Obama: “Make Your Voices Heard”

July 26th, 2011 at 8:15 am David Frum | 114 Comments |

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President Obama last night appealed to supporters to make their voices heard, to pressure Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

The demand he emphasized most: that any deal extend the administration enough credit to get past the next election.

Odd priority, no? You might have expected that this liberal Democratic president’s red line would be the protection of unemployment coverage or some other social program. Perhaps that’s what he says on the room. But in his speech, social spending is fully on the table to be negotiated away. He’s willing to accept, he said, the tightest restrictions on federal discretionary spending since the Eisenhower administration.

But what he must have – his red line – is more political space, a postponement of this debate to 2013.

Republicans have behaved dangerously and recklessly through this crisis. It was the Republicans indeed who forced the crisis. No excuses for them. Yet one of the motivators of Republican bad behavior has been the assumption that they faced a weak president who could easily be squeezed for concessions. Through this crisis, President Obama has acted in ways to reinforce that Republican assumption. Last night, we saw a stronger Obama. But strong for whom? His red lines are not his supporters’ red lines.

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114 Comments so far ↓

  • TerryF98

    The reason he wishes to have a long term debt limit is because he does not want a repeat of the hostage crisis in six months.

    He also does not want the expiration of the Bush tax cuts to be held hostage by the GOP.

    The GOP on the other hand are just itching for hostagegate part two and would love to continue this farce indefinitely. That is why they are pushing for a six month extension. We have never had a six month period before.

    But then we have never had a party that would repeatedly hold a gun to the country’s head before.

    The servers that give access to congressional websites were crashing last night as people took up the call the President made. Maybe the non lunatic 70% of the country is waking up.

  • Sinan

    The idea that the far right saw him as weak and that this emboldened them to act recklessly is a lame attempt to provide cover for a movement that has died out now that the nation sees what they have decided to do with the power fools gave them in 2010. Frum is on the right track by saying the Republicans have acted foolishly. Leave it at that and don’t let a desire to be “fair and balanced” prod you into criticizing the POTUS as well. Let us on the left criticize him for being completely unable to see what the GOP has become since he took office. They are nothing short of a mob, a rabble of rousers who see him as a usurper, a fake, unworthy and most assuredly, black.

  • Biped

    I wish that the President and responsible lawmakers will make a strong point of the fact that Republican ‘Groundhog Day’ proposals that envision re-negotiations over raising the debt ceiling and stabilizing US credit in fits and starts over the the next year and a half will heighten and promote continued uncertainty for business and job creation as well as the financial markets worldwide. Such short term arrangements will endanger the US economy to a greater degree than heretofore in our depressed state.A longer settlement of the issue, one that is NOT tied to other debt or budgetary legislation, is required.

  • sparse

    obama’s red line is not for himself, it is for america.

    a short-term deal means a downgrade. a default means a downgrade. either means bad times for america.

    haters will hate, spinners will spin, but i have seen a man who has been consistent with what he says and does. he wants a deal, he wants it to be as fair as possible to all, he wants it to actually work. in spite of the spin, this is just not about him.

    if his red lines were the same as pelosi’s, then the resultant deal would not work because it would lack balance. if his red lines were the same as move on’s, the deal would be tiny and burdensome to the wealthy.

    frum’s implication that obama should be more partisan is frankly unhelpful. just because the republicans have chosen that path does not mean obama is required to conform to their silliness.

    • balconesfault

      +1

      What Obama wants is certainty in the markets so that the recovery might proceed, people might get back to work, stresses on social spending due to the increased numbers of people on welfare, unemployment, and early social security might be eased, and revenue might increase.

      He knows that with the economy expanding again, a lot of the battles of today will be mooted.

      We saw a Statesman last night. Followed by a man who is afraid to be a Statesman, for fear it will cost him his job.

  • TJ Parker

    Odd that you find Obama’s attitude towards the 2-phase approach to be entirely political, but the GOP’s attitude is …. not? Goose sauce, gander sauce, Mister.

    At least the President has S&P and the rating agencies on his side.

    • dante

      That was my thought exactly. *Why* are the GOP pushing for a 2-stage approach? So that they can bring this up again closer to the election……..

      • balconesfault

        It’s worse than that.

        It’s because they know that the debt ceiling fights hurt the economy.

        And they believe their best pathway to defeating Obama in 2012 is slowing any recovery, while they hunker down in their gerrymandered safe districts.

  • ggore

    I have already written my Congressman, explaining my position that if he and his Republican colleagues succeed in doing something that actually causes harm to this country, I will NEVER forget it and will NEVER vote for another Republican. Political jockeying and “getting through hard times” is one thing, but when that jockeying causes actual HARM to the country, I draw the line.

    Everyone with a lick of sense knows that the Bush tax cuts, two unpaid-for wars, and other things that occurred under GW and, yes, under both Democratic and Republican-controlled Congresses, brought about this situation.

    I do not accept the Republican argument of “Where is the President’s plan?” because I did not just fall off the turnip truck yesterday. It’s not only Tea-Partiers that have read the Constitution. It is the CONGRESS that writes and passes legislation and does the budget, not the President. The President only signs off on it, and if the Congress passes something they know the President will not sign, and they also know they do not have the votes to override his veto, that they will have to go back and come up with something through COMPROMISE that he will sign. That’s basic Civics and American Government, but the Republicans are asking us to disregard that, and threatening to cause actual harm to the country through a default. This voter, for one, will not have it!

    • Elvis Elvisberg

      Everyone with a lick of sense knows that the Bush tax cuts, two unpaid-for wars, and other things that occurred under GW and, yes, under both Democratic and Republican-controlled Congresses, brought about this situation.

      Both sides bear some blame, but Republicans bear about 90% of it.

      When Republicans hold power, they believe that “deficits don’t matter” (as Dick Cheney put it, as was known before the 2004 election). When Republicans are out of power, they use the deficit as a talking point to oppose whatever it is the Democratic president is doing, regardless of the policies he’s pursuing.

      Whether the Republicans deliberately created the deficit or not, the result of their behavior is indisputably to do harm to America.

      • sdspringy

        Funny how during Bush’s 8 years in office the Democrats had control of either one or both Houses of Congress for 4 years, yet the Republicans are responsible for 90%. Fine math if no one challenges but rather iffy when some on does. I challenge.

        • Elvis Elvisberg

          On the Bush side, the Iraq invasion & occupation was a GOP idea with much Dem acquiescence. The Bush revenue reductions were a GOP idea with less Dem acquiescence. TARP was pretty bipartisan. Medicare Part D was a GOP idea with some Dem acquiescence.

          (The financial crisis, with its catastrophic impact on Americans, federal revenue, & federal spending, was a consequence of deregulation, which was a GOP idea with substantial Dem cooperation).

          So, yeah, I think it’s fair to say that the vast bulk of Bush-era spending was GOP-fueled.

          At the end of the day, who cares, it’s a long-term problem we just have to deal with. But it does show that no one in the Republican Party cares about the deficit– certainly no one like Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, & Ryan, all of whom, I believe, voted for all of those policies.

  • tommybones

    “But what he must have – his red line – is more political space, a postponement of this debate to 2013.”

