Tea party warns GOP on debt ceiling

July 16th, 2011 at 10:00 am | 72 Comments |

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CNN reports

Washington (CNN) — Right now, some Republican lawmakers in Washington may be wondering how to wiggle out from between a rock and a hard place.

On one hand, they’re staring at a possible financial nightmare if the nation’s debt limit isn’t raised. On the other, many are feeling the heat from tea party demands that bluntly warn: Vote against us and suffer political consequences.

To be sure, Democrats are also under pressure from progressive constituencies who are pushing for more revenue in the form of tax increases — and for them to stand firm against cuts to entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

But over its 2½-year existence, the tea party movement has placed its banner of less government spending at the center of the national conversation. So many activists are watching who’s voting on what, even their conservative supporters in Congress — and especially putting the squeeze on moderate Republicans.

What they’re saying around the country is, “Do not raise the debt ceiling. It’s that simple. It’s time for Congress to get its fiscal house in order,” Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin told CNN. The group is the nation’s largest tea party organization.

Martin explained that her group’s supporters want a balanced-budget amendment, significant spending cuts and lower taxes. And they don’t want the debt limit raised.

This week, Tea Party Patriots’ members and supporters are intensely calling various lawmakers: establishment Republicans, so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats and those freshmen Republicans elected to the House with tea party support.

“I think that it’s accurate to call it pressure,” Martin said. “The other thing is, we’re holding these … freshmen accountable. A lot of these freshmen ran on the promise that they were not going to increase the debt ceiling. Now, they’re in D.C. with all of their colleagues on the Hill. And they’re buying into the company line, forgetting about the fact that the American people have elected them not to do that.”

For those who vote to raise the debt limit, “The American people are going to watch what they did, watch what happens to the economy and next November, I think there will be consequences,” Martin said.

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72 Comments so far ↓

  • chicago_guy

    The choice is simple; act as adults and avoid damaging your country, or fear some of the least-educated, most dangerous people in the world. Given the harm that failing to raise the debt ceiling would cause, why is that threat considered any LESS than the threats posed by various terrorist groups around the planet?

    The Tea Partiers; just call them Al Qaeda in America. Heh.

  • Graychin

    Tea Party types have painted themselves into the proverbial corner. They got elected on their hard-nosed rhetoric, and now they can’t do the right thing even if they want to – for fear of losing in a primary to an even nuttier loudmouth.

    Shooting off one’s mouth is easy. Governing is hard.

  • medinnus

    Ah, the Tea Baggers… never miss an opportunity to threaten to kill the hostages, to heck with democracy. “Obey us or we will destroy you!”

  • TJ Parker

    Well now its apparently all theater, if we can believe the LA Times.


  • bdtex

    We know this,I think. Whatever the final debt ceiling increase deal is,it’ll pass in the House with mostly Dem votes and maybe as little as 35-50 Repub votes. It’ll pass in the Senate with Dem votes and maybe 2-3 GOP votes. The Tea Party types will be furious with the Senate GOP caucus for not filibustering it.

    • dante

      And hand the GOP a political opportunity to bash them at every turn? I doubt the Dems will be that bad. My guess is that they’ve said privately that they’ll just vote “present” unless a majority of Republicans vote for this as well. No “35-40 moderate GOPers” voting yes while allowing the rest of the batshit crazy bunch get to grandstand to their idiots back home.

      • bdtex

        I’ve thought about that Dante. The other scenario I see in the House is that Pelosi/Hoyer make Boehner whip up at least 100 GOP votes before they even do a whip count in the Dem caucus but I wonder whether Boehner has that much control over his caucus. If the cuts in the $1.5 trillion package that’s being floated aren’t from Medicare/SS/Medicaid,I’m okay with it passing with mostly Dem votes. Let’s be real. Some cuts are needed. Pres. Obama publicly said when the Stimulus Package was passed and signed that the then current level of debt/spending was unsustainable. A lot of people on the left have forgotten that he said that.

  • seeker656

    This is a 100% self inflicted crisis. If the Republicans are so intent on changing the world why did they pass a budget that raises the debt by about $5 trillion over 10 year thus assuring the need for debt limit increases in the future.

