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Collage of pictures of John Boehner crying.
Speaker Boehner's cave is nearly upon us
Congress has a date:
In a letter Wednesday to congressional leaders, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew established a hard deadline of Oct. 17 to raise the debt limit or risk default.

"Since August, we have received quarterly corporate and individual tax receipts and additional information regarding the activities of certain large trust funds, including military retirement trust funds. Treasury now estimates that extraordinary measures will be exhausted no later than October 17," he wrote.

"We estimate that, at that point, Treasury would have only approximately $30 billion to meet our country's commitments. This amount would be far short of net expenditures on certain days, which can be as high as $60 billion. If we have insufficient cash on hand, it would be impossible for the United States of America to meet all of its obligations for the first time in our history."

Keep in mind that Jack Lew is just the messenger here. The deadline isn't of his choosing: It's entirely driven by the fact that as of October 17, our government won't have enough cash to do what it's already promised to do.

The notion that Congress would intentionally force America to default on its debt and obligations is unthinkable, especially when there are undoubtedly more than enough votes on the Hill to raise the debt limit. On the other hand, it's also unthinkable that House Republicans won't push this right up to the last minute possible, because dancing on the edge of disaster is how they get their thrills—and it's what their base believes will finally bring Obama to his knees.

The only way for this cycle to end is for President Obama to continue to stand firm and reject the GOP's threats of economic terrorism. That's exactly what he's promising to do, and the good news is that the worst case scenario here should be that Boehner needs to rely on House Democrats to get the debt limit raised. But until that happens, Republicans are going to try to give him as many opportunities to blink as possible, which will make for an unpleasant roller coaster in the days ahead. But unless he does blink, the end game is clear: The debt limit will be raised, and Republicans will get nothing in exchange, which is exactly how it should be, because the full faith and credit of the United States is not a political bargaining chip.

Sign our petition thanking President Obama for refusing to negotiate with Republicans over the full faith and credit of the United States, and urging him to stay strong.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree. No negotiations (14+ / 0-)

    with Republicans hostage-takers.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:16:14 AM PDT

  •  GOP chaos....and the country suffers.....let's put (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, a2nite

    them out of their negotiation.

  •  The GOP, Tea Party are unfit to govern America. (7+ / 0-)

    Here's to the day when we will be rid of these ugly bullies and their love of cheap drama at the expense of decent legislative deliberations.

  •  With everybody standing firm and no negotiations, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, alwaysquestion, Aunt Pat

    a is inevitable.

    I guess we'll finally get to see what that really means.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:19:35 AM PDT

    •  Teddypoops will be a star from here on out.... (3+ / 0-)

      he's successfully corraling the wingnut base...negotiate with him Boner.

      •  Shutdown may not be such a bad thing, at least (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skillet, alwaysquestion

        not when viewed in the light of current American politics.

        I can see two outcomes:

        1) It's as bad as some warn

        In that case we face major disruptions and long-lasting consequences.  It will grab the attention of voters and cavalier use of shutdown threats will be anathema.  2014 could be a very good year for Democrats.

        2)  It's not so bad.

        Not sure exactly what that means, but it will greatly reduce the value of debt ceiling threats.

        Whether shutdown threats become radioactive or simply not worth the trouble, the post shutdown future could be good for the country once the initial pain subsides.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:58:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's see.... (6+ / 0-)

    Shutdown on 10/1, default on 10/17....Defeat on 11/4/14, disbanding of the GOP by 12/30/14.....

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:25:33 AM PDT

  •  It's not a default, it's a repayment vacation. (6+ / 0-)

    It's all about framing.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:25:47 AM PDT

  •  The dollar would be worthless outside the US (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, alwaysquestion, Aunt Pat, Matt Z

    If their is a default,the whole world economy would collapse ,because the dollar is the only stable currency in the world,

  •  It's just a back-door way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, limpidglass, alwaysquestion

    for Boehner and Obama to cut Social Security. But Boehner has the problem of not being able to be seen allying with Teh Evil Kenyan Guy Who Took Over Our Government To the Chorus of Oh Noes! It's hard to join with the President in dismantling the New Deal when you can't even be seen supporting a white Democrat, much less a black one, much LESS the black Democrat who got in the way of your narrative of inevitable continuous political ascendancy. (They really hate that. It's why they hated Clinton, too.)

    That's my best guess. Social Security cuts in a context of kabuki hostility (on the part of Boehner and House Republican leadership, at least). Because the Republicans get nothing out of this, otherwise. I suppose they could just all be blithering idiots. That's the only other explanation.