    Good lord, really? Here’s a newsflash… Obama knows the GOP will take the country hostage once again prior to the election unless they strike a deal which lasts THROUGH the election. This is only political if one has had their head in the sand for the past two years.

  • armstp

    “…is more political space, a postponement of this debate to 2013…”

    The newest conservative talking point is the only reason Obama wants to extend the debt ceiling forward as long as possible or through to 2013 is for political reasons. Although there may be an element to that (there is politics in everything), there are much bigger reasons:

    > conservatives have spent the last two years blasting Obama for uncertainty and what it is doing to the economy; but these morons through using the debt ceiling as their “gun” or threat are creating more economic uncertainty that anyone has for decades and so they want to continue the economic/default uncertain forward into 2012? conservatives should have their heads examined. The rating agencies and investors are saying that a two tiered deal or a short-term temporary one will not fly.

    > why should we not push the deficit, debt and debt ceiling issues until after the election? Why not have a vote on it? Why not let the American voter decide on who has the best plan to deal with the deficit, debt and debt ceiling?

    > if you think it is difficult to get a deal done now, it will be ten times harder to get one just before an election when all compromise and logic is thrown out the window.

  • sdspringy

    It wasn’t long ago when the country faced a minor 480 BILLION dollar deficit that every single Democrat in the Senate, including Obama/Reed voted against raising the debt ceiling.

    Now we are running 1600 BILLION, (1.6 TRILLION) dollar deficit. And the irresponsible and foolish actions Frum describes are those of individuals trying to stop the spending.

    Strange and stupid David, there is a spending problem, vote buying scams, political paybacks are all wrapped up in that deficit. The Unitied States is on the verge of financial collapse due to spending NOT from trying to stop the spending.

    Hold the line Republicans, put the brakes on and save the country from the idiot in the White House.

    • TerryF98

      Obama agreed a $4 trillion dollar reduction in the debt Bush that the GOP ran up from 2000. That would be the biggest reduction in the debt in the history of the country.

      The GOP teahadists rejected the deal.

    • Solo4114

      You’re talking apples to 1971 Buick Skylarks.

      At first blush, yes, the “Everybody does it” argument holds a small amount of water. But the circumstances in which this is occurring are markedly different.

      When the Democrats voted against it, their votes were empty “protest votes” because they lacked a majority. The GOP could still push through a debt ceiling increase, and everyone knew it. Thus, it was mere theater.

      We have gone WELL beyond “mere theater” at this point. We are into “catastrophic global economic meltdown” territory. If the GOP follows through on the actions you advocate, it will cause a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, a loss of our position as the global reserve currency, a loss of U.S. power and prestige, the loss of money for American citizens and, indeed, citizens of the world, and for what? So that the GOP can recapture the White House?

      Get a grip. This is beyond your petty political maneuvering. This is no longer a matter of “Well I don’t like him, so he should leave office.”

      You want the President out of the White House? Fine. Run a candidate who can beat him, vote in an election, and use the instruments of government that are given to the people to voice their opinion. If that doesn’t work out for you, tough beans. That’s how our government works. Sometimes you get stuck with a President you don’t like.

      But to gum up the works like this for partisan jockeying, to threaten the ECONOMY OF THE ENTIRE PLANET just because you don’t like the President?! I’d say that kicks you into the realm of “treason.”

      • sdspringy

        Alot of worry about a credit rating, from the same organizations that used to rate CDOs. Remember those, CDOs, those AAA rated mortgage securities.

        Did you believe those ratings from the same idiots who now claim to have some bearing on the entire economic output of the US. These same idiots also claimed to know the credit rating of CDOs. Yea go ahead and run around with your hands in the air screaming the sky is fallings based on their assessment

        • valkayec

          SDSpringy, you may not take the credit ratings agencies seriously, but what about China, Japan, the ECB, IMF, London Central Bank? They do and that is what counts, not what you believe. Look at what happened in Europe when the ratings agencies downgraded sovereign debt. Bond prices jumped dramatically along with an accompanying rapid jump in interest rates for the whole of societies in those countries. Get a grip, man, and come out of your “hate this president” mode to start thinking about the rest of the country.

        • Solo4114

          What I personally believe about credit ratings is irrelevant. The markets believe these entities. You may not LIKE that, but that’s the way it is.

          Even so, assuming that this is a matter of “Maybe it’ll be a big deal, and maybe it won’t,” let’s consider the POTENTIAL fallout from a credit downgrading. There’s ample information out there for you to consider — whether you give it credence or not — on what MIGHT happen if the downgrade occurs. Given the potential for disaster here, why would anyone roll the bones on a “Maybe” in this case, especially just to score political points?

          Like I said, this goes beyond your petty political maneuvering now. We’re playing Russian roulette with the global economy and the status of the United States of America as a world power, with at least 3 chambers loaded if not 6. And you wanna spin the wheel and pull the trigger just because you don’t like the President?!

          At what point does the GOP put aside their hatred of the President and recognize the consequences of their actions? At what point does the GOP start to put country ahead of party?!

      • ggore

        “Treason” is the exact wording I used in my letter to my Congressman. In this case it is not that they are advocating the overthrow of the government, but that point could be argued in the case of elections I guess; but they are advocating a position that will do actual HARM to our country, and the entire planet in the process.

        I guess the fact that they allowed the financial industry to harm the US economy and almost bring down the financial system of the entire planet as well in the recent crisis, and have yet to pass any meaningful regulation to prevent that from happening again, to be an indication that they ARE willing to bring down the US and world economy to make a political statement. Impeachment of legislators comes to mind.

        • sdspringy

          Who is “They”. Did not the Dems pass the Wall Street Reform Act, I know it did not actually address the mortgage problems that caused the financial meltdown but that would be expecting alot from the largest political group to receive donations from CountryWide.

          And in 2005 the Republican House voted and passed reform legislation concerning mortgages over the objections of the financial wizards of Pelosi/Frank. It was however killed in the Senate by Democrats. So is “They” you are referring to Democrats????

        • ggore

          “They” is anyone, either Democrat or Republican, they are both at fault. As you said, it was the Democrats who passed the Wall St. Reform Act that did nothing to address the causes of the recent disaster that destroyed the financial wealth of most Americans. The main cause of that was that they didn’t have enough of a majority to pass meaningful legislation over the objections of Republicans, who didn’t want ANY re-regulation. I remember that, too. And since the 2010 election, has the Republican-controlled Congress even brought up any legislation to address the problem? They don’t have enough of a majority to pass anything over the objections of Democrats, let alone enough of a majority to override a Presidential veto. As long as neither side is willing to compromise, both sides are equally at fault.

          I did not vote to send my Congressman or Senator to go to Washington and just sit there and say no. As I have said before, if one side says the speed limit should be 20 and the other side says it should be 80, there should be compromise and set it at 50. For the good of the country and the world, compromise is a good thing.

    • armstp

      SDS,

      You are talking about two completely different animals. Sure many have voted against debt ceilings in all the debt ceiling votes in the past, but everyone voted against it with the knowledge that there would be enough votes for it to pass, so they were just making a protest vote rather than a vote to actually make the U.S. government default.

      Today, we have Tea Baggers who actually want the U.S. government to default if they do not get their way. Completely different.

      Nobody used the raising of the debt ceiling vote as a load gun at the head of Americans in the past.

