Scaring granny

Raise the debt limit or we shoot this dog!

Real Clear Politics:

Budget Director Won’t Answer If WH Would Prioritize Social Security Payments:

White House Budget Director Jacob Lew dodged CNN’s Candy Crowley’s question if the administration would prioritize Social Security payments if a default occurred. Transcript of the exchange below:

CNN’s Candy Crowley, HOST: “More immediately, you’d have to make some spending priorities — payment priority decisions: Social Security benefits, and federal worker pay, and defense contractors. What are your priorities should the debt ceiling not be raised on the 2nd, when you have the bills that immediately come due? Social Security checks, federal worker pay, defense contractors?”

Jacob Lew, WH Budget Director: “Our plan is for Congress to do its work and the President to sign into law legislation that will make it possible for the United States as it always has, to keep its obligations. We’ll be ready to deal with whatever happens. There is no plan other than meeting our obligations.”

CROWLEY: “Surely you must have discussed priorities, though, we have to pay this?”

LEW: “The truth is this is a different situation the United States has ever faced. We’ve never gone into a situation where we didn’t have enough money to pay our bills. We borrow 40 cents on a dollar right now. And if the time comes when we lose the ability to pay our bills, there will be a cash flow issue that is very real, and that’s why it’s critical that Congress take action before August 2nd.”

CROWLEY: “Would you allow it to happen that those the Social Security checks would not go out? Would you allow that to happen?”

LEW: “As the President has indicated, it’s not a question of what we allow and what we don’t allow –”

CROWLEY: “But you get to decide priorities. There will be some money –”

LEW: “There will not be enough money to pay all the bills.”

CROWLEY: “Of course not, that’s why I’m talking about priorities.”

LEW: “I think that once someone gets into the business of trying to ask about setting priorities it misses the question. Which is that it’s unacceptable for the United States to be in a place whether it’s Social Security recipients, or a soldier or somebody who is just owed money by the government can’t be paid because we have not done our job.”

We’ve all been in the situation where our bills exceeded our income. So what do you do if you have $2,500 in bills and $2,000 in income? You pay the most important $2,000 in bills. That’s called “prioritizing.”

Some stupid Chillbilly:

We have the $200 billion coming into the federal government every month. It takes $35 billion — I’m sorry, billion dollars — we have $35 billion that we must use to service the debt, $50 billion that we must use to write those Social Security checks, $2.9 billion to pay for our military personnel, and then other essentials.

You prioritize. Our president essentially suggested the other day that he’s not able to prioritize. As the chief executive of our nation, he cannot prioritize, and that’s why he suggested that Social Security checks may not be written come August 2nd if that debt ceiling isn’t increased.

No. You pay for the essentials first and then the non-essentials have to get cut. They have to wait.

What should our priorities be?

Social Security. Medicare. Military pay. Servicing our existing debt.


White House dinner parties and concerts. Potemkin townhalls. Executive salaries.

That is not to say that most government spending isn’t a good idea. But you have to make do with what you have. This whole idea of raising the debt limit now and cutting spending later is like giving a credit card to a crackhead.

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53 Responses to Scaring granny

    • Mary says:

      Where IS the president’s plan???????????

      As the CBO said, “We don’t score speeches.”

  1. JeanLouise says:

    The only people who will get paid for sure are the president and the Congress.

  2. JeanLouise says:

    I’m watching True Blood so I’m not going to listen to Rubio. Did he say what his priorities are? Everyone who’s holding up this vote should have to say who they’re going to screw.

    I vote for the military contractors.

  3. timothy2010 says:

    Watched The Real Housewives of Someplace Affluent for the first and last time a week or so ago. I found it quite funny and from an editing, directing and acting perspective — entertaining. I was stunned though that the people I watched it with thought it was real.
    These days I see no difference between any of the nightly news or 24 hour cable shows(right or left wing) than Wife Swap or The Bachelor. Base manipulation. How sad.
    Is this all the fault or Roone Arledge or whoever the guy was he went from Wide World of Sports to network news.

    • ralphb says:

      I don’t know who to blame for those shows but they should be run out of the business immediately. Yuck.

