The Debt Ceiling Farce Is Ending... Or Is It?

Tyler Durden's picture

It may be time to rebrand Congress as the new CTU, although when it comes to who in D.C. should play agent Jack Bauer we are still unsure. The reason is that this morning we get two diametrically opposing fictions about the latest reality on the debt ceiling. On the one hand we read in the LA Times that, "Republican leaders in the House have begun to prepare their troops for politically painful votes to raise the nation's debt limit, offering warnings and concessions to move the hard-line majority toward a compromise that would avert a federal default. For weeks, GOP conservatives, particularly in the House, have issued demands about what they would require in exchange for their votes to increase the debt limit... Unwilling to risk the economic and political consequences of a federal default, which could come as early as Aug. 2, they have started the difficult process of standing down."

That, however is not what The Hill heard: "House Republican leaders have missed a 36-hour deadline President Obama set during a Thursday meeting for lawmakers to give him a plan to avert a national default. The deadline came and went Saturday morning without a response from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Instead, Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) plan to move the Cut, Cap and Balance Act on the floor next week, which would require passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt limit is raised. A House GOP leadership aide said at noontime Saturday that Boehner and Cantor did not send Obama a revised proposal to raise the debt-limit, as the president requested." So which is it? And has M. Night Shyamalan been retained to write the surprise twist ending to this nail-biter? We doubt it. Unfortunately, we are still convinced the republicans, under the "wise" defection of Mitch McConnell will fold, Obama will get what he wants, and the republican tough stance will go up in a puff of smoke leading to an even great loss of credibility for the GOP. There is less than 168 hours in which we can be proven wrong. We hope we are, but we doubt it.

Version one of events from the LA Times, in which yet another movie, Star Wars, is invoked:

At a closed-door meeting Friday morning, GOP leaders turned to their most trusted budget expert, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, to explain to rank-and-file members what many others have come to understand: A fiscal meltdown could occur if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio underscored the point to dispel the notion that failure to allow more borrowing is an option.

"He said if we pass Aug. 2, it would be like 'Star Wars,'" said Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a freshman from Tennessee. "I don't think the people who are railing against raising the debt ceiling fully understand that."

The warnings appeared to have softened the views of at least some House members who, until now, were inclined to dismiss statements by administration officials, business leaders and outside economists that the economic impact would be dire if the federal government were suddenly unable to pay its bills.

Freshman Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said the presentation about skyrocketing interest rates that could result from downgraded bond ratings was "sobering."

"It illustrates to us that doing nothing is unacceptable," he said. "I think the conference understands this is a defining moment for us. It's time to put the next election aside."

Granted the LA Times does realize this spin of events is missing one key thing: the fact that conservatives will scream bloody murder at being betrayed by their own party:

At the same time, Republican leaders orchestrated a series of public moves intended to soften the blow for conservatives. They agreed to give the House an opportunity to vote on two top conservative priorities: a so-called cut-cap-and-balance bill, which would order $111 billion in cuts in federal programs for 2012 and impose a cap on future spending, and a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced federal budget.

The Democratic leadership in the Senate is also expected to allow votes on one, and perhaps both, measures. Neither is expected to become law — the constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers — but the chance to vote could appeal to the "tea party" conservatives in the House, who are most skeptical of any deal with the White House to raise the debt limit.

"We're in the fourth quarter here," Boehner said. "Let's get through that vote, and we'll make decisions about what will come after."

As for the "other side", here is The Hill:

At a meeting late Thursday afternoon, Obama gave congressional leaders 24 to 36 hours to meet with their colleagues to figure out a plan that could pass both chambers.

“It’s decision time,” Obama said.

Ignoring Obama’s directive, Republican leaders are coalescing around the Cut, Cap and Balance bill that is expected to pass the House but has virtually no chance in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pushing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to schedule votes on the Cut, Cap and Balance bill and a balanced budget amendment in the upper chamber next week.

A Senate Democratic aide said it’s likely that at least one of those Republican priorities will receive floor time next week because it would clear the way for passage of a last-ditch contingency plan later this month.

The contingency plan, proposed by McConnell, has become more politically viable as negotiations between Obama and congressional leaders have broken down.