    Think about it:  they know they can't defund Obamacare before the next election, at the earliest. So why do they keep threatening to defund it? They can send us into default, but what does that get them? Unless the stock market falling in response in some way makes money for them.

    Either this is designed as a way to get us to the Promised Land of Social Security cuts, or they're such blithering idiots that they're doing all this shit just because they can. At this point, I'd say it was a 2 to 1 chance that the goal is Social Security cuts, but maybe I should just leave it at even money. Because the Republicans do have a tendency to be irrational bullies.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:30:43 AM PDT

    •  Occam's Razor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It seems to me that if Obama and Boehner wanted to cut SS then they would just do that.  What would stop them?  Obama, Reid and Pelosi could wrangle enough votes in the House and Senate to put such a cut on Obama's desk tomorrow.

      They don't do that because in the game they are playing entitlement cuts are a bargaining chip, not a goal in themselves.

      What is the goal?  Control.

      House Republicans want to dictate terms to the President and the Senate.  They don't want a seat at the negotiation table; they want full capitulation.

      •  No, because Pelosi and Reid (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        limpidglass, alwaysquestion

        would rather look like they were forced into it by the evil Republicans. They are looking to 2014. Obama, of course, doesn't need to worry about any more elections, but Pelosi and Reid are going to have enough problems in 2014 without enraging the people by cutting Social Security (remember that the Repubs, despite their decaying state, still have one of the best propaganda-dissemination networks in the history of history:  Fox News (and these days CNN as well) backed up by a massive web of talk radio, backed up by ten thousand pulpits.) There wouldn't be any sharing of blame for Social Security cuts, you can guarantee that:  the Democrats would own it.

        Equally, Boehner can't be seen to be too cozy with Obama, or he and his will face serious problems from his right flank.

        Entitlement cuts are a goal, but they're also a hot potato, and nobody wants to be left at election time holding the hot potato.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:18:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  because whichever party cuts SS (2+ / 0-)

        will become incredibly unpopular, and will be relegated to the political wilderness for the next generation.

        After the 2004 elections, Bush had increased Republican majorities in Congress and was at the peak of his power. Yet when he proposed to privatize SS, he was beaten soundly and then his party lost control of both houses of Congress in the next election.

        It's really, really hard to cut Social Security. Obama has been angling to cut it since the very beginning of his presidency (he called the Catfood Commission in '09 for this very reason) and his efforts began in earnest once the Republicans regained the House and he could start "negotiating" with them.

        For nearly two and a half years, he's sunk tons of his political capital into this project, abetted the Republicans in manufacturing a permanent state of never-ending fiscal crisis in order to provide a pretext for cuts in the New Deal programs, and he still hasn't gotten what he wanted. That's how resilient Social Security is!

        The Republicans are smart enough to realize that they would be destroyed if they got the blame for cutting SS. Their Congressional leadership have not gone on record with any proposals; they have simply waited for Obama to make them an offer. And he has.

        They scored a great victory when Obama formally went on record and wrote the chained CPI into his budget request. You can bet they will run against that in 2014 and 2016.

        There is also tremendous Democratic resistance to cutting SS. There are still some vestiges of the old Democratic party of FDR/Truman/LBJ left, and many Democrats in tough, marginal seats understand the political value of posing as the defenders of the New Deal and Great Society programs. The Democratic base is firmly opposed to cuts in SS. All this is very difficult to overcome.

        But Obama will never face election again, and he can devote himself fully to getting a Grand Bargain. And he is absolutely, totally committed to cutting the New Deal programs, which he sees as spendthrift and wasteful. He sees it as the central aim of his presidency and he won't give up until he's out of office.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:25:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In other news, this is also the deadline (5+ / 0-)

    for me renewing my Weight Watchers membership.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:39:34 AM PDT

  •  We assume too much from Tea people: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Matt Z
    The debt limit will be raised, and Republicans will get nothing in exchange, which is exactly how it should be, because the full faith and credit of the United States is not a political bargaining chip.
    See, I am not so sure they care or even understand the problem.  But let's assume they understand.  I really don't think they care.

    The Tea supporters don't understand much of it.  Of that I am convinced.  I've met some of these people and they remind me of kids that hold their hands over their ears while screaming "na na na na..." so they can't hear you.  Facts just don't do anything to help these people out of their fog.  They would have to LIVE through the results to better understand the results.  And even then, it wouldn't be hard for Tea reps to point blame elsewhere and have it believed.

    And so the Tea reps have nothing to lose.  They still gets the votes.  Even old timer republicans still vote the party that in no way resembles that of their time.  The system works for them until there are new voters in the mix that can defeat them.

