Dear Mr. President,
What’s all the kerfuffle about raising the debt ceiling? Congress voted seven times to raise the debt ceiling to over 4 trillion when Bush was President… so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the Republicans think because you caved in on extending the tax cuts for the super rich and large corporations that you’ll cave in on this too.
On ‘Day 28’ I wrote to you about the August 2nd deadline for raising the debt ceiling and urged you not to fall for another attempt by the Republicans to ‘blackmailing’ you into making the cuts they want without any ‘shared sacrifice’ on their part. I believe I told you that their threats are “a big fat bluff.” Here’s how we know it’s an empty threat… We all know that the US Chamber of Commerce works for the advantage of “big business”… so if the Chamber is telling the Republicans to raise the debt ceiling, you can be sure that they will do just that.
I also told you that you “cannot negotiate with Republicans” because they are not interested in playing fair, and I think you see that now. Not because I said so, but because that is what you and the rest of the Democrats have ‘experienced’ for yourselves, over and over again. So this begs the question… how many times do you have to bang your head against the wall before you realize it’s giving you a headache? I’m pretty darn sure that you and the Vice President are tired of having a headache each and every day. The cure: “Stop banging your head against the Republican wall.”
I’m proud that you have drawn a line in the sand and told the Republicans that to keep the tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires would mean that we would have to stop certain funding for medical research and kids would get cut off from getting a college scholarship, etc… etc… and you will not do one without the other. You are right! Stick to it and don’t let them bully you, call their bluff and don’t blink.
One more question… what would happen if the US just paid the bill without raising the debt ceiling? Doesn’t the 14th amendment say we ‘must’ pay our bills? I know at the time it was referring to the debt of the US after the civil war, but it doesn’t ‘specify’ the civil war… what is says is, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned.” In fact, in 1935,the Supreme Court held that in spite of the Civil War context, the amendment clearly referred to all ‘federal’ debt. One other point… to pay it would simply be paying on the existing debt, not incurring additional new debt.
So what’s all the kerfuffle about… just pay the bills. Isn’t that what the Republicans have been telling ordinary Americans too do for years now… stop whining and pay your bills? So go ahead Mr. President, do what the Republicans want… come August 2nd just pay the bills.
Your Gadfly Granny