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Debt Ceiling Tragicomedy Resumes: On Today's Symbolic, And Doomed, $2.4 Trillion Debt Ceiling Vote

Tyler Durden's picture


Today at 7:00 pm the House will hold a very symbolic vote on a $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase. Symbolic because it is doomed from the beginning as every single republican will vote no. So why is it held? Supposedly it is to rekindle popular interest in the debt ceiling drama following several weeks of commercial interruptions (i.e., heavy lobbying), and to remind the public that America is still a "democracy." Below is Goldman's Alec Phillips with more:

7:00 pm - House votes on raising debt limit by $2.4 trillion. This will be a purely symbolic vote, intended to fail. It is meant to demonstrate to the administration and the public that a "clean" increase lacking any accompanying fiscal restraint lacks the votes to pass, and to give members of Congress a chance to vote against it before many of them are eventually obliged to vote for it. To reduce the likelihood of passage even further, House leadership will bring the bill up for a vote under a process requiring a 2/3 vote to pass (known as "suspension of the rules"). The expected outcome is that every Republican will vote against the increase, and that some Democrats will vote against it as well. The vote is being held tonight to set the stage for talks tomorrow, when President Obama meets with the entire House Republican caucus. With the Senate out this week, there will be no fiscal talks led by Vice President Biden until next week, so this vote along with tomorrow's meeting with the president will be the key fiscal events for the week.


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Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:33 | 1324821 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Some kind of a joke, bitchez?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:35 | 1324829 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Please raise the debt ceiling: it is good for gold and silver. 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:21 | 1324930 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

So what's the odds then?

will they, won't they...


I think they'll say 'no fuck it, let's lop $ 2 trill off the lot, just to show the world that we're real good eggs.'


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:19 | 1325432 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

let me correct that.


They will propose $2.4 trillion increase.

Cut off $400 billion, and then proclaim

"we're saving $40 trillion over the next 100 years!"

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:19 | 1325626 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

I tell you what, here's the deal, they can raise the debt ceiling but these two conditions have to be met:

1. Jeethner's loses his job - fired, gone, kaput. No severance and cannot go to work for lobbying firm etc (specifics to be worked out later)

2. On his way out he signs a letter saying that he and Berspank knew that AIG was in reality not under threat from the machinations of AIGFP.

Oh and when he leaves the building he has to kiss Napoleon Dynamite (aka Mishkin) on the lips, with some tongue.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:45 | 1324848 Iriestx
Iriestx's picture

Suicide, bitchez!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:59 | 1324885 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture


More like a really big game of chicken.....I can't look.



Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:50 | 1324866 razorthin
razorthin's picture

more like a greek tragedy.  pun intended.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:59 | 1324890 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Maybe if they called it

Debt Sealing

All would heal...


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:55 | 1324883 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Aye, and a stale one at that.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:37 | 1324825 TooBearish
TooBearish's picture

Why continue the charade?  Like the War Powers Act that was just abrogated by the enablers in congress - where the President now can wage war unchallenged by the legislature against anyone in the world- just have not debt ceiling - problem solved!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:48 | 1324871 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

$2.4T, just about exactly enough to get us past the Congress' event horizon: the next election, November 2012.  Punt!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:34 | 1324826 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Strike up the's time for the tango.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:34 | 1324827 WhOracle
WhOracle's picture

La commedia dell'arte

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:47 | 1324868 alexwest
alexwest's picture

can I say ' La commedia dell'MORTE'?
I know MORTE is death in Italian language..


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:37 | 1324836 johnnymustardseed
johnnymustardseed's picture


But while the four Republicans in Congressional leadership positions are attempting to hold the increase hostage now, they combined to vote for a debt limit increase 19 times during the presidency of George W. Bush. In doing so, they increased the debt limit by nearly $4 trillion.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:49 | 1324864 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

and your answer would be ...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:54 | 1324881 dcb
dcb's picture

of course they are, so what. if the dems had had a spine they could have tortured Bush on the very same issue and made the republicans look bad. If you haven't figured the game out yet, Obama and the dems can do no right. that's they way it works. Also the dems can't really adopt positions that would help tham at the ballot box, because then the lobby money, eas jobs would end.

the sad thing is that so many on the right don't see it. But, I am also sick of those on the left who clearly haven't figured out Obama isn't on their side either. Lets face it, the system is american's Vs. Both parties. Keep it at two parties and we only get a choice to vote for frick or frack.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:33 | 1324986 fuu
fuu's picture

There are no parties. There is no spoon.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:38 | 1324838 White.Star.Line
White.Star.Line's picture

A hardcore opiate addict, when given the keys to the pharmacy, will not worry about silly "ceilings" either.

