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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:25 AM

Fabricated Crisis of the Fiscal Cliff Exposed as Treasury Department Pulls $200 Billion out of a Hat

http://www.alternet.org/world/fabricated-crisis-fiscal-cliff-gets-exposed-treasury-department-pulls-200-billion-out-hat


The political line in the sand that was the so-called fiscal cliff's year-end deadline dissolved on Wednesday as the federal Treasury Department announced it could take "extraordinary measures" to create about $200 billion to keep the government operating for another two months.

As a result, the climax of the political fight to either sunset the Bush-era income tax breaks for the wealthy or face draconian across-the-board federal spending cuts does not have to be resolved in coming days, but can drag on for weeks.

The way this was announced in Washington typified this fabricated crisis, where the Treasury Secretary said in a letter to lawmakers that the federal government would reach its current $16.4 trillion debt limit on Monday, January 31st, but his agency could take special steps to shuffle the funds from a range of other federal programs.

The Washington Post report said:
To begin conserving money, Treasury will suspend a program on Friday that helps states and localities manage their borrowing. In subsequent weeks, Treasury will start to tap the federal worker pension fund for additional financial resources. (The pension fund will be made whole once the debt limit impasse is resolved.) Geithner added that the resolution of the fiscal cliff could affect these estimates. In particular, he wrote, “the expiring tax provisions and automatic spending cuts, as well as the attendant delays in filing of tax returns, would have the effect of adding some additional time to the duration of the extraordinary measures.”

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Fabricated Crisis of the Fiscal Cliff Exposed as Treasury Department Pulls $200 Billion out of a Hat (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2012 OP
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #1
xchrom Dec 2012 #3
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #2
missionkam Dec 2012 #4
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #5
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #6
tavernier Dec 2012 #10
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #13
yardwork Dec 2012 #14
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #15
yardwork Dec 2012 #16
yardwork Dec 2012 #17
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #22
yardwork Dec 2012 #23
DallasNE Dec 2012 #7
tclambert Dec 2012 #9
Yo_Mama Dec 2012 #19
DevonRex Dec 2012 #24
xchrom Dec 2012 #31
DevonRex Dec 2012 #32
xchrom Dec 2012 #34
Safetykitten Dec 2012 #8
socialindependocrat Dec 2012 #11
Nictuku Dec 2012 #12
DCKit Dec 2012 #26
socialindependocrat Dec 2012 #27
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #28
Yo_Mama Dec 2012 #18
pnwmom Dec 2012 #30
Barack_America Dec 2012 #20
DevonRex Dec 2012 #21
Octafish Dec 2012 #25
pnwmom Dec 2012 #29
LineNew Reply ^
Wilms Dec 2012 #33

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:56 AM

1. Of course. It's like nobody can remember that anything ever happened beyond 10 years ago.

 

And if it happened before the internet, then it is obscure minutiae, fit only to occupy egghead academicians.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:18 AM

3. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:03 AM

2. kr. they're going to keep this charade going until they get to the debt ceiling deadline, looks

 

like maybe.

but they're not really pulling it from a hat -- they're pulling it from the federal worker pension fund (not sure how *that's* done) & other programs, looks like.

what are the ramifications? dunno.

what a gang of criminals, hacks and clowns they are.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #2)


Response to missionkam (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:35 AM

5. go back to your slimy hole.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:51 AM

6. could someone zap that troll instead of just hiding the post, please?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:35 AM

10. Agreed.

My breakfast is ruined. In my mind's eye all I can see is this creepy guy with scuzzy green teeth and thickened yellow nicotine nails, wiping boogers on his sleeve. Can't we have a minimum IQ requirement on trolls that are allowed in during meal times?

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Response to tavernier (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:02 PM

13. i guess the troll got zapped, but the post is still there. i'd prefer it were deleted altogether.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:06 PM

14. Darn it. I just tried to re-alert with ToS clicked and accidentally alerted on your post!

I'm sure that your post won't be hidden. Sorry about that!

Maybe Admin will understand what I intended and delete the offending post. Not this one.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:09 PM

15. well, thanks a lot!! actually, i alerted on that post 3 times last night with tos checked. they

 

killed the troll but left the hidden post.

i'd rather they disappeared the post completely.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:13 PM

16. MIRt doesn't have the power to delete posts. Only Admin. If you clicked ToS they will see it.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:16 PM

17. The jury is in and the results aren't pretty.

I'm a racist troll, obviously!