    If they wanted to take an ethical position why not pass a budget with no further debt obligations. It would have been interesting to see them define the cuts needed to accomplish that and to see the reaction of the absolutists if they had to face facts and not political rhetoric.

    • TJ Parker

      Exactly. Make Pawlenty and Bachmann promise that they will never request an increase in the debt ceiling. And then they’ll either have to eat those words during the campaign, or – on entering office – their first act will be to break their promises.

  • JohnMcC

    Useful to recall that back in April the Repub Study Committee brought a budget bill to the floor of the House that would have cut Fed spending by NINE trillion. Much more draconian than the Ryan plan. Steny Hoyer had the Dems ‘vote late and vote PRESENT’…with the result that the Repubs had to frantically switch votes to ensure the bill’s defeat rather than be painted with the blame for voting for so many entitlement cuts. So making the Repub congresscritters wear their bill like a cheap suit wouldn’t be an original idea.

  • tommybones

    GOP creates a Frankenstein monster.
    GOP loses control of Frankenstein monster.
    Frankenstein monster is loose, ham-fisting it across the countryside.

    Well done.

  • sparse

    here’s an idea:
    in order to pass this, what if obama (and pelosi) offered a one-time deal to house republicans. vote for the grand bargain, and in return be promised an unopposed run for the next election. if they are challenged from the right, and the tea-party candidate wins, the democrats will run an opposition candidate, and will pour all their resources into the race.

    so any republican who votes for the package could tell their primary voters hey, vote for me and you are guaranteed to be represented by a republican. vote for the tea party candidate and you will be represented by a democrat.

    it’s a winner for the dems because it means the plan will have been bipartisan, the progressives can vote against the deal without breaking the country, they will have broken gridlock, and the country does not collapse. it’s a winner for republicans because it means they will have enhanced their chances of retaining control of the house and the country does not collapse.

  • TAZ

    Pick one:

    A. Repubs can side with the Tea Party (who are nothing more than whats left of the Repub base) and lose general elections.

    B. Repubs can stand up to the Tea Party and risk losing the primaries.

  • armstp

    FOX News created this Frankenstein for ratings and profit and now conservative corporate America has to live with it.

  • JimBob

    The House Republicans pass 500 billion in cuts and pass the ball to the Senate and Hussein.

    Bottom line, Hussein has proposed nothing. Nothing!! Where is his plan to reform entitlements. The part of the budget that’s on automatic pilot and not only bankrupting the country but, destroying any future young people might have to live as good of life as their parents. The skank Pelosi has let it be known that any cuts to the auto pilot part of the budget is off limits. So Obama droids, the ball is in your court.

    Obama Droids in action.

    Hope and Change: Hussein!! Hussein!!!!!

    Hope and Change: Hussein!! Hussein!!!!!

    Hope and Change: Hussein!! Hussein!!!!!

    Under the awful George W Bush spending never went above 20.7 of GDP. Under Hussein Spending as been higher than 24 percent of GDP every years he’s been in office going as high as 25 percents of GDP twice. Face it Hussein Droids, the problem is the Consigliere of the Acorn Crime Family, Hussein.

    • Emma

      You can always tell a guy who has been whacking off too much.

    • dmnolan

      Hey JimBob. Call the U.S. Treasury and tell them that you’ll happily forego any government-paid benefits you may have coming. As an example fiscal piety.

      • JimBob

        I’ve said countless times on this forum that I’m willing to give up Social Security and Medicare. I don’t need either. We need to raise the age people are eligible and means test both programs.

    • medinnus

      Another content-free post by Jimbob. The more he rants, the more you can tell that he’s aware how badly his side is doing. Its fun to watch the rabid monkey’s mouth froth.

  • dmnolan

    It’s called Pissing in the Soup.

  • anniemargret

    jimbob. You don’t ‘need’ SS and Medicare? How old are you? Unless you have sacked away millions, I bet you, like thousands of other Americans, will live to be old enough to be forced at some point to live in a nursing home. Most people have to turn to Medicaid at that point, since a quasi-decent nursing home (where they don’t beat you or at least wipe the drool off your chin) is *very* expensive.

