The Tea Party’s Moment of Truth

The Tea Party looks like it’s won a big victory—the “grand bargain” that President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner were negotiating has collapsed, and with it any hope by Democrats that a big deficit-reduction package would include anything like tax increases.

Tea Party Rally in Washington. Photo Credit: Rena Schild /

Now, as the clock ticks towards August 2nd, when Administration officials and many private forecasters warn that the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling must be raised, the Tea Party has a big decision to make: take “yes” for an answer or snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Republicans took over the House of Representatives last November with the help of more than 80 Tea Party freshmen. Their focus has been on cutting government spending, and by standing firm they’ve held the whip hand in this crisis. Both the president and Speaker Boehner have caved to their pressure, and now only spending cuts are on the table.

The Tea Party has shown the power of a determined minority—they represent maybe 25% of the American public, according to polls—and they’ve performed a public service by putting the deficit front and center for the first time since H. Ross Perot in the early 1990s.

But now with default looming they’re in danger of overplaying their hand. Having passed the “cut, cap, and balance” bill last week with almost no Democratic support and no chance of getting through the Senate, they actually think they’ve done their job.

“Then what else is there?” freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) told the Washington Post. “Honestly, I don’t think there’s any more the House can do.”

Really? Comments like this are either naïve or delusional—or maybe Grimm and his colleagues really believe a default by the US government is just a small battle in a much bigger Holy War.

Lots of people are responsible for the long-term debt problem, Democrats and Republicans alike, and I’ll have more to say about the president’s role later.

But the Tea Party took the routine legislative procedure of raising the debt ceiling and manufactured a crisis. Instead of engaging in the long, hard work of educating the American public on the dangers of deficit spending, which would likely take years but would actually build a consensus for real change, they are holding the country’s credit rating hostage.

Now it’s time to face reality. Pick a plan, any plan, and vote for it. Extend the debt ceiling and keep hammering away at the deficit and spending. But don’t let the country default. Or you and everyone else will face the consequences.

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59 Responses to The Tea Party’s Moment of Truth

  1. StocksDoc July 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Howard .. your plan is what we've been doing for years!
    Your plan is to keep doing what we've been doing to get into this mess.
    I would much rather have our credit-card taken away and face the consequences for a better future . . . .
    just like I do with my wife when our debt gets too large.

    • awcrap July 28, 2011 at 1:05 am #

      You only think you know what you are talking about.

      Not raising the debt ceiling is equal to NOT taking away your wife’s credit card and NOT paying the bill for what she purchased.

      Now try THAT and go to the bank and ask for a loan. What do think will happen? They MAY give you a loan, however it will be at 22% instead of 9%. Why? Because you are now more of a risk.

      If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, everyone’s loans will be at a higher percentage.

      Do you understand now?

      I know it’s confusing because the “debt ceiling” is the catchphrase that doesn’t really mean what it sounds like – as usual- coming out of washington.

      The debt ceiling should be raised and there should be real debate on the budget and spending. They can shut down the government without a budget. They can shut down the USA without paying our bills. (Money we have borrowed and already spent.)

    • John B July 28, 2011 at 4:57 am #

      "Howard .. your plan is what we've been doing for years! "

      You are terribly correct and glib. You can't take a 180 degree turn with a freight train. You'll just derail into a big ball of flames.

      You and your wife are like a small Ferrari by comparison. 180 burns a little rubber and rattles the nerves a bit and then you drive on.

      It is not our "credit card" that is at stake it is our ability to pay what we owe.

    • Hello July 29, 2011 at 1:41 am #

      The fact is there will only be a default if we DECIDE NOT TO PAY the interest. The federal government takes in 200 Billion per month, interest payments account for 20 billion. That’s a fact. If it doesn’t get paid and they default it will be by choice. In fact the monthly revenue would cover the debt, SS, & medicare. None of these need to lose one dime. Of course there will not be money for almost anything else but that’s the truth. Mark my words, if they don’t get something in the way of cuts here nothing will get done till 2015. What is 1 trillion over 10 years anyway? Even under that plan in 2022 the debt will be 23 trillion, what kind of deal is that?