We stand by our prediction that there will be no budget cuts (and $1 trillion over the next decade amounts to less than $100 billion per year: this is less than 8% of the total amount of debt issued each year by Time Geithner: i.e., a farce, and a precondition to a downgrade by S&P, of course, until they too are shut down by the latest and greatest bribe out of wherever). There will also beno tax hikes, and the US Titanic will continue on its merry way to the iceberg without a change in course, even as the two-party scam in DC congratulates itself for a "grand compromise" well done.

Next up: total US debt/GDP at 120% in under a year, with a primary deficit at 10% of GDP, i.e. far, far worse than Italy.

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gorillaonyourback's picture

LMAO   extend and pretend

eureka's picture

Are you saying TeaPartiers Won't Risk US EMpire By Denying To Raise DEBT CEILING...?

AnAnonymous's picture

Teabaggers are doing what they do the best: teabagging.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

You might not be a teabagger but you sure are a partisan cunt.  And I bet you have done your share of teabagging at the local frat house. 

AnAnonymous's picture

Speaking of frats, have people noticed how frats run the same initiation rituals as gangs?

Tells about the socialistic US mindset.

Bay of Pigs's picture

And what Utopian Paradise do you hail from?

narapoiddyslexia's picture

How about a Million Gun March On Washington? Eh?

Always polite. Always legal. No one points a weapon except in self-defense.

Veteran's Day, 2011.

When we get there, we play it by ear.

And carry 21 day's provisions.

Things that go bump's picture

Please see the Veterans' March on Washington for the script to that play.

gall batter's picture

forget the provisions.  you'll be droned in a flash.  

grunion's picture

People who live in glass houses....

snowball777's picture

What kind of ignorant dumbass thinks that the fratboys (Dubya, Boehner, Cantor...) are socialists?! Socialism for corporations perhaps.

Captain Planet's picture

what other kind of socialism have we had?

oh right, the USSR. wait....

snowball777's picture

The Otto von Bismarch kind. The Tito kind. The English kind (NIH). The Scandinavian kind.


i-dog's picture

You really haven't a clue! Next you'll tell us that you aren't a socialist!! ROFL

snowball777's picture

Sure I'm a socialist. I went to an elementary school on an airforce base paid for by taxpayers so I must be a least to pond-scum like you who think that everyone is a socialist.

Now go watch your Glenn Beck and collect your UE check like a good dog.

JW n FL's picture

have you noticed that he never takes a position? he has nothing he stands for and only adds one line of bullshit so that you end up wasting your time engaging him instead of educating or helping others?


He is a plant, paid or not.. he is here to disrupt the flow of sourced and sited information.


just a heads up brother.. do what you will with him.. just wash your hands when you are done playing with it. I wouldn't want you to get sick, catch something from handling it.

grunion's picture

It always saddens me when I read something like snowbal777 writes. It serves to remind me of the declining prevelance of civility in the US.

I suspect it contributes to the decline of our culture as well. At least the culture of being polite, aiding your neighbor, having a reasonably positive regard for your fellow man, productivity.

Today we have a culture of isolation, suspicion, blame and hate.

We're not gonna make it.

snowball777's picture

My fellow man could meet me in the middle on that (or at least keep the false aspersions to himself, were he able).

In a sense, I'm a mirror...stick around; you'll see how I interact with people that are capable of civility like JW, ORI, Flak, and even some of the cons like NMewn and DochenRollingBearing.

Should I "take the high-road" when it comes to ignorant poo-flingers like i-dog and sun tzu? Perhaps, but it's a blog not an ice-cream social.

blunderdog's picture

Misconceptions about one's own behavior abound.  I'm sure you're doing your best.

JW n FL's picture

I have a life long afinity for Blue Russians.. that aside if you take issue with SnowBalls delivery I can only assume you must think me the devil himself! LULZ!!

toady's picture

I didn't know they 'jumped' people into frats...

You must kill someone to get into a frat?

I think I'll remain unaffiliated...

Michael's picture

65 incumbent congress critters thrown out of DC and replaced in 2008.

93 incumbent congress critters thrown out of DC and replaced in 2010.

"It shows there is strength in numbers. Of those 93 newly elected House members, more than a third consider themselves a member of the tea party, eager to push both parties to cut spending.

