Saturday, July 23, 2011

Armstrong on Debt Ceiling: Time to Think the Unthinkable

As House Speaker Boehner walks, and President Obama balks, Allentown's Scott Armstrong speaks out:

Considering the dangers involved in a failure to reach a timely agreement on raising the nation’s debt ceiling one is forced to ponder whether a sinister political strategy is behind the brinkmanship in negotiations. The answer may become clear when one considers who presently has the stronger hand for next year’s national elections and plays out the potential winners and losers of a default. Despite the professed confidence of the Whitehouse and the DNC that President Obama and the Democrats are a shoo- in for electoral success in 2012 many experts doubt the claim. It is increasingly likely that year’s elections will be a referendum on the first term of the Obama Administration. If that is the case, we will see a repeat of the 2010 elections that brought voters to the polls en masse to put the Democrats out of power. Despite the brave face, Obama’s team understands big losses are ahead unless the current dynamic of the Democrats’ “owning” the bad economy and high unemployment numbers can be changed. As it is unlikely that any legislative tweaking will help improve the economic numbers, the only option left is to attempt to hand off the blame to the political opposition.


Allowing the country to go into a default is a risky strategy but the Obama team is desperate and by their thinking has little to lose by going for broke. For the first time in our history the nation would go into default and it would do so under Obama’s watch. However, the White House will count on the mainstream press to be an ally and attempt to lay/switch all of the blame unto the Republicans. So when seniors don’t get their social security checks it will be the Republicans’ fault; when interests rates rise and the markets crash, it will be the Republicans’ fault; when the dollar loses even more value and prices and unemployment rise even further, it will be the Republicans’ fault. In short all of the accumulated damage that has been done to the economy these past two and one half years plus all of the additional default harm will be cast by the White House/press as the consequence of the Republicans’ control of one third of the government for the last seven months.


Dare we imagine this could be their plan? If so,this cynical long shot strategy may pay off for the Democrats. However, enabling the default and following through with the consequences will serve to demonstrate the length the Democrats will go to maintain power and control. It should serve as a shocking display of total callousness towards the public good. Rest confident however, that’s not how the press will play it.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really? It's only Obama that's playing a game here? I'm a registered Demo who will vote for whomever I feel makes the most sense, Demo, Repub, or Indy. I keep waiting for that third party candidate who might actually give a damn about the people in this country and not just doing whatever they can do to stay in power. From my point of view, both major parties have sold this country down the tubes.
I find Armstrong points of view interesting and sometimes enlightening, but I also find his "Republicanism as the shining path of Truth" a bit much, as well as this "Unthinkable" post.
Less taxes on the millionares and billionares are going to help us all out? Sorry, but the "trickling on" I was promised smelled funny, and the funk got stankier with NAFTA, with China's ("Patent, what's a patent?)trade policy, extending back to Reagan and Japan's steel dumping, meanwhile the masses are bamboozled into how these policies were going to uplift us all. But some of us actually asked ourselves how shipping our jobs over seas and allowing other country's to send it's subsidized product to ours was going to help us. "Don't worry, all boats will rise with the swelling waters". 'Course the problem was and is, that a few in this country are rising with their yahts while many don't even have a life preserver.
My personal viewpoint for the country is one of "Lifeboat Politics" where the health and welfare of our U.S. citizens should be our government's first concern, but if the Republican viewpoint of shoving the weaker, the poorer, the worker bees, off the boat because it will enhance their and their bloated friend's pocketbooks, they may one day come to find that they do not care for the banana republic they have strived so hard to create.

Anonymous said...

So Bernie gives Scott"pass the tea" Armstrong a box to spew from. And what did he spew? This is all Obama willing to destroy America to get re-elected. Too late Scott, Glenn Beck told us Obama was a racist two years ago. He is also a communist Muslim, remember.

Really Bernie, we know you love Dent. But this. Another bagger essay filled with the logic of a madman on crack.

Now serving number 7, next!!!

not so casual observer said...

The United States will not default on its debt, Social security checks, medicare and military (and vets) checks will go out, based on monthly income figures.If we default it will only be by executive order by the president to stop the checks from flowing.

Obama is using senoirs and military families to put pressure on Republicans to allow for recently added tax proposals. These taxes are to cover new social programs prior to the 2012 elections. It is also the reason that he wants all deals effective until 2013.

There is not now nor has there ever been any Obama plan or Democrat plan (in either house) for this dilema. The Republicans have submitted 3 plans.; In fact, there has been no budget from the dems for two years and the one Obama submitted did not get one vote (even from Dems). Obama is a real new comer to the talks, he has been campaigning and golfing for much of the past 60 days so he has some catching up to do. He jumped in when it became apparent that he could use the bully pulpit to scare senoirs by lying to them about Republican plans and verbally acost Republicans on national TV.

The truly distrbing part of this is that the President seems very comfortable lying to senoirs and military families and sees no ethical breech in using his office to manipulate them through subtrefuge and innuendo.

However this turns out, be aware that Obama has been working diligently for... OBAMA 2012.

Lighthouse said...

Appropriation: “a legislative grant of money to finance a government program or agency.“ While many states have constitutional debt limits, the national government’s is a legislative self-imposition. Congress’ Constitutional role is in the “power of the purse” in appropriating money in the first place, and collecting taxes and/or borrowing, to pay for it. For Congress (including the GOP House) to appropriate the money, then want to default in paying the bills is as dumbfounding, as it is hypocritical…..who is playing games Mr. Armstrong? To modify a favorite Republican anti-Kerry phrase from 2004: “I approved the spending, before I was opposed to the spending.” Really, that is an evil Obama conspiracy plot to win re-election? All the mirrors in D.C. must be broken so no one can look themselves in the eye. Both parties are to blame, and both need to work together for the country instead of the next election.