      • DMill July 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

        Thank you! People don't understand that the media is lying and Washington definitely does have the money to continue paying this debt. What the Republicans are asking is not insane, and I cannot believe people would support continuing to increase the debt of our country to maintain the size of this inept government.

    • Scott July 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

      You and your wife's finances do not consist of a hunt for WMD's, a search for OBL and running or occupying a foreign territory. This is such a ridiculous analogy. This cou
      ntry will wave the flag, sound a chant but refuses to come together to fgure out how to pay for it and now we all will in a way that is just WRONG.

      • Yo2000 July 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

        Well, my household income is also not 200 billion a month. If I had that amount of money, I could afford to hunt for WMD and OBL…or ocupy a foreign territory…but that brings me to my next question, why?
        More lives were lost to get Osama Bin Laden than died on Sept 11.
        Much more money was spent on unjust wars because USA didn’t like the leader of another government.
        Don’t hate the tea party for finally standing up for America instead of the Big Banks. A balanced budget should have been in the works decades ago.

    • Henry1200 July 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

      To Stocksdoc,__Unfortunately your analogy does not hold water with the Federal Government and the current economy as a whole. If the Government goes into default on August 2nd approximately 45 percent of Federal Spending will vaporize since the Government will be required to balance its books between revenue and expenses. Much like yourself when you have to balance your books, the Government will have to make choices in terms of its prior and current obligations that it has. Should it pay Social Security recipients, active duty military servicemen, hospitals and doctors for past Medicare services delivered, government contractors, Federal Workers, Federal Retirees, state and local governments, disabled veterans, other Federal agencies, etc. These will be tough choices ito be made if default occurs. __Probably a vaporization of 45 percent of Federal Spending will immediately raise the unemployment rate another 1 to 2 percent (or more) as a direct result of a cut of Federal Spending, and that does not count businesses which will not hire or lay off due to the lack of confidence of the American economy. And this is on top of a current 9 percent unemployment rate in the USA rate right now.. __

    • Henry1200 July 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      To Stocksdoc,

      But don't get me wrong.. When the economy is going strong (less than 5 percent unemployment, that is the time to either balance the budget, or generate surpluses to use for a rainy day. Both your family budget and the US Government budgets should do this, and during the last parts of the Clinton years did this, but thanks to George W. Bush and "Deficits Don't Matter" Cheney, these surpluses were vaporized as the result of the wars and the Bush Tax Cuts. Additionally, the Bush Tax cuts caused damage on three fronts, with one being that the wealthy used their tax cuts to build factories and technology centers in China and India respectively which resulted in outsourcing of millions of American Middle Class jobs to these countries. The second front was that the saved tax money which was received by the Lower and Middle Class was used to bid up the price of homes considerably in many parts of the USA by variable rate subprime mortgages which was the prime culprit of the housing collapse in 2007-2008 when variable interest rates went up. The third front was considerably increasing the National Debt through Deficit Spending both during the Bush and Obama administrations.

      • Yo2000 July 30, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

        I agree with your points. I didn't like Clinton but he did leave the country well fiscally. GWB was fiscally irresponsible, but no worse than Obama has been. I don't agree that the housing collapse had anything to do with the tax cuts. I think it had more to do with flexible (irresponsible) lending – there was no plan by the buyer to actually pay the house – and lenders had to make their numbers. Government needs to sell assets, and change policy, then cut spending to get out of the mess.
        Sell assets = thinking more of military assets, arms etc.
        Policy = stop being the world police
        Cut spending = (welfare should be last resort. Families should take care of each other…there is no reason for a brother to have a decent income and have another brother on welfare)

    • Henry1200 July 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      To Stocksdoc,
      Now, I am not in a position to predict the future. It may be as a result of past and current outsourcing practices of American companies, and the downsizing of the remaining American jobs (resulting in lower incomes) there may be perrenial 8 to 10 percent unemployment in the United States. This has been the case of other developed countries (e.g. France, Greece, etc.). It may never be in my working life that we will never see 5 percent unemployment again. If a year or two down the road, and if unemployment continues at 9 percent, we may have to make some very tough choices as a nation to cut spending, or cut/tax. But I don't think the politicians should be made by the politicians alone, but rather in consultation with their constituents. In meeting/consultation with their constituents, the politicians wiil then feel what may be do-able, or not do-able.

