge Congress to take prompt action to address the current budgetary uncertainty, including through the enactment of balanced deficit reduction to avoid sequestration. Should Congress fail to act to avoid sequestration, there will be significant and harmful impacts on a wide variety of Government services and operations. For example, should sequestration remain in place for an extended period of time, hundreds of thousands of families will lose critical education and wellness services through Head Start and nutrition assistance programs.

The Department of Defense will face deep cuts that will reduce readiness of non-deployed units delay needed investments in equipment and facilities, and cut services for military families. And Federal agencies will likely need to furlough hundreds ofthousands of employees and reduce essential ervices uch a food inspections, air travel safety, prison security, border patrols, and other mission-critical activities.

At this time, agencies do not have clarity regarding the manner in which Congress will address these issues or the amount of budgetary resources that will be available through the remainder of the fiscal year. Until Congress acts, agencies must continue to prepare for the possibility that they will need to operate with reduced budgetary resources.

Although House Republicans certainly are the driving force behind this particular fiscal train wreck, it's important to remember that President Obama signed into law the sequestration budget cuts and he also signed into law the expiring continuing resolution. In fact, he signed the sequestration cuts into law again when we negotiated a two month extension of them during the tax cliff debate.

The tragic thing about these cuts is that nobody really wants them. The president doesn't want them (even though he signed them into law). House Speaker John Boehner doesn't want them (even though he says he got 98 percent of what he wanted out of the debt limit deal that created the sequestration). The theory was the cuts would be so onerous, they would provide leverage for a Grand Bargain, but it turns out nobody wants a Grand Bargain either. It's a actually a fitting a symbol of just how completely our government is failing to address the number one challenge facing America today: economic growth.

So while I don't think we'll ultimately default, I'm not terribly optimistic about how things will go after that. But, on the bright side, things could be worse. Probably.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Frankly, I resent that this "debate" is sucking up (8+ / 0-)

    so much oxygen - and political capital! It's all so absurd. Can our "leaders" please focus something that actually makes lives better?

    •  Also can they actually do the job (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B, kurious, akeitz, divineorder

      of passing a budget? The Budget Control Act, which introduced the sequester, was a substitute for the regular budgeting process. A bad substitute. We have a broken government where the basic tasks of setting a budget and legislating taxes to fund it are just not happening.

      •   GOP Goal For America: 50-Mississippi's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tuckerm, divineorder

        With the Old Confederacy locking down House control 'til 2022 or beyond and the Senate filibuster rule modification to be a charade, our government will remain dysfunctional indefinitely. Depressing? The truth can be just that.

      •  Now it looks like filibuster reform might (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tuckerm, divineorder, midwesterner

        be getting the usual Democratic water down treatment.

        From Josh Marshal at TPM:

        So what’s happening with Filibuster Reform? If you’ve been following the news here at TPM it was looking good and it still seems like something will happen. There’s a core of very strong advocates for changing the filibuster, centered around Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) of Oregon. There are various details. But the gist of his plan is the so-called ‘talking filibuster’. The minority can still hold things up but you really have to talk on the floor to do it. So it’s visible and conspicuous. Now though Harry Reid is expressing support for a more limited set of changes that proponents like Sen. Merkley, Udall, Warren and others say doesn’t go far enough. It all comes down to the wire early next week. Because these changes can in practice only be made by a majority vote at the beginning of a new Congress. So it happens next week or there’s not another chance until 2015.
        (emphasis mine)

        It certainly hasn't taken our Democratic leaders very long to destroy the momentum we built during this last election, but then again, isn't that what they did after the 2008 election?

    •  In addition to sucking up (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurious, Eileen B, divineorder

      so much oxygen and political capital, tons of contingency planning is being done.  And that costs $$$.  

      This is foolish, and it makes us look foolish to the rest of the world.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:51:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The whole issue is ridiculous for several reasons. (0+ / 0-)

      Congress determines what money gets spent, on what programs, and then they get to appropriate the money to cover it. It is right there in the Constitution, even our Supreme Court hasn't managed to screw that up yet.

      For most of us, this would be equivalent to Me asking my wife to do the bills, then withholding the money to cover them until she agrees to cut down on grocery spending.

      1) I'd be sleeping on the couch.
      2) These are our bills, not her bills. She is just doing what I asked her to do.

      Congress has the luxury of someone else being responsible for cutting the checks. They set what gets spent, then they set where the money comes from. They then order the President to carry out that plan. It is an 'open knowledge' kind of system.