      I would also add that I think a lot of Republicans would purposely like to sink the economy so that they could use it against Obama in 2012.

      I would throw it back to you. If the GOP is so concerned about the deficit and debt today, then why were they not voting against the raising of the debt ceiling under Bush?

      • sdspringy

        So Arm you are telling me they have no principle, no honesty, no integrity. A protest means nothing when you have the opportunity to make actual change and THEN you ignore your protest and follow the herd.

        Poor, poor example Arm.

        Ggore, you are wrong as well. The Democrats held filibuster proof majorities in the House and Senate and the White House. They passed ObamaCare over the objections of the Republicans, Wall Street Reform could have happened the same way, but didn’t. Either that means the Dems are controlled by Wall Street or just cowardly. You choose.

        • armstp

          SdS,

          First of all it is your example, not mind.

          “So Arm you are telling me they have no principle, no honesty, no integrity. A protest means nothing when you have the opportunity to make actual change and THEN you ignore your protest and follow the herd.”

          Not following your “logic”.

          Where exactly is the opportunity to make actual change? So you think the right way to make change is to hold a gun to the economy and to ignore democracy? It is completely undemocratic to use the debt ceiling vote as blackmail to only get your way.

          I don’t think screwing democracy and killing the economy is what Obama and others had in mind when they were voting against the debt ceiling rise. The protest votes were not intended to be used as blackmail and that says nothing about integrity, honesty or whatever else you want to claim. In a democractic society there is no integrity, honest and principal when you will not compromise when you only control one third of government.

        • sdspringy

          Then what was the protest vote?? They were protesting what, raising the debt ceiling, protesting too much spending, protesting lack of a nap time.

          Why have a protest vote at all if your not protesting. If you are protesting spending and then when you have legislative control and you don’t control spending thats fraud, lack of integrity, cowardly.

          Thats not what is happening now. Republicans elected in 2010 were elected to control spending. This isn’t a protest, its a principled stand against government spending.

          You may not agree, you may not like it, but thats why those Republicans are there. And they are doing the job they were elected to do.

          To behave any different, to agree to increased spending without limits would make them frauds, cowardly, actually it would make them Democrats.

        • armstp

          Those protest votes over the years by both Democrats and Republicans were always symbolic. No one would dare to mess with the full, faith and credit of the U.S. government. No one would not actually pay our bills. No one would purposely try and sink the U.S. economy. No one, until these knuckleheads in the GOP/Tea Party are trying to do this today.

          You want to stop the spending. Do it during when the spending actually occurs. During the budget debates or when the budget is put together. If you cannot control it then because you do not have the votes, then tough cookies, that is how this democracy works.

        • ram6968

          republicans vote like little ducks in a row……democrats fight amongst themselves so there is no such thing as a democratic filibuster-proof majority, republican votes were needed to pass healthcare

      • Chris Balsz

        Even if the credit rating agencies continue to give the US a AAA rating, the foriegn nations essential to buying our Treasuries in quantity can opt not to buy in at the lowest rate. If there’s a compelling reason to take that low rate, they could do so even if the agency rating was reduced to AA. It is that conscious act to loan us money cheaply that is significant, not the rating. And when you look at the issue from the perspective of offering a good investment to those nations, they have been freely voicing their displeasure for years.

  • floridafrumfan

    @sdspringy – this is nonsense. The majority of the deficit we have today is because of Bush decisions (War of Choice in Iraq, Bush tax cuts for millionaires, etc.)

    http://m.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/the-chart-that-should-accompany-all-discussions-of-the-debt-ceiling/242484/

    Even if it wasn’t, we still have to pay yesterday’s bills. It is wildly irresponsible for the “deficits don’t matter; Reagan proved that” crowd to suddenly say we don’t have to pay our bills and no harm will come if we default.

  • Xunzi Washington

    @Florida –

    Well, at the very least we now understand why Republicans argued for so long that deficits don’t matter. I mean, if you don’t intend on repaying your debt, why _would_ it matter?

  • Primrose

    I think this column was a bit beneath you Mr. Frum. You know as well as I do that endless threats (the 6 month plan) will be bad for the economy and markets will be just scary. The need to portray Mr. Obama as interested in nothing but his own political view is softer than he is a Muslim but has about the same validity. It assumes that someone you disagree with lacks the same humanness as yourself.

    If Mr. Obama was really worried only about reelection, he would do more things to please his base. Mr. Obama clearly believes that the country must learn to compromise again in order to function—one thought from your writing you agreed with him.

  • sdspringy

    Well, well, alittle schooling is now required. First the Congress controls spending, as you are all learning. So from 2006 till 2010 Democrats controled the spending, at any point in those 4 years if Pelosi/Reed desired they could have reduced spending.

    In those 4 years Pelosi/Reed could have defunded the wars, removed funding from Medicare Part D, removed funding from Gitmo. Sooooo people learn the lesson, now Republicans control the House and their priority is MY priority, STOP THE SPENDING.

    But instead of controling spending, the deficits expanded from 480 Billion per year to 1600 Billion per year. Democrats did that, did Republicans heip sure, but now the time has come, due to the election of 2010, to stop.

    And no amount of Chicken Little “the sky is falling” will sway the effort of TeaParty Republicans to submit to more of your spending maddness.

    • talkradiosucks.com

      You’re a typical dishonest right-wing hack.

      • sdspringy

        Dishonesty is not supplying the link to your hack website.

        • TerryF98

          Springy..

          Can you please tell me what you understand the following phrase to mean. It was said by Reagan a GOP President and Cheney a GOP Vice President.

          The phrase describing their economic policy was “Deficits don’t matter”.

          Can you please let us know how that idea could possibly be part of the ideas of a party with any fiscal responsibility at all.

        • sdspringy

          I do not agree with the statement. I don’t care who stated it, whether Reagen or who ever. I am not shallow enough to grant complete submission to any politican no matter the party.

          You would be wise to follow my example.

        • valkayec

          Typical GOP maneuver: if you can’t win on the subject being discussed, change the subject with an ad hominem attack.

    • armstp

      Sds,

      I think you need a little schooling as you say.

      What are the biggest causes of the deficit that has built over the last 10 years:

      1) Bush tax cuts – I am not sure how a Democratic controlled congress (which only took power in January 2007 and not 2006 as you say) could have done anything to reverse the Bush tax cuts.

      2) The wars -actually if you took the time to go back and look many in the House under Pelosi were talking about defunding the wars, but they never got very far because Bush threatened to veto anything they did. So they got the next best thing, which was to push for a timetable for withdrawl.

      “Bush suggested last week that Democrats are promising voters to block additional money for continuing the war. Vice President Cheney this week said critics “claim retreat from Iraq would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone.” And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, citing passivity toward Nazi Germany before World War II, said that “many have still not learned history’s lessons” and “believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased.”

      Many Democrats have argued for years that the Bush Adminstration should be forced to pay for the wars, but instead Bush threw out “Pay-Go” and made every excuse why he was not paying for the war, even going so far to try and hide the costs, by not putting the war costs in the actual federal budget. Bush made it clear he would block every attempt by the Democrats to force the paying of the war and the Bush adminstration even went so far as to call those calling for the paying of the war as traders or surrender monkeys.