"We've got some big issues to work on here in Washington, D.C., and the American people are not patient," said Representative-elect Allen West, R-Fla.

On Monday, the huge new freshman class took a crash course on how Congress works.

Thirty four of them have never held elected office before. Seven of them are doctors, seven are farmers and 32 of them own small businesses. Just nine of the 93 are Democrats.

"We're calling ourselves the mighty nine," said Representative-elect Karen Bass, D.-Calif."

How many bums to throw out in 2012? How many? 365 or more?

How many incumbents were tossed out in state legislatures last November? 535?

snowball777's picture

Bang up job placing the 12 that proposed HR2411 in office.

What'll you do for your next trick, twinkies?

FEDbuster's picture

Once the iceberg was hit, it didn't matter who was the captain and crew of the Titanic.  We hit the iceberg in 2008, now it's just a question of when the ship goes under.  Time to get your lifeboat ready. 

Beans, bullets, band-aids and bullion, start to think of a simple diversified survival strategy. is a good place to start or check out AnalyticalSurvival on youtube:


Michael's picture

It'll be a shame telling hundreds of thousands of military personnel their services are no longer required as Uncle Sam is bankrupt and he doesn't have the money to pay them anymore.

FEDbuster's picture

Isn't it something that defense of the Country is one of the only things these idiots in D.C. are supposed to do for us, but they may even screw that up, too. 

The guy who does AnalyticalSurvival is ex-special forces with lots of medical knowledge.  He has produced some very good videos on all aspects of survival.   His preps and organization are something to aspire to.

AldousHuxley's picture

military = government job. subsidy for military industrial complex. Cut them off. Pentagon is full of paper pushers. If prostitution is world's oldest profession, then military jobs are world's oldest government jobs.


When your country is attacked, you don't need salary + government pension to bribe people into military.

Also uncle sam is bankrupted BECAUSE of military advantures.


JW n FL's picture

I do like almost everything you say.. but I have to say that..


Uncle Sam is Broke.. because..

Uncle Sam Taxed the shit out of the middle..

Uncle Sam gave Tax Breaks and Subsidies to his Corporate Lobby Dollar Wielding Friends..

Who moved 6 Million Manufacturing Jobs to China over the last 10 years..

and those Corporations were paid by the "We the People's" Tax dollars to undermine / gut America's Manufacturing and Tax Base.


We could have kept going to war.. except we gave away our tax base.. one better! We PAID Corporations to Undermine Our Tax Base and Our Manufacturing Base!


The Lobby Whores! were paid Lobby Dollars! to Provide Tax Breaks and Subsidies! to DESTROY! America's Manufacturing Base.. which as well undermined America's Tax Base!


50,000 Manufacturing Jobs a MONTH! were shipped Off Shore! for Tax Breaks and Subsidies that "We the People" paid for!


Government Paid Corporations "We the People's" Tax Dollars.. to DESTROY America's Manufacturing Sector and Tax Base that those jobs equated too.


what is 6 million people paying taxes worth.. not the top 1% who pay NOTHING! but the middle manufacturing jobs.. $50k to $100k average for the last decade?


25%? on $100k ='s $25k X's 6m ='s $1,500,000,000,000


That is nothing to sneeze at.


Now multiple that $1.5 Trillion times 10 years.. we are down $1.5 Trillion in Tax Revenue per year! for those Manufacturing Jobs..

and over ten years (its really 11 years now, so even more) it would be $15 Trillion..

So the same amount of money we paid to move off shore is what we as a Country owe..



JW n FL's picture

***** “Over the last ten years, China has mounted the biggest challenge to the U.S. manufacturing sector ever seen, threatening producers of steel, chemicals, glass, paper, drugs and any number of other items with prices they cannot match. Not coincidentally, the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs every month during the same period.” *****


That is the 50,000 jobs a month.. equaling 6m jobs +++ becuae it has been 11 years now!!

Top U.S. Lobbying Banks Got Biggest Bailouts


1.    [PDF]

A Fistful of Dollars:Lobbying and the Financial Crisis; Financial ...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis by. Deniz Igan ...


that is the lobby dollars! what else do you need to see? to wake the fuck up? let me know! and I will make it dumb enough for you to understand!


