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And here we are again! It started in 2010. The Bush tax cuts were about to expire. There was leverage to negotiate a debt ceiling raise or to just let them expire. How do I know there was leverage? I know Republicans like tax cuts for the rich, and there was a deal for the purpose of extending them with Republican votes. It passed with those Republican votes, which led to this whole thing because there was no debt ceiling raise included.

Maybe others are unaware of this? I don't know. It doesn't matter though; the uninformed shouldn't dictate fantasy as reality in a reality based community. This is the actual reality and why we are worried about a global financial calamity with regard to a possible political default on the public debt, which is a choice and otherwise impossible for a sovereign currency issuer.

Obama on the Debt Limit — December 2010

Q Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in. Was there ever any attempt by the White House to include raising the debt limit as a part of this package?

THE PRESIDENT: When you say it would seem they’ll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?

Q Just in the sense that they’ll say essentially we’re not going to raise the — we’re not going to agree to it unless the White House is able to or willing to agree to significant spending cuts across the board that probably go deeper and further than what you’re willing to do. I mean, what leverage would you have –

THE PRESIDENT: Look, here’s my expectation — and I’ll take John Boehner at his word — that nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse, that that would not be a good thing to happen. And so I think that there will be significant discussions about the debt limit vote. That’s something that nobody ever likes to vote on. But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower.

You know, we on the left knew what this would lead to. You don't trust John Boehner with the full faith in credit of the United States unless one is completely clueless or an economic nihilist. The resulting signs we are starting to see of a financial panic in response to the prospects of a default on top of the ongoing depression, the jobs crisis, the continuing climate and ecological crisis all converging into one huge Epochal crisis, point to a special kind of disdain for the public that all our elected leaders have for us.  I mean, we have enough problems without adding to them through a self induced global financial then economic crisis caused by the President's pursuit of a deficit terrorist grand bargain whether through incompetence or outright corruption.

And so we come to an impasse; this is actually what happened and how; this is the actual reality. Some people can't deal with actual reality. When confronted with it, some people exhibit a sort of Pavlovian type of response one gets when these sourced facts are pointed out to support this conclusion. It goes something like, "It's all Congress! The President is not a dictator! It's all Republicans fault! Sellout deals are the only way unemployment insurance has EVER been extended!" There are many problems with these claims. For one, people in the know, know for a fact they aren't true.

They know Republicans caved on unemployment insurance before without Democrats having 60 votes and without some sellout politically damaging deal. They know the President was involved in this particular politically damaging sellout deal, because legislative deals from the White House with Congress are common, specifically this White House and this Congress. After all, the only real budget that even passed, The Budget Control Act, came from a deal to end the first round of this continuing debt ceiling debacle I predicted. The rest were just austerity stop gaps from similar deals.

The Budget Control Act funded the government from 2011 until the fiscal cliff deal at the end of December 2012 while enacting a decade of austerity budget caps from 2013 to 2023 in addition to the sequester. So back to the point: the President was asked about whether he was worried about John Boehner using the debt ceiling after a debt ceiling raise was not included the tax deal in 2010. For those that can read the transcript for what the real words in it actually says, the President actually said he trusted John Boehner's word he wouldn't use the full faith and credit of the United States and the debt ceiling to extract whatever Republicans in the House wanted in the future.

That's why we are in this debacle. That's what led to the super austerity within the Budget Control Act which came from the Simpson Bowles commission, in which, many in denial screeched hysterically about how it was dead. Oops, it's recommendations are now law, because of this crisis to crisis government Obama created to enact his grand bargain little by little to teach us New Deal extremists a lesson. You see, like I said, the Broken Hastert rule for the fiscal cliff deal didn't mean anything. It was John Boehner covering his ass over the denying of aid to victims of hurricane Sandy. Nothing more.

It's past time everyone realized that the debt ceiling will be continually used, as something to bargain with to enact a grand bargain piece by piece just like I told you it would be, once that precedent was established by the President in the 2010 tax deal. If the rumors are true about another short term increase of the debt ceiling Republicans plan to offer Obama, there will surely be some austerity and safety net cuts offered as well, before we go through this again and again, like I predicted we would.

