624 Comments

Disappointing. All because Biden was unwilling to enforce the Constitution that should take precedence over these silly debt ceilings.

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Trump wants the ship to sink. His bitter outlook toward our people leaves me with a sick feeling because Trump just doesn't care about anything but his own advancement. Donnie Boy is still pulling the strings in that party and it will be interesting to see how the final vote goes knowing the weight Trump's opinion carries. Don't hold your breath this thing isn't over.

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Not only Trump, but most of the GOP is pulling for economic collapse & failure by Biden in hopes that it'll help get them back in power (permanently).

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Jaime--I didn't want my post to sound that dire, but your right, it's a universal Republican position to want the current administration to fail terribly and they have their teeth fully embedded in the economic failure possibility.

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I don't disagree Donald.

But we should recognize that despite Republican efforts (and this one was epic), the economy and the Biden administration are not failing. In fact, both are succeeding spectacularly.

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President Biden is, in fact, an older, more gaff-prone FDR! NO ONE has passed a bigger Environmental bill in our HISTORY!

Is he a "good" president though? He is only as good as the insurrectionist, 30% traitors LET him be unfortunately.

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Repealing that environmental bill (actually part of the Inflation Reduction Act) was one of the Republicans' big demands. But they caved on it, as well as about 80% of everything else they had demanded. Thank you, Joe Biden! Experience counts.

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And no one has spent more on the military. Cut the war budget

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Jerry--Your position is understandable for someone with the good sense to come in out of the rain. However, seeing as how we are all born wet they have a deep seated desire to stay that way.

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Agreed--From Fareed Zakaria: The U.S. recovered from the pandemic faster than any major economy in the world, unemploymnt is low. Gross domestic prod.(GDP) has grown at 3 times the average pace it did under Trump, incomes are rising, manufacturing is booming inflation has eased for 10 straight months.

The deficit was 15.6% of GDP when Trump’s term ended & dropped to 5.5% of GDP at end of last yr. U.S. is the world’s leader in business esp. in cutting-edge tech. Of the world’s top 2k companies China’s firms are 1st in profit shares in 11% of sectors but U.S. firms are 1st in 74%.

So far, the dollar remains the global reserve currency which makes the U.S. a financial superpower. The U.S. is now world’s largest producr of liquid hydrocarbons. Thanks to tax credits & incentives

for green energy in the Infla.Reduc.Act,

we now have comprehensive energy capacity.

The U.S. has more than 50 treaty allies; China has one. We have about 750 military bases around the world; China has one. But, depending on what the GOP does with the budget, we may lose economic dominance in the world. In other words, the GOP

has a tendency to use America’s economic strength as a license to be irresponsible. (WaPo, 5/26/23)

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"Succeeding spectacularly." The fact there have been massive layoffs in tech, and a few large bank failures causes me to hold back on the "spectacular" part.

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Thomas, neither one of which has anything to do with Biden. The people running the banks are the same people "funding" the republican party, and the tech layoffs are a self-inflicted wound when AI was unleashed, along with the trump and Fed covid policies. When you pull back, and look at the Big Picture Biden policies, you see the true benefits to the everyday Americans, which is spectacular.

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It is “spectacular” in the face of the level of opposiiton …

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Speak for yourself! That ain’t happening here.

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Huh?

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If the economy does collapse, GOP will have very little left to Power over. In essence their "power" will be nothing more than a smoke screen in the dearth of viable options for restoring the world's economy.

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Fascists don't seem to care as long as they can claim to rule over some territory. Note how Putin is perfectly happy to destroy territory (e.g. Ukraine) he hopes to seize.

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It's why the 'Mericun NAZI Party adores Vlad The Impaler as much as they do.

That, and their putrid orange fuehrer commands them to admire and love that POS as well.

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May 29, 2023·edited May 29, 2023

They want to 'rule' at all costs ; education, environment destruction, health decline (Americans in the U S have lower longevity as time wears on), and precious 'Freedom' is nonexistent for the majority ; Bottom line ; they get to ride herd over a $#it#ole country, if they have their way!

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those in power - the oligarchs will never be affected by economic meltdown. what will happen is that they will pick up the pieces for pennies on the dollar, making hedge funders look like amateurs. the stooges in the political parties will never understand this, because they've been bribed by what is essentially pocket change from the oligarchs. the banksters, if there's any money left in the gov't. coffers which hasn't been stolen by the oligarchs, will be bailed out by the gov't., because they've been paid to do that.

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You've captured the situation exactly, Paul. As always, we the people are screwed.

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AGREED!

But, how can those fascist oligarchs' companies/holdings/whatever NOT take a BIG hit from that total meltdown as well?

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because all their money is offshored they may be inconvenienced at not being able to trade in their yachts or jets for bigger and sleeker for a while. remember 2008 when people lost homes and jobs - the banksters took home huge bonuses. Remember also that $50 trillion has been transferred from the middle/lower classes to the rich since raygun was president.. that money is NOT in the US, for the most part. and it certainly hasn't been taxed.

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Citizens United should not have passed.

Just a thought and I can't say I am right (yes there is a "but") BUT if the super rich, say like Jeff Bezos, had paid their fair share of taxes that the money for infrastructure, education, and support of systems during covid would have been more available. He could still have bought a billion dollar yacht with baby yachts and probably each yacht had a dingy too. I don't care if someone is very successful yet not when it is also connected to such power. ( I will stop now) I am very worried.

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I know. We could get so much more out of billionaires like Bezos, Musk & Koch, which would make a considerable difference in the welfare of the middle & lower classes.

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The problem is a lot of the people who would be hurt would be people who voted for Republicans.

