In Puppet Move Full Of Sound And Fury, Congress Denies Debt Ceiling Hike

Tyler Durden's picture


A short time ago, the House of Representatives rejected (by 239-176 though not enough to avoid Obama's veto) the $1.3tn increase in the federal debt limit. As Reuters notes, this vote seems like 'a largely symbolic vote aimed at staking out election-year positions on government spending' as we know by now that Timmy G will underfund yet another pension plan (on the promise to transfer-pay it all back very soon) if it ever came to that. The Hill also adds Democratic comments that this was clearly 'a political stunt' as the House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer says "This is a game that will say, see, I voted against debt." Where the sound-and-fury is laughable of course is that both the House and Senate need to 'disapprove' of the debt ceiling hike that is already 'pre-approved' in last year's Budget Control Act (and the Senate is widely expected not to disapprove). As politician after politician sought media-time, Ron Paul echoed his sensibilities (though not really helpful in this situation) that "we're in denial", and "you can't solve the problem of debt by accumulating more debt."

The Hill: House approves resolution opposing Obama's debt limit hike

The House on Wednesday evening approved a resolution disapproving of President Obama's request to increase the debt ceiling by another $1.2 trillion, sending it to a Senate that is expected to reject it.


The House approved the resolution in a 239-176 vote in which just one Republican voted against it, and six Democrats voted for it. But the vote fell far short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed for passage if Obama were to veto the resolution.


Democrats spend the day arguing that the resolution was a waste of time. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) called it a "political stunt," and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said


..."This is a game that will say, see, I voted against debt,".


Under last year's Budget Control Act (BCA), Obama has the authority to call for an increase in the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. This increase can only be avoided if both the House and Senate pass resolutions of disapproval, although the Senate is not expected to follow suit.


... Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) returned from the campaign to warn of global consequences if Congress fails to curb spending.


"I believe we're in denial here in the Congress," Paul said on the House floor. "If we had the vaguest idea of how serious this crisis is financially, not only for us but for the world, we'd cut spending, because you can't solve the problem of debt by accumulating more debt."




"We have in effect given the president of the United States the ability to raise the debt ceiling without… having any control whatsoever, and that’s just wrong," Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said.



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Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:26 | 2076038 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

What debt ceiling?

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:28 | 2076045 Shocker
Shocker's picture

Its an old term used back in the 80's. Nothing to worry about now.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:29 | 2076058 redpill
redpill's picture

Someone important on the teevee said deficits don't matter so I just didn't worry about it after that.




Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:55 | 2076137's picture

Today Ron Paul also introduced legislation to repeal section 1021 of the NDAA. My man.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 19:15 | 2076202 Teamtc321
Teamtc321's picture

Plus to the moon. Ron Paul is the Man period!!

Thanks for the head's up Crockett. 


Ron Paul 2012 Bitcheez!!

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 19:15 | 2076207 trav7777
trav7777's picture

it'll likely go nowhere.

GOP will give debt ceiling if Bama OK's Keystone, I bet

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 20:09 | 2076388 old naughty
old naughty's picture

No, he won't. They won't. Harper has to start printing. Blame it on ECB is such old hat. We need a new Northern front.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 22:17 | 2076715 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

+1 for convincing me to watch something on youtube.  It proved to be worth it. 

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:37 | 2076083 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

We all see the ceiling up there don't we ? It's made of the finest material available kind of like a set of clothes that were once created for an emperor

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 22:18 | 2076721 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

Debt ceiling?  We don't need no stinkin' debt ceiling!


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 04:10 | 2077225 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture


"We have in effect given the president of the United States the ability to raise the debt ceiling without… having any control whatsoever, and that’s just wrong," Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said.


Something I'm sure The good Captain would have said himself, if he were in Clowngress!

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:43 | 2076100 GenXer
GenXer's picture

Don't worry about it, everything is priced in.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:45 | 2076103 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

This scenario reminds me of an old Polack joke where one tries to hang himself from a light fixture using a bungee cord and ends up dying from concussions...we're just going to keep banging our head against the 'ceiling' until we perish...