As soon as the debt ceiling was a hostage or toy to be negotiated with, it would stay that way as I predicted. You can't blame this all on Republicans and the tea party. Republicans have been crazy for awhile ever since the 90s when they also shut the government down. However, despite my many problems with his administration, Bill Clinton at least knew how to deal with debt ceiling threats and not to give the debt ceiling away as a hostage. So no, this isn't some new unprecedented thing, it's a failure of the Obama administration.

Anyone that denied this back then and still does, will have a lot of pain and suffering on their hands by what they enabled (like people who made excuses for the White House's sequester). That is, unless they express regret whether this goes through or if pieces of the New Deal or Great Society are put on the chopping block to avert it until we go through this again in 3 months or not. The real sad thing is that whenever I point out these facts and criticize the President for turning the debt ceiling into a plaything in order to shore up the legacy of the grand bargain he wants, some people get angry.

Within them resides such passion in defense of a 1% politician living in the best public housing in America! Just not when it comes to the 99% he's supposed to be representing being stomped in these debt ceiling, deficit terrorist games. I guess it's because these limousine liberals in their third way ivory tower don't have to wait even an hour for a meal to come on wheels to feed them, but never arrives. Seniors do and it's drastically affecting their lives thanks to the sequester this White House wrote. But limousine liberals don't care, because they "got theirs."

They say, "How dare you! The President was forced to do this!" However, if one just does a little research, they find out this isn't true at all. The same callous disregard for everyone suffering from the sequester that was written by the White House involves the same callous disregard with how dangerous debt ceiling games in support of grand bargains are. This is what led to this continuing debacle we now go through every 3 months or so up to now. This was extremely easy to predict, as I have, among other posters here.

So I have to think there's something nefarious going on. The President is not this stupid, but he probably is this corrupt, though I'm sure he probably didn't see the Obamacare government shutdown backlash coming. He should have. Plenty of people explained to him that anything is up for grabs in the Shock Doctrine crisis to crisis government he and Speaker Boehner created together.

Conspiracy of Two

But the leaders, meanwhile, were acting like leaders. Only a President, elected to serve all the people, can do certain things — including reach out and lift up a friend or rival into the heady temple of Executive power. "I'm the President of the United States," Obama told Boehner. "You're the Speaker of the House. We're the two most responsible leaders right now." And so they began to talk about the truly epic possibility of using the threat, the genuine danger of default, to freeze out their respective extremists and make the kind of historic deal that no one really thought possible anymore — bigger than when Reagan and Tip O'Neill overhauled the tax code in 1986 or when Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich passed welfare reform a decade later. It would include deeper cuts in spending, the elimination of all kinds of tax loopholes and lower income tax rates for all. "Come on, you and I," Boehner admitted telling Obama. "Let's lock arms, and we'll jump out of the boat together."

After a round of golf at Andrews Air Force Base in mid-June, they retired to the clubhouse for drinks. Obama asked Boehner how they should get the deal done. They agreed to begin meeting together at the White House, alone, without aides. They would keep the talks private.

The first meeting came four days later, when Obama hosted Boehner on the Truman Balcony. They met again on July 3 on the President's Patio. The next day, as thousands of military families gathered on the South Lawn to watch the fireworks, Obama slipped away to call Boehner. They were now talking once a day or once every two days. When they spoke again on July 6, they were aiming for a $4.5 trillion down payment on the debt — much bigger than either side was discussing in public. Democrats would have to accept hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to cherished entitlement programs like Medicare; Republicans would agree to close gaping holes in the tax code; both sides would work together to pass a separate measure to flatten tax rates by the end of the year (a plan that meant that taxes on the wealthiest Americans would go up). Obama was willing to consider slowing the rate of cost-of-living increases for Social Security as well. Both parties would have to swallow hard, but it was the grand compromise that had eluded Washington for two decades.