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Yes, but Republican politicians don't care about the welfare of their constituents or supporters. It's all performative, & gullible MAGA people readily fall for it. Their zeal to harm fellow Americans whom they see as enemies blinds them to the fact that they are harmed by Republican policies, too.

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All anyone has to do is listen to what the FPOTUS said about raising the debt ceiling when he was President and what he is saying now. Treasonous!

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Trump needs presidential immunity—upcoming jail sentences have him freaking out. As it should be, finally

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PRECISELY!

That rancid orange POS will do ANYTHING to keep from being put behind bars, including literally/physically blowing up the world, if it could. :(

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didn't Biden say it wouldn't work cause it would get tied up in court

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I think somebody said that, but I think he should've given it a try, anyway, to show where he stands & call out those who would oppose the Constitution & call for default.

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Seection 5 of the 14th Amend states that CONGRESS has the authority to enforce the 14th Amendment. Not the Executive branch.

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Correct, and that's why I emailed (repeatedly) my Congressman and Senators. Invoking the Constitution is the DUTY of anyone who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, including the 6 deconstructionists on the Supreme Court.

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Total waste of time to email/write any Congress person; neither they nor their hired help trouble themselves to read taxpayer/voter opinions. They simply don't care. Most have been well paid to vote / say what they say/ how they vote.

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My Congressman and both Senators (even Feinstein) reply to all constituent correspondence. When I attend Dr Bera's Town Hall meetings he is very responsive to questions. What I like best is, if he disagrees with my position he explains why he is in disagreement. My only problem isn't with my elected officials, it's with the DCCC and DNC. They have put a lot of pressure on elected Legislators in California to "pander" for them, especially since in the last two elections they gave millions (no exaggeration) to MAGA candidates for the screwy rationale they'd be easier to beat in the general election; at the same time they gave NO support, zero, nada to worthy politicians who were fighting desperate contests. Results: we lost in Ohio and Florida, States we could have won with the candidates we put up. I don't know what State you live in, Barbara, but I'd have a serious talk with your local Democratic Party. The DNC and the Local Democratic Party are the ones that are supposed to find and back worthy candidates. If neither agency are doing it, threaten to withdraw your support.

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I'm sorry that is your experience, & I know that's the experience of many people, but I can say that Sen. Jeff Merkley, at least, is very responsive to his constituents.

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This type of thinking leads to the gulag.

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Actually, the 5th article of the 14th Amendment concerns the process by which additions or changes can be made to the Constitution. It says nothing about enforcement.

"Article 5, Section 1

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

Section 4 concerns paying the public debt.

"Section 4 Public Debt

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void."

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Carlos wrote: "Seection 5 of the 14th Amend states that CONGRESS has the authority to enforce the 14th Amendment. Not the Executive branch." WRONG! But thank you for playing. Congress has no enforcement authority for anything. That's not how it works. The Executive is tasked with enforcement of laws. That's why Congressional subpoenas can be easily ignored; DOJ must enforce them....if it cares to do so.

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Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment does state in so many words that Congress has the power to enforce the preceding sections, by appropriate legislation.

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Carolyn Herz wrote: "Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment does state in so many words that Congress has the power to enforce the preceding sections, by appropriate legislation."

Yes....BY APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION. That authroizes Congree to put teeth into the Fourteenth Amendment, but it still does not give Congree any ability to actually "bite." Congress legislates. Theoretically, they could pass a law to "enforce" the 14th Amendment b declaring the penalty to be death by hanging. But they still can't do any hanging because THAT is the job of the DOJ. You are comparing apples to oranges.

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Fallback position for Biden could've been the trillion dollar (or however much it's supposed to be) platinum coin.

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Isn’t funny how no one presents the complete story.

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Which is???

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You know Trump wouldn't hesitate -- that's why, rightly or wrongly, many see him as "strong" whereas Democrats in general are "weak".

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Those who admire 'strong' leaders think that strength will only be used against people they dislike - only realising that it will also harm themselves when it's too late.

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The very basic tenets of outright fascism 101. ;)

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Of course, far more see Donald Trump as impulsive, reckless, and cruel. Whereas Democrats in general are disciplined, prudent, and compassionate.

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Yes, there are two aspects to "power" -- the ability to create life (or make it better) and the ability to destroy it. The latter is more cheap and easy, so small people turn to that first when they want to feel powerful.

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Bill read the book, Strongmen:Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben Ghiat

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Yes, but many knowledgeable people weighed the costs of that (spelled out) against the costs of default or the costs to vulnerable Americans of any conceivable deal, and showed them to be less. I agree with Jaime. The only thing I can imagine kept Biden from using his Constitutional power was a wish to look like dealmaker he sees himself as. Admittedly I dislike the man, but one reason I do is that he’s always struck me as narcissistic that way. Not curious, not able to learn, not therefore able to think through the costs down through the years of showing the Republicans they can take the President hostage and win.

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And this is why I believe it is a mistake to put him in a second term. If we want to stop the crazies it has to be with someone strong and with the ability to message in a way that many can identify with - that is not Biden in my Mexico bd

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I can't believe so many people can't see what a masterful negotiator Biden is. He got a good deal here, probably the same he'd have gotten during budget negotiations later in the year.

And he did it without vituperation and name-calling. A negotiator who needlessly antagonizes the other side is worse than useless. Biden kept things covil, probably even friendly. That's how you get what you want. Not by being a bully.

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I recommend that people go back and read what the Republicans were demanding when they passed their spending-cut/debt limit bill last month (the "Limit, Save, Grow Act") . Then compare that with what they actually get in this agreement.

Those who say there never should have been a negotiation or a deal don't understand that the Budget Act requires a deal. Normally that happens in the Fall because a budget must be passed by October 1. And that's when we could have expected another round of Republican threats and a government shutdown.

