Bloggers React to Boehner’s Debt Ceiling Plan

July 25th, 2011 at 5:07 pm | 16 Comments |

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As more details began emerging today about House Speaker John Boehner’s new debt-ceiling proposal, FrumForum decided to compile some initial reactions to the plan from around the Web.

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein is skeptical that Boehner can deliver on his promised spending cuts:

I’d like to see how many immediate, specific, spending cuts there are in this plan. Spending caps may be a part of an overall strategy for deficit reduction, but they’re also another way to kick the can down the road by leaving future Congresses to define what will be cut to meet those caps … I’d like to see what kind of wiggle room future Congresses would have to get around those automatic cuts.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight argues that the plan is politically risky:

… although calling Mr. Obama’s bluff on his stated refusal to accept a short-term increase might qualify as a tactical victory for Republicans, its longer-term implications are ambiguous. Polls show that the public has a lukewarm view, at best, of how Mr. Obama has handled the negotiations. But the ratings for Republicans are much worse, calling into question whether they would benefit from another round of negotiations next winter under the heat lamp of the presidential primaries. There are increasing suggestions in the polling that the public could tell both Mr. Obama and the Republican Congress to find a new line of work … Thus the real gamble that Mr. Boehner is taking: in seeking to trip up Mr. Obama, he may be putting his own majority at risk.

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post finds very little support for Boehner’s view that there should be a short-term
debt-ceiling increase:

Former officials who worked on the debt ceiling increase with Ronald Reagan — who remains a GOP icon despite the inconvenient fact that he raised the debt ceiling and taxes nearly three dozen times — didn’t think so when they were  confronted with the idea … Independent financial analysts don’t think it’s a good idea. Several of them have concluded that a short term solution could result in a downgraded credit rating

The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait thinks that Boehner’s plan reflects sharp divisions in the House Republican caucus:

Between members who hate raising the debt ceiling and members who hate taxes and members who hate cutting a grand bargain with Obama (however favorable the terms), he can’t do anything. So the default plan, as it were, is to do nothing: Keep the debt ceiling hanging around, don’t make a deal, don’t raise taxes. Boehner’s plan seems entirely designed to minimize objections within his caucus.

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones perceives the plan as an effort to embarrass President Obama:

Boehner has rejected every possible compromise offered to him, and now plans to unilaterally hold a vote on the one thing — the only thing — that he knows Obama won’t accept. This is all he cares about. He doesn’t want to solve a problem, he just desperately wants to figure out some way to get Obama to say no so that he can make some political hay out of it.

Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard thinks the plan is likely to face stiff opposition:

The plan … has two aspects that President Obama is desperate to avoid. It would require a second vote on lifting the debt ceiling next year and, Republican officials said, would involve no tax increases … But it also has at least one part that conservative Republicans are likely to dislike as well. Boehner adopted the proposal of Reid to have an equally divided committee of congressional Republicans and Democrats decide on the spending cuts to accompany  the second stage of raising the debt ceiling.

Ed Morrissey of praises the proposal’s requirement that both houses vote on another balanced budget

Why not allow a vote on the BBA, especially after the debt-ceiling hike takes place?  Democrats don’t want to go on record as opposing it, fearing what that vote will mean in the next election … Republicans need to keep the pressure on the Senate for a floor vote on the BBA.

Joseph Lawler of The American Spectator is cautiously optimistic about the plan:

As always, the value of either plan would depend on its details. At this point, such an outcome could represent a good way out for Boehner and Republicans. Substantively, though, it would address the debt problem. Politically, Republicans would go into the 2012 elections with their desire to restructure and trim Medicare on the record, but without any results to show for it.

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16 Comments so far ↓

  • Mitch Evans

    Obama should call the GOP’s bluff and force a short-term debt increase with no strings. “We can all agree that the US must honor its obligations, etc.” Hell, extend it for 30 days on an up/down vote, no other strings.