There will be some that are more upset that all of this is being pointed out than the effect of all of this which led up what's actually happening and the danger to peoples' lives and well being, now. To add insult to these injuries, there's a general lack of empathy and whole lot of "I got mine" out there in response to these factual observations similar to anyone who has trouble signing up for Obamacare we've seen recently. This is, of course, in addition to the proud, willful, unsourced ignorance that is unfortunately coddled by some moderators of some forums in the blog-o-sphere.  

I don't know why denying these facts is allowed, as if the act of doing so is recognizing a legitimate counterpoint, because that's not what the effect is. The real effect is dumbing down anyone who might be reading the exchange and the site as a whole. Maybe allowing conflict brings more clicks, even if one side sources things and the other side is just allowed to spout nonsense like climate change deniers do on cable news?  I don't know. I do know there's not always two sides to every argument and that facts and sources matter like the posters who use them. That's how we know who deserves to be taken seriously and who doesn't.

I remind people of this, because it's important that we not be like the tea party and ignore facts, like how they are ignoring the damage of a political default. Factually, this is a government that has been run on austerity deals enacting austerity stop gaps and tax deals causing the debt ceiling, and leading to super austerity BCA budgets negotiated between the White House and the House. I went through this with links and sources as a reminder in case people want to make up their own facts, which they cannot without a sourced counter thesis.

Sadly, we have reached the point where many posters, on what is called the progressive blog-o-sphere, are no different than the tea party. Certain facts get certain people claiming to be liberal or progressive so emotionally riled up, that then the kind of behavior exhibited through their online commentary is then indistinguishable from the kind of attacks one would see at a tea party rally. This visceral reaction to sources and recent legislative history is a rather strange phenomenon, indeed. After all, one can't forget the importance of a sourced antithesis in their hysterical attacks on this proven thesis as to how this all started.

So yes, the President and Speaker Boehner are both responsible for this mess as well as everyone who made excuses for them; on MSNBC and the so called progressive blog-o-sphere. That being said, I'm not all about blame, I know there are solutions out there. For instance, High Value Platinum Coin Seigniorage that I and many others have written about. This is still very much what I support, despite the embarrassing pseudo legal theories from the village and their malcontents. These are in addition to the embarrassing theories of hyper inflation that economic idiots spout off thinking the coin would be released into the economy without appropriations from Congress.

This ignores the 7.7 trillion pumped into our banking reserve system from the bailouts that didn't chase goods or caused inflation either because the dynamics aren't there for that to happen. So basically, to have the President and his Goldman Sachs Treasury scoff at PCS and refuse to even consider it even though it's perfectly legal and feasible, is a slap in the face to the American people. It's also a slap in the face to anyone who understands public debt and money like my favorite economist James K. Galbraith who recently endorsed PCS. This administration had a huge hand in created this mess and refuse to acknowledged that they destroyed the credibility of the normal way of going about debt ceiling operations. This is petty, elitist, and childish like the elementary school defenses of it.

I prefer minting a high value 60 trillion platinum coin, because it starts us off on a path where we don't provide free liquidity to the FIRE sector so we don't needlessly borrow and pay interest on the same money we issue, while taking away Congress's power to use every Shock Doctrine debt ceiling event to enact more austerity over what was once routine proceedings. There are a real number of other options as well: We can use no face value consol bonds to get around the debt ceiling law as BruceMcF has outlined or have Obama's Treasury invoke the 14th amendment, raise the debt ceiling, and make the courts stop him as former Democratic President Bill Clinton said he would have done.

There better be some consideration for one of these proposals. The American people are tired of this shit. Mr. President, you can't put us all in danger and then look away while spouting off as if you're someone with credibility on this issue. You have no credibility. The damage from all of this is what Obama is going to be remembered for whether it's default or completely dismantling the New Deal to get out of this self immolation called a default. Only the privileged can blithely dismiss this or real solutions to this problem. Their failure or corruption means we have to change the way things are done.