But President Biden brilliantly insisted that the negotiations just completed were about the budget, not the debt ceiling. As a result, the final agreement includes an enforcement measure so that not only is there no default, there will be no government shutdown.

That's a monumental achievement -- one that reflects Mr. Biden's experience and vast knowledge of how to make government work. Of course, it's an achievement likely to be overlooked by Democrats who insist on throwing shade at their own leaders.

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This point has been made on NPR, in the Washington Post, the New York Times, etc. However it has also been pointed out there and elsewhere that the negotiation is an attempt to get the debt ceiling raised, orchestrated by the MAGA Republicans who are themselves willing to use the word "hostage"--about Biden, though the ultimate hostage is the global economy. Yes, the Budget Act requires a deal, all Budget Acts do. That does not mean that Speaker McCarthy can make his demands contingent on the country's loss of full faith and credit, plunging the world into recession at a time of enormous difficulties--including a proxy war with a nuclear power run by a mad autocrat, and a climate emergency the IPCC says we have 4 or 5 years left to mitigate before our children and grandchildren are literally doomed. That's not negotiation, that's terrorism (why Republicans call Biden their "hostage.")

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Talk about it more. Write to people. Write to the press. Write to pundits. BE LOUD. Get it out there.

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It's a mistake to compare what Republicans demand to what they get because they are far more ambitious in what they ask for than the Democrats, as they have been since at least the 1990s, which is why our national policy has moved so far to the right.

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Masterful? On what planet? What's the good deal? It's a deal to be sure, but there was no need to be put in the position of deal-making to begin with.

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Exactly so, dn. Making a deal that gives in to the crazies and hurts the most vulnerable part of the population is most definitely NOT masterful!

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MBKiefer no doubt you are right that he was civil in his behavior, and got a deal. Those of us who are deeply disappointed disagree that he needed to make a deal, and real people are going to suffer in the millions because of that deal—though it was indeed better than the Republicans non-starter of a plan. But as I said, and many constitutional lawyers and political observers have said, it was unnecessary and the suffering will therefore have been unnecessary. Biden is civil—which I too appreciate after our hell years under the madman. But he he is and always has been amoral. Not as bad as immoral, I grant you.

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We keep saying we dont want to the rigid polarization, and then when we get something that isn’t rigid polarization, we get p.o.’d.

Which is it? Get back to actually governing .. step by step, because that’s the only way to get from one place to another — or keep it up with digging in our heels right where we are and fighting it out?

Come on… say it loud — which is it?

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MB: I can't believe so many people can't see that submitting to being held hostage is no effective way to govern.

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Did you notice that Biden negotiated the deal he would have had to make in the Fall? So the result is no default, no government shut down in October, and way better terms than we might have expected from the Republicans' Default On America bill.

Could he have refused to negotiate with terrorists? Sure. And then we *would* have had default and all the economic tragedy that goes with it. Biden is a negotiator, and negotiation means nobody gets everything they want, but everybody gets enough of what they need. Republicans needed to save face, and Biden gave them that (as long as people don't look too closely at how much they gave up). Nobody wins in blood-feud bargaining.

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founding

I agree with you, MB Kiefer. Biden's formative years in government were prior to the era we are now in. He has lived and worked in a setting where people may have differences but they don't rigidify around them, they work toward some version of concensus. So the goal may take longer to achieve, many rounds of work, but the process is genuine and collegial.

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MB I will grant that he's a good negotiator, given his priorities and values (which only partly overlap with mine). My objection, and everyone's who is "disappointed" by this outcome, is that he negotiated at all when he did two good options.

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Agreed. It’s not his age, it’s just who he is.

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I'm sorry you dislike President Biden. I don't think it's narcissism; he's trying to bring civility back - compromise, common goals, congeniality. I believe him when he says he's fighting for the soul of America, and I will happily support and vote for him in 2024.

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I too will vote for him again. It is melancholy to have to vote for a man whose actions and policies throughout my whole life have been hurtful to human beings, but he is certainly much better than the terrifying alternatives. And yes, he is civil, which I do like.

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I will too of course, though I think he, and his team made a mistake in running. But there are arguments pro and con. I might be mistaken.

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(Not sure who you mean dislikes Biden. Like you, I'm a big supporter of him.)

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And another thing: lest we forget, as VP, Biden handed a debt limit victory to the pre-MAGAs in 2012. Harry Reid had teed the Dems up for a decisive victory on the issue, but McConnell went over Reid's head to Biden. The result was the loss of an opportunity to implement a number of important Dem policies. In fact, Biden gave McConnell MORE than he'd asked for, and Reid was beside himself. So....yeah, Biden has a history of "dealing" to enhance his reputation. He just can't see that making losing deals isn't in the country’s best interest.

https://theintercept.com/2023/05/23/biden-debt-ceiling-harry-reid-mitch-mcconnell/

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Wow. That’s quite a takedown of Biden. While I would have liked him to at least try the 14th I disagree with your assessment of Biden. Joe Biden hasn’t learned? He has appointed more women and minorities in every capacity than any president. That is not merely an accomplishment but accomplishments from someone who has learned that representation matters. COVID-- he got shots in our arms and money in our pockets during (I hate to use the word) unprecedented times in a hostile environment. Joe Biden restored our international reputation and helped navigate us and the free world through the very dangerous Putin crisis. Biden was the single person qualified to do that job at this time. Unemployment lower than it’s been since we walked on the moon. All politicians are narcissists to one degree or another (imo). All of this does not make Biden or his decision making perfect. But it makes him a very decent person and successful president.