    30 days, 60 days, 24 hours – doesn’t matter. Acknowledging that OF COURSE WE WON”T DELIBERATELY DEFAULT ON OUR DEBT, both sides will have blinked. If the GOP wants to clamor for more austerity in the face of crushing unemployment, so what. They won’t really let the country default, the public is already weary of this crap, and Obama can call press conferences and otherwise bully pulpit something other than idiotic debt/deficit crap.

    Anyone who tries to leverage this fake debt ceiling will just continue to cry wolf.

  • TerryF98

    The Teahadists have rejected the Orange mans plan so this post is a waste of space already. He will need Democratic votes to pass anything, and they will not vote for this “Ryan on steroids” plan.

    “UPDATE: 4:10 p.m. — A coalition of Tea Party chapters and conservative lawmakers on Monday rejected the debt proposal put forward by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), despite his efforts to sweeten the deal with provisions favored by his conservative base.

    The Cut, Cap, Balance Coalition, which boasts hundreds of Tea Party groups and more than 100 GOP lawmakers in its membership, is citing two provisions in Boehner’s proposal that amount to deal-breakers: its call for creating a Congressional Commission and its inclusion of a balanced budget amendment that, according to the group, is only for show.”

  • SteveThompson

    While those we elected to “serve ” us in Washington fight like school children, the United States debt continues to rise as shown here:

    In the last 9 months alone, the United States has added nearly $1 trillion or 7 percent to its debt.

    Kind of seems like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, doesn’t it?

    • balconesfault

      Nothing that a nice 90% top marginal rate couldn’t fix relatively quickly, eh troll?

      • Bunker555

        ^+1 balconesfault
        It used to be 94% during WWII, the Big One, like Uncle Archie used to say.

        Year TopRate Year Top Rate Year Top Marginal Rate
        1913 7.0% 1946 86.45% 1979 70.00%
        1914 7.0% 1947 86.45% 1980 70.00%
        1915 7.0% 1948 82.13% 1981 69.13%
        1916 15.0% 1949 82.13% 1982 50.00%
        1917 67.0% 1950 91.00% 1983 50.00%
        1918 77.0% 1951 91.00% 1984 50.00%
        1919 73.0% 1952 92.00% 1985 50.00%
        1920 73.0% 1953 92.00% 1986 50.00%
        1921 73.0% 1954 91.00% 1987 38.50%
        1922 56.0% 1955 91.00% 1988 28.00%
        1923 56.0% 1956 91.00% 1989 28.00%
        1924 46.0% 1957 91.00% 1990 31.00%
        1925 25.0% 1958 91.00% 1991 31.00%
        1926 25.0% 1959 91.00% 1992 31.00%
        1927 25.0% 1960 91.00% 1993 39.60%
        1928 25.0% 1961 91.00% 1994 39.60%
        1929 24.0% 1962 91.00% 1995 39.60%
        1930 25.0% 1963 91.00% 1996 39.60%
        1931 25.0% 1964 77.00% 1997 39.60%
        1932 63.0% 1965 70.00% 1998 39.60%
        1933 63.0% 1966 70.00% 1999 39.60%
        1934 63.0% 1967 70.00% 2000 39.60%
        1935 63.0% 1968 75.25% 2001 38.60%
        1936 79.0% 1969 77.00% 2002 38.60%
        1937 79.0% 1970 71.75% 2003 35.00%
        1938 79.0% 1971 70.00% 2004 35.00%
        1939 79.0% 1972 70.00% 2005 35.00%
        1940 81.10% 1973 70.00% 2006 35.00%
        1941 81.00% 1974 70.00% 2007 35.00%
        1942 88.00% 1975 70.00% 2008 35.00%
        1943 88.00% 1976 70.00% 2009 35.00%
        1944 94.00% 1977 70.00% 2010 35.00%
        1945 94.00% 1978 70.00% 2011 35.00%

  • Bebe99

    The argument for raising taxes on the top 1 or 2 percent to increase revenues gets zero support from the right. Years of propaganda have made this an impossible idea for then to entertain. But high taxes on the rich have another desirable effect in that they equalize wages, and today’s unequal wages are hard for anyone miss.

  • cporet

    Boenher is toast. Welcome to the Cantor Speakership and hang on to your socks!

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