This President and Congress have failed, and now the President thinks he and his Treasury can preserve the old debt ceiling gimmick way of doing things by holding fast to it their claims about not negotiating which have come too little too late. That's complete crap. I don't know what kind of legacy or power he thinks Bob Dole's old 1994 health plan has, but it won't be remembered at all if there is a default. Specifically since it was delayed for dumbass deficit reduction and not fully implemented yet. It's time to get real and act like a public servant instead of a blind ideologue.

Mr. President, if you really want to apologize to the American people as you claimed recently with regard to this ongoing crisis to crisis government I predicted would and is happening because of you and Speaker Boehner, then at least pretend that you want to defend the nation from this economic insurrection. Tell us that if Congress won't act, you will, or I don't want to hear anything from you.

And I don't want to hear any hysterical unsourced excuses for it from anyone else either. This is a huge continuing crisis to crisis mess, and it sure as hell ain't 11th dimensional chess!

Cross posted at Voices on the Square, The Stars Hollow Gazette, and Corrente

Originally posted to The Amateur Left on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Money and Public Purpose.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This mess became inevitable the first time (12+ / 0-)

    that Obama negotiated against himself. He set the baseline, he created the opening, and only he can be blamed for this mess.

    It is understandable that the GOP is currently rudderless and confused. Every other time they threatened this president, they got what they wanted, sometimes even more than they originally sought.

    Imagine where we would be if Obama held firm on the tax cut issue. We'd never face this kind of ineffable stupidity.

    Finally, Obama is standing up to the GO P thugs. As painful as it might be for the country, better late than never.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:37:03 AM PDT

    •  He Was Pretty Much Negotiating With Himself (9+ / 0-)

      during the 08 nomination run.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:38:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its not even inevitable now, though ... (11+ / 0-)

      ... Tomorrow Morning the White House could announce that the "contingencies" that Treasury has been looking at turn out to include sales of premium bonds in the form of Fixed Interest Payment Consol Bonds, and that since sales of these bonds are permitted under section {b}, the Treasury will begin a series of Treasury auctions, until Congress raises the debt ceiling and allows the Treasury to sell more frugal 10yr bonds.

      All it takes is to shift the "consider contingencies" away from "what contingencies can we smear?" to "what contingencies can we use".

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:47:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're right (9+ / 0-)

      That's why as crazy and irresponsible as the Republicans an tea party are, I have to blame the guy who couldn't or wouldn't see what was obvious right in front of everyone's eyes and gave them a financial WMD to extract austerity with because Trusting John Boehner with the debt ceiling is awesome and bipartisan? Or maybe he wanted this to happen, at first, so he can work on the legacy of a grand bargain(why he threatened attempts to stop the sequester with a veto and why he won't support the Conyers bill to repeal it like his WH writing the sequester as well as his whole "live within our means" BS.

      I don't know if really matters at this point, unless he plans to make moves to protect the global economy(a platinum coin, threatening to raise the debt ceiling alone invoking the 14th or consol bonds); he's making assumptions that a global meltdown of the world's reserve currency and treasury holdings will only be blamed on Republicans. It's a dangerous game, and I still don't fully know what his true motivations are, because he is rejecting any solution.

      Those who deflect debates about the issues with complaints about tone usually have a lot to atone for.

      by priceman on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:52:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those horrible Republicans want (10+ / 0-)

        to take away EVERYTHING!!! Now doesn't this chained CPI look so much more reasonable?

        I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

        by triv33 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:03:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's what it's being used for every 3 months. (9+ / 0-)

          a deficit terrorist ultimatum.

          Those who deflect debates about the issues with complaints about tone usually have a lot to atone for.

          by priceman on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:17:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The simple truth, directly from the President... (17+ / 0-)

            (this is a repeat of a comment I made downthread; in advance, I apologize for posting this twice, but I think it's important)

            ...less than ten months ago...

            Wherein President Obama Begins To Explain: "How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans"...where the President stated on tv, the following...

            http://youtu.be/...