Yes I wish the Dems flexed more muscle. But let’s wait to see what was negotiated away before we declare a winner or loser. Considering what we are dealing with they have not won anything yet.

If we want to throw fire we can look at the state houses who are slowly taking over, subverting the will of the people and preparing to be able to legally overturn election results.

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I'm sorry it strikes you as a take-down. I wasn't here to vent. But he's broken the policy promises that meant most to me and the many young people in my life, sometimes spectacularly (signing 88 permits for drilling in the Gulf the day after he came back from COP27, for starters, and later for the Arctic, plus Enbridge Line 3 and the Trans Mountain Pipeline!), and he hasn't restored our reputation abroad, at least in Europe where I work part of the year and read papers even when I'm not there. (I don't think you and I agree 100% about the awful Ukraine situation, but I'm not sure who could manage it with the cards US policy re: NATO left for him!) I didn't demonize or attack him. I *disagreed* with him, along with many economists and policy wonks like Bob Reich (one of whom spelled out this a.m. the precise costs of the deal for the vulnerable, the IRS, the future), and admitted I don't *personally* like him. I've agreed that he's civil, said I liked that about him. I just reread my comment (which you "Liked") and don't see it throwing fire. Some responses that agree were more heated.

I do agree wholeheartedly about the statehouses and state supreme courts and legislatures. I've been working very hard since 2021, phone-banking and organizing and canvassing and registering people to vote, to get good AGs, secretaries of state, justices, state legislators into seats in red and swing states. As we all must do. It's absolutely urgent.

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It is easy to criticize someone when you are looking on the outside. Who knows what President Biden is dealing with? Speculation is just speculation. I believe we must be more supportive of the President. There is a lot at stake in every aspect of our country today.

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Constance I've been watching Biden in action throughout his career. He's "disappointed" me over and over again. (And to be clear, I'm an activist Democrat. I voted for him for president, reluctantly, and even more reluctantly I will again next year if he's the nominee.) I'm not looking at him from the outside: he is my president and this is my country--and I understand economics, the structures of the US government, and his career. Bob Reich in particular, former Sec'y of Labor, is not looking at him from the outside.

I have every right to criticize the president because I live in a democracy and that is how democracies work--and thrive.

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I do understand your sentiment. However, I believe that sending positive messages to the President is more powerful to assist him in making good decisions than constant criticism from the people that say they will vote for him. I further believe that the our society needs more people who are willing to support each other than people who are so willing to tear each other down. The constant lies and harassment the President receives from the Republican Party is more than enough hate to keep him on his toes. We need more support and more positive discussions about solutions. The President cannot do it all by himself. We must work to support his efforts.

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Constance I work a few hours every day registering voters and phonebanking in swing states to organize grassroots voters and get them to vote in local and state elections by explaining the stakes. Those are my positive contributions. And that work is where the people of this country can be cared for, find agency, restore democracy and their damaged environments. Biden is a hopeless case, though no doubt affable and certainly civil. But democracy (including equality) and human rights (including our children’s right to a survivable climate) are my concerns, snd I work hard to those ends. Few of us working hard to maintain or restore democracy and the rule of law are overly fond of Biden but be careful who you call out as the enemy. We’ve elected a lot of good justices, state legislators, secretaries of state, election commissioners, governors!

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Agree completely, Mary. Biden simply will not play hardball. He stated weeks ago that he wouldn't negotiate, wouldn't allow the finances of the country to be held hostage. HAH! That lasted only until the MAGAs refused to back down on their demands. Then Uncle Joe folded like a cheap suit. The whole thing was just so much kabuki.

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Mary Baine Campbell: Yes.

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I see him as someone who is STILL stuck in that time back when the other side was at least 'semi-sane' (albeit still a bunch of right wing asswipes), and at least possibly able to be dealt with civilly.

But, despite him currently saying otherwise, and supposedly realizing their abject power-lust fascist nihilism, I am not sure he REALLY believes that. :(

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They should have started this process in January when it became obvious there was a new faction of Republicans (the Freedom Caucus) who would relish an opportunity to force a default.

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Please, PLEASE do NOT give them 'right', and call them by their self-chosen label, when they are the outright, batshit insane, abject ANTI-democracy, pro-fascist, 'Mericun Q'aNAZI Chaos Caucus. ;)

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Honestly, does anyone think that the Supreme Court would side with Trump against the whole economy? Which billionaire would be fine with his business tanking due to Trump's whim?

I don't think so.

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He doesn’t have the spine for that type of leadership.

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It's not a question of Biden lacking courage... Biden is well aware that he is dealing with Team Crazy and one cannot negotiate with a bunch of lunatics whose only objective is to destroy Democracy.

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"Team Crazy" 🤣🤣🤣

You gotta laugh to keep from crying.

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Ummmm....he DID negotiate. And lost. Precisely why he's being called spineless.

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founding

The president did not lose this negotiation. He did not give away the store. And he is certainly not spineless.

He also prevented this from happening again till after the election.

Using the 14th sounds good, but no guarantee it would work. It would end up in the hands of this corrupt SCOTUS.

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Then what’s the alternative? Let the crazies take over the asylum? If they haven’t already…

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Sadly I think you’re right.

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I think so ,too.

We need to have someone somewhere in this government working on how we seriously defeat Team Crazy in the next election, though. We seriously need this country to stop fighting over the minutiae and go for the center mass of the mess they are making.

People kept on saying the election cycles we were in were Do Or Die cycles — save our government or help it to fail.

Well, this next one is a Do Or DIe, as well. It’s not that those were not as important as they were said to be — they were, and the election of Tear It All Down Republicans has helped to get us where we are today. This “budget deal” is just a blip on their trajectory to take over the government whole-cloth and remake it in their autocratic mold.