    Expensive that is, for most folks. But you are not – obviously from your apparent arrogance for the little person in America, not ‘most folks.’

    Bully for you Mr. Not-Nice Guy, that you don’t ‘need SS or Medicare.” Millions do . You don’t speak for them. So try not doing it, will ya? Try to develop a little grace and goodness and dignity before you meet your Maker. Right now, you sound like a self-satisfied arrogant egotist.

    • JimBob

      Annie, I’m in my late 50s and very wealthy. I will not need SS or Medicare.

      Unless entitlements are reformed we will become a second rate power. The government has made promises it can’t possibly keep. There aren’t enough people like me to tax so the only way the government can continue down this path is crushing taxation on the young and Middle class

      • TerryF98

        JimBob leads an on-line fantasy life. Here is his real home which he shares with his Cousin/Wife and 12 chillens.

        • TerryF98

          Side view.

        • JimBob

          Terry, I can’t help it if you’re a loser in the game of life.

        • UncleLew

          This proves absolutely that JimBob is a true believer of World Net Daily.

        • Bunker555


          This is simply frigging blilliant. Art with a capital “F”. Can you post a link to JimBob’s Facebook page where he originally posted his family home pictures. Thanks.

        • TerryF98

          Why is it the Conservatives here pretend they are super educated/rich beyond dreams/ gods gift?

          I have never seen a Liberal here claim anything. They just let their command of facts and obvious deep knowledge speak for themselves.

          Anyone have an idea why this is.

  • bluestatepastor

    Wealthy won’t help that idiotic chanting of “Hussein”.

    Personally, when you post little stunts like that, I find it difficult to focus on anything else you have to say.

    • dmnolan

      It’s an incantation, often given while fondling beads, to induce a mild euphoria as an antidote to external stressors.

    • anniemargret

      jimbob. Good for you – that you are very wealthy. There is no one in my family that fits that description, although everyone in my family are of various blue/white collar workers, who labored long and hard, with no ‘handouts’ to make ends meet. Everyday in my profession I meet people who, through the fog of a mercurial life, and through no fault of their own, must scramble to make ends meet. It is where the chips fell.

      Did you ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers?” I recommend it heartily since it proves that Life, successful or not, is much more based on the ‘luck’ than the ‘pluck.’ Being in the right time and place, with Lady Luck on your back almost suredly can get some to their life’s destination. Others struggle forever.

      Because I am at heart a Christian, I cannot in good grace ignore my fellow man. This country will fall when we cease caring about its overall well-being.

      Fine. You want entitlements cut. Let’s deal with this looming financial armageddon that the Republicans are holding Americans hostage to. Then we can talk about chipping away at spending. But please, just talking about Obama’s ‘spending’ and ignoring the trillions we are spending in unending wars and our military stationed all over the globe is a direct problem to the one at hand. Add in Bush’s tax cuts, with his wars and his cuts both unfunded and then you guys can talk shop. Otherwise, it’s just hyper-partisan talk and frankly…the country doesn’t need it now. We need adults.

      In addition, I tune you out when you call Pelosi a ‘skank’ and President Obama ‘Hussein”….yes, I know it’s his middle name but we all know why you keep calling him that. You obviously are part of that fraction of America that enjoys stirring the flames of hate and fear.

      Your call.

      • JimBob

        Annie, my parents were teachers. No one is talking about ignoring seniors. But if we don’t reform our budget, seniors will end up consuming the entire budget.

        • Xunzi Washington

          So if we’re not talking about ignoring seniors, I suppose that means Medicare and Social Security — and a substantial chunk of Medicare – are left alone. As a matter of fact, 75% of Medicaid goes to the old/disabled/children, so I’m guessing you’ll leave that alone too.

          So what entitlement programs are you proposing that we slash to balance the budget? Can you provide some numbers, as well? “Slash the EPA!!” ain’t going to do it. Provide some facts and figures so we can see what needs to go, and how close it gets us to balance – without, of course, raising any taxes.