            Obama: More Moderate Republican Than Socialist
            By JORDAN FABIAN (@Jordanfabian)
            ABC News/Univision
            Dec. 14, 2012

            President Barack Obama believes that if he were president 25 years ago, his economic policies would make him a moderate Republican.

            During an interview with Noticias Univision 23, the network's Miami affiliate newscast, Obama pushed back against the accusation made in some corners of south Florida's Cuban-American and Venezuelan communities that he wants to instill a socialist economic system in the U.S. The president said he believes few actually believe that.

            "I don't know that there are a lot of Cubans or Venezuelans, Americans who believe that," Obama said. "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican…."


            Bold type is commenter’s emphasis.

            Here’s Bartlett from the Fiscal Times, 10 months ago…

            How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans
            By BRUCE BARTLETT
            The Fiscal Times
            December 21, 2012

            Many on the left are puzzled by Barack Obama’s apparent willingness to support dramatic reductions in federal social spending. It is only because Republicans demand even more radical cuts in spending that Obama’s fiscal conservatism is invisible to the general public. But those on the political left know it and are scared.

            Yesterday, left-leaning law professor Neil Buchanan penned a scathing attack on Obama for abandoning the Democratic Party’s long-held policies toward the poor, and for astonishing naiveté in negotiating with Republicans. Said Buchanan:

            “The bottom line is that President Obama has already revealed himself to be unchanged by the election and by the last two years of stonewalling by the Republicans. He still appears to believe, at best, in a milder version of orthodox Republican fiscal conservatism – an approach that would be a fitting starting position for a right-wing politician in negotiations with an actual Democrat. Moreover, he still seems to believe that the Republicans are willing to negotiate in good faith.”

            Others on the left, such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and others raise similar concerns. They cannot understand why Obama, having won two elections in a row with better than 50 percent of the vote – something accomplished only by presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan in the postwar era – and holding a powerful advantage due to the fiscal cliff, would seemingly appear willing to gut social spending while asking for only a very modest contribution in terms of taxes from the wealthy.

            The dirty secret is that Obama simply isn’t very liberal, nor is the Democratic Party any more. Certainly, the center of the party today is far to the right of where it was before 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected with a mission to move the party toward the right. It was widely believed by Democratic insiders that the nation had moved to the right during the Reagan era and that the Democratic Party had to do so as well or risk permanent loss of the White House…


            #            #            #

            The truth is that many "Democrats" can't handle the truth.

            And, those same people that can't handle the truth, when confronted with it, then try to spin it as follows: "Well, everyone knew the President was pretty conservative as far as his economic thinking was concerned."

            The corporatist/"New Democrat" strategy/game plan, for years now, has been to push liberal social reforms, while simultaneously pushing for maintenance and enhancement of the Reagan Republican "management" of our economy (a/k/a Inverted Totalitarianism).

            Traditional Democrats have a problem with this...IMHO, mostly because the truth is lt's little more than status quo economic bullshit. And, for it to be supported in a period where our country's experiencing the greatest level of income inequality in its history is, simply, a freakin' TRAVESTY.

            It is ECONOMIC TERRORISM, writ large...and far too many people, even here, attempt to rationalize it as being something other than that. We're talking about The Economic Terrorists Among Us. And, they're comprised of the leadership of both parties.

            But, again, people simply can't handle the TRUTH.

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:40:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  yep those terrible Repubs want to SLASH (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poligirl, BruceMcF, priceman, Kombema

          Social Security! but we just want to make it 'more secure' with cuts (like the chained CPI). You just gotta love us when you look at the Repubs!, just don't look behind that curtain at what the Blue Team is doing.

          Basic 'good cop, bad cop' routine all the way, and the fact that many members of the Blue Team can only be elected due to the nuttiness of their opponents.