Reuters: “Moody's said the debt limit had not effectively curbed the rise in government debt because lawmakers regularly raise it and because that limit is not related to the level of expenditures approved by Congress.” Re-read that last part. They suggest doing away with the debt limit, and use other mechanisms. I AGREE with your point that the U.S. must stop borrowing so much, but part of the solution besides cuts must include revenue.

And to the point of who else is playing games: the GOP has dug in their heals on no “new” taxes, especially for the rich (er, I believe they are called “job creators” now on Fox). Let me ask my question via analogy. If I paid you $10/hour, and said Scott to save our business I need you to take a “temporary” pay cut to $7.50/hour. This way I can sell more and hire more. Then later when our “temporary” deal was over and I balked at restoring your pay to the original $10 as an outlandish “pay hike”, would you feel you were being unfair to ask for simply returning to $10/hour? After all, your costs have gone, up but not your revenue to pay for it. Doesn’t matter, does it? It is still an outlandish “pay hike” to me! And don’t bother to point out that I didn’t really create any new jobs with the extra money I had from paying you less. How dare you ask for it as part of any deal to put new limits on our “debt ceiling”.

And for the record, I am a Republican.

Anonymous said...

I though the deadline to raise the debt ceiling was Aug 2, 2011?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Geeting has called Mr. Armstong a "political hack" in his new blogspot. Is Mr. Geeting looking in a mirror or what?

After sampling some of Geetings blather and sharply biased messages in his 'independent' blog, I think it is good that he has finally come out of hiding and calls his Blog just plain John Geeting.

If I didn't think it was a joke or an insane notion, one would think that he is positioning himself for some sort of campaign for political office. Luckily, since he lives in Brooklyn, I don't think he'd pass local residency requirements.

BTW, I think Mr. Armstrong makes some valid points even given his bias. It is hard to understand how to negotiate with a community organizer like Obama who keeps changing the negotiations even after essential elements are agreed upon. No matter what is brought to him, Obama changes his position to seek something else. That's not compromise or negitiations, that's gamesmanship.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Although I'm not so sure I agree with Scott, I am offended by Geeting's constant name-calling. I consider Scott among the brightest people I know, not a "hack".

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:58, You are correct.

Anonymous said...

Even bright people can be psychotic and paranoid. The amazing nonsense that is being spun by right wing extremist news and pundits is the latest in a long line of conspiracy theories these folks thrive on.

It is simply two fundamental ideologies that must work it out. The President believes and has recommended cuts in spending, he also believes in bringing in more revenue through closing tax loopholes that are unnecessary. As an Independent voter I am glad he is willing to take a hit from his constituency in order to help the greater good. Somehow this is seen as "no plan".

We are in an extreme debt situation. The vast over 70% of Americans believe it must be dealt with by a mix of added revenue and spending cuts. By doing that you ensure the necessary funds for needed programs while paying down the debt, in a long term workable way. It is smart, logical and the way most normal people think.

The R's are terrified of the Norquist pledge and the potential of bagger primary opponents. So Boehner is forced to spew the nonsense, he clearly doesn't believe, that by doing the Presidents compromise we will destroy the job creators.

Well over the past decade of the job creators funds pouring in through gas, oil and overseas job subsidies we haven't exactly come up with a whole lot of real American make a living type jobs. So the old trickle down theory isn't what it was under the gipper.

So to my Extremist friends, and that is what you are regardless of your IQ, you are actually doing the entire Democratic Party a favor. This further example of twisting the facts has just about sealed the deal with the Independent voters who decide general elections. You continue to be the uncompromising little children stamping your impotent little feet. Let us hope your moderate reasonable R's in Congress, like Mr. Dent, are not so fearful 0f a Tea party challenge that they fold.

If they fold under extremist pressure. It will be a big year for Democrats in 2012.

The tea party slogan of we will destroy this country in order to rebuild it in the image of our Lord Norquist, will really play well with all the voting adults in 2012.

Bill Anders, Independent

Zorn said...

1;37Am written just like an anon union puke - probably a teacher

Anonymous said...

US taxpayers spend 18.6 million per day to incarcerate illegal aliens who can be deported to their home countries. DO the math. This number includes federal, state and local costs.

Put them all on a plane and send them home.


Trish

Anonymous said...

How many jobs did the 2% create with the tax breaks they enjoyed for the last TEN years? And Kantor can't ruffle their feathers. Destroy the middle class but protect the billionaires.

Morons. Dupes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Zorn, you do realize that Chris Miller was a union teacher, right?

Chris Miller said...

Anonymous 9:48PM
Still haven't found your testicular foritude.
I was a union member for a number of years. As the union grabbed more and more of my wages and as they became more liberal I decided to leave. Now sissy show us your name or refrain from posting. I would bet that you are Mr. Dellasandro from the union goons at Gracedale and that you were probably involved in illegal actions for gathering signatures.

Anonymous said...

You left with your public pension made ever so high by the union's efforts. Aren't you cute when you are confronted with the inconvenient truth.

Truth Goon

Anonymous said...

I'm no teacher, but I've had enough schooling to know what "ad hominem" means. It is listed under "False arguements" used by some who cannot support their positions with logic or reason.

Anonymous said...

Stop attacking Bernie. He may live an alternative lifestyle but he is far from 'ad hominem'.