      With this, I do support a reasonable increase in the debt ceiling for this time.

    • Concerned July 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

      Question StocksDoc… do you own any companies (stock) as your online moniker would imply? Maybe an IRA, 401K, something? Or, do you possibly work for a government entity where you are in essentially the only group left in America that will receive a pension? I ask these questions because if you have any of these they will largely disappear if the U.S. defaults. This is not a game! I don't have a pension and my self-paid retirment accounts are still down at least 40% as a result of the mortgage meltdown. As Mr. Gold and all of his provided link contributors indicate, a default will devastate the stock market. Do you really want to lose the majority of what you've worked, possibly for years to accumulate? Along with everyone else you know and potentially care about.

      Do we need to revamp the government and it's spending, definitely! But, default isn't the right way to do this. The fact is, the prolonged Bush tax cuts and the wars he and Chaney put us in have. How else could the U.S. have gone from a deficit surplus under Clinton to this during their regime.

    • Yo2000 July 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

      I agree. Normally when times are good, the government should save the surplus for the times that the budget isn't met, but its Washingtons recklessness of the past 10 years that has caused this situation, not the Tea Party that are demanding a balanced budget. Face it. Tea party is the minority that has the best interest in the country, not the majority that doesn't care about the next generation that has to pay for the debt.

  2. Bart July 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    <<Now it’s time to face reality. Pick a plan, any plan, and vote for it. Extend the debt ceiling and keep hammering away at the deficit and spending. But don’t let the country default. Or you and everyone else will face the consequences.>>

    well said!

    • Lee July 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

      The country will only default if Obama lets it happen!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. D Rieser July 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Passing a bill that may or may not reduce spending by a trillion dollars over ten years when the current spending will add between 7 and 9 trilion to the deficit over the same period is ludicrous and I support the members of Congress who think that this gravy train must stop. I agree that Default is not an option. However, Speaker Reid can call a true vote on CC&B at anytime. The Senate can pass it. It is the only legislation written throughout this debacle that addresses the long term spending cuts that the rating agencies are looking for to avoid some kind of downgrade. Imagine what would happen in this country if a downgrade leads to losing our place as the global currency… the printing press would have to stop. Let the Senate grow up and do what they were elected to do… what's best for this country. Pass CC&B.

    • Brad August 2, 2011 at 12:15 am #

      So what happens when theres another recession and the government loses expected revenues and loses the 'balanced budget'?

  4. Tretka July 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    It is convenient to blame fellow citizens,hmmm? The truth is painful and scary but once you face it, you can correct the problem. There is plenty of blame Howard, and it goes back 100 years, it does belong to the member of the Republic (us), our congress, and a few unknown manipulations along the way. If you are going to be vocal for the moderate, independent crowd that goes with whichever way the wind blows, know better the 25% you write about it, who are vastly different than loosely planted citizens.

    • Brian July 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

      " If you are going to be vocal for the moderate, independent crowd that goes with whichever way the wind blows, know better the 25% you write about it, who are vastly different than loosely planted citizens."

      Ah… yes, the 25% who have determined the rest of us don't know what we are talking about, can't be left to determine our own views and heaven forbid we would disagree on views such as abortion or social services.

      Yes, the 75% who probably understand that government is all about compromise otherwise, we would live in Libya, North Korea, or some other 3rd worls country where the "leaders" think for us.

      I happen to be one of those "noderate, independants who votes and thinks after I take the time to try and understand the issues… debate after knowing the facts and tries to stay away from the rhetoric your 25% likes to spew.

      And thank those 75% for still having the right to say what I feel….

      Oh, and by the way, I also happen to be a Vietnam vet and an NRA member.