  4. myiq2xu says:


    Obama generated twice as many campaign contributors as new jobs through second quarter of 2011

    Here’s an interesting couple of numbers that emerged during this past week: According to Jim Messina, his campaign manager, through the second quarter of 2011, President Obama now has 552,000 contributors to his 2012 re-election campaign.

    And the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that during the same two quarters, the U.S. economy generated 260,000 jobs.

    In other words, Obama attracted twice as many campaign donors as his economic policies created new jobs. That probably explains a great deal about yet a third number that received a great deal of attention this week: Gallup’s finding that a “generic Republican” leads Obama by eight points in voter preference for 2012.

  5. Finally some clear good sense from someone who knows what she’s doing! I was wondering what Sarah thought of all this.

    • JeanLouise says:

      She’s said that she doesn’t think that we should raise the debt limit. She hasn’t said who shouldn’t get paid either.

      • Obama’s imported Chicago pizza chef?

      • WMCB says:

        Funny how we insist that Sarah, who is not party to all this, and has no obligation to produce an entire white paper, needs to be even more specific. Yet the Dems who ARE at the table get a pass.

        I for one would like some reasonable alternatives to the R plans, or at least some modifications to them. But have the Dems or Obama produced any? Nope.

        President Spendy McFiscalPants doesn’t want to be held accountable for any concrete actions. He wants to return to the days of “Don’t tell me words don’t matter!”

        Listen, you dipshit, you did not apply for the job of National Narrative Setter, or National Feeling Generator. You applied for an Executive position that requires real life decision-making, not mere agitating. Fucking do your damn job.

      • She’s given more specifics than anyone else has. She’s plenty busy already; probably she’d need more information about current expenses before she could work up a more detailed plan.

  6. myiq2xu says:

    Congress tees up crucial votes on debt limit

    A bipartisan effort in the Senate to allow President Obama to raise the federal debt ceiling in exchange for about $1.5 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years gained momentum Sunday, as leaders agreed they would have to act in the next two weeks to avert a potential default by the U.S. government.

    • Dario says:

      It’s been a stupid theater and in the end congress and the president are losers.

    • ralphb says:

      The McConnell deal has a strong chance of never making it through the house. It’s a squishy mound of crap.

  7. DandyTiger says:

    So let me get this straight, Obama is admitting he’s too incompetent to run the executive branch.

    Or course I always knew he was too incompetent for the job. But I’m surprised he’s admitting it.

  8. Dario says:

    What should our priorities be?

    Social Security. Medicare. Military pay. Servicing our existing debt.

    White House dinner parties and concerts. Potemkin townhalls. Executive salaries.

    The problem with a good priority attack is that it might show that the government can function with lots less, and that is not what Obama wants to do.

    • 1539days says:

      Obamacare (1500 waivers and counting!) and the Stimulus (you mean there’s some left?) are not priorities either.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Market traders are saying (on twitter, so grain of salt) that treasuries will actually do well if there is a short term govt default…that debt service will have seniority over govt disbursements. Most likely cut first would be federal to state transfers/subsidies, putting more pressure on state and city budgets.

  9. DandyTiger says:

    Who could have imagined this president would end up being such a clusterfuck. Oh yea, we did.

  10. ralphb says:

    myiq, great statement and too true!

    This whole idea of raising the debt limit now and cutting spending later is like giving a credit card to a crackhead.

    • Dario says:

      Here is my solution:
      The dick agrees to undo his health care, and the Republicans with a big smile, give him the debt limit increase. Obama gives his Sherman speech. American voters are the biggest winners.

  11. Mr. Mike says:

    That gun & dog cover raised a bit of outrage when National Lampoon printed it.

  12. WMCB says:

    Krauthammer goes after Totenburg on the outright lie that the president has “offered” anything at all. No, he hasn’t. He has talked.

    Please note: whether you like the republican proposals or not, they have at least put some hard, specific numbers and areas of cuts down on paper. They are negotiating openly. Obama talks, but has yet to offer a single specific, and the press lets him get away with it. How can you negotiate when the other side can say different things every other day, and wants you to yield on a specific thing in return for promises of unspecified vagaries?

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: [The President] talks a good game. “Oh, I’m prepared to do entitlements, I’m ready to do entitlements.” Not once has he ever enunciated in public – other than all these leaks which I don’t trust for half a second – one structural change in entitlements, and without that, everybody over the age of nine knows we are not going to get a handle on the debt. So let’s hear him say it in public once.

    NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: So why is it when he offered the big deal, the $4 trillion deal…

    GORDON PETERSON, HOST: The grand bargain.

    TOTENBERG: …the grand bargain, Republicans backed away from it?

    KRAUTHAMMER: When did he offer that?

    TOTENBERG: He offered that last week.


    TOTENBERG: In, he did it, publicly and in negotiations.

    KRAUTHAMMER: In your leaks? What’s in the $4 trillion?

    TOTENBERG: But Charles.

    KRAUTHAMMER: Give me a number. Explain to me what’s in it.

    TOTENBERG: Why is it, in two, in matter of two days, Republicans backed away from that and said we don’t want it?

    KRAUTHAMMER: You accept everything he says, a $4 trillion deal, if you don’t have a single item in it that you can enunciate.

    TOTENBERG: Well, I’m not at the table. Perhaps you are, but I’m not.

    KRAUTHAMMER: Well then how does he expect America to accept something in which he explains nothing?

    TOTENBERG: He actually said I’m going to get heat from my own people.

    Read more:

    • WMCB says:

      Once again, the press is letting Obama slide by taking as gospel his words of intent, rather than looking at any detailed policies at all, or if he even has any to offer.

      He’s doing the same thing he has always done – get the press to force the other side to be specific (and therefore easily demagogued) while he gets to hide in the weeds of generalized lofty goals with no specifics.

      This is why I reiterate that I am not in favor of ceding anything to the Dems, whether a debt ceiling raise or tax hikes, until I see what their plan is. Maybe I will like it, maybe I won’t. But I cannot know that until they produce one. I don’t make deals where I’m trading for “whatever is behind door number two”.

    • ralphb says:

      My favorite part.

      KRAUTHAMMER: My colleagues are demonstrating a point I’ve been trying to make about how you have a completely compliant, pliant, supine press accepting every leak out of the White House. Tell me, we have been told, I’ve heard it again and again that the President’s prepared to do, to make cuts in entitlements. Name me one.

      • WMCB says:

        Yup. There are two possibilities here. Either he has no intention of any cuts to entitlements at all, and is just throwing the idea out there to try to get fiscal conservatives to lean his way. Or he DOES have cuts in mind, and they are so bad in concept and implementation that he wants the R’s to commit to them sight unseen before he reveals them to the public and says “The nasty republicans made me do this”.

        • ralphb says:

          Several Republicans have said that you can’t just “cut” SS or Medicare without causing damage to people. As an example of a cut, they give Obama taking $500 billion out to spend on Obamacare instead. They say we need a longer term plan for “reform”, whatever that means. I would agree with them on that.

        • WMCB says:

          ralph, even most conservatives I know don’t want immediate cuts to Medicare, or a cessation of the program. They want it restructured for the long term, because they believe that if we don’t, it will crash and burn and nobody gets any safety net at all. Whether you agree with them or not, or like their ideas about how to do it, they are putting it out there in an honest manner. Attacking that with the “they all hate granny, that’s their real motive – to dismantle all social programs” meme is dishonest and unproductive.

          The only ones I know who want NO social safety net are hard-core libertarians and a very small handful of blindly stubborn uber-conservatives. About the same number as there are of lefties who are true hard-core socialists or communists.

          I think the talking heads on the left who make those claims either a) know it’s not true, and are playing demagoguing games, or b) live in a bubble and never have any conversations with actual conservatives.

        • ralphb says:

          I wholeheartedly agree. The amount of base dishonesty being sold by the Dems is really amazing.

        • WMCB says:

          IOW, I’m really tired of them trying to get the public to react based on what they think the other evil side really secretly wants to do rather than weighing the pros and cons of the actual proposals on the table. I hate it whether it’s someone on the right screaming that those lefties really want (whether they say so or not) to turn us into communist Russia, or someone on the left screaming that the end goal of any budget cuts by the R’s is their hidden desire (whether they admit it or not) to dismantle the govt entirely and laugh at the poor.

          It’s all bullshit. Radicals do exist on both sides. So what? Most Americans are not radicals.

        • ralphb says:

          Radicals tend to be mostly harmless provocateurs because they can’t gen up a big following so I don’t worry much about them.

