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

They also could just melt down and remove the coin from circulation after they deposit it.

The last time Paul Krugman floated this idea, the U.S. Treasury said they won't do it. But that just means Obama would have to appoint a more cooperative person to the post.

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.)

No. The federal government has to issue new debt while it's running a budget deficit. All that increasing the debt limit does is allow funding for obligations already legislated by Congress: i.e. money already spent. It has nothing to do with new spending.

So if the debt ceiling is not raised, isn't it theoretically possible to avoid a default by cutting other spending drastically? 

No, according to the US Treasury Department, which explored this and a number of other options for raising cash the last time the Republicans threatened the debt ceiling in 2011: "Nor is it possible to avoid raising the debt limit by cutting spending or raising taxes. Because of the magnitude of past commitments by Congress, immediate cuts in spending or tax increases cannot make the necessary cash available."

What am I missing here? 

The Constitution, the legislative process, and the attempt to circumvent these things by threatening to destroy the economy and plunge the world into a recession. If you want to change the law, you introduce legislation, pass it in the House, pass it in the Senate, then get the President to sign it. The Republicans don't have the votes to stop ObamaCare and they know it. This is why they won't put raising the debt limit to a simple vote in the House: it'll pass.

Why does a failure to authorize the government to borrow more money than it already has, necessarily entail a default on its existing debt?

The government auctions off new debt as U.S. Treasury bonds-- which are so desirable to investors around the world that they've been at close to 0% interest for years-- in order to finance annual deficits. The debt limit is capped, so if Congress doesn't raise it, it cannot issue new bonds and raise enough cash to meet existing obligations. This includes paying back existing bonds, and paying for other things like military salaries, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, transportation infrastructure, unemployment benefits, and so on.

I know analogies are necessarily suspect,

Good. The United States is not a household so kindly stop comparing it to one.

OK, in the first part, you've explained the immediate situation adequately.

[Steve] What am I missing here? 

[GM] The Constitution, the legislative process, and the attempt to circumvent these things by threatening to destroy the economy and plunge the world into a recession......

From this point forward, you editorialize, and start laying blame.  Which had nothing to do with my question (why does not being able to borrow more force a default?), but you couldn't pass it up could you?  OK here goes.

I've seen legislative shenanigans from both sides of the aisle, procedural maneuvers that make one's eyes cross ("deemed passed" anyone?), budgets that used to be passed as several smaller bills rolled together into one big "omnibus" bill to blackmail a Republican president into swallowing the whole pill... but when the shoe is on the other foot, suddenly it's a constitutional problem?

It's perfectly acceptable, under the US Constitution, to refuse to fund something a previous congress passed.  It happens constantly with multi-year defense and space projects.  No congress may bind a future congress.  So that's not a constitutional issue.  It IS unusual to tie defunding something to something that has to pass; usually what happens is some piece of pork is attached as a rider to something considered a "must pass."

Now the Republicans may be stupid to try this.  Reckless.  Insane.  But it's not a constitutional problem.

By the way, I could just as easily claim that the Democrats' refusal to accept a spending resolution that gave them absolutely everything they want except ONE THING is just as fucking reckless. 

Why is this so important YOU are willing to go over a cliff to keep it?  Why not accept an Obamacare free budget, then push to pass it separately.  If Obamacare is that popular it should fly through, right?  Nope, it's because you realize that it would never pass unless it is attached to a "have to pass" bill like one designed to keep the whole government from shutting down.  And that's why you are resenting this whole subject coming up again, because you know this time you'd lose if it had to stand on its own merits.  (Remember that Obamacare only squeaked through in the first place thanks to browbeating some senators and that ridiculous "deemed passed" maneuver, and that was with the Dems in charge of both houses of congress.)

So you have to hide behind complaints about the process.  Pot.  Kettle.  Black.

"Why is this so important YOU are willing to go over a cliff to keep it? Why not accept an Obamacare free budget, then push to pass it separately. "

Huh? Are they not asking him to repeal ACA? Would that not sort of put a hole in your proposal?