      At home, my wife gets to pick which bills get paid in what order. While there might be some room to say the President has the discretion to choose this sequence, the existing law doesn't support that. The President has to pay all of the bills when they come due, no exceptions.

      If the President can't make that balance, that isn't the President's fault.  This is the glaring flaw in the Republican position.

      Lets follow this thread of Congressional logic for a moment. Under this presumption, they get to set the President up to fail. They get to do this every year, without limitation, and then they get to demand cuts in unrelated programs before they fill that checking account so he can adhere to his Constitutional duties and pay the bills that Congress decided should be paid.

      It is nothing short of ludicrous to expect my wife to pay the bills on her own pay. I need to contribute or the cable gets shut off or we miss a car payment. Its pretty #%&@ simple.

      How do we hold Congress to account for their 14th Amendment responsibilities? What consequence happens to them? Nothing, as far as I can see.

      If this system remains in place, then the President should be allowed to determine the order of what gets paid when. Anything else is irrational.

      I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that his justice cannot sleep forever. - Thomas Jefferson

      by MightyMoose on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:38:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No need to assume; Republicans will cave.... (7+ / 0-)

    Their owners will insist on it.

    I think that Boehner will have to turn to Democrats again to get approval to raise the debt ceiling, but in the end - at the very last second - he will cave and do it.

    The next "crisis" will be a government shut down similar to the 90's under Newt Gingrich.  

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:53:31 AM PST

  •  just go away (6+ / 0-)

    I got to the 'just go away' stage with the Congressional Republicans months ago.  I'm sure the American people are not far behind.  I can't believe that they continue to let their brand get so damaged.  They keep manufacturing these excuses to get into the spotlight, and then they keep messing up.

    They've got to wise up sooner or later, right?

    •  Why bother (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penguins4peace, Mark Mywurtz

      They retained a pretty good majority in the House, will do so for the foreseeable future because of gerrymandering, and it would take a pretty massive disaster -- far more than simply a debt ceiling crisis -- for them not to get a majority in the Senate in 2014. There is simply no incentive not to do exactly what they're doing -- be as obstinate as possible right up until the point of economic catastrophe. ~ @MatthewBorgard

      by zegota on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:57:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Too pessimistic - we need to make them suffer (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, slothlax, cactusgal, duhban

        There are consequences to this crap, which they suffered in 2008 and 2012, and even to a certain extent in 2010 when they could have but failed to take the Senate.

        No, they have a very small majority in the House - 16 seats flip it. Yes, gerrymandering hurt, but we still picked up seats last time and there's opportunities:

        Iowa - King, close last time
        Ohio - pick up 2 of 14 R
        PA, MI - pick up 2 each
        MN - 1, preferably Bachmann
        CA - net 1, some may switch, but still 15 R to get at
        CO - 1 of 4 Rs, state went to Obama
        FL - 2 of 17 Repubs, state went to Obama
        NJ - 1 of 6 R
        WA - 1 of 4 R
        IL - 1 of 6
        WI - 1 of 5

        Not looking for big moves anywhere, just hold serve and pick up 1 or 2 in states that Obama won, some of which have Dem legislatures, some of which have Dem governors, some of which have unpopular Repub governors (PA, MI, FL, WI).

        In the Senate, their chances are overstated, even if we defend more. I could see 2 or 3 moving, not 6 (remember, Biden breaks the tie so 50-50 doesn't cut it for the Repubs).

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:29:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, they really screwed up (0+ / 0-)

          Especially the Senate.  We defended our first wave successfully this time, so now we are in a strong position to defend out next wave, hold the majority, then we can go back on offense in 2016 against their wave.  I think barring some unforeseen major political shift or scandal, the Senate is ours until at least 2018.

          The House will be tougher to crack, but the gerrymandering gives us more places to play offense, as you point out.  Don't forget New York, only one Republican took 60% this year.

          There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

          by slothlax on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:48:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  eh look at how the 2000s progressed (0+ / 0-)

            people thought the same thing and yet we did it

            •  We're on the same page (0+ / 0-)

              I look at the 06/08 elections as a delayed reaction to the 2000 fiasco.  9/11 gave the Republicans an artificial boost, but by the end of the decade we were breaking into their home turf.  On their own, Republican ideas are political losers.  They need a "crisis" to rally around to get their agenda on the table, let alone passed.  I see gerrymandering as a challenge to overcome, not an obstacle to success, on our way to continue our march to dominance as we slowly invade the "safe" redoubts the Republicans have built for themselves while the urban centers become more and more blue.  By the next redistricting (barring some catastrophic political event for the Democrats) the game will be up and there will be nowhere left to run for the Republicans.