          I do worry about movements that have citizens calling elected officials thieves, and worse, because of policy disagreements. But at least that’s speech. When they attempt to get them thrown out of office for it, that becomes undemocratic. I don’t see the WI recalls too much differently than the Clinton impeachment saga. They are all of a brand of politics that I hate.

        • “even most conservatives I know don’t want immediate cuts to Medicare, or a cessation of the program. They want it restructured for the long term, because they believe that if we don’t, it will crash and burn and nobody gets any safety net at all. ”

          How many of the conservatives that you know, work in high finance and stand to get money from cuts in SS/Med?

          Of course normal grassroots people have good motives and reasonable opinions (based on the information available). How many of them supported the bank bailouts? But the bank bailouts happened.

          Maybe it’s wise to look at motives of those who will make the actual big decisions in the fine print, rather than at their voters.

    • “Please note: whether you like the republican proposals or not, they have at least put some hard, specific numbers and areas of cuts down on paper. ”

      But do you think those will really survive the Committee of Fine Print and Sealing Wax, when it gets to the stage of “pass it to find out what’s in it”?

  13. ralphb says:

    Coburn’s $9 trillion debt plan

    Late last week, it looked like Tom Coburn might rejoin the Gang of Six in the Senate, which restarted their efforts to find a compromise on the budget as the debt-ceiling limit debate rages. Today, however, Coburn will become a Gang of One by releasing his own plan to reduce the deficit by twice the amount of the Paul Ryan plan. Unlike Ryan, Coburn plans on increasing federal revenues, but through reform of the tax code:

    This kind of plan is always worth looking into, no matter the source.

  14. ralphb says:

    Get Ready for a 70% Marginal Tax Rate

    Take a teacher in California earning $60,000. A current federal rate of 25%, a 9.5% California rate, and 15.3% payroll tax yield a combined income tax rate of 45%. The income tax increases to cover the CBO’s projected federal deficit in 2016 raises that to 52%. Covering future Social Security and Medicare deficits brings the combined marginal tax rate on that middle-income taxpayer to an astounding 71%. That teacher working a summer job would keep just 29% of her wages. At the margin, virtually everyone would be working primarily for the government, reduced to a minority partner in their own labor.

    It’s no longer ideology, it’s arithmetic now.

  15. yttik says:

    We need jobs. It’s redundant and simplistic, I know, but we need jobs. If people have jobs they depend on the government less and actually pay taxes. When people have jobs, the Gov spend less and gets more revenue.

    You can’t create jobs by mortgage reduction programs, unemployment extensions, cash for clunkers, 600 dollar stimulus checks, bailing out troubled assets, or cutting social security benefits. You can’t create jobs by raising the debt ceiling. You can’t even create jobs by taxing the rich, destroying public unions, reducing pensions or passing Obamacare. Nothing the Gov has done or is threatening to do has anything to do with job creation, in fact, just the opposite. Their inability to focus on that one simple solution is actually causing us to bleed jobs all over the country.

    • ralphb says:

      People have to have some confidence and money again for jobs to be created. Businesses need customers.

      Hopefully some of those other things you mention will be helpful as people work their debt down to give them the faith to start or expand businesses and create new jobs.

      A WPA would be nice but what would be pay workers with, scrip? We haven’t the available money without taking it from somewhere else now.

  16. ralphb says:

    ZeroHedge Sigma X Trading Suggests European Contagion May Be Shifting From Italy To The UK

    Over 3 weeks ago, before Italian treasury spreads blew out by several hundred basis points, and before Italian bank stock trading halts became a daily occurrence, we suggested that the European contagion was shifting to Italy based on Goldman dark pool Sigma X trading. To wit: “Today’s most active names are Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo. Translation: someone is actively positioning for serious action in Italy shortly.” That someone sure was right, and it is precisely this trifecta of stocks that at last check was halted on the Borsa. Well, based on today’s action at Sigma X, the next, and probably biggest domino may be about to fall: the UK itself, because coming in at position #2, just behind UniCredit, we see Lloyds Banking. And if Lloyds goes, the ones that will follow are Barclays and RBS. At that point, the financial crisis goes global.

    Maybe we shouldn’t worry about the debt ceiling after all? Oh well.

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