      3) Medicare Part D – I am not sure how exactly the Dems would have removed funding for this unpaid for Bush plan. Can you tell us how they would have done that?

      4) The massive economic recession is the biggest reason for the current deficit and increase in debt – there was nothing that could have been done to prevent this economic downturn that was not blocked by the Republicans (regulations for example). The entirely recession is on the head of the Republicans and Bush.

      • sdspringy

        Excuses Arm, the Dems had control of the House and Senate and are not bound by any previous legislation, whether tax cuts or war funding.

        You know this, at anytime the Dems could have attached a tax increase to the war funding, THEY DIDN’T.

        You know this, at anytime the Dems could have DEFUNDED the war completely, the Dems did the same thing during Vietnam, THEY DIDN’T.

        That is your fine example of principled politicans.

        • TerryF98

          So deficits do matter.

          So please tell me why Bush and the GOP congress racked up $6 Trillion of deficit.

        • sdspringy

          Yes they do Terry which is why the Dems won control of the House and Senate in the 2006 elections. What did the Dems do, control spending, increase revenue, not that no sir, they just increased spending to even greater levels.

          So now we have an opportunity to reduce spending, I say we better take it.

        • armstp

          sds,

          you can attach anything you want to any bill, but that does not mean those bills will pass and become law, particularly when Bush either vetoed or threatened to veto every single thing the Democrats tried to do after they took the House in 2007.

          Bush veto nothing in his first term, which makes him one of only 8 presidents to not veto a single vote in a term. In the second term he did 12 vetos and threatened to veto much more. He basically did not let the Democrats do anything. However, it was not the 12 vetos that stopped the Democrats, it was the incredible number of veto threats that Bush made.

          “In 2006, five months before his first veto, the Office of Management and Budget, calculated that Bush had made one hundred thirty-five veto threats. The number continued to climb in his second term (Bush issued more than twice as many veto threats in 2007 than in any other year of his presidency). Veto threats are not scarce in most modern presidencies. However, the number of veto threats issued by President Bush was enormous compared to that of other presidents.

          Bush also used “signing statements” in record numbers to bypass bills that had actually been passed. He protected his war time spending on a few occasions with signing statements.

          “In eight years Bush wrote signing statements for 140 bills, exempting himself from enforcing over 750 provisions.” Most of these signing statements were after 2006, when the GOP lost control of Congress.

          There was plenty of talk by Democrats to force Bush to pay for the wars… see my quote above and article below, but they knew it was a lost cause give there was no hope on passing any bills that would have forced the funding of the wars. I suppose they could have blocked the raising of the debt ceiling if they had the votes like the Republicans are now doing. I wonder what the conservative and Republicans reaction would have been if the Dems did that; blocked the debt ceiling rise to force a funding of the war. Who would be calling who treasonist??

          .
          .

          Democrats Propose U.S. Income Tax Surcharge To Pay For Iraq War

          Source: Associated Press

          WASHINGTON: Democrats, seeking to highlight the costs of the Iraq war, on Tuesday proposed a U.S. income tax surcharge to finance the approximately $150 billion (€105.8 billion) annual cost of operations in Iraq.

          The plan’s sponsors acknowledged it is unlikely to pass, but Democrats have been seeking in recent weeks to compare the approximately $190 billion (€134.1 billion) cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in 2008 with the $23 billion (€16.2 billion) increase that Democrats want in domestic programs. President George W. Bush has threatened to veto most of those domestic spending bills.

          The plan, unveiled by Reps. David Obey, John Murtha and Jim McGovern would require low- and middle-income taxpayers to add 2 percent to their tax bill. Wealthier people would pay an additional 12 to 15 percent, Obey said.

          “The war will cost future generations billions of dollars in taxes that we’re shoving off on them and it is devouring money that could be used to expand their educational opportunities, expand their job training possibilities, attack our long-term energy problems and build stronger communities,” Obey said.

          Obey also announced that Democrats will not pass a supplemental spending bill for the Iraq war until next year, when Democrats hope public pressure could force Bush to change the course of the war.

          http://www.nytimes.com/marketing/iht/search/?iht

        • sdspringy

          You offer nothing but excuses to cover for a lack of ability. The Dems controlled the spending. Bush was ONE man. Are you saying Pelosi/Reed/Obama/Frank could NOT determine their own legislative agenda?

          Is that what you are saying??? That ONE man, BUSH, the fool, the idiot, the liar, ONE man stopped every Democrat in the House and Senate from accomplishing ANY of their legislative initiatives. Really.

          Right now the Republicans have control of only ONE House, yet they seem to be able to force their legislative priorities. Maybe it is true Dems are wussies, limp wristed, Mama’s boys. You tell me.

        • armstp

          Sds,

          No excuses. Just reality.

          “Are you saying Pelosi/Reed/Obama/Frank could NOT determine their own legislative agenda?”

          Yes, that is precisely what I am saying. When you have President Bush unwilling to compromise on anything and threatening to veto everything or use signing-statements, you have no control over you legislative agenda, nor an ability to pass any legislation.

          I would also add that the fiscal damage was already done by Bush in his first six years in office. It was going to be hard to reverse anything Bush did in a short few months and as the country was heading into a major economic downturn (which started in 2007).

          ONE man stopped every Democrat in the House and Senate from accomplishing ANY of their legislative initiatives. Really.

          Actually, if you understand how a veto works or signing statements, as I have gone over above, it is exactly possible for ONE man – the President of the United States – to block everything and stop the Democrats from accomplishing ANY legislative initiatives. That is precisely what Bush did. If you do not agree with this then you are not being honest.

          “Right now the Republicans have control of only ONE House, yet they seem to be able to force their legislative priorities. Maybe it is true Dems are wussies, limp wristed, Mama’s boys. You tell me.”

          Actually, the Republicans and their control of ONE House have gotten absolutely nothing done. Nor could they get anything done if they did not work with the Democrats. That is how our system works. Bush refused to work with Democrats and therefore the Democrats got nothing done after the 2006 elections.

          The only way the Republican are trying to force through their “my way or the highway” ideological BS is by using the threat of not raising the debt ceiling or by using the economy as blackmail to get their way. Very undemocratic. Sure, as I say above, the Democrats could have also threatened to block the raise in the debt ceiling to get their way. I would love to be reading what you SDS would have said if they did that. And we will see in the future, if there is a GOP president and the Dem use the same tactic, how that works out.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    As I just wrote on my own forum….

    “Well, gee, David — yeah, Obama’s a politician. So what? The real issue is that the Republicans have — literally — been holding the country hostage via this debt limit issue for the last several months, and that was without an election on the horizon, nor the pending expiration of their beloved (and massively-debt-increasing) Bush tax cuts. What exactly do you think will happen if the debt limit comes up again in the middle of 2012?

    For a guy who is supposed to be revered by moderates for his intellect and fairness, Frum is remarkably weak on both counts on a fairly regular basis.”

  • foosion

    Odd priority, no? You might have expected that this liberal Democratic president

    It’s an odd priority to try to prevent more Republican created theater that harms our economy? I thought you agreed that default would be a catastrophe.

    Obama is clearly not a liberal Democrat. No liberal Democrat would focus on the deficit in times of high unemployment and slow growth or put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on the table, especially in these times.

