Who has the upper hand in the debt ceiling dispute?

Featured image John has written a very important post called “Memo to GOP: If Obama Won’t Compromise, Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling.” His post adds significant clarity to the debt-ceiling discussion. As to its conclusions, I think many of them are sound. Others, I’m not so sure about. Here’s the breakdown. First, I wholeheartedly agree with John that “if Obama won’t compromise, don’t raise the debt ceiling.” The balance of terror in »

Memo to GOP: If Obama Won’t Compromise, Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling

Featured image In any negotiation, the key question is, what is the default status? That is, what happens if you don’t make a deal? If you are negotiating a business transaction (e.g., a merger), the default status is that the transaction doesn’t occur and the parties walk away. If you are trying to settle a lawsuit, the default status is that the case goes to trial and both parties take their chances. »

Barack Obama, Imaginary Senator

Featured image I don’t suppose anyone on television network news has mentioned it recently, but many people–probably including just about all of our readers–are aware of Senator Barack Obama’s passionate opposition to any increase in America’s debt limit back when President Bush was in office. And when the debt was a mere $8.6 trillion. But my friend and podcast partner Brian Ward thought that this abstract knowledge isn’t enough. Brian thought it »

The Federal Government Can’t, and Won’t, Default on Its Debt Obligations

Featured image One remarkable aspect of the shutdown/debt limit battle is the irresponsibility (on the part of the Obama administration) and incompetence (on the part of the news media) concerning the claim that the federal government will default on its debt obligations if Congress fails to raise the debt limit. President Obama and his minions have clearly suggested that default is a real possibility: “As reckless as a government shutdown is … »

Public blames Republicans for the shutdown, as expected

Featured image A CBS poll shows that, as most observers expected, Republicans are taking more blame for the government shutdown than Democrats. 44 percent of Americans blame congressional Republicans primarily, while 35 percent put more blame on President Obama and congressional Democrats. These views are virtually the same as they were last week before the shutdown, when Americans were asked who they would blame if a shutdown occurred. Thus, the various shutdown »

On To the Debt Ceiling?

Featured image One way or another, the debt ceiling will soon be front and center. Perhaps raising the debt limit will be part of a “grand bargain”–for reasons I stated yesterday, I hope not–or a package deal with a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for the next few months. Regardless, it is important to understand that much of the reporting on the debt ceiling is wrong. It is not true »

The Democratic Party Lies For Money

Featured image I have documented many times the hysterical appeals and outrageous lies that the Democratic Party uses to raise money from its gullible followers. Today the Democrats sent out this fundraising email: From: Democrats 2014 [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 11:43 AM To: Hinderaker, John H. Subject: Boehner just went ballistic. Boehner Demands Medicare, Social Security And Medicaid Cuts To Raise Debt Limit Sadly, that headline isn’t true. John — »

Why Is the Debt Limit Important?

Featured image Can’t the government, at the end of the day, just print money, with the unfortunate downside being inflation? It turns out that it isn’t actually that simple, because the framers of our financial system were pretty farsighted. And that, in turn, sheds light on why the debt ceiling is non-trivial. The Grumpy Economist, John Cochrane of the University of Chicago and the Hoover Institution, explains: First, just to be clear, »

Attacking the debt — three weapons and a strategy

Featured image I was pleased to read in Politico that, according to high level House sources, at least 90 percent of Republican House members are prepared to allow the sequestration cuts to take effect. President Obama would like to compromise by substituting revenue increases for some spending cuts. But if Politico is right, this is a non-starter in the House. By contrast, according to Politico, only a bit more than half of »

Obama plays hardball on debt ceiling, but can’t explain away the position he took as Senator

Featured image At his press conference today, President Obama reiterated that he will not engage in negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. He called on Republicans to raise the debt ceiling without conditions. Once the ceiling is raised, we can talk about reducing the debt, including through additional tax increases on upper income Americans in the form of changing the law on deductions, Obama said. Obama introduced his discussion of the debt »