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 20:30 | 2076448 non_anon
non_anon's picture

it's a stunt to make the insolvent, spendaholics in DC sound fiscally responsible

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:27 | 2076039 voshnishki
voshnishki's picture


Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:27 | 2076040 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



What a bunch of douchewoggles.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:46 | 2076104 redpill
redpill's picture

This is the legacy of the adolescent legislation they passed in the first place.  Oh yeah boy they really drove a hard bargain, the only thing stopping an automatic debt ceiling increase is a guaranteed Presidential veto you don't have the votes to overcome and a vote on a Constitutional Balanced Budget amendment that you never had the votes to pass.  What a pathetic joke, and what a bunch of frauds.  

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:27 | 2076043 MrJingles
MrJingles's picture


Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:27 | 2076044 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

When Asia hears about this the overnight crash will be epic.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:28 | 2076047 SHEEPFUKKER

The sheeple don't even know what the debt ceiling is so it's another non story, but funny to those that pay attention to this sort of shit. 

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:33 | 2076070 X. Kurt OSis
X. Kurt OSis's picture

Duh.  A debt ceiling is when you suspend panels from a metal frame cause your too lazy to put up drywall or there are pipes and stuff running across the beams.

I for one am glad to see our congress taking a principled stand against lazy people.



Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:38 | 2076086 redpill
redpill's picture

Huh, I dun thought the debt ceiling was just when I paid the roof man to fix that leak with my chase card

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 21:17 | 2076556 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture


Debit ceilings, nothing more than  Debit ceilings ,
trying to forget my  ceilings of paper.
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
trying to forget my Debit  ceilings of paper.

ceilings, , for all my life I'll feel it.
      I wish I've never met you, FED; you'll never come again

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:40 | 2076090 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Right, put your money where your mouth is, how much do you want to bet the same GOP-controlled house will raise it.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:49 | 2076114 redpill
redpill's picture

Essentially they already raised it the first time when the only checks put in place to prevent an automatic debt ceiling increase were thresholds they knew they'd never be able to achieve.  Therefore, this was nothing but a cheap political ploy based on the original stupid legislation that allows them to say they were voting against a debt increase when their own legislation actually prevents them from doing anything about it.  It's utterly retarded and is a perfect example of how the Republican establishment is nothing but a bunch of unserious self-serving big government neocon assholes.  Fuck 'em.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 23:10 | 2076826 847328_3527
847328_3527's picture

Tebow...Kardashian...Bieber....JLow...and Jessica Simpson.

What else matters?


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 02:44 | 2077182 iamgogi
iamgogi's picture

You forgot Gaga, Brangelina and Mitt Romney. Oh and Snooki too. Where do I buy more gold?

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:28 | 2076050 taniquetil
taniquetil's picture

Hey, QE3 ain't gonna pay for itself you know.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:34 | 2076075 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

I wish more people would listen to you

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 20:11 | 2076395 fuu
fuu's picture


Wed, 01/18/2012 - 23:57 | 2076941 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:28 | 2076054 Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire's picture

We're going to have to cancel debt with a jubilee, not just the government's but everyone's.  Big adjustment, I know.  But we're not really having a financial crisis - it's a rule of law crisis. 

A constitutional crisis.


Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:58 | 2076154's picture

They'll just inflate. That's always been the alternative to default on any level.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 20:48 | 2076484 Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire's picture

Maybe, but surprisingly it's a lot easier said than done.  Plus, at this point it would have to be a hyper-inflatioin, and that's worse than a jubilee.  The system would still have to be reset, and all the debt would still never be "repaid", not even in greatly deprectiated dollars, because all the new dollars have to be new debt.

It's that stubbornly necessary part of the cycle that needs to be broken.

Greece first.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:30 | 2076055 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

"Debt Brother", the movie...Coming to a theater near you soon...