        • anniemargret

          jimbob. I am always impressed with folks that make good in our society; through hard work and dedication and nose to the grindstone. While I am a fairly liberal Dem, I am not one to think that people ought to just have things handed to them…I come from parents who were children of immigrants and understand the absolute need for working hard for what you want in life. On the other hand, I also understand, because I’ve lived long enough (appears we are in similar age group), the Life is capracious. Life is unjust. And that some our citizens can work long and hard and not get anywhere.

          We should not punish them.

          I have three children, and one of my sons is on a disability. He has Medicare and thank God for it, because without it, we would all have to go into bankruptcy just so he can get adequate medical care. Believe me, there are millions of us out there. I would have wanted my son to have been born without the need for government assistance, or that our family was wealthy enough to take care of him ourselves. But he was. And we can’t. So I say, bless the USA which gives people like my son a dignified life.

          So I say let’s vote to keep Medicare, Medicaid and SS on the table for our future generations and for those poor pathetic folks out there who need it the most. There are other ways to cut spending, and I also understand we need to do what we should do.

          But to hurt the most vulnerable, most needy, most innocent, of our society says more about us as a superpower than anything.

          Imperial Rome was corrupted from within, from greed and self-serving politicians, who stopped caring for the greater good.

          The last thing this country needs is an inability for two opposing parties to work together, both able to compromise,to bring out the better good…for now and for our children and grandchildren.

          We are all responsible for the mess we have created…from the endless unnecessary geo-political wars that were unfunded, to the tax cuts which were unfunded, to loopholes to corporate welfare. When the Republicans want to talk about these things seriously, then I will pay attention and respect them more than I do now.

        • Xunzi Washington


          Couldn’t agree more. One of the things that has really, truly disgusted me about the recent “John Galt” swing in politics is that it doesn’t care one whit about the common good that citizens – not individuals – commit to (again – no social commitments as Americans to such things – just individuals). Instead, you get “give to charity” or “write a bigger check to the IRS” and all that garbage. Essentially, such people want a country in which “USA” is just a name you slap on the side of a tank and which stands for “the place in which people are free to make as much money as they want”. No social bonds, no social commitments to well being, nada.

          Essentially, these folks want to bring us back the kind of society that people like Charles Dickens criticized in the 19th century society. For a while, the Republican and Democratic parties both agreed that Dickens’ criticisms were right, but differed over the extent to which government could help out in an effective manner. That’s a good debate. But that’s not the debate for THIS Republican party. This Republican Party _embraces_ the system that Dickens criticized.

        • Raskolnik


          Thank you for sharing your story about your son.

          One question: when you say that you think we should keep Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security “on the table,” do you mean that you think we should keep them exactly the way they are right now, in perpetuity? Or that, while some reform and/or cuts may be necessary to keep the system solvent, that we should nevertheless ensure that their primary mission of protecting the elderly, impoverished, and disabled are still met?

          My understanding is that while Social Security is more or less still solvent on its own terms, that Medicare (in particular) is expected to create huge deficits as we move forward. To my way of thinking, it should be possible to make sure that the poor and the elderly and the disabled still have enough of a safety net to live a “dignified life,” as you put it, if we re-structure the system in some fundamental ways, starting with how doctors are trained and educated all the way through how care is delivered, eliminating middlemen like HMO’s along the way. But I am very curious as to your position, and (seeing as I do not have the kind of first-hand experience you do with some of the more difficult questions involved) naturally defer to your judgment.

          Many thanks again, and more thanks in advance.

        • TJ Parker

          Hey JimBlob! A solution in 6 words: Soylent Green for export to China.

  • valkayec

    I’m constantly amazed by the Tea Party’s, and voters in general, lack of knowledge about the budget and the nation’s debt. I recommend sending them to the Bipartisan Policy Center as a start of their education: http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/

    And for fun, they can play with the debt limit tools: http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/2011/07/bloomberg-pbs-newshour-publish-debt-limit-tools-using-bpc-data

    • nwahs

      Well to be honest, I think the Tea Party is more enthralled with power than policy or politics. I could say the same about some leftists groups also. You can just tell when people have become addicted to the thrill of demonstrations and protests and have forgotten their cause.