This next one is going to be even more important. I am not a FAN of Joe Biden’s, but I don’t dislike him. I wish someone else would run in ‘24, but I don’t have that control, and neither is there a unified Left that will see to it someone else runs.

So, if it’s Biden, I will vote for him, because he and Democrats will be worlds better than literally anyone from the Republican Party. … LITERALLY anyone. There is NO Republican who can, at this point in the universe, convince me that the R Party is fit to govern.

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There is NO 'lesser of two EVILS' between the putrid orange SHITler, and the IL DOUCHEBAG wannabe Mussolini Christian Nationalist.

EITHER way it is the end of democracy in this land (and maybe even the WORLD?), and therefore MUST NOT be allowed to happen.

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He still thinks it’s 1975. I don’t get it.

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"Let the courts take care of it. " ?? There goes another two years!

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There wasn’t time.

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It won’t be a repeat in 2 years if Dems hold the Presidency, Senate, and House. Vote Blue.

So stop criticizing Biden/Harris. There is no young, charismatic, handsome, articulate, electable White Knight waiting in the wings.

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Your last point is exactly why we SHOULD criticize when avoidable crises actually come to pass. If we keep quiet, we're in for more of the same.

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Jamie Raskin!

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May 28, 2023·edited May 28, 2023

The debt ceiling debacle is like a dog chasing its tail.

Even if the matter ends up before the Supreme Court, it probably will not resolve the matter.

The language of the 14th Amendment is clear: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law . . . shall not be questioned." IMHO, the key words are "authorized by law". Based on the foregoing, I believe the Supreme Court will rule that the last law setting forth the debt is the law that governs.

Since the current 22/23 FY budget agreement supersedes the 2021 enacted debt ceiling , the debt contemplated by the 22/23 FY budget is "the public debt that shall not be questioned."

But once Congress and the President sign new legislation enacting a new debt limit, that new debt limit law will supersede the 22/23 FY budget - and so on.

The simple solution is agree on a budget and stop using the "debt ceiling" to control spending. But, as we all know, nothing in Washington DC politics is simple and so the dog keeps chasing its tail.

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If Jeffries and McCarthy can’t cobble together the votes, your wish may come true - however, the damage in the meantime will be significant and the risk high.

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I like Jeffries chances to get votes whipped better than those of 45's Kevin. If McCarthy can't get his caucus in line, I say Jeffries and the Democrats not give him any votes to bail him out. Leave him to explain how he leads a party that doesn't support him, or the good of the country, and sacrificed its credit in a tantrum.

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McCarthy may not be able to get all the votes he needs, and if not Jeffries should be working now to get the 5 or 6 GOP votes to pass a clean debt limit bill. The Dems [led by Rep. McGovern (D-MA)] have already have that in place as a back-up plan.

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Now this is a plan I can fully support. Brenda, thanks for this very important bit of information.

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We also have a chance with federal District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns in Boston who has scheduled a hearing on an emergency motion filed by the National Association of Government Employees union (representing 75K fed'l gov't employees) for a preliminary injunction to suspend the debt ceiling statute. It filed a lawsuit against Treasury Sec'y Yellen & President Biden, arguing the debt ceiling law's unconstitutional and should be suspended to allow the Treasury to continue paying the government’s bills. Fingers crossed!

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Brenda, thanks again for these welcome glimmers of hope. I noticed that your profile description is "progressive political junkie." Right now I am very grateful for the information that is coming from you getting your regular political info fix.

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Go Brenda!! If you were in my district, you'd sure get my vote!!

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May 28, 2023·edited May 28, 2023

I'd like to hear my little, insipid, spineless former Congressman's (Brian Fitzpatrick PA-01) excuse/rationale for NOT joining Rep Jefferies in the above endeavor.

This duplicitous POS ALWAYS makes a big bluster about being "bipartisan", and being a founding member of the so called 'Problem Solvers Caucus', especially around election time when he tries to (and sadly DOES) woo some centrist to right leaning Dems in the area to vote for him.

This jellyfish should be the very FIRST IN LINE to join Jefferies in that just ploy above, since this district went to Biden in '20, albeit not by much. ;)

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Call his office - in both the District and in Washington. Tell him if McCarthy can't get the J6 Congressmen planners to vote with him, then you want him (Brian) to vote for the clean debt bill with the Dems. if he won't, work AGAINST him, or better yet, RUN AGAINST HIM!

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I am no longer in his district.

But I still will call, and go across the river whenever I can to protest at his office in Langhorne, and knock doors in that district in order to defeat him!!

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Yes, & he tends to be the Republican in the current House most likely to vote with the Democrats, so if he won't join the Democrats on this, then maybe none of them will, unfortunately.

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Our whole country's 'full faith and credit' could be downgraded at ANY point even BEFORE this is even resolved, just by the fact that it is being debated and delayed this far along. :(

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It was downgraded previously in 2011 from AAA to AA++…any decrease in credit worthiness will result in an increase in interest rates. Right now, based on bond rates, Microsoft is considered better credit than the federal government!

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Yes, I know this, and it's why I posted the above comment. ;)

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If Biden invoked the 14th Amendment and ignored the debt ceiling limit, it would most certainly end up in the Supreme Court. What is your confidence level that the Extreme Court that we have now would support the Democrat who Happens to be President? There are six justices who are in the process of dismantling the Federal Government, piece by piece. They are in their jobs because the Oligarchs installed them to do just that.

The Oligarchs and the Justices who take their favors won't suffer if there is a default. But most Americans will.

Get this deal done. Then in January 2025, when we have retained the White House and built strong majorities in the Senate and the House - dump this debt ceiling law. Anything agreed to now can be reversed and improved on if we take the government back from the Fascist Few.