              There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

              by slothlax on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:00:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The Are Two-Different Americans, Nina. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhauenstein, Mark Mywurtz

      The gerrymandered, safe Crazy Congressional districts, do not care what the majority needs or wants...Period. They're on their own highway. Our highway is irrelevant to them. They are nihilists.

  •  GOP will make their stand on the CR... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, pistolSO, slothlax, VClib, midwesterner

    A shutdown there wouldn't risk the credit of the US and the whole global economy.  

    I think a government shutdown over it is a virtual lock.  

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:59:57 AM PST

  •  Remember the President's prediction (7+ / 0-)

    that once John Boehner got the responsiblity of govevrning, he would be me reasonable? Or the prediction that once the November election was over, Republicans would put politics aside for the good of the country?

    These people cannot be negotiated with. They have to be beaten. Let's hope the president keeps up his "no negotiations" stance, but I have my doubts.

    •  one thing on his side.... (7+ / 0-)

      ....there's been so many cuts already, the only thing left to cut is more defense, and then socsec and medicare. and not even Republicans want to own socsec and medicare cuts.

      so there really isn't that much more to cut that is politically feasible.

      •  There is a wide opening for 2016 candidates, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slothlax, praenomen, midwesterner

        to begin a conversation about robust growth. Whichever side catches on to that will have some traction in both parties.

        I don't see anybody on our side talking about it yet.

      •  Plenty left to cut (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cherie clark

        Bloated defense budget
        Medicare D
        Medicare Advantage
        Medicare waste (e.g. Scooter Store)
        Corporate subsidies
        Tax expenditures
        Boehner's tanning and booze bill

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:19:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ditto. Especially the very bloated defense (0+ / 0-)


          As a former federal Civilian Service employee, I can't figure out what the reluctance is to make necessary cuts to DOD.

          Heck, my federal career spanned both Reagan's terms, and even he cut the defense budget numerous times.

          I endured more furloughs and RIFS (reductions-in-force) than I have fingers (actually, I survived all the rifs, but did endure many furloughs.)  We need to get out of the "empire and nation building business, " anyway.

          Why on earth don't Dems take this opportunity to cut back military spending?

          Instead, invest money in massive federal infrastructure spending (but not so-called public-private infrastructure banks, which Robert Reich warns will  put the working classes under great financial strain, due to the tolls that will be imposed).

          Here's the excerpt from Reich's Salon article entitled, "Why Obama Still Can't Fix The Jobs Crisis."

          He says he wants an “infrastructure bank” that would borrow money from private capital markets to pay private contractors to rebuild our nations roads, bridges, airports, and everything else that’s falling apart.

          Fine, but the new deal he just signed may not let him do this either — if the infrastructure bank relies on federal funds or even federal loan guarantees to attract private money. The only way he could create an infrastructure bank without sweetening the pot would be by privatizing all the new infrastructure. That means toll roads and toll bridges, user-fee airports, and entry fees everywhere else.

          Apart from its potential unfairness to lower-income people, such a privatized infrastructure would have the same effect as a tax increase. After paying more for roads and bridges and all other infrastructure, Americans would have less cash for to spend on goods and services. That means no boost to the economy.

          So I implore the Administration to follow Reich's advice.  Invest in federal infrastructure--just don't do it through creating an infrastructure bank.


          “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          by musiccitymollie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:07:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Obama & Dems Will Cut Social Security-Count on It. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        praenomen, midwesterner

        Look for the next cave to be the equivalent cut of 3% to SS. It's called the CPI.

      •  Standoffs are a great time to hand out corporate (0+ / 0-)

        subsidies and tax breaks to favored corporations and call it necessary horse trading.
         see Fiscal Cliff.

        Budget standoffs are very very good to big corporations.
        And very very good to congressmen and staffers.  
        The longer the standoff, the higher the bidding.

        From Hedrick Smith :

        2009-2010 – With the U.S. economy in a painfully slow recovery, political lobbying in Washington enjoys a boom. As Congress tackles such big ticket items as a stimulus bill, health reform, and financial regulation, a record $7 billion is spent in lobbying in these two years – 87% by business interests. Business outspends labor on lobbying by 65 to 1. Wall Street banks hire 1,477 former members of Congress, Congressional staff or Executive Branch officials to lobby against new financial regulation.
        That sweet evolving door.  
    •  The fever is breaking... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, DSPS owl, rsmpdx, kovie

      the one thing the R's have depended on in their obstruction is unity.