It is so easy to see how this is going to end.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:58 | 1324887 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

Is it possible that the repubs.. and even the dems for that matter know the situation is so fucked that the repubs strategy now is to simple force the debt bomb blow up now rather then into the next election cycle ?  Or at least they feel, if it's a game of chicken that oblamo has more to lose.

Even though the pigmen run both parties, if they are forced to choose, who's party do they pass the time bomb  off to ?  The pro labor/union guys or the pigmen pawns ?


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:43 | 1324842 Ancona
Ancona's picture

This is all just a fucking show. These numbskulls will vote to increase the debt because there simply is no other palatable choice for them. Either they bow to their masters and keep on spending, or tehy actually do the right thing and make substantial and significant cuts to spending.

Really now, which do you think they will choose?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:47 | 1324867 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

Even the WWF was less staged and predictable.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:21 | 1324945 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

I reckon they'll cut, massively!

but then I have been known to be wrong, now and again...

Either that or it will go dark tonight...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:43 | 1324850 swanpoint
swanpoint's picture

Why not vote a 2x or 4x increase instead of a puny, less than 10% increase? Do they really want to increase the limit in Q1 2012 when it's breached, again? On second thought, why don't they just remove the Effin' limit altogether and get it over with?

Note: It's a short week in DC (4 day week) and NOBODY is in town. Everyone's at the beach, they left Thursday of last week.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:51 | 1324872 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Many holidays in Europe this week.  It is the start of the silly summer for traders, and the horrible summer for periphery rebels.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:47 | 1324852 silvertrain
silvertrain's picture

I guess they are voting on into the evening {7pm} as to not spook the markets?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:44 | 1324853 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

ben advises a prudent increase in the debt will be required..or haircuts will be issued..and plum jobs with wall street banks will dry up for those young congressmen and do the right thing.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:47 | 1324855 alexwest
alexwest's picture

wow, fucking wow , 2.5 trln..

it will last by end of 2012 year..
DEBT WILL BE 16.7 TRLN$ WHAT NEXT ?? another 2 trln..

future is here .. and its ugly.. and s&p500 is just 2% off 3 year hi..


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:54 | 1324876 swissinv
swissinv's picture

you forgt to add the "off-balance sheet debt" such as Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac... 16.7 is nothing...

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:04 | 1324898 FriedEggs
FriedEggs's picture

Thats what im wondering - when does it end?

I mean, at what point...what is the br/eaking point - where other countries or whomever say, 'this is enough.' And stop this.

16 T? 20T? I mean, we could go through this to infinite? What is the fucking breaking point - 25,000,000,000,000?

This state of limbo is the WORST!



Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:49 | 1325522 Founders Keeper
Founders Keeper's picture

[This state of limbo is the WORST!]---FriedEggs

Hi FriedEggs. Thanks for posting.

Agreed. it's a very unnerving time for those of us who know(more or less) what's coming. Like watching a train wreck in alternating speeds, slow motion, fast motion, slow motion, fast motion. Made worse, as no one around me sees it happening.

I try to stay focused on preparing for the wreck and aftermath. Really, I am far better prepared today than I was last year, and better yet than the year before.

My point. You're not alone. Many of us on ZH are a bit anxious. Who among us does not wish to see truth rise up over the horizon like a sunrise pushing back the darkness of deception.

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever..." ---Thomas Jefferson (1782)


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:39 | 1325016 fuu
fuu's picture

2% off nominal high. Still 34% down from the infaltion adjusted peak in 2000.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:46 | 1324863 sunnydays
sunnydays's picture

All the politicians and votes are all B.S.  they are all on the same page there is no difference between them.  Yeah, it is so all of them can say "I voted against it", but then had to vote for it.  They will pass it after making a game and show of arguing back and forth and making a big deal of divisions. 


People will fall for thinking there is a division, though they are simply playing their own parts they are suppose to play.  As always, everything gets passed that is best for the bnaks and corps of the world. 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:47 | 1324869 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Come on tea party.
Kill big government once and for all.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:00 | 1324892 Ben Fleeced
Ben Fleeced's picture

When one falls another will take their place. Will you stand?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:24 | 1324952 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

The TEA Party needs to progress to it's next stage of development. That next stage is The Guillotine Party. The only fix to our problems is the complete elimination of all politicians in Washington D.C. with replacements made up from random drawing of Drivers License holders as done when picking a jury.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:56 | 1324878 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Nobody cares about the debt ceiling, when stocks are about to make yet another big leg to the upside, this time led by FXI and other emerging markets.