FEDbuster's picture

Sir James Goldsmith saw this coming 20 years ago when that fucktard Clinton was doing NAFTA and GATT.  The cunt in the interview who shilled for Clinton is now an economic advisor to Obama.  The globalists got everything they wanted 1% super rich, 9% middle class administrators and 90% lower middle class or poverty.  The US was sold out and dragged down to a Mexican like existence (including the possibility of bankruptcy and default).  The whole interview and debate is worth watching:


G-R-U-N-T's picture

"I'm a "teabagger"...just not in the political sense."

Nor am I...Just stressing a hypocritical point.

Scroto Gaggins's picture

I'm a "teabagger"...just not in the political sense. 

chet's picture

"There is less than 168 hours in which we can be proven wrong. We hope we are, but we doubt it."

So ZH wants default?  Time to clarify what exactly you're angling for, Tyler.

Since libertarians are generally politically illiterate, here is all the analysis you need about which side will eventually cave and who's fault that is.  From Republican Lindsey Graham:

"Our problem is we made a big deal about this for three months," said Graham of the debt limit debate.  "How many Republicans have been on TV saying, 'I'm not going to raise the debt limit'? You know, Mitch [McConnell] says, 'I'm not going to raise the debt limit unless we talk about Medicare.' And I've said I'm not going to raise the debt limit until we do something about spending and entitlements.'"

Graham says now Republicans should have tempered their language early on.


"We shouldn't have said that if we didn't mean it... We've got nobody to blame but ourselves," Graham told reporters.

macholatte's picture

Lindsey Graham is a redshirt Progressive. Nice try.

Here are some real facts:

There has not been a terrorist attack in the United States since Jack Bauer first appeared on television.


Terrorists dread the day in October that Daylight Savings Time ends. Jack Bauer gets 25 hours in which to kill them.


Jack Bauer sleeps with a night light because the dark is afraid of Jack Bauer


Kryptonite is not really from Krypton. It is made from Jack Bauer's crap, that is why it can kill Superman.


The war in Iraq will end when Jack Bauer vacations there.


Jack Bauer doesn't just piss excellence, he also shits gold. Bauer can single handedly end the recession.


As a boy, Jack Bauer interrogated his parents on Easter until they revealed the location and contents of each hidden egg.


Jack Bauer doesn't drink honey, he chews bees.


Jack Bauer named his cat 'Chuck Norris.' Why? Because he's a pussy.


Uncle Remus's picture

Jack Bauer named his cat 'Chuck Norris.' Why? Because he's a pussy.



Votewithabullet's picture

not in "71" . world class knock yer fuckin teeth out bad ass. all that jack bauer shit was funny. dunk shane.

blunderdog's picture

Redshirt Progressive?

Jeez.  I thought he was just another gay sailor. 

Votewithabullet's picture they come any other way?

kito's picture

Chet what is your point?

Ricky Bobby's picture

Those illiterate libertarians, so quaint, they still want to believe in the Bill of Rights. Oh how the world has moved on from those evil White men.

snowball777's picture

Let's just say they tend to be more keen on some amendments than others and leave it at that.

CompassionateFascist's picture

Yeah...Repubes had both houses of Congress + PreZ, March '01 thru March '07. Where wuz all thus Fiscal Responsibility conservocrap than? They spent debt like drunken whores. Now, if Zero hangs tough, offers nada, and Repubes OK debt ceiling hike, that's it for the Repub Pty: splits along right/left lines. And good riddance to the StupidEvilGoyParty. next: get rid of the SmartEvilJewParty, and we're cookin'.  

Stares straight ahead's picture

I live in SC and unfortunately, Graham is my She-senator.  We always try to do the opposite of what Graham says.  It is tradition.

lolmao500's picture

Geopolitical risk on?

Israel will probably attack Iran in September, a veteran CIA officer who spent 21 years in the Middle East, including in Lebanon and Syria, told a Los Angeles radio show on Tuesday.

cosmictrainwreck's picture

"they" said the same thing last year....just about this time, forcasting Aug-Sept, in fact.... US Navy was building up "presence" and blah blah blah

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I think this is about year number 6 where an Israeli attack on Iran is imminent.  Something tells me the market might see it as bullish.