      “It was absolutely critical that everybody be together because if the proponents of the bill were able to say it was bipartisan, it tended to convey to the public that this is O.K., they must have figured it out,” Mr. McConnell said about the health legislation in an interview, suggesting that even minimal Republican support could sway the public. “It’s either bipartisan or it isn’t.”

      Mr. McConnell said the unity was essential in dealing with Democrats on “things like the budget, national security and then ultimately, obviously, health care.”

      That is being shattered as we speak. Legislators are beginning to break ranks and the fiasco in the House over the so-called "fiscal cliff" is about to be repeated on the debt ceiling deal.

      Other than simply waiting for 2014 - that's exactly how they are beaten.

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:41:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm. I'm not sure this is the (6+ / 0-)

        question over which one can really define breaking ranks. I mean, its basically a debate over 100% of the Bush Tax Cuts or 87% of the Bush Tax Cuts. I mean, that's not exactly fighting the battle on our side of the ledger. What you saw here was conservative policy defeating ultra conservative policy.

        And really, the debt ceiling really is a routine matter.

        Let's see them break ranks over something important to real Democratic priorities like immigration. Maybe union rights. Or infrastructure spending. Then I'd say we'd have made progress.

        •  Sure... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, pistolSO, slothlax

          that stuff comes next. Immigration reform is possible, but the rest probably won't come until we can beat them electorally.

          The first step is to break off the sane Republicans we just disagree with (ie Murkowski) from the lunatics. That is underway.

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by NLinStPaul on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:04:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hmm. Remains to be seen. Murkowski (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is, #1 a Senator (where we don't have much of a problem) and #2 a Republican who got kicked out of her party. So seeing her be more "middling" isn't much of a "get."

            Seems to were going to get a government shutdown in pretty short order. That might be good enough to break them provided the President capitalizes on it like Bill Clinton did. Now Bill actually did break them. The GOP voted overwhelmingly to end the shutdown and give Clinton years of debt ceiling room without conditions.

            •  If you read (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              brooklynbadboy, midwesterner

              what Murkowski said, you'd see that she indicated that most of her colleagues in the Senate agreed with her - they just weren't speaking up yet. So its not just Murkowski.

              And we already saw how chaotic the House Republicans are during the fiscal cliff mess.

              Timing-wise, it looks like the sequester will come up before the budget. Hopefully the Dems can trade some defense cuts for additional revenue. The leverage is with them on that one.

              So we could be looking at major defeats for the Republicans over the debt ceiling and the sequester in the next 6 weeks.

              Oh, and in the middle of all that, the president is going to be using his campaign operation to hammer them over gun control.

              I'd wait to see just how demoralized and divided Republicans are after all that before I'd place any bets on a government shut-down. I wouldn't rule it out - but their hand will be incredibly weak.

              Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by NLinStPaul on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:55:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  NLin - it will be hard for the POTUS to "hammer" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                anyone on gun control when Harry Reid, a gun rights supporter, does not favor an assault weapons ban and won't bring up a bill in the Senate that will not also pass the House. In addition to being personally opposed to an AWB Harry doesn't think there are 50 votes in the Senate to pass one.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:24:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  NBC is reporting (0+ / 0-)

                  that tomorrow Obama will announce the most far-reaching gun control measures since the late 60's.

                  And in a perfectly crafted photo op, he'll have children who have written to him about their safety concerns since Newtown with him.

                  I don't think he's taking his cues from Reid on this one.

                  Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by NLinStPaul on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:40:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  MLin - the POTUS can do some things by (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    executive order but for most gun control issues he will need Congress. While President Obama isn't taking his cues from the Majority Leader, Senator Reid isn't taking his cues from the President and any substantive gun control laws need congressional approval.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:30:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not assuming (0+ / 0-)

                      legislative success.

                      The comment you first responded to was about Obama bringing the hammer down about gun control - strong proposals backed by his campaign organization.

                      Given that the public supports the kinds of things Obama will likely be proposing, it puts the Republicans in yet another situation where they fighting against popular opinion.

                      That - added to their disarray over fiscal issues makes it all an uphill climb for them.