  5. Jim July 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Aug. 2 is an arbitrary "default" date. Anyone who's really paying attention knows this and that excludes the mainstream media. It's the debt, not the debt ceiling, that's eroding our AAA rating. "Just pass anything" won't get it done. Tax hikes won't get it done, but they will kill jobs and seriously damage an already anemic economy. Fake spending cuts won't get it done, either. Why not say we're cutting $200 gazillion over the next 10 years? It never happens. Even if they really did cut $1 trillion over 10 years, the baseline goes up 7% per year, so we'll really be adding another $8 trillion to the debt. The only thing that can save the AAA rating is immediate, REAL cuts in the current budget cycle. Barack Hussein Obama and Harry Reid refuse to do that. So where are we?

    • trashcup July 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

      Your arbitrary date of Aug 2 is about to bite you in the butt.

      • simdicky July 29, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

        Really? I mean REALLY?

    • Paul July 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

      You left off Harry Reid's middle name for some reason.

  6. alpha beta July 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    I don't know why you think passing an increase in the debt ceiling is routine.

    It's not like it's been done over 100 times before…

    oh wait a minute, it HAS BEEN DONE OVER 100 TIMES BEFORE including 17 times under Reagan and 8 times under Bush

  7. ArnoldLayne July 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    "Instead of engaging in the long, hard work of educating the American public on the dangers of deficit spending, which would likely take years but would actually build a consensus for real change"
    Now THAT'S ridiculous! The TP should take YEARS to educate the public? LOL In a few years, the DEBT will be 100% of US GDP and US credit rating much lower than AA.

    • Alex July 29, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

      Yes Arnold, educate the public and build consensus.
      That's how big changes like this are supposed to be done – with public consultation and everyone's involvement, NOT by having a brazen group of 87 inexperienced congressmen hold the country's credit rating hostage.
      These people are so ridiculously naive they are not even aware of the damage they are about to do. Many have little to no post secondary education and simply lack the smarts – choosing the worst possible time to stand firm on the absurd principles of the extreme right that have swept them into power. Can't wait till Nov 2012 – the silent majority of Americans won't forget how a few uneducated teabaggers single-handedly destroyed this country's creditworthiness.

  8. Ron July 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    What a bunch of hog wash, when will people like you realize that kicking the can down the road does nothing but hurts us more exponetially the longer we do it. Would you prefer a rating down grade?
    The politicians, big bankers want nothing more than to artifically prop up the status quo that is no longer viable. I'm a small business owner in CA.. Yes, CA… I have had to downsize 80%, let my personal finances go to hell and work 80+ hours a week for virtually no profit as I watch a gov't with a blank check spend foolishly on everything. No more…
    Your an idiot!

  9. methuselah July 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    What? A blogger that actually said something that was true and made sense. That'll never happen again.

  10. Stephen R. Marks July 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Do you suppose that if the debt ceiling is increased again, then the politicians will reduce spending? The debt ceiling has been raised over 70 times previously – maybe now is the time for action. And even if the U. S. credit rating is lowered following a default, then interest rates will rise and people that save their money – unlike our government – will receive an interest rate that actually increases savings after inflation. Unfortunately, all of America’s problems are the voters’ fault – for not paying attention to our elected officials and removing them when necessary – which should be often.

  11. Peter July 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    The long hard work of educating the public?
    That's been going on for 20 years at least – if they're not educated by now they never will be.
    Vote for any plan?
    Most of these plans cut projected deficits by less than 20% over the next 10 years. What would that get us when we've tripled the annual deficit in the last two years?
    I'd rather have a "manufactured" crisis today that an unsolvable "real" one in 3 to 5 years.

  12. Woody July 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Well said, thank you.

  13. NoThanks July 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Howard, If not now then when? Sometimes the line in the sand is most appropriate. Now is the time.

  14. HowardRGold July 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Thanks for all the great comments!

    I do think the deficit is a critical problem that needs to be faced now. I've thought so for years, since well before 2008 when only 2%–2%!–of Americans thought it was our biggest economic issue. How many of you thought that then?

