Debt Ceiling Debate __ It’s High Stakes Poker

And I am not talking about the risk of default on our natinal debt or who will or will not get paid if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. the stakes are Obama’s political future against the political future of the Republican Party. In this particular poker game, jokers are wild.

So how will or should each side play their cards? In terms of the facts about the economy and the negative impact of Obama’s policies and the polls, the Republicans are holding most of the Aces. But, Obama is holding the Jokers.

Obama has been using his bully pulpit to instill fear in the public that maybe some elderly (that’s me) won’t get their Social Security checks it the debt ceiling is not raised and/or that America will default on its debt obligations and as a result our credit rating would be cut and economic chaos would follow.

Those are certainly scary things to think about. But, would those things naturally follow if the debt ceiling isn’t raised? Or is Obama bluffing? Or is Obama telling us that those are the things he would do if the Republicans call his hand?

Let’s start by trying to answer the first question: if the debt ceiling is not raised,  would the government automatically default on its debt and have to reduce or eliminate Social Security payments?

Randall Hoven at American Thinker has done all of the hard work for us in his article Debt Ceiling: Worst-Case Scenario. No one is better at sifting through the governments numbers and organizing them in a way that we all can understand. This article is a MUST READ. Hoven proves beyond a shadow of a doubt tha Obama is lying (an unbreakable habit for our President).

Hoven uses the CBO’s analysis of the 2012 budget forecasts of spending as his guide. He lays out very clearly that thee government could pay its projected debt obligations, pay the 2012 projected cost for social Security and Medicare and continue to pay all of our military personnel and still have enough money to fund the rest of government at the same levels as were spent in fiscal year 2005. So, YOU ARE LYING, MR. PRESIDENT.

Now, funding the rest of government at 2005 levels means some serious cutting of costs. Hoven makes no claim that the cost reductions he has laid out are the prefered cuts; but only demonstrates that it can be done. here is a summary of what he believes is possible:

Federal Government Spending (millions of dollars)

Spending category

FY 2005 Actual

OMB’s 2012 estimate

A balanced 2012 budget

National Defense

495,308

737,537

495,308

International Affairs

34,565

63,001

8,974*

General Science, Space and Technology

23,597

32,284

23,584

Energy

429

23,411

0

Natural Resources and Environment

27,980

42,703

27,980

Agriculture

26,565

18,929

17,662

Commerce and Housing Credit

7,566

23,620

0

Transportation

67,894

104,854

67,894

Community and Regional Development

26,262

25,701

8,545**

Education, Training, Employment, and Social Services

97,555

106,172

0

Health (excluding Medicare)

250,548

373,774

250,548

Medicare

298,638

492,316

492,316

Income Security

345,847

554,332

226,554***

Social Security

523,305

767,019

767,019

Veterans Benefits and Services

70,120

124,659

69,811

Admin. of Justice

40,019

58,696

23,770****

General Government

16,997

31,149

16,997

Net Interest

183,986

241,598

241,598

Allowances

0

6,566

0

Undistributed Offsetting Receipts

-65,224

-99,635

-99,635

Total Outlays

2,471,957

3,728,686

2,638,925

*2005 level, but without foreign aid

**Disaster relief only

***Retirement, disability and unemployment only

****Retains prison spending, cuts other justice funding in half

The above budget is in rough balance. It would not increase debt, so the debt ceiling would not have to be raised or violated. It would also preserve the core functions of the federal government, and then some. Note some key features:

  • Net interest is paid in full. No default.
  • Social Security and Medicare are completely covered.
  • Federal retirement and disability programs would also be fully funded.
  • The men and women of the military would continue getting paid in full.
  • Federal prisons and correctional facilities would continue to operate.
  • Funds for disaster relief are preserved.
  • General government would be funded enough to keep operating. That includes the courts, legislative functions, the executive branch, and foreign affairs.
  • There is still funding for infrastructure, science, agriculture, etc.

Clearly it is possible to go a whole year without raising the debt limit and without creating any kind of economic crisis. No one is saying this is the best approach only that it could be done.

Now let’s look at our other questions: is Obama bluffing or would he really do the unthinkable and allow our country to default and stop Social Security checks from going out? I suppose the answer lays in whether or not Obama believes the American people are stupid enough to believe his lie. He has, after all, a lot of history on his side. The American people have been buying into the liberal lies for a long time.

So, how should the Republicans play their hand? That, I suppose, depends on if the Republicans believe that since the “Great Awakening” of 2008, they have the ability to sell the American people the truth. Last night I reported on Sen. McConnell’s plan to just let the President do whatever he wants with the debt ceiling, which would allow the Republicans to put all the blame for raising the debt on Obama. A few minutes ago I received a comment on that post from  John Galt of the Robbing America blog. John makes a very solid argument for supporting McConnell’s plan. The gist of John’s argument is that sometimes in battle the best strategy is to retreat and regroup to fight another day. He is right, in tha, there are times when this is the best strategy. However, history has shown that there are times in battle when you are grossly out numbered by the enemy, the best thing to is to go on the attack. The Republicans and each of us conservatives must decide where we fall on these questions.