Another huge money making opportunity in front of us.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:03 | 1324891 razorthin
razorthin's picture

all my retirement funds in nat resourses and em.  should be a party until the gov't confiscates the account.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 08:57 | 1324879 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Market rewards extend and pretend. Just do it 4ever.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:14 | 1324909 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

We voted against it, before we voted for us, peasants.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:16 | 1324915 sasebo
sasebo's picture

Who gives a rat's ass besides the rat? These stupid assholes have all had it, they just don't know it yet. All their delusional bullshit is about to bite them in the ass.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:15 | 1324922 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

This is just theater for you lil guys. Pre-election year, ya know.

Can you imagine that during one pre-election not too long ago the entire country was consumed with rage, passion, and tirades about.......flag burning. I think there had been 1 case. Or maybe it was staged. And another time it was......broccoli. And another time it much beef is in a McD sandwich. 

That's the level they're playing to. Is it any wonder that they're getting away with trillions of the people's cash? 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:24 | 1325464 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

it's like when you're trying to take something (like a wedding ring) from a dangle a candy in front of their face to distract them.

The only 'funny' thing is if the baby actually owned the ring in the first place.

So keep dangling American Idol, Jersey Shore, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga in front of the sheeple while you raid their 401(k)s.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:17 | 1324931 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Oh and by the way they're going to raise the debt ceiling after they thump their chests

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:38 | 1325001 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Just keep the Big Lies and the entertainment streaming to the masses..

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:59 | 1325092 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

so to be clear...

Food Shortages.. around the Globe.

Food Prices are going, going and gone to the Moon.

We have a real fuel emergency that is the worst kept secret in the World.


So we are all sitting on a powder keg just waiting for any spark, any idiot with a match.. to set the whole thing off. the person would need a big match or lighter to be sure.. but still, any kind of spark and *POOF!*


all of you should watch this.. bitch or down play the fact that it is a game all you want, but maybe the idea of what you could very well be looking at sooner than later.. no... everything is rainbows and unicorns shitting skittles.


or I will ask this question a different way.. why are programing this next generation with this?


so, why is this the best selling game.. in history? 7m copies in a day! a multi-billion dollar franchise. if you buy the stock you will lose money.. short it if any thing.. look back at the last 2 releases.. counsult your investment advisers / monkey's before taking my advice on the internet. eminem to cater to the kiddies.. the saturation of this into the little brains playing the games 12 hours a days for years, YEARS! at a time!


whats up, or wahts next or what are we preparing our children for? maybe I need a tin foil hat?


***** "The department has several criteria that scripts must meet before the services can approve them. Most importantly, they must be accurate, including not allowing military members to play "extras" in roles that they do not occupy in real life, Price said.

Inaccuracy caused the Navy to refuse to help with the 1997 movie, "G.I. Jane" in which actress Demi Moore played a sailor in SEAL training, Price said. Navy policy prevents women from becoming SEALs.

The services also reject any "'Rambo'-type movies with super heroes" and argue against scenes that go against military safety standards, Price said. "If they wanted to have our military trucks speeding and fishtailing and coming to a screeching stop, our answer would be no," he said. "Our people are taught to be safety-conscious."

The military also won't support movies that officials see as a threat to security or a script that goes against DoD principles, such as the 1964 film "Seven Days in May," in which the Joint Chiefs of Staff stage a coup to overthrow the president." *****


you can add and add to the list of stories about the millitary buying hollywood..


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:04 | 1325098 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

it strikes me that very few here are as prepared as the Kids for what could be next.. most here would shut down or jump off a bridge becuase the world would look so very strange that they could not cope.


how prepared are you for what the kids are being stuffed full of? 

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:03 | 1325106 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

I might add our kidds are programed to have an eye for good guys verse what a bad guy looks like in black uniforms.. not just colors any more. I could go on and on.. lets see if anyone who has a clue can add some good information to this before the idiots jump on board.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:44 | 1325508 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

nevermind the desensitising via the games.

The posse comitus clause in the constitution was to prevent the government from quartering soliders in your house.

The government has very simply overrode this. How? by militarising the police.

Does a SWAT team look like your average beat cops? or a military unit?

Which departments both federally and local county/state have SWAT units? Almost all of them. Even the USDA has a SWAT team. Please tell me WHY the USDA needs a SWAT team. (Answer: To arrest local milk producers).

People will believe the BS, such as the SWAT raid in Arizona that killed a Marine. They are trying to paint him as a bad guy.

I think the biggest lie, is the military. It is over glorified here in the US. While I do commend soldiers for signing up, I do not commend them for believing in the BS of 'serving your country'. Killing civilians in Iraq, bombing Libya is NOT 'serving your country'. It is serving NATO and the UN, and spreading fear and death.