I did get one vote to hide your post and somebody else thinks that you need a verbal reprimand.

Obviously few of the jurors read my alert. If they had, they would have seen that I alerted on the wrong post, since I state that "the post is already hidden" and yours is not.

That's interesting.

At Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:05 AM you sent an alert on the following post:

go back to your slimy hole.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2078175

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)

YOUR COMMENTS:

The post is already hidden. I'm re-alerting with ToS clicked so that Admin can take a look. I hope that Admin will delete, not just hide, the post. Thanks!

JURY RESULTS

A randomly-selected Jury of DU members completed their review of this alert at Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:13 AM, and voted 1-5 to LEAVE IT ALONE.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Huh?
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: This was in response to a post HIDDEN by another jury. While the proper solution is to ask a Jury to remove a bad post instead of attacking the poster of that bad post, the response is NOT that bad and should be subject to a verbal repremand then anything more.
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: The poster was responding to a racist troll. This alert was probably sent by that racist troll.
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I read the post HiPoint Dem responded to and all I can say is BRAVO, HiPoint. Well done.

Thank you.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:29 PM

22. i have my little fan club...

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #22)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:31 PM

23. Me too. I'd hate to see the results of a random alert on any one of my posts.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:57 AM

7. What A Crap Report

This is nothing but an opinion piece based on a WP report and it takes great liberty with what is contained in that report. For starters, the debt ceiling will be hit on December 31st rather than January 31st so there is more urgency than suggested in this opinion piece. Second, nowhere does the WP conclude that the fiscal cliff "does not have to be resolved in coming days, but can drag on for weeks". Since this is the key opinion and it is unsupported this AlterNet report is just plain crap. Below is the link to the WP article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-will-hit-debt-limit-on-dec-31-treasury-department-says/2012/12/26/0e8e3738-4fa2-11e2-839d-d54cc6e49b63_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboPNE_b

What this really represents is a complication to the fiscal problems this country faces and how much uncertainty there will be in the coming days in the world markets because of the central role America plays in those world markets. Meanwhile the House is not in session and it is unclear if this House will return or just let the country go over the cliff and wait for the newly installed House deal with the issue after the new House settles their housekeeping issue and can get back to work. That schedule could cause Harry Reid to change the filibuster rule as a hedge to keep Mitch McConnell from gumming up the works with endless filibusters so some good could yet come out of this. But make no mistake, this cannot drag on for weeks without serious consequences.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:44 AM

9. Good catch. "Monday, January 31st?" Looks like a Thursday to me.

They must have meant Dec. 31st. News organizations used to employ armies of fact checkers, but corporate news decided it was cheaper to dispense with accuracy. Or maybe it's just my opinion that January 31st falls on a Thursday. And other people have different opinions.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:21 PM

19. Not just crap but ignorant

The author plainly doesn't understand the difference between the fiscal cliff (taxing and spending law changes) and the need to raise the statutory debt limit to fund government, which would occur regardless of the fiscal cliff.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:38 PM

24. Xchrome acts like federal workers' pensions are free game.

Last edited Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:32 PM - Edit history (1)

To be raided permanently and he's fine with it. That pissed me off. I'm retired ATF. My husband is still a Fed. Our money isn't free for xchrome or anybody else to raid or even think of including in some sort of political jab, stupid as this one was.

Treasury is using the pension funds because we will hit the ceiling by Monday. There are several steps it will have to take to keep us solvent for about 2 months. When congress raises the debt ceiling the money will be repaid. BUT xchrome makes it seem like that money is always there for that purpose and that could not be further from the truth.

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Response to DevonRex (Reply #24)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:36 PM

31. Get my handle right. And I don't 'act' like jack shit.

The fact is they came up with 200billion with their weird accounting.

I didn't do it - I can't do anything but balance my own checkbook.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #31)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:29 PM

32. You think there's no cliff since they're having to steal union members' pensions

to avoid it? That is the lamest fucking argument I have ever seen anyone post on DU. And if we go off the cliff and if fucking Boehner doesn't raise the debt ceiling and we go into a depression do you think they'll give my husband's pension back? My pension back? When the country is bankrupt? No.

So I don't wanna hear anybody taking this lightly. As a matter of fact, a fucking "Thank you" is in order instead of pretending the danger doesn't exist. Oh, and I guess you missed the Maddow show last night. You might have learned something.

