Debt Ceiling: What's Next?

Monday, July 25, 2011

On the Brian Lehrer Show today at 10am. Audio and a recap will be posted by 1pm.

There's down to the wire, and then there's this. Ben Smith, senior political writer for, discusses the continued intransigence in the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington, and the various plans being crafted in the Republican and Democratic camps.


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Comments [19]

Monatize the debt to avoid the ceiling from A way to solve the crisis

The U.S. could print money to retire
or repurchase debt so we fall below the
debt ceiling.

This will weaken the dollar (good for exports), increase inflation (good for the housing crisis and jobs), and stop the Republicans' extortion.

If the US Govt is smart they can enter into
swaps in advance of the announcement - thereby capturing most of the gains for the US people and treasury rather than giving it as a gift to speculators, banks and hedge funds.

Print $ to monatize the debt - if one retired say 10 % of the debt (by printing $ and repurchasing the debt - (most likely 30 yr treasuries - at a steep discount to par)) one would be immediately below the legal ceiling. This would also create MANY benefits for the economy.

Jul. 26 2011 12:58 PM

I disagree with the guest's assumption that Congress will eventually pass something, however meager it may be. The wave of new Tea Party Congress members have made clear they are willing to trash the economy no matter what. These folks are not interested in serious policy debates. They have utter contempt for the role of government and are merely interested in destroying it, damn the consequences. The more havoc they bring, the more distrust and discontent the public has with government as a whole. This is their aim. And now, like soldiers emerging from a wooden horse, they get to do it from within the walls of the castle.

Jul. 25 2011 11:05 AM
Nick from Lost in NJ

The current budget / debt / deficit problems have many causes and there is plenty of blame to go around. But the Republican resistance and willingness to crash the country's economy and international credit worthyness has its roots in the right's long held, fact-free belief that that unfettered capitalism solves everything, that social security and other "entitlement" programs are pure socialism and that taxes are pure evil. I also believe racial politics are involved for some on the right as well. Personally, I think Mr. Obama should reject anything that goes against reason and when the rubber bands come off the deck, go on TV every night blaming the right wing nuts and tea baggers for the damage.

Jul. 25 2011 10:45 AM

According to two posts here, the reason why we are having this budget impasse is beacuse the president is pro-abortion/same sex marriage and plays golf.

Guys, this isn't the Fox News website. Go sell crazy somewhere else.

Jul. 25 2011 10:36 AM
David from Bushwick

Practical question --
We are in the process of buying a home in Brooklyn, and now waiting for the commitment from the bank. We haven't locked mortgage rates yet, as we're waiting for a better idea of the closing date. How worried should we be about rates jumping up with the impending debt crisis in Washington?

Jul. 25 2011 10:28 AM
joel from nyack

Obama has already given away too much. To proceed without including tax increases on the wealthy and uber-wealthy is insane. the present "compromise" is total capitulation to the Republicans.

Jul. 25 2011 10:28 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The American standard of living is unsustainable. It is not the 1960s anymore. Then there was no competitive China or INdia, or Russia or Brazil.
Today there are many competitors for limited resources, which means energy and other resources are going up in price.

Also, the baby boom did give us a wealth of workers, but now we are in the baby bust era. Insufficient native born workers to carry us old baby busters.

A lot of promises will just have to be broken. No Christmas this year.

Jul. 25 2011 10:27 AM
Elizabeth from NYC

Didn't Boehner and Obama go golfing a few weeks ago? Paid for by taxpayers. Obama has done solids for the American people but his inexperience in the face of hard core politics is costing us billions, literally. It was superficial to vote for charisma over experience.

Jul. 25 2011 10:26 AM
David ores from Les

Is this the new normal?

Are we going to be held hostage every year by the tea baggers so they can force their theology down our Throats?


Jul. 25 2011 10:26 AM
Rick from Connecticut Coast

Raising the debt limit is for money already spent, and the Republikcans spent most of it. Look at any almanac, $10 billion of the $11 billion debt that Obama inherited was run up under the 2 Bushes and Reagan. The real issue? Its Republican Nilism, studpid!

Jul. 25 2011 10:26 AM
Chris from Manhattan

Is it cynical to assume that the GOP is just dragging this out for as long as possible to make Obama look bad? If there is a default, the GOP will be able to campaign for years on the notion that the U.S. defaulted "on Obama's watch."

Jul. 25 2011 10:25 AM

democracy is about compromise. Republicans are apparently not willing to do so. the nation will suffer as a result.

Jul. 25 2011 10:25 AM
john from office

I am embarrassed for my party. The Tea party is at fault, they are Lludites, out to harm Obama and his chances for reelection. Republicans are looking at losing the Whitehouse and the House.

Jul. 25 2011 10:23 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Ed, States like Massachusetts, started passing same sex marriage laws when the Bush Administration was in power, you are not blaming him too are you? Get your facts straight.

Jul. 25 2011 10:18 AM
Josh White

There is no good guy here. This is barely poltics and I don't really believe that they are sticking to their principles. They know and we know why they are doing this. It's good TV.

Jul. 25 2011 10:18 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Both ideological parties are complicit in letting us fall into this quicksand. WE are in quicksand, and how to get out without getting sucked under is the real question.

The reality is, our standard of living will have to be cut radically, but it can't be all on the aged, poor and disabled.

There is one bright note: we are not alone. Many countries in Europe and in Asia - our trading partners and economic competitors - are or will be facing the same problems soon enough.

Jul. 25 2011 10:18 AM
John from NYC

I have a question.

Why do we have any deficit or debt at all?

The only legitimate reason for going into debt is

- you are so poor you have no alternative to survive and feed your children,

- or you are making a one-time investment in the future -- getting professional training or building an interstate highway system.

In both cases, the increase in affluence it will bring will more than pay back the debt.

We are more wealthy than any country ever.

We have built nothing of lasting value in the past 40 years.

We should have no debt and no deficit at all. Unless ----

It is to fund programs to pay off voters.

Nasty thought.

Jul. 25 2011 10:14 AM

So cutting corporate welfare has been recast as "New Taxes."

America's social safety net is now "Entitlements."

While the Republican Party can have its way with the media, Democratic Party, whoever, in part by employing semantic tricks that actually do manipulate public opinion.

But the Republicans still can't break the underlying strengths of America's economy, try as it might, most cynically. They can say Obama has dangerously overspent -- agreed!

But buying gold based on this made up deadline is a fool's game through and through.

We'll know when we're up against the wall. It ain't yet.

Jul. 25 2011 10:08 AM
Ed from Larchmont

President Obama is the pro-abortion president (and now the same-sex marriage president). Abortion became legal under President Nixon, and his presidency ended in disaster, the same might happen to the pro-abortion president.

Jul. 25 2011 09:20 AM

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