Congressional Republicans are vowing that before they will agree to raise the current $14.25 trillion federal debt ceiling — a step that will become necessary in as little as five weeks — President Obama and Senate Democrats will have to agree to far deeper spending cuts for next year and beyond than those contained in the six-month budget deal agreed to late Friday night that cut $38 billion and averted a government shutdown.
Republicans have also signaled that they will again demand fundamental changes in policy on health care, the environment, abortion rights and more, as the price of their support for raising the debt ceiling.
Because ensuring that the poor and the elderly die off instead of costing billionaires a few more bucks a year in taxes, trying to prevent future generations from having to try to survive in an uninhabitable world, and most importantly of all, bitchslapping the sluts, are the only priorities right now for a Republican party that has turned into a pack of rabid dogs.
Of course Congressional Republicans are still pretending that the years 2001-2008 never existed; you know, those years when George W. Bush cut taxes and started two wars without paying for them. But hey, if you have Democrats who refuse to fight back, you can get away with saying shit like this:
“We want to see real structural, cultural-type changes tied to this debt ceiling. We’re not interested in a one-off kind of savings, or anything small,” said Representative Mick Mulvaney, a first-term Republican from South Carolina. “There has got to be game-changing kinds of changes to get us to vote for it.”
He dismissed warnings about default as “just posturing,” and said Democrats should bear the responsibility for passing any measure to increase the borrowing limit.
“It’s their debt,” he said. “Make them do it. That’s my attitude.”
It's a miracle that the New York Times actually responds to this with actual facts, given that in today's media, provable facts and utter horseshit are given equal credibility:
Of the nearly $14.2 trillion in debt, roughly $5 trillion is money the government has borrowed from other accounts, mostly from Social Security revenues, according to federal figures. Several major policies from the past decade when Republicans controlled the White House and Congress — tax cuts, a Medicare prescription-drug benefit and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — account for more than $3.2 trillion.
The recession cost more than $800 billion in lost revenues from businesses and individuals and in automatic spending for safety-net programs like unemployment compensation. Mr. Obama’s stimulus spending and tax cuts added about $600 billion through the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
Bush administration contribution to the debt: $5 trillion.
Obama administration contribution to the debt: $600 billion.
And yet, you know as well as I do that if you ask your wingnut friends, they'll tell you that this is ALL OBAMA'S DEBT, that George Bush balanced the budget. Of course they have to wipe Bill Clinton out of existence in order to compress two decades like that, but then consensus reality never mattered to the right anyway.
So what does all this mean for thee and me?
Once the limit is reached, the Treasury Department would not be able to borrow as it does routinely to finance federal operations and roll over existing debt; ultimately it would be unable to pay off maturing debt, putting the United States government — the global standard-setter for creditworthiness — into default.
The repercussions in that event would be as much economic as political, rippling from the bond market into the lives of ordinary citizens through higher interest rates and financial uncertainty of the sort that the economy is only now overcoming, more than three years after the onset of the last recession.
But that's the whole point, isn't it? Put the economy back into recession, blame Barack Obama, and take over the Senate and the executive branch, so that it can become a Republican dream world of oligarchs living in gated mansions, stuffing themselves silly while the rest of us dumpster-dive?
Here's what the Republicans in Congress don't understand: The oligarchs; the Lloyd Blankfeins and the Jamie Dimons and the Koch brothers and the rest of their ilk don't regard the Republican legislators doing their bidding as their peers in the oligarchy either. Do you believe for one minute that when completely unfettered corporate power is the rule of law in this country, that these Captains of Industry are going to welcome the likes of John Boehner and Scott Walker and Paul Ryan to their groaning table? Hardly. They'll be out there dumpster diving with the rest of us.
Maybe we can turn them into Soylent Green.