About misspelling your name, I am so very, very sorry to have put an e on the end. I cannot imagine the horror you must have experienced upon spying that e the first time. The fact that I did it again must have caused severe trauma. I will therefore put myself in the penalty box for two minutes and feel shame.

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Response to DevonRex (Reply #32)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:33 PM

34. I think I posted a link.

And according to DU rules - I can't call you a liar.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:31 AM

8. If bankers can't go to jail, and it's all a lie, then this too, the cliff is a fallacy.

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:25 AM

11. (The pension fund will be made whole once the debt limit impasse is resolved.)

Just like when they borrowed from Social Security!

If the government had paid back something every year since they started
complaining that thet borrowed too much to pay back we'd be sitting
pretty right about now!

to them it's either all or nothing

We can still contribute to SS after we start reducing the debt

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:07 AM

12. Actually, they borrow from federal employees pension fund often

I follow this, because that is my damn pension, although it will be long past 2020 before I get to see any of it.

The first I heard of it borrowing against it, was back during the Bush administration. It does get paid back, but it does make me nervous to know that my retirement money is the first place they go to 'borrow'. It happens every time they have to raise the debt limit.

The SS 'trust' fund and the fed emp pension funds are 2 of the biggest tranches of money left, and the crooks all want to get their hands on it.

All the talk about SS not bringing in enough to cover outlays since 2010.... what about all the years where it brought in way more than the outlays?

They need to keep their hands of SS, but they just can't do it. It is like money burning a hole in their pockets. Same with the federal pension funds.

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Response to Nictuku (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:26 PM

26. They see those huge pots of money, and they lose all control.

 

The Ten Commandments haven't been in fashion since before they were written.

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Response to Nictuku (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:23 PM

27. Thanks for the information.

The original problem was that SS was put into gov't bonds at an interest of 2%

Then they said they borrowed so much they couldn't pay it back.

Dichotomous thinking (black/white)

If they had replaced an amount every year (100M?) we'd have an additional 4B
to help things out.

I think pensions should be untouchable - Whatever goes in stays in including
any interest (wheather considered "overfunded" or not) and Corp pension
funds should go to help the Gov't guarantee when companies fold.

Thanks again!

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Response to Nictuku (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:43 PM

28. They put Hoffa in jail for doing the same thing.

 

All the Teamsters' money was paid back with a healthy profit.

One of the many reasons I'm so skeptical of the people in government, regardless of affiliation.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:18 PM

18. Two different things are being confused.

The fiscal cliff is separate from the debt limit. Geithner's announcement has to do with the debt limit.

The fiscal cliff is the sum total of existing law changes with regard to tax increases and spending cuts for 2013.

Since the fiscal cliff sharply raises taxes beginning January 1st, it raises revenue in the short term (although if CBO analysis is correct, perhaps not over the next two years). This actually helps the debt limit, because it raises government revenues from the first set of payroll taxes sent in.

The debt limit also has to be raised in order for Treasury to be able to float new debt to fund government spending, since we are operating at a hefty deficit regardless of whether we go over the fiscal cliff or not. So that's why Geithner is talking about these measures.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:57 PM

30. +1. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:21 PM

20. The pension fund?

WTF? They best start with Republicans in Congress.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:21 PM

21. xchrome

Take a look at where they're pulling money from and tell me if you want that to continue. That happens to be the pension funds of union members. And if no agreement is reached, say if we hit that debt ceiling and the Republicans refuse to raise the limit - we go into a depression. Who's gonna give 2fucks about federal workers' retirement accounts then?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:51 PM

25. What the United States of America should do is change its name to Wall Street.

The Fed'll be happy to print all the money that's needed and even wire it straight to a bank in Switzerland, the Caymans, the Isle of Guernsey, Panama or anywhere suitably discreet.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:56 PM

29. The debt limit ceiling is a completely different issue from the fiscal cliff.

It's a coincidence that they're occurring at the same time.

The fiscal cliff has to do with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the same time that the automatic spending cuts of Simpson Bowles takes effect. Also, millions of people will lose their long term unemployment payments.

The debt ceiling limit is a separate issue. Periodically, the government votes to establish a "debt ceiling," saying that the government can't incur debt beyond that amount. When they reach the ceiling, as a result of both ongoing and new funding obligations, they raise the ceiling again.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:11 PM

33. ^

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