  • SteveT

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No one will listen, but I will still feel better :)

    Please don’t make statements on here like: “I’m very wealthy” or “I graduated with honors from Oxford”

    This is the internet. Unless you are willing to meet me with ID at your bank there is no reason to believe you. Think how you would feel if I or anyone on here you didn’t like made grandiose statements and belittled you with them.

    • nwahs

      That’s a pet peeve of mine as well. People who post anonymously try to base an argument on their integrity or expertise. If one is posting anonymously, they have no established integrity or expertise. I let it slide sometimes ( e.g.,in the Marcus thread someone based their position on working with “thousands” of homosexuals throughout their life), but if its an important point I’ll skewer them for trying that slight of hand.

      I’m really the Count of Monte Cristo, but I’m the only one who knows it.

  • Raskolnik

    I think the sooner we look at non-discretionary spending as a whole, instead of dividing it into “entitlements”/”handouts” vs. some other form of non-discretionary spending that is not called an entitlement, for reasons that have more to do with rhetorical and polemical efficacy than with actual budgetary fact, the better.

    The bottom line is that if you replace the word “entitlements” in JimBob’s arguments with “non-discretionary spending,” and if you acknowledge non-discretionary defense spending as part of non-discretionary spending on the whole, then he actually has a very good point. We do need to make drastic reforms in how our non-discretionary outlays are made. Especially since non-discretionary defense outlays are often nothing more than a big fat socialist government jobs program, forking over hundreds of billions of dollars a year to keep people employed in “the defense industry.”

    • Xunzi Washington

      As I noted above, I’d like to see a breakdown of JimBob’s US budget and see how he makes things work. Such sites are available, he needs to go use one and show us how it’s done.

      The joke to me here is that people like Boob yet “it’s just a spending problem”. Which is nonsense. Spending problems exist when you don’t take in what you pay out. If you’re willing to put more in, you don’t have as big a spending problem.

      When one side says “no taxes” when taxes are at 50 year lows, then of course you’ll have a spending problem in today’s 21st century world (which has social programs). I would embrace a government that raised taxes and cut spending to find the place where people agree to X programs for Y taxation. But to simply argue “no taxes” and say things like “spending should not exceed X% GDP” and other similar garbage is stupid.

      There is a limit at which taxes are too high, and affect growth. We ain’t there, we’re at 50 year lows. What that tells me is that we need to have an honest conversation. The debt ceiling debate ain’t the place to do that – it’s the budgetary process.

      • Raskolnik


        I’m not sure if it was live or recorded, but not two hours ago I heard Rudy Giuliani say on CNN, point-blank, that we should “halve” corporate taxes because corporate tax rates in the United States are “the highest in the world.” Not even among the highest, “the highest.”

        So it’s easy to understand how JimBob could believe someone like Rudy Giuliani when Rudy makes such a statement. The hard part is figuring out what to do about it. I think your suggestion of digging in some Excel spreadsheets and actually running the numbers by hand is a good one for JimBob, especially seeing as he apparently has made enough money to have nothing better to do.

        • Xunzi Washington

          Clearly JimBoob’s wet dream of a John Galt world isn’t going to be soiled by facts and numbers. Why should it? It’s too easy to just shoot from the hip.

      • JimBob

        Another graduate of the school of blithering idiots.

        Yes it is a spending problem and yes taxes are at a 50-60 year low.

        Tax receipts are so low because Hussein has ruined the economy. There are fewer and fewer taxpayers because there are so many people unemployed.

        In the 1950s when the highest tax rate on the wealthy was 91 percent, taxes as a percentage of GDP never were above 19 percent.

        Bottom line, Hussein, Pelosi, and Reid jacked up spending to 25 percent of GDP

        • Raskolnik


          Here’s another question of mine that you never really answered. Do you blame “Hussein” for the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros.?

        • JimBob

          No I don’t. the mistakes both made were high leverage and an overreliance on unrealistic real estate assets.

          I blame the bubble on Greenspan and Bernanke. Factor in that Democrats turned Fannie Freddie into big patronage schemes led by Democrat party hack James Johnson. ACORN, Rainbow Push etc etc.

          Then go back to 1993 when the Clinton Justice department discovered that Asians and White have much higher home ownership rates than Blacks and Hispanics.

