Yes, folks, the Tea Party loons who call the shots for the Republican Party are very serious about destroying the US economy: Republicans Say Obama Underestimates Their Resolve as Debt Default Nears.
While Democrats refuse to negotiate on the continuing resolution and the debt limit, apparently assuming the GOP will eventually cave, House Republicans insist they are prepared to bring borrowing authority to a screeching halt.
“I can assure you it’s not posturing. It’s not a political play or anything like that,” Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday.
Gingrey said Republicans were “absolutely” prepared to lose the House to extract concessions on the CR and the debt limit, and he said the White House is “missing the determination of the Republican Party.”
“I mean, they seem to think that we will miss this opportunity for a ‘Braveheart’ moment to do the right thing for the American people and that we’ll back down for fear of losing the House and not gaining control of the Senate,” Gingrey said.
This post originally appeared at NationalMemo.com.
When Standard & Poor’s downgraded America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+ after 2011’s debt limit crisis, President Obama was apoplectic.
“Our problems are eminently solvable, and we know what we have to do to solve them. With respect to debt, our problem is not confidence in our credit,” he said. “The markets continue to reaffirm our credit as among the world’s safest. Our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long term.”
Since then, America has made incredible progress in tackling its short-term deficit but the issues that caused the initial downgrade have only gotten worse. The problem has never been America’s finances, but rather the emergence of radical politicians willing to gamble with America’s full faith and credit, as S&P noted in a statement this week that reaffirmed their 2011 ruling.
“The current impasse over the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling creates an atmosphere of uncertainty that could affect confidence, investment, and hiring in the U.S.,” the S&P research team explained.
“This sort of political brinksmanship is the dominant reason the rating is no longer ‘AAA,’” they added. But the agency also noted that it wasn’t considering another downgrade.
Within hours of S&P’s new guidance, Tea Party congressman Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said that he didn’t believe it was even possible for the United States to default on its debt. He called such talk “false demagoguery,” which was his major at Glenn Beck University.
Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau wrote in The Daily Beast about the speech he was preparing for the president to give in the case of an actual default in 2011. He described the scenario America faced at the time like this:
Without enough cash on hand, the government would be forced to delay indefinitely Social Security checks, the ones our grandparents depend on to put food in their mouths and a roof over their heads. Veterans who served this country would stop receiving the benefits they earned, and the men and women in uniform risking their lives for us wouldn’t get paychecks.
Every company in America that does business with the federal government, of which there are hundreds of thousands, would not see their contracts paid on schedule, an effect that would ripple down to their employees and their families. With each passing day, making our debt payments to businesses and governments around the world would become more and more difficult. When the world stopped seeing the United States as a safe and reliable place to invest, the cost of borrowing money would skyrocket for every single American—whether it’s a home mortgage or a personal credit card. And those high borrowing costs, coupled with billions in delayed income for seniors, soldiers, small-business owners, and their employees, almost surely would send our economy and the world’s into a crisis even deeper and more dramatic than the Great Recession of 2009.
Bangladesh’s government deployed paramilitary troops in the industrial belt of Gazipur to deter further protests as garment factories reopened after five days of violent demonstrations.
“The situation is now relatively calm,” Mostafijur Rahman, additional superintendent of police for Gazipur district, said in a phone interview. Television footage showed the troops patrolling streets where workers attacked factories and blocked traffic earlier this week to demand wage increases.
The government is acting after factory owners met Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday to urge tighter security. Thousands of garment workers clashed with police this week in the industrial belt on the outskirts of Dhaka, forcing about 400 factories that supply companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to close.
“Unrest in the garment sector will be firmly dealt with,” the minister told reporters, after the meeting.
The labor unrest came five months after the collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza factory complex killed more than 1,000 people in the worst industrial accident in the South Asian country’s history. Low wages and production costs have helped spawn the country’s $19 billion manufacturing industry that supplies global retailers with cheap clothes.
The protestors, some of whom pelted factories with bricks and blocked a highway, demanded a minimum monthly salary of 8,114 taka ($104), up from 3,000 taka now. Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Inditex SA, Gap Inc. and Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB) source goods from Gazipur, according to Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of the Exporters Association of Bangladesh.
This is not a situation unique to Bangladesh. Similar unrest is occurring all over Asia in nations where exploitation of labor is common and more or less perfectly legal.
Halfway around the world, the American desire for cheap everything is taking a high, high human toll and sadly, most of the representatives in Washington are doing everything they can to keep the fires burning.
This is the dark side of globalization and one these countries would prefer you didn’t even know about. Like addicts to a drug, they are now hooked on billions upon billions of dollars of American manufacturing business.
Don’t expect these workers to get what they want anytime soon, but they are not alone. More demonstrations like this will take place, more workers will rise up and maybe one day they will get so loud that they can be ignored no longer.
But that day is not today, so for the time being Americans will remain oblivious as they enjoy their $3 shirts and $5 handbags.