  • valkayec

    Mr, Frum, listen to what the ratings agencies have said. They will not accept a short term increase. It shows a lack of serious willingness to solve the problem. It says this is all political and that our politicians cannot be trusted to do what is right for the country, our businesses, and our families.

    This morning Alice Rivlin, of BPC, spoke with CNBC about the debt ceiling negotiations. She stated unequivocally that a short term deal as proposed by the House GOP will be harmful to the country, prolonging the argument in during the worst possible environment of an election, and leave the markets and our businesses hanging for six months or more with greater uncertainty and fear because of a lack of resolution. She also called the President’s balanced approach with both cuts and revenue increases necessary to solve the budget problems.

    Here is what Doug Elmendorf, head of CBO, told Newsweek:

    “In the words of CBO Director Doug Elmendorf: “If Social Security and the major health programs faced no cuts, then defense and other noninterest spending would need to be cut by about 60 percent. Alternatively…outlays for Social Security and the major health programs would need to be cut by about 40 percent.”

    Reduce national security by three fifths or Social Security (and Medicare) by two fifths. That is the choice implied by the “No New Revenue” dogmatists, who oppose even the elimination of tax loopholes. It does not sound to me like an election-winning platform—more like a domestic row gone nuts.”

    While I may agree that Obama gives away too much at the start of negotiations because his style appears to be more like that of a mediator rather than a negotiator, I think he honestly believes that if he’s reasonable the other side will be the same. I know he keeps trying and hoping that one day the GOP will change its modus operandi, even though the rest of the nation is beginning to learn that whatever Obama proposes or favors, the GOP will automatically run away from it. Watchers in Europe and around the world are also taking note of the “crazy” Tea Party. Look at what the head of the London Central Bank said recently.

    Michael Tomasky makes this point clearly…and well…in a Daily Beast editorial:

    “The other day, after the Gang of Six released its new plan, a Senate leadership aide tweeted the following to Politico’s morning Playbook, which gets read by every Washington insider: “Background guidance: The President killed any chance of its success by 1) Embracing it. 2) Hailing the fact that it increases taxes. 3) Saying it mirrors his own plan.”

    “Note what’s No. 1: not a policy reservation (taxes); not a political consideration (that it’s like Obama’s own Democratic plan); but rather the mere fact of Obama embracing the plan. They’re just out of their minds about the man. Now it’s true that enough Senate Republicans signed a letter supporting the Gang of Six in theory that it could survive a cloture vote, if in fact those Republicans stood by that position on an actual vote, which is a big if. But the vast majority of Senate Republicans are staying away from the Gang of Six, and Obama’s mere endorsement ensures that things will remain that way. And that, remember, is in the supposedly reasonable body. The House, as everyone knows, is a much steeper climb.

    “We’ve watched for three years now as the right has unloaded every manner of vitriol on Obama it can think of. Muslim, socialist, communist, fascist, terrorist, what have you. Whenever someone crossed an obvious line—say, with a racial joke—defenders popped up: Come on, it’s just rhetoric. Not that big a deal.

    “But a group’s rhetoric has a way of creating its own reality, which in turn forces a certain kind of behavior. If you say someone is a terrible American, even if you’re just joking at first, eventually you believe it. And if you believe it, how can you negotiate with the person? You can’t. You can only defeat him.

    “This is the cry in Tea Party circles, and it is only going to crescendo as the debt deadline gets closer. Because as a deal takes shape, and as an actual vote approaches, the next thing that will happen is the right-wing media network is going to kick into gear, and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and all the others are going to scream that a raising of the debt ceiling, even a temporary one, is a win for Obama, and any Republican who goes along with it is committing treason. Remember back in 2007, when it looked like a bipartisan immigration bill was actually going to pass, but then right-wing talk radio kicked into gear and terrified Republicans and killed immigration reform for years? It was pretty ruthless, but I suspect this is going to make that look like amateur hour.”

    While I may not always agree with the President’s way of negotiations, I am absolutely appalled by the GOP and they should be taken to task. Instead of railing against the President for not being stronger or more defiant, you should, if you had the courage, be loudly raging against the GOP for how they’ve behaved since Obama was elected.

  • dgkerns

    Come on DF –

    Yesterday you wrote, “When he negotiated the renewal of the Bush tax cuts in 2010, why didn’t he get himself an increase in the debt ceiling at the same time? The tax cuts expanded the deficit beyond what it otherwise would have been. Republicans dearly wanted the tax cuts extended and would have paid for them. But no.” Today you write, “The demand he emphasized most: that any deal extend the administration enough credit to get past the next election.”

    So when he doesn’t take the opportunity to get the debt ceiling out of the way, he’s a bad negotiator. When he does try to get it out of the way, he’s a crass politician.

    You were right the first time, you are wrong now.

  • Nanotek

    during the last election, one of the gopers’ tag line was to ‘end uncertainty’ … Obama’s actions seem designed to end ‘uncertainty’ and not kick the can down the road … obviously no good deed goes unpunished

    the gopers are masterful in controlling the national debate and Obama is letting them pull the strings … instead of jobs creation bills, the sparkly is ‘deficit’ reduction

  • Obama and Boehner's Baffling Debt Limit Duel | Con Games

    [...] viable, though less-than-optimal, alternative to default.   And for his top priority, David Frum writes, Obama urged voters to write their elected representatives to demand the country not go [...]

  • JimBob

    No Frum, Hussein created this crisis by going on the greatest spending binge in the history of the country.

    Just more evidence how reprehensible Frum truly is.

    • Elvis Elvisberg

      This is false. Here is the truth, in picture form:

      • LFC

        Elvis, don’t you know that the CBO is a left-wing organization? JimBobbaBooby will tell you that you have to go to a non-partisan source … like Heritage.

      • JimBob

        Elvis, when Bush entered office the debt was 5.7 trillion. When he left it was 10.6. Bush added 4.9 trillion in 8 years. The last 2 years under Pelosi and Reid saw the greatest increase of debt under Bush.

        In the 2.5 years the Chicago Street Hustler has been President the debt has climbed from 10.6 to 14.5.

        Under Bush the government borrowed one billion a day. Under Obama we are borrowing 4 billion a day.

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/may/19/nancy-pelosi/nancy-pelosi-posts-questionable-chart-debt-accumul/

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jan/22/rahm-emanuel/5-trillion-added-national-debt-under-bush/

        • Chris Balsz

          Notice how nothing Obama CHOSE to continue from the Bush years is any of his responsibility.

        • balconesfault

          Chose?

          The only “discretionary” thing in there for Obama to choose from Bush’s legacy was spending on the war in Iraq.

          And truth be told – even if Obama had declared on January 24, 2009 that we’d start pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan completely, it would have still cost a huge amount of money just to demobilize (as well as to replace all the weapons and armaments that were destroyed or run down during the previous 7 years).

        • Elvis Elvisberg

          (1) It’s difficult to undo bad things (unring a bell).

          (2) Obama went along with preserving the Bush marginal rates on income earned above $250K at the insistence of the GOP. A president isn’t a dictator; he can’t just do everything he wants.

          You’re right that we will be trying for a long time to come to unshit the bed of Bush’s baseless invasion and occupation of Iraq, the consequently weak occupation of Afghanistan, and the senseless, universally GOP-demanded revenue reductions. And it’s hard.

