...how does one start a Whole New Congress Movement? We could start with rallies in or marches to the public squares of major cities all asking people to commit to throw their Senators and Representatives out of office in the next election.

We need to throw a scare into our Senators and Representatives.

Tags: Congressmen, Senators

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Hell, just suggesting a default is enough to lose the credit rating. That's what happened last time.

The looming debt crisis could dwarf the recession we are still recovering from, according to a BusinessWeek article:

Anyone who remembers the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. little more than five years ago knows what a global financial disaster is. A U.S. government default, just weeks away if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling as it now threatens to do, will be an economic calamity like none the world has ever seen.

Failure by the world’s largest borrower to pay its debt -- unprecedented in modern history -- will devastate stock markets from Brazil to Zurich, halt a $5 trillion lending mechanism for investors who rely on Treasuries, blow up borrowing costs for billions of people and companies, ravage the dollar and throw the U.S. and world economies into a recession that probably would become a depression. Among the dozens of money managers, economists, bankers, traders and former government officials interviewed for this story, few view a U.S. default as anything but a financial apocalypse.


Your last name, "Feenstra," is not a common one, so when I ran across Joe Feenstra, I wondered if there was a relationship --

You'll likely be even less likely to connect with this one, he's a ranting theist on another site, with a monosyllabic vocabulary.

Scenario Two: The "Extra Stupid GOP: The GOP pulls the trigger and defaults, falsely confident the country will blame Obama (or both parties equally) for the resulting destruction.

The last Presidential election showed that the GOP is in LaLa Land when it comes to understanding the electorate. They believed until the last minute that their "message" would crush Obama. Carl Rove probably still wonders how they lost.

Scenario Three: the Tea Party: The GOP tries backing off from disaster joining with the Democrats in trying to get our government back on track. The Tea Party, who want a smaller government no matter what the costs, sabotages the effort so they can maintain the shutdown. The US defaults and Tea Party quietly celebrates then jockeys for more power. The Republicans try to shift blame to the Dems but lose seats to some Dems and to Tea Partiers who continue to hoodwink the GOP, swindle the public and deform our government into what they want.

The Republicans need to jettison the Tea Party right now and get back to work.

Holy crap, dude!

I find it sort of amusing that the list does not include the Tea Party jerks from my state.


There is a part of me that really wants the Tea Party to be separate because while their superficial intentions sound admirable (reducing a bloated government), their actions are almost always abysmally stupid IMO. If they are (or can be) separate(d) from the GOP then there is hope for the Republican party.

Our system is already broken enough with just 2 major parties - I can't quite imagine what comes next. I hope the rise of more political parties but of late things just keep getting worse politically. Obama seemed to be a step up but then he didn't reverse a lot of the police state crap Bush put in place.

Aside from the fact that I live here, I don't want America to fail. But at this rate, I'm not sure how it can possibly not fail. So, yeah I clutch at straws sometimes.

I was surprised to discover that my birth state of Ohio (which has plenty of rural congressional districts) has but one Tea Party Representative.

So here's what has me scratching my head.

It's a default ONLY if the United States government fails to service the loans that have been made to it right?  In other words if it stops paying interest on them (and whatever principal the holders of the T-bills expect, which I imagine isn't much.)

So if the debt ceiling is not raised, isn't it theoretically possible to avoid a default by cutting other spending drastically?  (Not that this wouldn't be far more indiscriminate and obnoxious than what's going on now--I imagine even the social security checks might stop.)  Basically the government would have to cut spending enough to avoid having to borrow further money and still make the interest payments on the federal debt--or in other words, it would have to balance the not-a-budget Right Now.

What am I missing here?  Why does a failure to authorize the government to borrow more money than it already has, necessarily entail a default on its existing debt?
I know analogies are necessarily suspect, but why is this any different from a guy bumping up against his credit limit and having to reduce how fast he spends money.. so that he can manage to make the minimum payment on the credit card anyway.  (Now whether that's feasible given his expenses is another story.)

There are a couple possible end runs Obama could pull out of his sleeve:

If Congress fails to resolve this debt crisis by Aug. 2, one tack President Obama could take is to simply declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. It’d be politically contentious, it’d set all sorts of dicey executive-power precedents, and the markets might judge it harshly. But plenty of legal types think the White House could get away with it.

But failing that, Obama could always just solve the crisis with a pair of magical platinum coins. Sure, that sounds preposterous, but Yale’s Jack Balkin argues that this is actually a perfectly legal strategy. Here’s the logic: Under law, there’s a limit to how much paper money the United States can circulate at any one time, and there are rules that limit how many gold, silver and copper coins the Treasury can mint. But the Treasury is explicitly allowed to mint however many platinum coins it wants and can assign them whatever value it pleases.

So the Mint makes a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve moves this money into Treasury’s accounts. And just like that, Treasury suddenly has an extra $2 trillion to pay off its obligations in the near term without issuing new debt. If the Fed was worried about all that newly created money being pumped into circulation, it could always counteract the inflationary effects by selling off the $2 trillion in securities it owns from quantitative easing (thereby taking an equivalent amount of money back out of the economy). Problem solved. Right?  (source)

Though very interesting, this doesn't really address the substance of my question.

Those terabuck coins would be interesting to see (though no doubt behind a shit ton of bulletproof glass).  Of course the government could simply demonetize them if they are stolen.

You may say that, but I'd bet they'd bring a bundle as collector's items to someone rich.



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