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Jamie, I think you’re referring to the 14th amendment. If you are, it’s my understanding the outcome of that tactic would be uncertain. This morning that was the direction I hoped Pres. Biden

would go in, mainly because this process of holding the economy hostage for the purpose of destroying the economy anyway, is ludicrous. But, it would have ended up in the Supreme Court and currently we don’t have a reliable Supreme Court. In other words, the majority cannot be trusted to follow the law or precedent, so it would have been a big gamble. I can understand why the President doesn’t want to take the chance.

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May 28, 2023·edited May 28, 2023

Jaime, Despite having written letters to everyone I could think of to press for invoking the 14th, I also understood that the highly experienced and formidable Counselor to the President Steve Ricchetti was the chief negotiator in the debt ceiling talks. I make this point because, paraphrasing Lawrence O’Donnell, however smart we might think we are, none of us is as smart as the people who were in the room. Accordingly, speaking for myself, I will press for the compromise agreement to advance in both the House and Senate and reserve final judgment until we see how the annual budget negotiations play out this fall.

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I watched O'Donnell talk about that, too, which gave me hope. But initial reports of the deal didn't sound favorable. More recent reports sound a little more positive, so let's see what happens.

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They really did not have a good excuse to not enforce the 14th amendment. Why else would it exist if not for this exact situation?

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founding

I agree, Jaime, although there may well be a strategic reason that Biden has struck this deal. (I would observe that the Constitutional protection still exists for Biden if this set of compromises can't make it through both chambers in time.) We are not out of the woods yet. I wish our judicial system could move faster and hold everyone accountable who participated in the Jan 6th insurrection. This would include McCarthy himself.

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I feel the very same way, Lark.

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NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT “AlL BECAUSE…,”

Go back to the source and realize this is ALL because the Extreme Republicans WANT to blow up our government.

As he said, all else is after-the-fact.

I would have preferred Biden choose the Constitutional argument over this, but I also want us to actually have a government, and I want us to work on getting the Toxic Right Wing out of it.

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If Biden had invoked the Fourteenth Amendment, there is no guarantee investors would want to buy U.S. treasury bonds under those circumstances. Also, Biden would have had to negotiate on a budget later this year, with a possible government shutdown. This agreement addresses both the debt ceiling and the budget, so hopefully we won't have either a default threat or a government shutdown in the next two years. The only way to a future better deal is to work to elect a Democratic majority House and Senate and a Democratic president.

Hopefully, neither the House MAGA Republicans nor the Senate MAGA Republicans will derail the agreement.

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I get you don't even know what's in the so-called "deal". Biden didn't give up anything. He gets to be the one continuing to bring reasonable Republicans together with Democrats, we get to keep all the progress made so far. Learn how to win dude!

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I agree that the 14th Amendment should be enforced. I have been a little torqued most of the day because of this "deal". However, Biden may get an opportunity to use it anyway as some of the repubs in the House are saying that they will not support the deal.

What a bunch of losers they are. No ability or desire to govern. Just pummel and push for more power and money.

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Yes and no. Using the fourteenth amendment would lead to a long drawn out court battle which would not be good for the country, either. It is a last resort, which still could be used if the bill does not pass the house.

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I agree that the US Constitution is clear. Clarity, however, does not assure the current Supreme Court will agree. The Fourteenth Amendment is too important to allow SCOTUS an opportunity to mess with that aspect. They have already shown a propensity for revoking laws based on the Fourteenth.

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It was Obama in 2011 who first coupled the "silly" debt ceiling -- which it is -- to budget negotiations, hoping to use it as leverage, but in the end handing the Republicans a weapon to use against him. ,

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This was a crisis manufactured by Speaker McCarthy. He does not deserve any praise. In fact, we should all be condemning him for creating this crisis. He and his Republican colleagues never showed any concern about government spending when there was a Republican President. For the good of the county, the Biden Administration must find a way to prevent Hill Republicans from hijacking the debt ceiling issue in the future like they just did. This whole episode is pure partisan politics that is dangerous to the US economy. Shame on Speaker McCarthy for creating this crisis in the first place and shame on all those Republicans who facilitated the debt accumulation under the previous Administration and now have suddenly decided the government needs to address its debt problem.

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Shame on President Biden for allowing himself to be out maneuvered.

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How was Biden outmaneuvered?

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Elias: Unfortunately I think you hit the nail on the head.

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It can only be "partisan politics' if both parties are participants. Since this only involves the GOP it is a bunch of toddlers throwing a temper tantrum on the House floor. They have no encoded law to back them up. Only their confidence they could squeeze President Biden into a corner and force him to reject the Constitution in favor of "negotiation". In other words this is a win for kevin - probably the only win he'll get, because the screamiong toddlers won't back him up.

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This is small potatoes. Two things matter. First, regain the House in 2 years. Second, hold onto the Senate and White House.

Then we can get rid of this budget process and make the 14th Amendment rule clear that any budget passed is paid for. We must also add 4 seats to SCOTUS including a new Chief Justice. Let them undo citizens United and reinstate the voting rights act.

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Need enough senators to eliminate the filibuster.

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It only takes 50 if we have a majority leader with a spine. Moscow Mitch gutted the filibuster multiple times.

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We need a cushion to account for those Manchins & Sinemas.

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May 28, 2023·edited May 28, 2023

Better yet, flush those wannabe fascists out of the party. ;)

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Yes! Invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment & expel the traitors! There shouldn't even be a Republican majority in the House, & wouldn't if we enforced our laws against lawmakers who become lawbreakers

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The filibuster gone and also the effing racist, fascist Electoral College BULLSHIT.