          JimBob, thanks for using generally accepted sources in your rebuttal. There’s a counterrebuttal here: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2011/06/debt-figures-how-politifact-got-it.html

          At first look, their analysis seems fair enough. And so much so, Pelosi’s Flickr account subsequently made a correction. But this is hardly a correct evaluation of who jacked up how much debt. First and foremost, when Barack Obama assumed office on January 20, 2009, the US was under the budget of fiscal year 2009, which started on October 1, 2008. This budget was signed into law by President Bush, not President Obama. So President Obama can hardly be held responsible for that. So the numbers we should be using are FY numbers, not January numbers. Luckily, the US Department of Treasury has data available just by that, fiscal year. Using those numbers, we have the following:

          Debt at the beginning of George W. Bush’s first fiscal year (FY 2002): $5,807 trillion

          Debt at the end of George W. Bush’s last fiscal year (FY 2009): $11,910 trillion

          Total increase in debt because of George Bush’s budgets: 105%

          Debt at the end of FY 2010: $13.562 trillion

          Current US debt: $14.3 trillion

          Total increase in debt under Obama’s budgets: 20%

          Also, the PolitiFact articles don’t mention the Iraq & Afghanistan occupations, which I believe might not have been counted in some of the original Bush budgets– real life calls, though, atm.

        • balconesfault

          Ahh – but under the last year of the Bush Presidency, we were borrowing 4 billion a day.

          And that’s the trajectory that Obama has had to deal with.

          The worst thing is that Bush was spending that much money while managing to lose half a million jobs a month.

          That takes real talent!

        • Chris Balsz

          Yes “chose” as in, he took office without a national health insurance program and a ban on gays in the military, and CHOSE to reverse those policies.

          Exactly those methods would have sufficed to destroy all those Bush policies.

        • armstp

          Jimboooo,

          I have a very simple question for you: where would total debt be today if McCain would have won the election?

          Can you honestly answer that question please?

        • JimBob

          And under Bush spending never went higher than 20.7 of GDP. Under Obma it has shot up to 25 percent of GDP. Make no mistake about, Obama and the Democrats created this crisis.

        • armstp

          Jimbooo,

          Answer my question above…. please.

          Where would total debt be today if McCain would have won the election?

          I dare any conservative to answer my simple question.

          .
          .

          Lets go through a little honest math. You say: “under Bush spending never went higher than 20.7 of GDP”.

          So what happened when Bush was heading out the door? We had a massive collapse in the GDP number. GDP is the denominator of your equation. What happens to your equation when the denominator falls? You get two guess and the first one does not count.

          Answer: the ratio goes up….

  • LFC

    I’m coming in a bit late, but have found sdspringy’s pathetic attempt to justify the actions, past and present, of his party to be pretty amusing. He’s getting hit right and left with facts, figures, and charts and all he has are his talking points.

    To me, this back and forth is a perfect encapsulation of the state of today’s politics; the right has withdrawn from any attempts at intellectual debate and instead make their own reality. There is no talking to people who always know what they know. Citing facts, figures, and clearly documented history is like throwing tennis balls at a stone wall. You get a bit of noise, but the wall can’t be budged.

    • Solo4114

      But therein lies the problem. The wall MUST be budged. The nation cannot afford default or downgrading of its credit rating. Even if that’s exactly what the Tea Party lunatics want. They must be stopped. The question is: how?

      The faster solution, it would seem, would be for the non-Tea Party GOP to fall on its sword and vote through a plan that both secures our credit rating, and raises the debt ceiling. They’ve played chicken with this for too long and now it’s time to deal. Perhaps Boehner’s move of releasing his “two-step” short-term fix — and the credit rating agencies’ response to it (namely saying “Yeah, you do that? We’re downgrading you”) is his attempt to exhaust options and buy what little political cover he can find before finally breaking with the Tea Party, but he’s really bringing it down to the wire if that’s the case. Maybe Boehner is, himself, starting to realize that NOBODY can negotiate with these clowns and that they are a danger to EVERYONE, himself included.

      But it would require an act of self-sacrifice and political courage (note: not the same as actual courage) from Boehner and his not-quite-as-insane-or-stupid compatriots to get a deal through. And even then, there’s no guarantee there’d be enough of them.

      There is no other option, though. The exercise of a “14th Amendment” option will likely still provoke damage in the markets because it will introduce more uncertainty, since Obama would likely be impeached as a result (even if the trial in the Senate was a joke), or at least some court case would have to go up to the Supreme Court to determine whether he even could be impeached in the first place.

      Put simply, the Tea Party is determined to ruin the government, to completely snarl ANY actual attempt at governing, even if it means deliberately hurting the U.S.

      What can you do with people like that? Invoking the spirit of Colonel Pride isn’t exactly an option here.

      • sparse

        i am becoming increasingly sure that the 14th amendment option would be incredibly destabilizing. i agree with what you point out about it, but would add that the legality of it hinges on the fact that congress passed a budget that calls for spending beyond the debt limit. at the end of the current budget, there will be no budget in place. and as soon as that happens, we are in default again and obama is in violation of the law if he borrows another penny. so it just makes the budget process an extension of the current fight, it only ameliorates the problem poorly and for a very little while. and it will cause the republicans to dig in even deeper, having a tyrant to save us all from.

    • Chris Balsz

      “To me, this back and forth is a perfect encapsulation of the state of today’s politics; the right has withdrawn from any attempts at intellectual debate and instead make their own reality. There is no talking to people who always know what they know. Citing facts, figures, and clearly documented history is like throwing tennis balls at a stone wall. You get a bit of noise, but the wall can’t be budged.”

      I have a problem with a party that controls the White House and Senate, that is happy to spend trillions on wars it won’t win, and social programs it can’t defend, that proclaims the continued operation of the US government and repayment of national debt is totally reliant on new borrowing, and sees the crux of the problem is that we don’t blame their predecessors enough.

      • Solo4114

        So vote them out.

        That’s your option. That’s your ONLY option. Put up candidates, run ‘em, and win.

        Oh, by the way? You didn’t win ALL of Congress, and you didn’t win the Presidency last go-around.

        What now, Kemosabe?

      • LFC

        Wow. You just described the Republicans under the first 6 years of Bush perfectly.

        Controlled the White House and Senate (and House)? Check.

        Happy to spend trillions on wars it didn’t win? Check.

        Social programs it can’t defend? Medicare D with no offset of cost.

        Proclaims the continued operation of the US government and repayment of national debt is totally reliant on new borrowing? “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” — Dick Cheney

        So today Obama and the Dems are trying to clean up a basket full of Republican messages and NOW they start whining about deficit. So Obama offers a large bargain that breaks mostly their way to cut $4-5T from the deficit and they say “no”.

        It’s pretty obvious who the problem is, and it ain’t Obama and it ain’t the Dems.

    • armstp

      LFC,

      You hit on exactly what the problem is in the U.S. It is not taxes, deficit, debt, jobs etc.

