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31 Jul 2011 00:27


U.S.: Breakdown: The new new NEW new nü NEW debt ceiling framework

  • So, those Republicans finally got a framework! If anyone feels like you might be on the most boring roller coaster ever, you are, as there have been so many high and low points with this debt ceiling dramarama today that you probably feel so dizzy that people might mistake you for being drunk. Anyway, in the latest developments, Republicans have apparently reached a framework with the White House to make this debt ceiling deal happen. Based on this, which side do you think won the day? Here’s a roundup:
  • ceiling The debt ceiling would rise to $2.8 trillion (though this number is conflicting; AP reports $2.4 trillion). This would be enough to get us past the 2012 elections.
  • cuts Republicans would reportedly agree to roughly $1 trillion in cuts now, and then another $1.8 trillion later. Ignore our earlier version of the post; this is significant.
  • condition Republicans will get one thing out of the mess which in the end won’t mean anything — a vote on a balanced budget amendement. This will not pass. source

24 Jul 2011 10:42


Politics: The long and short of it: Debt ceiling talks get complicated, stay complicated

  • long The Democrats are pushing for a longer-term debt ceiling increase in a deal that includes some revenue increases. House Speaker John Boehner has suggested that he favors a long-term plan that goes through 2012, but is having trouble selling it to his own party.
  • short Republicans, on the other hand, have suggested increasing the debt ceiling for a period less than a year in length, in part for political leverage so they can push for later long-term spending cuts during an election year. Obama suggests this is akin to playing with fire. source
  • » So, who’s the loser in all of this? The consumer and taxpayer. The uncertainty on this issue has affected the markets in some ways already (see the price of gold for example), and could endanger your ability to get a loan at a reasonable rate if the talks fail to straighten course. You may see some possible instability this week, as a deal perilously hangs in the balance.

18 Jul 2011 11:02


Politics: Debt ceiling poll: Everyone looks bad, but Obama looks least bad

  • 71% disapprove of the way Republicans have handled the debt ceiling crisis — just 21 percent approve
  • 48% disapprove of the way Obama has handled the situation; by contrast, 43 percent approve source
  • » Obama’s the best in a bad bunch: According to a CBS News poll, while nobody’s doing particularly hot in the current debt crisis negotiations, Obama can at least say that he’s doing better than everyone else. Democrats in Congress have a meager 31 percent approval rating. But let’s face it — this has always been a fight between Republicans and Obama, with congressional Democrats off to the side. So the result is nothing but notable. Let’s raise the question: If the government defaults, is this 1995 all over again for the GOP?

12 Jul 2011 11:27


Politics: Debt ceiling drama: McConnell, Boehner muddy the waters

  • In my view the President has presented us with three choices. Smoke and mirrors, tax hikes, or default. Republicans choose none of the above. I had hoped to do good; but I refuse to do harm.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell • Speaking before another debt ceiling chat with Obama, while doing what he does best: Clouding the waters. Remember the 1980s, where deals like these could be brokered without dudes like McConnell saying things to scare the base into thinking the Democrats were pure, concentrated evil? John Boehner, who we respect a lot more, had harsh but more moderated words: “This debt limit increase is his problem. I think it’s time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table, something that the Congress can pass.” It’s either Obama being a completely evil human being or Obama not coming up with a deal that can actually pass Congress. Choose your boogeyman, guys. source

10 Jul 2011 20:48


Politics: Debt-ceiling drama: This mess needs to end really freaking soon

  • 10 freaking days to pull off this bloody debt-cutting mess source
  • » Can they kiss, make up and pull off a debt deal? With Republicans suddenly pushing for a smaller short-term agreement and Obama going all heave-ho in favor of a larger one, Obama’s starting to show some boldness that we haven’t seen in a while. In terms of political battles, he called the GOP’s bluff. To be clear, tax increases are the main sticking point here, but are we starting to see the limits of the all-or-nothing approach the GOP has to taxes? Obama looks like he’s not going to blink. But either side could.