Sadly both are heavy to almost impossible lifts, but doable with enough of the electorate's demographics changing.

We MUST absolutely prevent these effing low life Q'ANAZIS from holding a full-on Constitutional Convention, since they will just make "Mein Kampf" our new Constitution if given that chance. :( :(

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Exactly.

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Sounds good, however, we need to hold the Senate and win back the House with Dems who are not corporate Dems or DINO’s. This seems problematic to me because some of the seats that may be in play are purple and can easily swing either way. The Dems in Congress and in the party are not monolithic. Remember what happened to Build Back Better.

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Agree 💯 %

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This never should have gotten to this point. A country that moves in fits and starts, bouncing from crisis to crisis is what happens when people who aren't serious about governing get elected. As Professors Reich and HCR have often noted, the MAGAs have a mission of making government dysfunctional to force it to fail and prove their point that it doesn't work. If they don't accomplish that, then they try to starve it of funds at every turn.

Imagine a large faction of employees hired to a Fortune 500 that constantly thwarts its efforts to make it fail and prove their claim it is poorly managed. That company would fire those saboteurs. In our Congress they're elected and reelected.

I'm glad it appears the country may avert default but I fear Biden likely achieved it by allowing the sacrifice of poor and working people on the altar of Republican greed.

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Well said.

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Thanks Don, although I wish this latest debacle hadn't happened for me to say so.

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Agree. A comment on your last paragraph: Disgracefully, Congressional budget negotiations seem to be a type of triage wherein the Repugs negotiate to further impoverish the poor and middle class, and the Dems negotiate to minimize the damage, sacrificing certain groups of citizens. I just wonder what the impact would be to our national defense if Congress agreed to divert a few hundred billion dollars from the defense budget to other needs (e.g. child care, truly universal health care, hastening conversion to clean energy, for starters)?

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Yes, unfortunately this Republican strategy continues to accomplish exactly that. Also unfortunate, is that Republicans have made military funding synonymous with patriotism and safety. They make all the spending appear to be for soldiers and their well-being, when lots of it is for plum defense contracts and development of SDI-like armament ideas that aren't achieved. Any attempts to cut it are met with accusations of weakening America and hating our troops. Democrats need to decouple this idea that massive defense spending is canon. This latest negotiation began with Biden himself immediately taking defense off the table. If $1T in spending isn't up for discussion, especially now that the country isn't actively at war, why is SNAP open to cuts when there are still actual malnourished people in our country? You can't successfully negotiate when the terms are established in your opponent's worldview.

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Citizen Raff, thanks for the share. Forgive me if I am misreading it but it appears that this post was written just this past Friday, not necessarily that far in advance of the posts Professors Reich and HCR have been sharing throughout this hostage situation.

Interestingly, I wrote a related post on my own Substack a day before Mr. Hartmann's. Please give it your consideration and be gentle with any constructive criticism, should you check it out.

https://cjacobs.substack.com/p/enough?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

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You wrote an excellent essay on the Republican strategy to use the debt ceiling to achieve cutting taxes on the wealthy while massively spending during Republican administrations, then blaming the Democratic administrations for the debt since the time of Reagan. You explain why "supply side/trickle down" never worked, the Republicans knew it, yet their BS worked on the voters. Good job. Thank you.

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Gloria, thanks for giving my post a read and your kind compliments on it. I'm very grateful for your subscription too. Thank you so much!

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Citizen Raff, thank you for giving my piece a read and for your gracious compliments. I really appreciate it. Thanks also for introducing me to Thom Hartmann's Substack. Please feel free to share my post with others in your orbit if you like, as a compliment to Thom's excellent post.

Unfortunately, I have to agree. It is hard for topics that aren't as sexy as sleep tips, weather, fitness hacks or quite frankly about sex to compete in today's infotainment environment. It's tough to get people to eat their information vegetables if they're already stuffed on cake and sweets. I'm unsure of what the answer is myself, other than continuing to share with all that we know, whether they agree with our worldview or not, to get these ideas out there. Hopefully it reaches a critical mass at some point to turn the tide.

Keep up hope, keep the faith and let's all keep agitating for government that works for we the people.

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I often read Thom Hartmann & did read that particular article, which is very insightful (typical of Hartmann). He along with Robert Reich is 1 of my favorite political commentators, & they practically always agree with each other on the issues.

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Very informative, although the two Santas in drag idea was over the top. I appreciate that the article named the person who came up with the diabolical strategy, further exposing the political purpose and opportunity to cut taxes on the wealthy and blame the debt on the Democrats. I shared the article.

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I am extremely disappointed.It should never have come to this.This should never have been negotiated.There is no dealing with appeasement to fascists and history will bear out this truth.I fully support our POTUS but believe he has weakened himself and our party with any kind of deal.

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founding

... but you can't remember each and every other compromise he's had to make - even as vice president - so no harm done, yes?

= D

PS: Our weakness (compromise) is our strength; if those guys can't do that they're not going to win at politics (let alone anything else).

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Since this was actually a negotiation on the budget, Biden averted an ugly fight that surely would have resulted in a government shutdown.

I agree, Rishi, that Biden/Shumer/Jeffries need to stay engaged with the other side. Otherwise, we will have polarization and deadlock. That, IMO, would be far worse. I know it is a bitter pill dealing with traitors and nihilists, but no one gets everything they want. Something of a Pyrhhic victory for the country.

Humanity is a failed evolutionary experiment.

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founding

President Obama called it "bending the moral arc of the universe towards justice"; the Infrastructure Act is another case in point (even if those folks are still talking about Simpson-Boles post-Trump Tax cuts)...

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May 28, 2023·edited May 28, 2023

I know, Robert Reich what you say is correct but it still makes me sick.