      It is the fact that 30-40% of this country no longer believes in facts, logic, history, etc. This 30-40% has been so programmed to not trust facts, they think everything is lies, that all things are conspiracies, etc. Dishonest right-wing commentators and media like FOX have done this programming. You add in a massive disapointment with their own party, the Republican Party under Bush, and the right in this country does not know what to believe. We see this everywhere: a lack in belief of science regarding evolution or global warming; a lack in belief that the Treasury department is telling the truth; a lack in belief that the President is actually a relatively honest American trying to do the right thing for the country; a lack of belief in the economic lessons of history, etc. etc. etc.

      I think this is the whole reason for Frum Forum.

  • zephae

    I agree with Primrose that this article is beneath you, Frum, as well as being completely contradictory to almost all of your previous articles about the debt ceiling in which you bemoaned irresponsible Republican brinkmanship on such a serious issue. Now, suddenly, Obama is to be criticized, by a self-described conservative no less, for not engaging the GOP on the same turf. Had he been just as partisan, just as unreasonable, just as irresponsible, we are suddenly supposed to think that the GOP and its TEA party masters would’ve blinked first? There is absolutely no reason to believe that, primarily because your line of reasoning that Obama’s “weak” negotiating skills induced GOP insanity, is completely false because they never had any intention of negotiating.

    Yet one of the motivators of Republican bad behavior has been the assumption that they faced a weak president who could easily be squeezed for concessions.

    If this were true, then the GOP would’ve taken one of the big compromise deals when it had the chance. In other words, you falsely assume that victory was ever an objective of the party. Victory may have been the goal of the GOP establishment, but as Rush Limbaugh likes to say, what the extremists want is “someone to stop Obama and the Democrats.” The extremists won the day for the Republicans in 2010 and, with a full media apparatus supporting them, they effectively control the GOP, not the party leadership.

  • sinz54

    Many Republicans don’t seem to know how to quit when they’re ahead, rather than overreaching.

    They don’t realize how much they’ve already accomplished:

    They got a liberal President–Obama–to accept in principle the notion of deep cuts in projected Federal spending (a couple of trillion dollars’ worth), with no tax increases except closing tax loopholes. Obama has virtually stopped even suggesting anything remotely resembling tax-and-spend liberalism.

    That’s quite an achievement for a party that controls only one house of Congress and not the White House. That would be equivalent to Tip O’Neill convincing President Reagan to accept a British-style NHS health care system for America.

    Orthodox liberals like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, who have been calling for virtually unlimited additional Federal stimulus to reduce unemployment, are so depressed now they’re ready for Prozac. Any deal that comes out of these negotiations is going to slam the door on any further fiscal stimulus, plus a likely $100 billion or more in cuts this fiscal year.

    Obama is desperately looking for a face-saving way out of this mess. He doesn’t want a sharp increase in interest rates following a default, because if unemployment rises back up to 10% in 2012 he will be a one-term President. Throw him a few bones for face-saving and he’ll accept any deal. The GOP should do that, having moved the ball so far down the field in their preferred direction–and then wait till 2012 to see if the voters approve of that course.

    I say to my fellow conservatives: Let’s quit when we’re ahead, let Boehner finish negotiating with Harry Reid–and then celebrate as we stopped the liberals cold in their plans to remake America as a Canadian-style or European-style social democracy. Whatever deal emerges from these negotiations will make that impossible.

    And then we can get on with the 2012 campaign–with tax-and-spend liberalism no longer even considered as an option.

    How good is that!

    • TerryF98

      Sinz,

      Even you as a far right wing genocidal maniac should acknowledge that there are people even more crazy than you in the GOP. The tea party faction of 100 house members said yesterday that they will not vote for the orange guys plan.

      Judging by his pathetic performance on TV last night the guy is under a lot of strain.

  • TerryF98

    Jimbooby is under the impression the debt of a President ends the second he leaves office.

    The fact (and I know facts are hard for Jimbooby) is that a Presidents Budget is also for the following year. So Bush also owns 1.1 Trillion from the year following his tenure. Obama will also own the deficit spending in 2016/17

    In fact Bush left a time bomb in the debt stakes with his un paid for tax cuts, medicare part D and the unfunded wars.

  • JimBob

    No spending shot up during Obama’s first year because of the failed stimulus, bailouts, and pent up frustration by the Democrats for being out of power since 1994. There was always a Republican House, Senate, or President thwarting their grand schemes. But in 2009 with complete control of the government the Democrats went on the biggest spending binge in history. Thus spending shot up to 25 percent of GDP

    • TerryF98

      Right the Democrats are the big spenders, except they are not. Facts are hard for Jimbooby/Smarg

      • LFC

        Forget it, Terry. JB has proved time and again on this very site that he can’t read a graph.

      • JimBob

        Punk, stop fugging up the forum with your stupid graphs. You’re loser deal with it.

    • armstp

      Jimbooo,

      Actually spending in 2009 (Obama’s first year) was already determined by the 2009 budget that Bush put in place before he left. If you go back and read what the CBO was saying in the fall of 2008, they were expecting a budget deficit in 2009 of about $1.2 trillion, which was before Obama even came into power in January 2009. It ended up being $1.4 billion, so at most you can say that Obama added $200 billion to the budget deficit in 2009 or about 15%. Therefore, 85% of the 2009 deficit was put in place by Bush before Obama even won the election.

      The $787 billion or $860 billion stimulus plan was over three years. In any one year it did not represent more than 15% of total deficit spending, so it was hardly the major cause of the deficit spending.

      If you take out the emergency spending for the recession (stimulus, higher welfare payments, which maybe represented 20% of the deficit spending), actually government spending has not gone up that much at all. It has remained pretty constant.

      And as I state above, your 25% GDP ratio largely went up because GDP or the demoninator fell. What happens to a ratio when the denominator falls? It goes up. The drop in the GDP was the result of the Bush Recession.

      • JimBob

        So Bush put a trillion dollar stimulus in. Hilarious.

        • armstp

          Jimboo,

          Did you actually read what I wrote or do you simply not understand? I suspect you do not understand.

          A trillion dollar stimulus over three years at most represented 15% of the budget deficit in any one year? What about the other 85% in each year? That was inherited from the programs of Bush that continued on and would have been impossible to stop on a dime (tax cuts, wars, etc) and biggest cause of the deficit was the massive recession, which was started on Bush’s watch. The stimulus has made up very little of the deficits in 2009 through 2011.

          Again, why don’t you answer my question: What would the total debt be today if McCain had won the election?

        • JimBob

          Loser, from the stimulus, the bailouts, tarp, to Obama care spending has gone up to 25 percent of GDP. What school graduate. The School of perpetual losers. I’m sorry but my stats come from the OMB.

    • CitizenWhig

      You haven’t even bothered to address anyone’s comments regarding your flawed analysis. Are you just going to keep your head in the sand? Typical.

  • sdspringy

    The graph actually proves what happens when the Republicans controlled the spending during Clinton’s term. The Republicans held spending down to 3% increase per year, had to shutdown the government acouple of time to do it but it worked as Terry’s graph proves.

    During Bush the 08 spending happens when Dems controlled both Houses and what happens, super spending. Good graph Terry.

    • TerryF98

      Selective lying is still lying.