          I also wouldn't be surprised to learn some contributions to the campaigns of the most outlandish Repubs come from their Dem opponents.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:45:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Imagine (11+ / 0-)
      Imagine where we would be if Obama held firm on the tax cut issue. We'd never face this kind of ineffable stupidity.
      and here we are again, and wondering how strong he will stand, this time........

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:44:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  sure it's Obama's fault (4+ / 0-)

    you guys are political jujitsu warriors.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:48:57 AM PDT

  •  he's not going to budge (10+ / 0-)

    Republicans like Paul Ryan are already talking about "backing down" on the ACA and "grudgingly" going for a Grand Bargain on "entitlements" such as SS/Medicare (which they claim is not a Grand Bargain).

    Obama now has political cover to meet them in the middle, and he will, and Americans, frightened and ignorant, will be so thankful that default was averted that they'll cheer Obama's deal to save Mitt Romney's market-based health insurance "reform" in exchange for slashing the New Deal and Great Society programs.

    He now has a chance for his Grand Bargain, and he won't pass it up. He won't use any of the powers available to him to prevent default. He has consistently nixed all of those solutions.

    He'd rather question the full faith and credit of the United States by pooh-poohing the high-value coin as a "gimmick," than admit he was wrong. The president is the last person who should be so irresponsible as to question the US currency. But that's the least of the mistakes Obama's made.

    This is an austerity president hell-bent on cutting SS/Medicare, and with the assistance of the Republicans, he's contrived to maneuver us into a totally artificial Sophie's choice where the only options are default or taking an axe to the New Deal programs.

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

    by limpidglass on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:04:34 AM PDT

  •  I'll never understand (16+ / 0-)

    why Obama thought cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits were such an important goal.  Apparently, he felt it was worth the risk of letting the GoP play games with the deficit for the next 3 years.

    Why does Obama hate Social Security so much?  It's irrational and regardless of what others may say, his pursuit of these cuts has brought a lot of pain and destruction to government.

    "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:05:11 AM PDT

    •  he believes in the One True Bipartisan Path (6+ / 0-)

      I mean, he really believes it exists. It's like a religious faith to him.

      He really believes he can unite Washington and heal the nation if he just finds the right magic combination of tax raises and cuts to SS/Medicare. He really believes the voodoo economists' claim that SS/Medicare are bankrupting the country. He believes he's saving those programs, and defending them against the Republicans, by making "sensible" cuts to them rather than the sweeping cuts the GOP demands. And he's puzzled that his own base doesn't see it that way.

      All of the stuff that people assure us Obama is way too smart to believe in, he believes in. And very strongly, too.

      This guy was sold to us as a "flexible" "pragmatist" but he's the complete opposite--a rigid ideologue, and a fanatic, who at his core is driven by an incredibly naive and simplistic belief system.

      There is no other explanation I can think of. He's not malicious, not at all. So I have to believe he really takes all that "bridging the partisan divide" business seriously.

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

      by limpidglass on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:15:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's incredibly stupid (4+ / 0-)

        and ill-informed.  Sometimes compromising with economic terrorists isn't a good idea.  Just because they're passionate about making people suffer doesn't mean there's merit in that POV.

        Obama already is the leader of the nation, he doesn't need to negotiate with people who have bad, harmful ideas.

        I think he was pushed by his lizard-brained corporate funders to pursue the SS and Medicare cuts.  All they want is a path to their goal of cutting the amount of withholding taxes they have to pay for employees.  It's that simple.  

        "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

        by Betty Pinson on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:58:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, Mr. Obama doesn't hate Social Security... (11+ / 0-)

      He's promised protections after all... for the "most vulnerable."

      The Dems are the people's party. In fealty to their historic mission, they solemnly  promise that very few of the "truly needy" will actually starve to death...

      but those unfortunate not-quite-needy-enough saps who are just barely getting by now? Well, they can just make do with a bit less.

      Shared sacrifice you know. We have wars to finance.