                      To put all this in perspective, even Rasmussen is reporting today that 63% of GOP voters think the Republicans in Congress are out of touch.

                      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

                      by NLinStPaul on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:03:56 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  MLin - my point is that this isn't a Dem v GOP (0+ / 0-)

                        issue. We have the most senior Democrat in Congress, and many other Democratic members of the House and Senate that will be on the other side of the gun control argument from the President. I think its possible to have a gun control bill pass Congress this year, but it will have to be bi-partisan to pass and that means that some of the elements the President may want won't be part of any new law. "Hammering" the GOP on this will result in no new gun control legislation this year. Working with them to find common ground will give a bill a chance.

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:47:41 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I see that (0+ / 0-)

                          you are focused on legislative success for gun control.

                          That wasn't the point of my comments nor was it the topic of this diary. So perhaps we can have that discussion some other time.

                          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

                          by NLinStPaul on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:02:11 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Immigration is a must-pass for the GOP (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          or they lose Latinos for a generation.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:20:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  ^This^ (0+ / 0-)

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:19:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They ARE being beaten, in the polls and media (0+ / 0-)

      As much as we have to suffer through false equivalence, they're still getting the brunt of the blame even from right-leaning pundits. The tide has turned.

      The GOP is simply slow to figure it out.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:17:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ides of March, huh? n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  I imagine that the sequester can be dealt with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, grrr

    Maybe some minor concessions on spending cuts and tax reform out of that.   If the GOP wants to have a fight over the CR and have a government shutdown, then Obama should play it the Clinton did:  Show the American people that the GOP is doing this because they want the Medicare age raised to 70.   Then Obama should show the American people his vision for a balanced budget that shows zero troops in Afghanistan after this year(or early next year), an increased FICA cap, and a further rollback to the MIC as Obama cuts more of the bloated defense budget(and sort of offsets that with the Veterans version of the WPA or the CCC)

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:16:46 PM PST

  •  So far GOP=cave n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan
  •  The President lost the moral high ground (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Slightly Wobbly, nextstep, VClib

    on budget by stating to Congress that he would not meet the statutory deadline of February 4 for providing his proposed budget to Congress.  

    After has failed to do what he is required to do under the law with respect to the budget, it will be difficult for him to call on Congress to do their job with respect to the budget.

    Not to mention that the Senate hasn't passed a Budget Resolution since 2009.  And the House has continued to pass a completely partisan Budget Resolution each year (the Ryan Budget).

    I am one who is fed up to here with EVERYBODY on the budget, frankly.  And the last thing that needs to happen is another backroom deal negotiated by four people and then offered to Congress with a "vote for it now or else" ultimatum.  The President, and Congress, need to follow the law and pass a budget in regular order in an open and transparent process so the American people know what they are doing.  

    All parties here need to do their job under the law -- specifically, the Budget Control Act of 1974.  That BEGINS with the President submitting a budget to Congress on the first Monday of February.  Then, once the President has done his job under the law, the Congress needs to do its job and pass a budget resolution.

    Until they start doing what is required of them under the law, nobody in Washington gets any respect from me.  

  •  You can refuse to negotiate the debt ceiling, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax, midwesterner

    you can't refuse to negotiate the budget, which is basically what the CR is, so that's pretty standard stuff.

    sequester? just let it happen if they want too much for it.

  •  I think Repubs need to bang their heads (0+ / 0-)

    into the wall a few more times just to get it out of their system and prove to their base that they're "pure", before getting back to regular order business. I expect this will happen as the 2014 campaign season approaches. What we're seeing is sort of like rutting season for young wingnuts. Sooner or later they'll settle down. They always do. It's impossible to be radical forever.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:16:10 PM PST

  •  They will pass the Paul Ryan Budget (0+ / 0-)

    They will pass the Paul Ryan Budget, version whatever, so that they can finally tell the American people what they want to do.  

    Or, maybe Boehner will tell the Senate that they have to pass a budget first.

    Other than that, I expect continued efforts to restrict abortion rights and destroy Obamacare.

  •  Sigh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Although House Republicans certainly are the driving force behind this particular fiscal train wreck, it's important to remember that President Obama signed into law the sequestration budget cuts and he also signed into law the expiring continuing resolution we have to find something to blame on Obama rather than going full bore after the Republicans because, you know, both sides and all.
    No, actually, they are all the Republicans fault.  When they were originally signed, Republicans were threatening to hold up all of the other lame duck stuff, like DADT.  When they were signed last time, Republicans were holding up tax cuts for the middle class and extending unemployment.  By delaying them two months, Obama separated them, the tax cuts, and the debt ceiling.