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Here we go again. How do parents pay for child care so they can work? My experience is most people who can find jobs and are able will work. If they work at the local casino they may not have paid sick time, and will get points for every time they are out sick or out caring for a sick child. After only a few points they will be fired. We did this once before and, at least where I lived it didn’t work. Mentally ill patients who are forced to work may worsen under the stress of a job, especially if they need child care. How will these people get to work? Bus transportation in the area where I worked involved walking to a bus stop, getting off to transfer to another bus, etc. The ignorance of what it means to be truly poor is astounding. How about disabled people? And the selfishness of those who would take away from the needy in order to essentially make up for welfare for the rich is unconscionable. There are now people who are working who get food cards, because they work at pitifully low paying jobs. I hope that these issues are taken in to consideration when choosing who loses their food stamps for not working. Of course I don’t know the details. They tried workfare and that didn’t work. Not that the Republicans care.

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Yup, wealthy politicians have no clue what poor/needy people are going through. Deprive them of food & medical care- that'll really help...

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And, for the most part, they don't care.

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Don't worry Betty. The largesse from Kevin doggedly guarding the tax savings of his wealthy overlords will eventually trickle down to help; the same way it's been helping everyone up until now. (heaviest sarcasm possible intended)

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C. Jacobs: Glad you emphasized "heaviest" sarcasm. I almost mistakenly thought it was "light". Keep up the rant. We're here for you.

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I am grateful that you appreciated my clarity on the portion of sarcastic weight. I never want anyone to go home with just a little when there is so much more to give. Thanks for the support too. I'd say that we all need some nowadays.

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Yup, because maniacally greedy trillionaires just cannot 'have enough' (it's an impossibility), all while NOT paying for all of the services, infrastructure, etc, which THEY and their corporations/holdings use every single second of every day.

On top of which; I have NEVER seen ANY of them turn down THEIR government assistance/'welfare' whenever it is offered.

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This. Welfare for me but none for thee! Hypocritical as well as greedy.

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They are not just PROUD of their outright hypocrisy, but fully REVELING in it!!

It is to be admired and praised by the MAGAt 'base', just like; cruelty, mercilessness, and of course their main raison d'etre, "burning the libtards".

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🤣🤣🤣

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This at a time when food is sky high. I still spend a lot more than before COVID. I heard prices dropped. Where, I have no idea.

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How right you are Betty.

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" Republicans have succeeded in holding the nation hostage, and now we have to pay the ransom that’s been negotiated."

This is the real lesson to be learned: The vast majority of today’s Republican Party is neither familiar with nor cares about the concept of governance. Diktat and fiat they know, but not governance.

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Yes, they are anti-government after all, especially when they're not in control of it (& when they are, they're too incompetent & corrupt to run it properly).

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founding

... but *this* time they promise to only be half as bad!

> = |

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Lord have mercy on our country!

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founding

(and/or what's left of it)

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founding

Where's the beef?

"Contract with America"

"Letting the terrorists win-"

"We don't negotiate with terrorists-"

"The election is rigged-"

"Here's the beef", sir, if you will (should we all be learning the same lesson, i.e. that governance isn't *quite* the same thing as sound public policy?)...

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Wise statements. It may be hard to swallow - but we’re here. Just hope voters remember who caused this debacle come 2024!

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Terry, I'd rather do the reminding than rely upon hope. If this is where we are, let's make the effort remind voters who are the authors of this debacle.

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Definitely, Avis. At 75 I still make calls, knock doors and do all I can to get the facts out there!!

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...and I'm 78...perhaps we can do this together for 2024!!!

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I’m trying to get AZ from purple to BLUE!!

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At least it's been going in the right direction lately. So looks like your efforts have been paying off.

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Me too! And I'm in CD5 -Biggs, ugh!!!! Let's go AZ, vote Blue!!!!

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Oh, I feel sorry for you! Biggs is 1 of the very worst, along with his cohort Gosar.

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Eileen, I’m so sorry. Biggs needs to go!! Thanks to redistricting sadly we have Eli Crane. Vote BLUE!!

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My deepest sympathies. I live in the “Free State of Florida,” where DeSaster’s new personal police force is being created. We need the DOJ involved here and some decent pro bono attorneys when the opposition starts being rounded up and jailed.

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I'm waiting for him to use that bully pulpit and make very,very clear to the Amrrican public what really happened.Remember this thing was pre contrived and the SCUZZBALL SCOUNDREL STINKEN MANIAC was in the background loving every minute of this.I won't judge President Biden,I'm praying for him and about this big time!

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My ex came to me this morning to borrow money from and she told me her sister, who by the way is a huge TUMP idiot follower said the Democrats were at fault for this debt ceiling crisis and told my ex her sister is as stupid as she acts and then some, Let's just hope that the word gets out that the Fascist/GQP are totally at fault for this, because the MSM sure isn't going to help with their both sides BS. It's going to be up to our Dem web sites and Dem voters to get the word out that the Fascist/GQP started this and are responsible for this huge mess they have made. I for one am sick and tired of this insanity from these criminals in the Fascist/GQP.

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The Republican will blame any negative results on the Democrats. I would not be surprised if they are working on how they are going to do this.

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THAT, precisely is where we always FAIL, and fully allow the fascists to gain the upper hand and trillion watt megaphone on putting the blame where it REALLY belongs, all in the name of some utopian concept of 'civility'

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Good luck with that, Terry

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This is a total travesty of justice and sanity. They should have invoked the 14th Amendment when it first started. There would have been time to take it through the courts. Sure it has to pass, but I feel totally betrayed and feel for those parents who will have to scramble for child care and end up earning just about nothing, basically slaves to a barbaric ideology.

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