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:30 | 2076059 moskov
moskov's picture


Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:36 | 2076065 Hansel
Hansel's picture

Hoyer also said:

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday sought to downplay the $15 trillion U.S. debt by saying it is far less than Greece's debt as a share of annual gross domestic product.  "They're 128 percent, I think, in debt," Hoyer said of Greece on the House floor. "We're only at about 100 percent; if you count our internal debt it's less than that."

See, not that bad.  We're better than Greece.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 19:08 | 2076183 VisualCSharp
VisualCSharp's picture

"Our shit doesn't stink as bad as Greece's. I mean, we ate some corn and beans last night so you can see chunks in it, but it sure beats the stink of their gyro shit."

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 20:12 | 2076397 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Typical Steny Hoyer doublespeak.  He won't be alive to have his taxes tripled and his retirement confiscated so why not blow skittles out his ass?

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 20:12 | 2076399 fuu
fuu's picture

"We're only at about 100 percent; if you count our internal debt it's less than that."

That sentence is batshit insane.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 20:23 | 2076427 X. Kurt OSis
X. Kurt OSis's picture

That's awesome!!! We are all gonna die!

Since we are half way between pan-Europe and Greece in terms of Debt/GDP, we can interpolate the real-world 30 day treasury yield at about 200%! I call it the Steny-Hoyer Rule. So much simpler than the Taylor Rule!

P.S. The Greek yield curve looks like a quarter of a hockey rink. I can't wait to see what happens when the UST curve looks like that. Well, I'm off to stock more marshmallows.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 22:29 | 2076744 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

Ba hah hah.  This is like Argentina and Zimbabwe arguing over which nation's hyperinflation was less destructive to its citizens. 

Mr. Hoyer?  A Mr. Real T. Check is calling collect, will you accept the charges?

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:33 | 2076067 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Oh let's just have ourselves an "Eighties Party" and just triple the Federal deficit as Ronnie did (from $900 billion to $2.7 Trillion). Then we could really have a shopping spree! Weeeeee

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:35 | 2076076 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Hey Caviar you have me buying into your biflation but what about the refiners today? I know one day does not a trend make but what are your thoughts about thes margins loosening up?

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:53 | 2076115 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Yup. It's gonna be a biflation tsunami once they start releasing the trillions they're approving this week for IMF, and various Euro conduits. And you can be sure that once the Greece deal is done they're gonna bail Hungary and the other PIIGS for another round to avoid an epidemic of haircuts and more talk of Euroland breakup. They might even cap yield spreads (rumor). 

Refiners got a bid today on the hope that crack spreads will improve: On the supply side OPEC output rose (although Saudi is flat), Iran saber rattling is taking a nap and Nigeria hasn't shut down production. On the demand side they're all hoping China has avoided a hard landing and will grow more than expected and that US is in muddle through mode. The fly in the ointment is ongoing demand destruction for gasoline in the US (and Europe going into recession)

Tip o the hat

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 19:17 | 2076217 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Raygun tripled it and Bama's on track to try to take out that WR

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 23:34 | 2076899 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

I was 9 years old during the '79 Hostage crisis, then came Reagan, Bush, and the November surprise. In the 80s, terrorism wasn't a dirty word like it is today. The 80's was truly the decade of economic hitmen, massive expansion, and small wars. Never forget, the Eighties brought us Scarface and the first modern bailout.

So much good music and BAD music. Cars that you'll never see again. Count me in for the Eighties Party.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:33 | 2076068 navy62802
navy62802's picture

So how's that debt super-committee working out? Haha ... what a tragic joke this all is. Definitely extra bullish. These ass hats won't be satisfied until 90% of America is on food stamps.

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:35 | 2076078 moskov
moskov's picture

Super-committee: Established for the reason of being super dump and stupid.

Next Stop: Paranormal committee

Wed, 01/18/2012 - 18:43 | 2076098 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Wow, how insightful.

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