      • LFC

        Springy:

        a) There’s no appreciable difference in the records of Dem and Republican controlled Congresses under Clinton, though the Dems got a small drop in their last (1993) budget. See the graph below.

        b) Republicans fought for the Bush tax cuts before Bush was in office. They would have accelerated the deficits of the Bush years if Clinton hadn’t blocked their efforts. Since both spending and revenue are important in actually being fiscally conservative, and because Republicans refused to figure out how to cut spending to pay for their cuts in taxes, they are not fiscal conservatives. And they haven’t been since at least 1980.

        • sparse

          lfc-
          can you provide a link to that graph? i don’t entirely understand what is measured there.

        • LFC

          It’s a chart of federal spending. Just do a Google search for “u.s. federal spending historical chart” and you’ll find this chart cited in several places.

        • JimBob

          Kid, lets see your source for the graph. Just post the link . Stop fugging up the threads by throwing them all out of wack by posting graphs.

        • TerryF98

          Nope.

    • Bulldoglover100

      Is this guy serious? Does He READ anything other than what fits his reality? LOL Even the uneducated in this country KNOW who is responsible for the mess this country is in and it ain’t Obama.

  • Solo4114

    Fine. Super. Let’s accept your argument that the Dems and Obama spent the money.

    Now what? The money’s spent. It’s gone. The bills are coming due. And your solution to our financial problems is…to simply tell the bill collector to sod off? Credit ratings be damned? Really? I mean, never mind that whole constitutional clause that prohibits such actions. Never mind the impact this would have on the global economy and the U.S.’ standing within the world.

    That’s your solution? Just…don’t pay? Don’t pay back the people who loaned us the money we’ve already spent?

    The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter WHO spent the money. You don’t believe the bulk of the money was spent by Bush? You believe Obama lit great piles of money on fire and danced about in some socialist muslim commie synonym-for-very-bad-person-which-really-has-no-greater-meaning? Superfantastico.

    Now what?

    The money has been spent. Now we have to pay back the investors and pay our bills, and the constitution says we don’t just get to tell people “uh, yeah, sorry…can I get you back next Friday? Or perhaps not at all?”

    We’re past the finger pointing stage. We’re past the blame-game moments. We are now down to brass tacks and them tacks is wearin’ thin.

    So I say again, now what Kemosabe?

    • armstp

      Solo,

      And it is worse still because if a non-vote on the debt ceiling occurs and the economy declines or interest rates go up that will just result in MUCH higher deficits and debt, which kind of defeats the purpose of what the GOP is attempting to do.

      • Bagok

        +1 armstp. This single fact alone proves republicans aren’t really interested in reducing the debt.

        • armstp

          Bag,

          I think they are more interested in torpedoing the economy. They are just pretending to negotiate to the end so they will not get blamed for a default and the torpedoing of the economy. They have no intension of passing a debt ceiling hike.

        • JimBob

          You are kidding or you’re just dumb. What Obama and the Democrats are proposing will add 7-8 trillion to our debt over the next ten years.

  • Bagok

    Late to the game but… Regarding SDS’ point that Dems failed to curb spending in 2007. The unprecedented use of filibuster by senate republicans derailed that congress. It wasn’t a democratic congress vs Bush, it was a democratic congress vs Bush and an obstructionist senate minority (and Joe Lieberman lol) .

    • LFC

      But admitting that would require taking responsibility for the outcome of one’s actions, and that’s something the current crop of Republicans are allergic to doing.

      • armstp

        LFC,

        Have you noticed the Republicans never take responsiblity for anything. At least Obama has manned up from time to time saying that any failing was his responsibility (he admitted responsibilty for AIG bonuses, he took responsiblity for Dem defeats in 2010, he admitted responsiblity for the BP oil spill, etc).

        And if you do admit responsiblity you get kicked out the party like Frum was.

        • Bulldoglover100

          If Bush had been successful… or shall we say Cheney since he rode the Bush pony into the ditch, we would have been in a deep Depression rather than a deep Recession. Obama may support MANY things I do not but he has kept this country afloat with NO help from the GOP side of the isle.

  • TerryF98

    The GOP are always telling us “What the American public wants” and then proceed to spout crap that is 100% against what the public is saying.

    Well here is what the public wants and it’s nothing like what the GOP say they want, surprise?

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13738865/wapopoll7-26-11.gif

  • TerryF98

    Here is the poll.

  • Nanotek

    and let’s not forget the battles gopers fought to privatize social security during the Bush years … had they succeeded and diverted massive portions to Wall Street and the stock markets, we would be in unimaginably worse shape

    • Kevin B

      What’s your reasoning for saying we’d be in “unimaginably worse shape”?

      I have several retirement accounts (401(K)’s, IRA’s), which are in the stock market via mutual funds or individual stocks. Those accounts took a huge hit during 2008, but began to recover about three months after Obama took office. Now they’re in better shape than they ever were.

      When I hear people ask, “How’s that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?”, my answer is “pretty well, thank you.”

      The uncertainty of the stock market is why I think it’s a bad idea to privatize Social Security. If I had retired in 2009 and had to start withdrawing when it was at its lowest, it would have been more of a disaster. But I was still putting money in, and the slump in prices meant I could buy more shares–leaving me in better shape after the recovery.

      The CURRENT shape of the stock market (over the past two years) is a jagged line with an upward trend.

  • LFC

    Sources at S&P believe that Boehner’s plan will cause a downgrade to U.S. debt.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/07/boehner-plan-would-cause-downgrade.html

    So Boehner wants us to pay a higher interest rate to service our existing debt for … what exactly? It’s amazing that the Republican airheads can manage to waste money even when they’re supposedly cutting the deficit.

  • balconesfault

    So Boehner wants us to pay a higher interest rate to service our existing debt for … what exactly? It’s amazing that the Republican airheads can manage to waste money even when they’re supposedly cutting the deficit.

    There have long been in the GOP those whose primary goal has really been expanding the deficit – not as an act of omission, but of commission. To those parties, there is too much mischief that can arise from a balanced budget … congress has more leeway to expand social spending programs, regulatory agencies are properly funded, etc.

    This is where the Norquist school really comes from – they believe that you must drown Government in the bathtub, and the best way to do that is to weigh it down with debt until it loses its ability to do the things Americans count on it to do, and thus becomes an easy target.

  • Solo4114

    Aaand now it looks like even Boehner’s credit-downgrade-inducing plan can’t get past his OWN caucus.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0711/RSC_chair_Boehner_doesnt_have_the_votes_for_plan.html

    Time for the GOP to break ranks and pass the Grand Bargain. Or hey, just go with Harry Reid’s deal.

  • valkayec

    MSNBC’s First Read website has a breakdown of the House plan. In a quick read, especially the last part about the timeline, shows that the House plan is not just unfeasible but won’t work given politics.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/07/26/7173254-known-unknowns-of-boehners-debt-plan?ocid=twitter

  • dugfromthearth

    My bet is that a deal is cut at the last minute to raise the debt cap with basically nothing else, the minimum required to not default. Obama will have given away nothing, and the republican party will have shattered between the corporate interests and the delusionals.

    And for his next feat Obama will eat 50 eggs in an hour

  • TerryF98

    The Orange man and his staff are so incompetent that they totally screwed up the bill and it has to be re-written. The CBO scored it and it failed the sniff test by 50%. Yes it was 50% wrong in it’s math.

    Fucking unbelievable, what a load of maroons.