    What will it take for Tea reps to vote before shutdown?  I am going to guess money.  My best guess is that some corporation will pass bundles of cash under the table.

  •  Cry Me a River John n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, Matt Z

    Where guns go, stupid seems to follow.

    by mojave mike on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:49:34 AM PDT

  •  When do the moneyed interests start to panic? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, bear83

    It's taken as read that the big banks, billionaires, and other financial heavyweights have the loudest voices in DC, especially with the GOP.  I can't imagine a default is something any of these groups would want.  How long will it take before they start throwing their weight around to get the default-happy nuts under control?


  •  OK, legal opinion needed (4+ / 0-)

    Given the 14th Amendment, is there any way for Obama to claim power to adjust spending and / or revenues in order to not default?

    "Since Congress will not raise the debt limit, but passed a budget running a deficit, I must choose how to reconcile two contradictory laws. I choose to unilaterally amend the budget.

    The capital gains tax is 95% until the debt ceiling is raised".

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:53:19 AM PDT

    •  It's time for Obama to call BS on the debt limit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Assuming we get a CR by Oct 1, Congress has already authorized the spending.

      The debt limit is artificial and unnecessary - especially considering that complying with it could lead to default. If Congress fails to act, Obama should just keep paying the bills Congress already authorized.

      What are they going to do, try to impeach him?

      Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

      by bear83 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:11:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd assume spending (0+ / 0-)

      because I'm not sure spending obligations count as debt under the 14th amendment.

      (non legal opinion, of course, but the last time this came up, the legal people didn't have a consistent opinion.)

      I don't see anything giving the Obama the power to raise taxes or issue debt unilaterally. (I guess he could argue Congress already approved the debt when they approved the spending.)

  •  pinpoint pain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, Josiah Bartlett

    Realistically, this might come to pass--so, let's be creative and put pain on the people who can exert pressure on Republicans.  Obama should announce an immediate suspension of defense projects not expected for delivery within a year.  Suspension of farm subsidies.  An import tariff on non essential products.
    Some of this might be illegal--but W proved that presidential executive orders slow down judicial recourse.  Oh, let's close down the Supremes until we lift the ceiling.
    Proactive is so much better than reactive--

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

    by melvynny on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:07:38 AM PDT

  •  the admin will negotiate and say they didn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the GOP will "cave" and agree to a temporary raise in the debt ceiling, probably in installments. Each successive installment will require another vote, permitting the Republicans additional opportunities to engage in another round of hostage-taking under the guise of "negotiations."

    Obama will go on TV saying he hates this compromise (since it won't include his Grand Bargain) but that he's relieved that the full faith and credit of the United States won't be questioned, at least for the nine months or however long it is before they'll have to do the whole damn thing all over again.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:10:43 AM PDT

  •  Obama will blink (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He always has in the past, and the Republicans know it.

    The only question is how much damage his blink will do.  Making permanent the Bush tax cuts for the rich.  The sequester.  What's next, cuts to Social Security and Medicare?  Or will he delay the ACA for a year?

  •  Did someone say trillion dollar coin? (4+ / 0-)

    Default is dumber than this route.

    •  Of course it is. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion, ferg

      That's why simply scoffing and tossing aside the idea of the trillion-dollar coin because "it's dumb" has always been, well, a dumb response. (Thanks, Jon Stewart, for helping with that.)

      Yeah, maybe it's dumb. So what? We're drowning in a sea of dumb and critics of the trillion-dollar-coin are balking at adding a thimbleful of water.

      And actually, after reading Web of Debt, I'm no longer entirely sure it is dumb. But whether it is or not, it's better than being permanently held hostage on the edge of a cliff while Pete Petersen and Alan Simpson dance gangam style and Grover Norquist throws confetti.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:44:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  if Obama caves again, that sound you hear will be (0+ / 0-)

    his base of supporters collectively sighing and gnashing their teeth

  •  “Economic terrorism!” (0+ / 0-)

    That’s the best description I have heard so far.
    Once again, the GOP in the House is acting insane.
    They will try to hold the nation and the world hostage by refusing to increase the debt ceiling in their attempt to repeal healthcare reform.
    We have talked about this several times, most recently on Monday in “Public support wavers as government shutdown looms.
    The GOP thinks it can win elections by threatening to default on federal government debt.
    It is just a lunatic plan.

    In the (K)now blog Http://

    by Warren Swil on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:49:15 AM PDT

  •  Article (0+ / 0-)

    Will someone please point Mr Boehner to the AA Center nearest to the Capital Building!

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