    Why, oh why, do we keep going after Obama?  I just wonder.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:29:58 PM PST

  •  the only reason a CR was passed (0+ / 0-)

    is because a budget couldn't be passed. To blame that on the president is fairly shallow Jed

    That said yes this is fairly embarrassing and it does demonstrate how dysfunctional our government has become

  •  this can't be good for the markets... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...from one Republican-created insane fiscal calamity to another...

    If Republicans do, in fact, allow an up-or-down vote on raising the debt ceiling and Congress passes it, then that will mean the President will have successfully weathered two very important bogus crises manufactured by Republicans.

    The argument could be made that momentum will be on his side, although when it comes to filth politics and holding the entire country hostage in order to achieve the blessing of the rabid, radical, right-wing nutjobs that have taken over that party, it's quite possible that Republicans will go all lunatic once again.

    Republicans have been claiming, time after time, that spending cuts is what they are after. Perhaps the President should offer it to the form of cutting out all non-essential Pentagon weapons programs, like those that the Pentagon neither needs nor wants (the ones forced on it by Congress). Now that would be one mega-battle that would be worth watching: the President listing defense systems that the Pentagon doesn't even watch...and watching Republicans squeal like pigs every time he mentions them. That would be the ultimate trump card...the President showing the American public that the Republicans have been nothing but a bunch of blowhards regarding so-called "spending cuts" they've been pretending to insist upon for the last two years.

    Of course, the President could also throw a few additional spending cuts at them to sweeten the pot, as well, such as:

    -reducing Medicare costs dramatically over the next ten years by simply passing legislation to allow the program to negotate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

  •  So how do we measure success? (0+ / 0-)

    The debt ceiling vote, fiscal cliff and CR expiration are all happening within a couple weeks of each other.  My bet is that all three are resolved at last in the long awaited "grand bargain."   And both sides will say they won.  So what does a "win" look like from our side?

    1.  Long term extension of the debt ceiling.  I think that the smarter republicans recognize that ransoming the debt ceiling is playing with fire.  I think despite the bluster, they really would like to get this ploy off the table for a couple years at least and maybe longer.  

    2.  No entitlement cuts beyond the chained CPI.  No, I don't like the chained CPI for social security since the cost of living for the elderly is growing faster than the regular CPI, not slower.  But the President hasn't backed off of it, and he offered it once in exchange for a long term extension of the debt ceiling.  I'm pretty sure that that's where negotiations will start.  Hopefully that's where it will end as well.  

    3.  No shift of the fiscal cliff cuts from defense to domestic.  And if there are additional cuts from domestic discretionary, the same level of cuts from defense.

    4.  Cuts are matched with revenue increases.  

    That's what I would consider a win for the President, and a pretty good deal for the Republicans as well.  Am I shooting too high or too low?  

    •  No cuts to benefits, no Chained CPI. (0+ / 0-)

      From the NASI analysis.

      Changes enacted by Congress in the 1980s to ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security will cut retirement benefits by 19 percent for workers born in 1960 and later, and more cuts could undermine the basic economic security of future retirees, a new report (PDF) said today.

      The report (PDF), released by the National Academy of Social Insurance, said modest benefit improvements and revenue increases are affordable, have broad public support and can close Social Security’s long-term financing shortfall without more benefit cuts.

      “Social Security benefits are already being cut more than many people realize,” said Virginia Reno, NASI’s vice president for income security and a co-author of the report. “Cutting benefits further is not necessary to preserve Social Security for future generations. Other alternatives merit consideration by policymakers.”

      NASI is a nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance.

      Younger people have even more to lose in their retirement than current retirees if Chained CPI goes thru.  
  •  I've always wanted to see (0+ / 0-)

    I've always wanted to see how the Parisians removed that train wreck with that time's technology.

    Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:18:34 PM PST

  •  What's new? Repubs say Gov $$ DON'T create jobs. (0+ / 0-)

    So let's see what happens when the Gummint quits funding $85 BILLION.


    So let's go there, and blow their assertions to hell.

    Sooner or later, people will "get it", maybe when THEIR OWN JOB goes POOF.

    Ya think??  

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry November 6, 2012 MA-4 I am voting for my friends Barry, Liz and Joe (Obama, Warren and Kennedy)

    by BornDuringWWII on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:35:15 PM PST

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