          “In 1995, Bill Clinton renewed efforts to force private mortgage companies and lenders to create “affordable housing” for people who wouldn’t qualify for traditional mortgages. Attorney General Janet Reno and Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Roberta Achtenberg implemented even more regulations focused on putting pressure on legitimate mortgage institutions to give more and more risky loans, and accused those who didn’t of “redlining” – accusing those who employed sound lending principles of being racist.

          Reno and Achtenberg threatened these institutions with government sanctions if the private companies didn’t make these politically correct loans. “There will be investigations if you do not follow these regulations, if you don’t make loans to these people,” Reno is quoted as saying. Thus the sub-prime market was forced onto private companies, as legitimate Wall Street mortgage lenders and brokers were compelled to buy more of the risky paper from Fannie, Freddie, and even traditional mortgage lenders. ”

          Hussein was Consigliere of the Acorn Crime Family when they were shaking down mortgage companies to make high risk loans to people with lousy credit.

        • Raskolnik

          And here’s another, connected question. But I apologize if it takes a somewhat more complex form.

          You seem to axiomatically acknowledge that unemployment, and not the marginal income tax rate, is the main problem we face as we attempt to collect revenue. That is, that if more people were employed, and thus paying taxes, the government could collect more tax receipts as a percentage of GDP.

          My question is: faced with massive unemployment, following a pre-election crash, what economic policy would you advise for a newly-inaugurated President? As hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost every month after his inauguration, would you continue to advise him that he must by no means raise spending above 20 percent of GDP, even as he must continue paying for two unfunded wars on top of all the other (in your words) “locked in,” out-of-(his)-control “entitlement” spending? How exactly would you propose dealing with such a crisis?

        • JimBob

          Slash spending across the board. Rein in the FED and turn off the printing press. The housing market needs to find bottom. Then and only then will it really recover.

        • Xunzi Washington

          Moron Jim Boob

          Obviously tax RECEIPTS are low, we’re in a recession. I said tax RATES are at 50-60 year lows. Take your head out of your butt and deal with reality, my friend.

        • JimBob

          Here’s what you said

          “When one side says “no taxes” when taxes are at 50 year lows, “

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  • nwahs

    Can someone explain to me why it is worse for America to have a high national debt than it is to import most of its manufactured products? Why will a high national dept create Armageddon and why won’t importing most of our manufactured products create Armageddon.

    In short, how does the Tea Party differ from the cartoon character carrying the sign “The End is Near” ( Mad Magazine?). Has the Tea Party shifted from weird to reckless? If not, I’d like to them to explain why the high national debt is so much worse than the trade deficit.

    To go back to their household analogy, they’re trying to balance expenses and not picking up the want ads.

    • JimBob

      We are still the worlds largest manufacturer, but China is going to surpass us in the next couple of years I suspect.

      • nwahs

        But you didn’t answer the question. Why is the national debt more of a problem than our trade deficit? Please tell me why the national debt has to be solved yesterday, and the trade deficit can be put on a back burner. Explain it to me.

        I just have this uncomfortable feeling this is all about backdoor cuts to social security. Explain the error of my reasoning.

        • Xunzi Washington

          ^ + 1

          DING DING DING

          This is not about the deficit. This is “never let a crisis go to waste” when you can use one to try to destroy the social programs (a) your side doesn’t vote for, (b) that serve people who don’t mostly vote for you.

      • Rob_654

        The embrace of the Free Market is our savior will lead to the US losing its place in the world in global economic power.

        We are under some bizarre belief that what is good for big business is good for the United States while big business send American jobs overseas – we subsidize the jobs going overseas – we bring in H1B visa employees while US tech workers can’t find jobs, we allow these companies to skip out on taxes while enjoying the benefits of being American companies – and then we wonder what the hell is happening…

  • Raskolnik


    That is an excellent question and your point in the thread on the JWST is well taken. Simply put you are absolutely correct, the debt problem is largely abstract, of course a debt of 100% of GDP is unsustainable in the long run but in the short run it is the trade deficit with China and the corresponding loss of American jobs which is at the core of our current budgetary woes. Fix the trade deficit, fix the employment situation, and tax receipts take care of themselves.