I commend the draft dodgers of the Vietnam war. Those who decided to take a stand, to be jailed, without trial, and to not join, as opposed to those who believed the lie.

Rather die a free man than live a life of servitude as a slave soldier.

I never understood how sacrificing 6,000 American lives was a worthwhile endeavour for the 3,000 that died on 9/11.

It's like Al Qeda tried to kill 10,000 Americans, only managed to kill 3,000. So we send an additional 6,000 to die overseas, while telling them 'its in the service of your country'.


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:11 | 1325130 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.

The issue that House of Wall Street's Representatives is voting on is NOT the changing of the threshhold for breaching the debt ceiling- it is merely a preventative measure to forestall missing a payment to bondholders.  THE DEBT CEILING HAS ALREADY BEEN BREACHED.  The US government is already under obligation to repay the funds it has been "borrowing" from government pensions to finance operations, which would put it over the Congressionally-Suggested-Borrowing-Limit.  The obligation simply isn't "counted" towards the debt ceiling because of the FASB FRAUD that allows public (government) accounting to make Wall Street accounting look honest.  If American citizens allow their political masters to continue the blatant debt lies, their masters will assume that they have the consent of the governed to continue the practice.


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:20 | 1325166 mendigo
mendigo's picture

this has the potential to be entertaining

the polititians are hoping that the public will give a rat's ass about the debt limit so they can look like hero's when they acsent to raise it again. but the public doesn't get it and really doesn't care (go USA!)

since no one is bothering to pay attention the republicans may be shamed into carrying-thru on thier bluff - we could find ourselves in uncharted territory (so cool!) then we just need a liitle action from the ratings agencies and maybe we can bring this sucker to it's knees. 


Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:27 | 1325202 sasebo
sasebo's picture


So quickly we forget.


"I'm sure you know that the primary reason for the American War of Independence was to break from the English banking system of the time. The English Banks wanted the US government and corporations to borrow money from them in order to trade. This is really what the founding fathers of America fought against and won independence from. And so after the war had been won the US financial system was controlled, and all US Dollars were issued, by the US Government. The value of each Dollar was fixed (i.e. there was no inflation) and ALL the banks operated within the financial system. The most significant aspects were that the value of a dollar was FIXED and that the commercial banks were not empowered to create money. This is really what the English banks wanted to be in control of - the power to create money and lend it to the US entities at interest."

Sound familiar?



Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:31 | 1325484 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture


This is really what the 'federal reserve is' in control of - the power to create money and lend it to the US entities at interest."


Why the US has fallen asleep on this root cause remains a mystery to me.  The obvious and simple solution to this charade is to restart the engine the fed shut off in 1913.  There is no reason why the dept of Treasury should be issuing debt instruments in the first place, let alone Paying a foriegn entity for the privalege of enslaving US citizens.


It's the definition of Treason.


The treasury shouuld resume issuing non interest bearing US notes as legal tender reeemable at face value for intrinsically valuable coinage as provided by the US mints. 

When are the grown ups coming home?  This game of monopoly has gotten completely out of hand!



Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:34 | 1325236 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

A trillion here, a trillion there. Sooner or later, we're talkin' real money.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:45 | 1325511 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

the irony is none of it is 'real money''s all fiat.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:24 | 1325462 earnulf
earnulf's picture

I think they said the same thing, only it was "billions" not "trillions" and before that, it was "millions"    Wonder if we'll have the chance to bandy about the "quadrillions" before this mess is over.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:42 | 1325512 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

Dems asked for a clean debt limit vote and now that they are getting it, they are unhappy.

Will be curious how many dems vote for it, despite the fact they are getting precisely what they asked for. 

Ryan budget got shot down 40-57 last week, but virtually unreported, the BHO budget got shot down 0-97.   

The Dems seem to have no interest in proposing budget specifics.  Which is why they never proposed a budget in the last session.   

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:08 | 1325610 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

stupid is as stupid does, hence the trial balloon vote to get the topic back on the table. I mean come on how stupid is that, everyone knows the debt ceiling topic is on the table.

I have every belief that 'eventually' they will vote to raise it simply because they're too stupid to see beyond the briefcases of corporate capture cash, but it still never hurts to get them all squirming for a while.

They'll raise it, they always do, but wouldn't be nice if they're idiotic rantings made things a little more volatile for a while?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 12:46 | 1325694 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Theater. It's all noise and smoke for the masses.

They will raise it. Eventually. It's just a matter of how strong the dear Federal Employees, Congress included; have in the retirement funds being emptied by Uncle Sam to keep the lights on.

We should be entering a new Fiscal year right about now right?

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