The upshot of yesterday's press conference was that President Obama reiterated that he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling. If the House will not vote to raise it (the Senate would) then we won't pay our bills, including Social Security checks, Veterans' benefits, and well hey, the government will shut down. It's all on the Republican plate.
It's an interesting position for the administration to take. It will also be intriguing to see what they advertise in the near future relative to the effects of the debt ceiling NOT being raised. One thing we learned from the '95 and '96 government shutdowns was that it cost the government MORE to shut down then to remain open. It seems counter-intuitive, but that is the upshot. Back then, there was no question about the debt ceiling so spending more was not an issue. Further, we were not at war, so we weren't losing tons of money every day.
Will the administration go up on TV with ads that ask seniors how long they'll last with no Social Security checks, no Medicare and Medicaid payments to their providers, no Meals-on-Wheels and no SNAP money? What about an ad showing homeless vets because they've lost their benefits? Old news footage of an empty DC, replete with disappointed tourists?
What will Boehner do? He has already passed the fiscal cliff and initial Sandy legislation on Democratic votes. Will he do the same for the debt ceiling? Will the House Republicans really want to go down in history as the only Congress to put the US in default? Certainly, the tea baggers will, since they are committed to sedition and treason. But they're approximately 67 out of 435 members. Enough to take hostages if they want, but not enough to vote something up or down. It's an issue of whether Boehner is still willing to negotiate with terrorists. And make no mistake, the tea baggers are terrorists, legitimately capable of more destruction than any outside form of terrorism.
Boehner has postured that he is ready to shut down the government. While we will survive that, the Republican Party will not. Most people have short memories, and they have already forgotten the hit to the economy the last time the GOP screwed around with the debt ceiling last year. They don't realize how much of a benefit they derive directly from the government, and how bad things could get if adults don't step in.
I trust that once the government shuts down, if it does, a few days will pass, and then Obama will invoke the 14th, or mint the coin, and be a veritable saviour. I'm also not convinced that a refusal to raise the debt ceiling is not an act of sedition on the part of those Congressmen who refuse to raise it. It's a violation of the Constitution, and that constitutes sedition and potentially treason. It strikes me that those people could be arrested. If so, there could be a vote of the remaining members which would pass a raise in the debt ceiling.
I don't know why more people don't see a refusal to pay already incurred bills of a sovereign state to be an act of sedition, and why that is not taken more seriously.
Onward today to the Biden gun initiative.