      Is this really what the mainstream of the Democratic Party has been reduced to? Fuck, 40 years ago even the GOP was more compassionate than this.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:21:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  At a time with poverty at its highest level in (7+ / 0-)

      decades, as well as income inequality, along with the reality that so many, the poor as well as the middle-class,  in this country are struggling in this harsh economy, none of that makes sense.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:50:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know the history and have been wringing (6+ / 0-)

    my hands so much over the fake Austerity over the years that I pretty much have wrung them out.

    Regardless of what as occurred in the past, what I would ask as a plain old vanilla citizen is that some sort of legislation be passed barring legislatures in the future from either side using the debt ceiling as an opportunity to introduce or repeal legislation or to make any other refinements to the bill other than simply raising the debt ceiling.

    Since the ceiling only authorizes payment for debts that have already been incurred, the only item of substance in any debt ceiling "debate" would be whether to default or not and blow up the economy.

    So, in accordance with the 14th Amendment, I just think we should lay this boogeyman to rest forever - No, we will not default.

    I am sick and tired as a citizen of being dangled over a vat of molten lava every so often by the jackasses in the Congress just so they can assuage themselves for their tiny . . . . . oh, never mind.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:06:50 AM PDT

  •  The simplest truth was stated by the President... (15+ / 0-)

    ...less than ten months ago...

    Wherein President Obama Begins To Explain: "How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans"...where the President stated on tv, the following...

    http://youtu.be/...

    Obama: More Moderate Republican Than Socialist
    By JORDAN FABIAN (@Jordanfabian)
    ABC News/Univision
    Dec. 14, 2012

    President Barack Obama believes that if he were president 25 years ago, his economic policies would make him a moderate Republican.

    During an interview with Noticias Univision 23, the network's Miami affiliate newscast, Obama pushed back against the accusation made in some corners of south Florida's Cuban-American and Venezuelan communities that he wants to instill a socialist economic system in the U.S. The president said he believes few actually believe that.

    "I don't know that there are a lot of Cubans or Venezuelans, Americans who believe that," Obama said. "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican…."


    Bold type is commenter’s emphasis.

    Here’s Bartlett from the Fiscal Times, 10 months ago…

    How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans
    By BRUCE BARTLETT
    The Fiscal Times
    December 21, 2012

    Many on the left are puzzled by Barack Obama’s apparent willingness to support dramatic reductions in federal social spending. It is only because Republicans demand even more radical cuts in spending that Obama’s fiscal conservatism is invisible to the general public. But those on the political left know it and are scared.

    Yesterday, left-leaning law professor Neil Buchanan penned a scathing attack on Obama for abandoning the Democratic Party’s long-held policies toward the poor, and for astonishing naiveté in negotiating with Republicans. Said Buchanan:

    “The bottom line is that President Obama has already revealed himself to be unchanged by the election and by the last two years of stonewalling by the Republicans. He still appears to believe, at best, in a milder version of orthodox Republican fiscal conservatism – an approach that would be a fitting starting position for a right-wing politician in negotiations with an actual Democrat. Moreover, he still seems to believe that the Republicans are willing to negotiate in good faith.”

    Others on the left, such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and others raise similar concerns. They cannot understand why Obama, having won two elections in a row with better than 50 percent of the vote – something accomplished only by presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan in the postwar era – and holding a powerful advantage due to the fiscal cliff, would seemingly appear willing to gut social spending while asking for only a very modest contribution in terms of taxes from the wealthy.

    The dirty secret is that Obama simply isn’t very liberal, nor is the Democratic Party any more. Certainly, the center of the party today is far to the right of where it was before 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected with a mission to move the party toward the right. It was widely believed by Democratic insiders that the nation had moved to the right during the Reagan era and that the Democratic Party had to do so as well or risk permanent loss of the White House…


    #            #            #

    The truth is that many "Democrats" can't handle the truth.

    And, those same people that can't handle the truth, when confronted with it, then try to spin it as follows: "Well, everyone knew the President was pretty conservative as far as his economic thinking was concerned."

