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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:46 PM

PLEASE PROCEED, GOP. Obama Dares Republicans To Breach Debt Limit

BRIAN BEUTLER JANUARY 14, 2013, 1:11 PM 10264
At his final White House press conference of his first term in office, President Obama made clear that the government has no workaround to avoid the consequences of House Republicans failing to raise the debt limit, and in so doing made it clear that a lapse in borrowing authority will result in deep cuts to popular government programs and services, for which the GOP will bear responsibility.

“If Congressional Republicans refuse to pay America’s bills on time, Social Security checks, veterans benefits will be delayed,” Obama warned. “We might not be able to pay our troops or honor our contracts with small-business owners. Food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who track down loose nuclear materials would not get their paychecks. Investors around the world will ask if the United States of America is in fact a safe bet. Markets could go haywire. Interest rates would spike for anyone who borrowed money.”

The specter of an enormous wave of missed payments to powerful stakeholders — and possibly a default on the debt — will, the Obama administration believes, create enormous pressure on House Republicans to drop their demands and raise the debt limit cleanly, or in an uncontroversial way.

But that risk only exists if the White House lacks plausible, less economically harmful alternatives, such as continuing to issue new debt in defiance of the law, or minting currency to pay obligations without issuing new debt — two options the administration has explicitly rejected.

-snip-

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/01/president-obama-dares-republicans-to-breach-debt-limit.php

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:08 PM

1. Hardly a "dare."

Drawing a line in the sand, yes.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:28 PM

2. He clearly pointed the finger at Republicans AND Congress

many times during his speech, and he came across as a rational person, slightly above the fray, and specifically pointed out that the White House was not the area responsible for passing budgets.
Did a good job of speaking directly to "the voters" and who their legitamate target should be, made it VREY clear that Congress was guilty of not doing their job.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:29 PM

3. What is Obama waiting for?

The administration is ALREADY at the point of having to stretch out payments on certain contracts because of the debt ceiling. Obama only briefly alluded in very general terms to what the consequences will be without an increase in the debt limit.

He should have said, "Game on! Here is how we are proceeding

Effective immediately, payments on defense contracts have been delayed to a 60-day payment schedule.
By next Monday, we will be delaying payments broadly across all agencies to contractors to this 60-day schedule.
On Monday January 21, we close all National Parks.
On Monday January 28, we reduce staff at most agencies to only the most essential duties. There will be no passport processing, ...
On Monday February 4, we begin delaying all Medicare reimbursements by 2 weeks.
On Monday February 11, we begin delaying all Social Security payments by 2 weeks.
On Monday February 18, we begin delaying paychecks to all defense personnel by 2 weeks.
On Monday February 25, we reduce staff by 50% at the FAA, and instruct all airlines to cancel half their flights.
etc"

Make the GOP start arguing among themselves just how much backbone they have for this fight.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:23 PM

4. This implies there is some Constitutional way for him to prioritize Federal obligations.

But there isn't.

No matter what he does, unless he meets all obligations on time, it would be counter to the job he's been sworn to do as President.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:44 PM

6. He is ALREADY delaying payments

We passed that point on December 31. Geithner is already prioritizing.

Where in the Constitution does it say the Executive branch does not have the discretion to make payments in an orderly way?

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 12:38 AM

7. His job under the Constitution is to make all payments in full WHEN DUE,

and so far Geithner has been able to juggle things so nothing has been late.

But Geithner will hit the limit of this juggling in several weeks, and then there is no Constitutional avenue which Obama can take to let him prioritize some obligations over others. He is required to meet them all, in full and on time.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:08 AM

11. You are only correct in the narrowest of technical senses

All government contracts have an escape clause that allows the government to void the contract arbitrarily. So in that sense, delaying payments doesn't violate the agreement. But certainly if contracts are entered on the expectation of net-30 and Geithner starts handling them as net-60 or net-90, that is an act of prioritization. And that is exactly what he is doing.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:50 AM

9. If he stops payment on anything first should be him, close admin, congress and all their pay/benefit

I'd be happy to chip-in to pay President Obamas bills so the WH apartment has water and electricty. Get him suways tokens and for sure an internet connection and cable TV

I think President Obama and his family would be fine with that. People like Boehner and most of Congress would miss those spray tans, months of vacations, fine healthcare, private jets home for every 5 dayweekend- we Americans all pay for.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:07 AM

10. I second that

the first order of business is to stop paychecks, per diem, health care and whatever else these bozos collect from the government. Also, cancel any payments to retired and/or fired members.

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Response to Ghost of Tom Joad (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:09 AM

12. I wish the President would do that. Not cut any aids or assistants, just the major Leadership.

All of them should be delighted to continue their jobs without pay or benefits. They all got elected because they love to serve America and the people. Let them work free for us for a couple years to help the budget.

They can keep their guaranteed SS check and use the peoples medicare if they are broke.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:59 PM

5. The first halt in payments should be made to stop paychecks to congress and their staffs

Until they raise the ceiling they should not be paid.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:43 AM

8. This was Obama at his best, so many press questions live /w long answers. Well worth to watch in ful

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