At the University of Central Missouri, President Obama discusses his vision for rebuilding an economy that puts the middle class and those fighting to join it front and center, which includes investing in education. UCM is home to The Missouri Innovation Campus, which prepares students with the education and skills they need to succeed at an accelerated pace while lowering costs and without student debt. July 24, 2013.
Something fascinating is taking place in Louisiana; Bobby Jindal’s fiscal agenda, which looks an awful lot like the national Republican Party’s fiscal agenda with a little extra Ayn Rand, is being overwhelmingly rejected by the public.
After months of pushing a dramatic proposal to swap the state’s income and corporate taxes in favor of higher, broader sales tax, Gov. Bobby Jindal is shelving his proposal. In a speech opening the 2013 legislative session, Jindal is telling lawmakers that he is taking his plan off the table even as he said he will not “pout” or “take his ball and go home,” instead asking lawmakers to develop and pass their own version of a plan to phase out the state’s income tax, according to a copy of the governor’s prepared remarks.
The text of the speech was released to the media prior to Jindal’s 1 p.m. address on condition that it not be published until the governor begins his speech.
The speech is a major concession that Jindal’s proposal, a complicated plan contained in a total of 11 bills, is unpopular both within and outside the Legislature. The proposal has come under increasingly heavy fire in recent weeks as business groups and advocates for the poor have assailed its effects and think tanks have questioned whether the math in the proposal adds up.
Benjy Sarlin has more on Jindal’s political collapse and what it may portend for the national GOP.
Only 27 percent of Louisiana voters supported the plan in the latest SMOR poll versus a whopping 63 percent opposed. The idea didn’t even garner majority support among Republicans.
According to SMOR pollster Bernie Pinsonat, Jindal’s true approval is likely even lower than their mid-March poll indicated.
“The decline there came from his political style, his travel out of state, his budget cuts, additional talk of more budget cuts, and of course the tax plan,” Pinsonat said. “But after the survey, there were two or three major things that happened that absolutely would have made these numbers worse.”
Opposition to his plan expanded in early April as religious leaders joined advocates for the poor in complaining the sales tax increase would hurt working families. Jindal’s staff countered that they’d make sure the cost of the tax cuts would mostly fall on businesses instead of individuals, but that concession prompted the influential Louisiana Association of Business and Industry to come out against it as well. Meanwhile, an analysis by the non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council suggested that Jindal would need to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars more in revenue to make the numbers add up at all. With both the progressive left and pro-market right united against it, Republicans in the legislature began to rebel.
“Just about everyone dislikes this plan,” Pearson Cross, a professor of political science at University of Louisiana-Lafayette, told TPM. “It’s been roundly excoriated frankly. And all of this has taken a toll on his popularity, which is at a historic low heading into the legislative session when he needs to have higher popularity than he’s ever had.”
When I went to bed last night, Bob Woodward was on record claiming that he had been “threatened” by a senior official in the Obama White House, for his statements on the origin of the sequestration deal.
Today Politico published the email exchange between Woodward and Obama’s economic adviser Gene Sperling, and there was no threat. In fact, the emails are amazingly cordial, and Woodward himself clearly understood this and responded with no indication at all that he felt “threatened:” Exclusive: The Woodward, Sperling Emails Revealed.
From Gene Sperling to Bob Woodward on Feb. 22, 2013
I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.
But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand barain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start. It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start. Really. It was assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big disagreements over rates and ratios — but that it was supposed to be replaced by entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on entitlements and revenues.)
I agree there are more than one side to our first disagreement, but again think this latter issue is diffferent. Not out to argue and argue on this latter point. Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.
My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.
Folks, that is absolutely not a “threat,” in any sense of the word. It’s a disagreement. And Woodward knew this.
From Woodward to Sperling on Feb. 23, 2013
Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today. Best, Bob
But here’s how Woodward portrayed the email to Politico last night:
Woodward repeated the last sentence, making clear he saw it as a veiled threat. ” ‘You’ll regret.’ Come on,” he said. “I think if Obama himself saw the way they’re dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don’t tell any reporter ‘you’re going to regret challenging us.’”
It’s really unbelievable that a journalist with Bob Woodward’s reputation would try to pull something so obviously fraudulent. He clearly took no offense at all from Sperling’s email at the time — why should he? There’s nothing threatening about it. But then he went to the press and made these wild claims about threats, even though he must have known the emails would come out and prove him a liar.
What a disgrace.
Meanwhile, the dead-enders at breitbart.com are still stupidly hyping Woodward’s obviously false claim, of course, with the usual “angry black man” photo carefully chosen to infuriate their knuckle-dragging followers, and a huge honking typo in the first sentence: WOODWARD EMAILS BACK CLAIM OF WHITE HOUSE INTIMIDATION!!!
Absolutely pitiful. This is why breitbart.com has become such a laughingstock — they lie about President Obama even when the truth is plainly obvious.