    I distinctly recall Speaker Boehner having said something about jobs, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was.

    • nwahs

      Thanks. I don’t get it, and I don’t know why it isn’t being asked more. The fact that the trade deficit is completely ignored in serious talks about solving the national debt boggles my mind.

      Obviously, Greece can’t handle a national debt 100+% ( 108) of their GDP. But Japan manages a national debt of almost 200% of its GDP. Canada manages a debt of 72% of their GDP. Britain 69%.

      The United States debt is 53% of its GDP. To use the household analogy the Tea Party loves, its like an average American family having a debt of about $23,000. Not a great position to be in ( though I guarantee anyone with a mortgage has more debt than that), but certainly no reason to stop feeding grandma.

  • Xunzi Washington


    You said: “Slash spending across the board. Rein in the FED and turn off the printing press. The housing market needs to find bottom. Then and only then will it really recover.”

    Get specific. No childish bumpers stickers like “slash spending”. Slash it WHERE? Websites are all over the place that allow you to make the spending cuts to the budget to see if you can balance things out. Go give it a whirl, and tell us what you cut to balance the budget.

    Remember: no new tax INCREASES. We’re at 50-60 year low tax rates, and we want to stay there, right?

    Let us know how you do it – cut and paste your results here. Until then, your words are hot air.

    • nwahs

      Social Security. The Tea Party is tricking the baby boomers into cutting Social Security.

  • TJ Parker

    What tools.

    • Xunzi Washington

      TJ –

      There are a number of them. Do a Google search and you’ll find some. They are interactive and give you boxes to click off to defund anything in the current budget, to let the Bush tax cuts expire, and so on. They are actually pretty easy to use. As you click away, the revenue and/or spending levels are adjusted automatically.

      • Raskolnik


        I think TJ meant “What TOOLS [they are being]!”, not “What tools [are available to examine the budget/debt]?”

  • Rob_654

    The Tea Bag politicians have likely had a Come to Jesus meeting at some point with the saner leaders of the Republican Party and were told:

    1) However much they fear the Tea Baggers right now – that fear will be magnified many, many times if we default and the crap hits the fan and potentially SS checks and Medicare checks stop being sent, the stock market crashes, etc….

    2) And no doubt the big money people who write big campaign checks have told these folks in no uncertain terms that if they lose money – someone will be held responsible.

  • Raskolnik


    Let me get this straight. Your solution to catastrophic unemployment and global financial panic, stemming in large part from the collapse of venerable Wall Street firms like Lehman Bros., is to cut spending?

    1) As Xunzi asked, cut spending where, exactly? Defense, which is one of the biggest employers in the nation? The National Endowment for the Arts? NIH? NSF?

    2) To what end? How is cutting non-discretionary spending in e.g. Social Security or Medicare going to get people their jobs back? How will it fix the economy? On the discretionary side, NSF’s total budget was $6.9 billion in 2010, or less than .005% (you read that right, less than 1/20th of one tenth of one percent) of the deficit.

  • Xunzi Washington


    This is why you should ignore JimBoob: no substance, just lots of fluffy talking points. He doesn’t know what to cut, or whether cutting his favorite talking point targets would make a dent in the budget or not. He doesn’t care either. He’s been given his marching orders from his masters (Fox, presumably), and that message has two parts:

    1. We don’ have a revenue problem, just a “spending” problem
    2. The spending problem relates entirely to lazy people on entitlements.

    Stupid, yes. But easy for JimBoob to remember. You should note, too, that JimBoob will pivot from “jobs” are the problem to “the budget” is the problem on a dime, if politically called for. Of course, as you know, hacking away at programs won’t create jobs. It will cause more job loss. But that’s okay. If the thread is about the deficit, he’ll say we need to do that. Of course, if we did do that, and unemployment went to 11%, that would be Obama’s fault too, because he didn’t “focus on jobs”.

    One thing I learned a long time ago: when your argumentative opponent can, with no cognitive dissonance, keep a contradiction happily in play and show no mental discomfort from it, you’ll never get anywhere in the argument, since winning arguments relies on revealing contradictions in your opponent’s position.