    The corporatist/"New Democrat" strategy/game plan, for years now, has been to push liberal social reforms, while simultaneously pushing for maintenance and enhancement of the Reagan Republican "management" of our economy (a/k/a Inverted Totalitarianism).

    Traditional Democrats have a problem with this...IMHO, mostly because the truth is lt's little more than status quo economic bullshit. And, for it to be supported in a period where our country's experiencing the greatest level of income inequality in its history is, simply, a freakin' TRAVESTY.

    It is ECONOMIC TERRORISM, writ large...and far too many people, even here, attempt to rationalize it as being something other than that. We're talking about The Economic Terrorists Among Us. And, they're comprised of the leadership of both parties.

    But, again, people simply can't handle the TRUTH.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:16:46 AM PDT

    •  He did let it slip in that interview (8+ / 0-)

      and in 2006 where he said we've been too busy defending programs as they were written in 1938.

      Burce Bartlet is right. That is a great column. The Democratic party isn't that liberal anymore, only marginally socially liberal, and when this is pointed out, many Democratic sycophants unaware about the history of the party up to now can't handle the truth.

      The truth is the President is someone whom is a deficit terrorist who believes in these types of crisis to enact the grand bargain he thinks is going to shore up his legacy.

      Inverted totalitarianism and the deficit economic terrorists among us. Great piece and spot on analysis, bobswern! Thank you, my friend!

      Those who deflect debates about the issues with complaints about tone usually have a lot to atone for.

      by priceman on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:27:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where does Clinton say he would use the 14th? (7+ / 0-)

    It would not doubt make a great cudgel...

    "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

    by Cassiodorus on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:22:50 AM PDT

  •  Oh and -- (6+ / 0-)

    austerity is cool.

    "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

    by Cassiodorus on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:25:22 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, he did. (10+ / 0-)

    I hope you don't get reamed for saying so, because it's absolutely true.

    That's why--though I wouldn't say so in front of a camera--the Democrats are not completely off the hook for this one. Most abusers (like the Republican party) have an enabler, and in 2011, that enabler was the Administration.

    Bad move.

    Usually enablers are really nice people that are really good at making people like them. Unfortunately, they are essential to the process of keeping abuse going. They normalize it.

    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 Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:31:06 AM PDT

  •  Oh and -- (6+ / 0-)
    The resulting signs we are starting to see of a financial panic in response to the prospects of a default on top of the ongoing depression, the jobs crisis, the continuing climate and ecological crisis all converging into one huge Epochal crisis, point to a special kind of disdain for the public that all our elected leaders have for us.
    It seems like the political class really knows all this, and has decided to refashion the United States government into a sort of Enron-style organization -- once they're finished doing their dirty deeds, they write themselves golden parachute contracts and retire.

    "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

    by Cassiodorus on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:39:47 AM PDT

  •  This is all politics, not about the people. They (9+ / 0-)

    could care less about the people, they've already proven that beyond a doubt.  And when I say they, that means the leadership of both parties and this democratic administration.   The voting public is perfectly divided regardless what the Democratic partisans believe and the non-voting but eligible public will grow larger because of their distrust of the political system we have.  We don't have a democracy.  That's been discussed over and over.  It was the theme of Occupy.  The only difference now is that it's worse.  So to believe that the President and both major parties give a shit about what happens to anyone other than themselves and their ruling class traitor friends is pie in the sky.  Lucy in the sky with diamonds man.  It's all a show, welcome to the Grand Illusion to get the Grand Bargain.

    "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:14:29 AM PDT

  •  "No tax increases" (8+ / 0-)

    And remember, Democrats, when you read about the Republicans trying to defund the ACA and end (or delay) the personal mandate, that the personal mandate passed Constitutional muster (at least for John Roberts) as a "tax increase."

    Maybe you're feeling great, buying "Silver Plans" with government subsidies now, never mind the co-pays and deductibles, full speed ahead.  But at some point, as costs spiral upward, that tax increase will be all you're left with, while everything else will have been picked clean by austerity planning.

    "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

    by Cassiodorus on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:31:09 AM PDT

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