Personally, I believe that Obama is capable of doing the unthinkable. But I also believe that Americans are ready to hear and accept the truth. As i said in the title, this is high stakes poker.

Well, that’s wat I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

24 thoughts on “Debt Ceiling Debate __ It’s High Stakes Poker

  1. Great find… it says it all. I have little hope since they cannot even pass a light bulb bill in the House with a majority….it seems they can’t count, or they would not have brought up the bill.

  2. The BIG mistake that both Democrats and Republicans make is they think this debt debate business is, as you say, a “poker game” or football game for them to win.

    On all the talk shows over the weekend and in public statements every politician made since referred to the other party as “they”. There is no “we”. There is no sense of urgency that “WE” need to fix the problem. For all involved it is still an “US” against “THEM” battle.

    Democrats need to understand that massive REAL spending cuts that take effect next budget MUST be part of the solution.

    Jargon promising trillions in cuts over the next decade is just smoke and mirrors that really mean no cuts at all. Do that and our economy loses!

    Revenue increases ARE part of the solution. Republicans need to understand that. What Republicans NEED to do is agree to increases that will NOT drag the economy down. Believe it or not, such exist.

    There must be AT LEAST a 3:1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases in the NEXT budget to get us back on the path of fiscal solvency. We MUST attack the problem from BOTH sides if we are to be successful.

    Any clear thinking person can see that is what needs to be done.

    Why can’t our politicians see that?

    Why do they still think this is a winner takes all in 2012 proposition?

      1. Some, to be sure, but I don’t know if enough have awakened.

        The fact that everyone hasn’t is pretty amazing at that.

      2. The polls report that, incredibly, the Democrats are entrenched at 77% support for the O. Republicans stand at the same disapproval of O for the long term…so, it is the independents who hold some hope of having awakened. It galls me to say it, but I don’t think many Dems have come across, out of the tunnel into the light. I could only wish that would have happened. Independents are waffling back and forth between Marxism and freedom and can’t seem to make up their minds.

        On the debt poker…high stakes indeed. In NC our legislature just overturned 6 more vetoes from our Democrat / Liberal governor. If we only held the House and Senate nationally, we would be doing the same thing. Shows how critical it is going to be to sweep the table in 2012.

        The news report just said O stomped out of the talks tonight. Wonder what that means…?? Throwing a dictatorial temper tantrum?? He is spiteful enough to try to hurt the seniors of our wonderful country by holding back SS checks. I would put nothing past him. But this time…he will be the one to take the blame…not the Republicans. He can spin all he wants, but he will be the responsible one on this.

      3. Obeyme really has fits when he doesn’t get his way, doesn’t he? In 2008, with the financial crisis and the wars, Alfred E. Neuman could have beaten Bush. Obeyme won 52% to 48% and swept both houses of congress. It’s that fickle 4% that we have to wake-up. Considering Obeyme’s record, that shouldn’t be so difficult.

  3. I would say Obama IS the joker, but I digress. Obama knows he is not telling the truth but he is banking on the fear of the elderly, and it has worked in the past so it probably will work again.
    I don’t think the Republicans should follow McConnell’s plan because they will never convince their base that it is for a good cause, the Tea Party will stay home, the Democrats will regain the majority, and Barack Obama will have a blank check for four more years.

      1. One thing we know for sure—Obama’s holding the red cards. He’s also antagonizing the WH press corps, so maybe they’ll get off their sycophantic asses & do their jobs for a change.

      2. That’s a nice thought, Bob. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the press to change. Soros and friends have bought and paid for the press and they will do what they have been paid to do.

  4. I do not sense any desire on the part of the America public for new taxes–none. Support for raising the debt ceiling is weak–the GOP might get away with it, though there are some risks. I cannot believe that the GOP will survive if it capitulates to Obama on both taxes and the debt ceiling–there would be a third party and the GOP would disintegrate. This really does not leave a whole lot of room for negotiation–the GOP must hold firm.
    While I understand that McConnell’s plan made some sort of sense in terms of Beltway politics and may even have been a brilliant idea, it is clearly unconstitutional. Part of the reason why Congress is held in such low regard is their recent tendency to avoid their constitutional responsibilities and give/allow Obama authority to do what he wants (the czars, different plans for allowing Obama to automatically act in the absence of congressional votes, etc.). So, while his plan may be good politics within the Beltway, it is a disaster everywhere else.
    I really do not see any choice for the GOP but to call Obama’s bluff. I know they do not like to make hard choices, but it is time to man-up, or they will indeed lose their jobs and see a woman in charge.

    1. That is the way I see it, John. Obama threw a fit the other day and said he was going to take his case to the people. That’s exactly what the GOP should do. They don’t seem to recognize how much support they have on Main Street.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s