By the way, I could just as easily claim that the Democrats' refusal to accept a spending resolution that gave them absolutely everything they want except ONE THING is just as fucking reckless. 

A lot of Democratic constituents who just got health care (or better health care) might see taking it away just as suddenly as they got it as reckless.

Obama rightly sees any attempt at paring back Obamacare as the beginning of a "death by 1000 cuts."

From this point forward, you editorialize, and start laying blame. 

Of course I'm laying blame. I'm not going to keep quiet just because you'd rather I didn't hold your crackpot Republicans accountable for what they're doing.

It's perfectly acceptable, under the US Constitution, to refuse to fund something a previous congress passed. 

The Republicans are refusing to fund everything, not something.

ObamaCare is settled law; it has already passed through congress, was signed by the President, and was confirmed as constitutional by the Supreme Court. The Republicans in the House-- one party of a single legislative body-- are using the threat of a default to overrule the Senate, the President, and the Supreme Court in prior lawmaking.

The House is asserting a new power over legislation-- after deliberation, passage and reconciliation by all three branches of government, after the fact, as is the case with ObamaCare-- that such legislation may be 'vetoed' by the House with the procedural move of refusing to pass a budget or continuing resolution.

You're saying the framers intended this power for the House? Tell me another one.

That's how Obama will likely get around it if push comes to shove: the House does not enjoy that kind of power under the Constitution. But the Republicans will back down.

but when the shoe is on the other foot, suddenly it's a constitutional problem?

The shoe is not on the other foot. The Democrats have never done anything like this.

Now the Republicans may be stupid to try this.  Reckless.  Insane. 

That's the first accurate thing you've written here.

By the way, I could just as easily claim that the Democrats' refusal to accept a spending resolution that gave them absolutely everything they want except ONE THING is just as fucking reckless. 

You could, but since there's no symmetry in the positions of the Democrats and the Republicans you'd be talking out of your ass. If Obama was threatening a nuclear strike on Islamabad unless the Republicans agreed to pass gun control legislation, you'd have something comparably irresponsible. But since this isn't the case, you've got nothing.

Why is this so important YOU are willing to go over a cliff to keep it?  Why not accept an Obamacare free budget, then push to pass it separately.  If Obamacare is that popular it should fly through, right? Nope, it's because you realize that it would never pass unless it is attached to a "have to pass" bill like one designed to keep the whole government from shutting down.

For the same reason you don't negotiate with hostage takers.

Pass the same law all over again or we'll steer our busload of hostages over the cliff!!!

Get fucking real, Steve.

And that's why you are resenting this whole subject coming up again, because you know this time you'd lose if it had to stand on its own merits.  (Remember that Obamacare only squeaked through in the first place thanks to browbeating some senators and that ridiculous "deemed passed" maneuver, and that was with the Dems in charge of both houses of congress.) So you have to hide behind complaints about the process.  Pot.  Kettle.  Black.

So let me get this straight. Every indication is that ObamaCare will be a success in terms of participation, popularity, cost savings to taxpayers and insurance prices, and that Republicans will take a beating for what they are doing now in trying to stop it: refusing to put a budget to a simple vote (which they would lose because it would pass).

But according to you, I resent the subject coming up because we're losing on merit? *Laughing* Far from it Steve. Sarah Palin. Michelle Bachman. Paul Ryan. I dislike the harm they do, but I thoroughly enjoy the stupidity of Republicans.

Damn, if only the Tea Party had such power in 2000! That could have offset the fraction of a percent of FL votes that Nader took to make Gore lose the national race. (Whoops, we're not supposed to use the words "win" or "lose", like it's a game. Let's ask the Supreme Court for help, instead...)

Sorry for cynicism. But here's a funny idea! Wouldn't it be ironic if the Reps re-gerrymandered their districts to trade in some far-right support for some moderate support, so their primary winners can also win some general elections?

Just saw a Boehner press conference. He looks like he hasn't slept or eaten in a week.

I don't have time to post it, but here's a take on the shutdown, told entirely with Legos. that I think you'll all enjoy!

Another dead archaeopteryx link.

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Posted by Marinda on September 11, 2014 at 4:08pm 0 Comments

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