The GOP is preparing to offer a short term debt ceiling increase to the President and Democrats. I believe that raising the debt ceiling will now become a permanent hostage to radical Republicans.
-House Republican leaders will propose a six week increase in the nation's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling Thursday morning during a closed door meeting with GOP lawmakers.After making the very good argument that he can't negotiate with hostage takers pointing a gun at his head, President Obama is telling the hostage takers to stand back a few steps and point the gun at my heart so we can start negotiating.
We are all concerned about a negotiation leading to chained-CPI, or higher Social Security ages, or more cuts in discretionary spending... but all of those may be painful, but they are all reversible under the right political conditions. But the concept of holding the worlds economy hostage to force acceptance of a radical agenda is something that is reversible by only one means, by an actual default.
Make no mistake, kicking the debt ceiling can down the road 6 weeks so you can negotiate for 6 weeks before the Republicans decide to blow up the worlds economy, is nothing less than negotiating with hostage takers. It's exactly what president Obama said he wouldn't do.
This is wrong in so many ways, it's hard to list them all. It absolutely assures us that the Republicans, and not just the Tea Baggers, will be back again to hold the debt ceiling hostage. The "moderate" Republicans have complained about the Tea Party "tactics" not with the principle that the debt ceiling should never ever be a hostage.
The Republicans now know that if they push hard enough, President Obama will find a way to give them at least part of what they want. If he had the slightest reputation as a tough negotiator, it will now be laughable.
But what is going to happen in these 6 weeks that the Republicans get to hold the debt ceiling hostage? Is there any chance at all the Republicans will except a tax hike? Absolutely not! So what happens at the end of the 6 weeks?
1) They reach a compromise. A compromise not quite as bad as the 2011 sequester, but it'll be a compromise that hits Social Security and Medicare, and will devastate the morale of the Democratic base, and you can kiss the 2014 house good-bye and get ready to do this all over again at the next CR and debt ceiling.
2) They don't reach a compromise. If Obama holds strong for new taxes, something the Republicans won't accept, the threat of a default will be another gun pointed at the Dems and Obama.
But now the situation is very different. President Obama won't have the very principled argument of not negotiating with hostage takers. He gave that up the minute he decided to negotiate with the hostage takers for 6 weeks while they kept the hostage. For 6 weeks the right wing propaganda machine will be pumping out lies and misinformation about the Democrats wanting to raise taxes on the elderly and veterans and the Republicans trying to save your children's future from a crushing debt. It becomes a muddled up mess with an uninformed public not knowing who to believe.
Right now, the Oligarchs are putting pressure on the Republicans to not crash the worlds economy. The Democrats will never have a stronger hand. There is only one compromise that is acceptable, a law that takes the debt ceiling permanently off the table.
The playing field will be dramatically different after 6 weeks of negotiating with hostage takers. This locks in the principle of taking hostages for the Republicans. They will never believe that a Democratic president won't negotiate while they hold hostages. This also locks in the only way out, default. Going over the debt ceiling cliff will be the only way to convince the GOP that Democrats can be tough negotiators, and that will be a disaster for the worlds economy.
This is not going to end well, and we should call our Reps and tell them not to accept a short term raising of the debt ceiling, it's still negotiating with hostage takers. We can't keep repeating the mistake of 2011 over and over again and expect a different result.