    Now the number is 12%, well short of the 40% that thought that in the early 1990s. That and Ross Perot's 19% of the popular vote in 1992 pushed Bill Clinton to work with Newt Gingrich and Republicans to turn deficits into surpluses and helped create nearly a decade of prosperity. That's the enduring value of building consensus. MORE

  15. HowardRGold July 27, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    But 70-80% of the public doesn't want anyone touching their Medicare or Social Security. Huge majorities think we should tax the rich to cut the deficit. They clearly don't understand we're going to have to do more than that, so I would suggest the education process is just beginning. It's still a democracy and the majority is not on the Tea Party's side, though a large, passionate minority is.

    As I said, I think the Tea Party did us all a service by putting this issue front and center and holding politicians' feet to the fire. But now it's time to get the biggest deficit reduction you can, declare victory and set up a process where more cuts–and yes, revenue and tax increases of various kinds–will be considered as a way to get our fiscal house in order.

    But don't screw around with our credit rating or flirt with default. That way lies disaster.

    • trashcup July 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

      Amazing how the minority of so-called Tea Baggers have controled what the newbies in Congress are doing. Tea Baggers might be very vocal but they are NOT the majority and aren't we a democracy? Since when do we let a minority run anything in this country? They don't even have a spokesperson who can intelligently express what the Tea Party is about much less lead our country to greatness.

      The newbie Congressmen are worried to death so they FOLLOW what the Tea Baggers tell them to do instead of LEAD and make decisions.

      • methuselah July 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

        Do you know what the tea party is about? Or do you just trash what you can’t understand?

  16. Jack Kessler July 27, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I believe the US credit-rating spat is part of a long-term geopolitical & economic shift, away from Europe and toward Asia, with the US somewhat balancing in-between. In 1950 the US controlled about 50% of the global economy: no more… And all through the 1950s the dollar bought 360 yen: no longer… The shifts away from both those post-WWII heights have been pretty steady ever since. As they should: 50% is a lot of global power, and exposure — too much — for any one nation.

    But I'm not too worried about the downsides for the US of the current credit-rating spat. No single successor to the US has emerged, yet — we're still the only viable act in town, for any global investor, bad as we've done at times the others all have done lots worse, so far — anyone want more Dubai bonds, instead? how about more Japanese bonds? So we the US are coasting on our laurels. Whatever debt-limit deal we cut won't matter fundamentally: at 25-30% of GDP the government counts about 1/2 as much in the US as other governments do elsewhere — the US economy is strong, and sound — so overseas investment dollars still will pour into the US.

    In the meantime the US patiently & cleverly has maneuvered into a you-scratch-my-back / I'll-scratch-yours balance with #2 China on fundamentals, a balance which boosts both economically, and keeps both in check politically. Our Tea Party bunch is just local extremists sniping for local power — other nations have extremists, too, doing the same — the biggest worry is the Europeans, now, who can't afford all that. But the US & Asia can.

    • ann July 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

      Hmm…. the word out of China is that America looks politically inept.

  17. shakes July 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    "they are holding the country’s credit rating hostage." ???? Are u for real? The difference in our view is that you believe the US currently has good credit rating and that the Tea Party is using it as a bargaining chip. I argue that the US does not deserve good credit rating as of today and that the Tea Party is trying to get people to face the fact and fix the problem. Do you give someone a good credit rating when they spend more than they earn?

    • ann July 29, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

      OMG! Please read a book, an article, something! America's debt id debt that the federal government owes to itself in the form of promises made to pay for services used by American citizens. They already asked for the credit card and used it, now the balance is due.

    • simdicky July 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm #


  18. Ross July 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    I have read several of your posts wherein you take the Tea Party mentality to task. As in: "But the Tea Party took the routine legislative procedure of raising the debt ceiling and manufactured a crisis." Yes they did, right or wrong; I don't know – – – I am not a Tea Partyer, nor a Democrat, nor a Republican. Not now, not ever. I hope that will attest to my bona fides.

    BUT, I was fascinated by the follow comment: "Instead of engaging in the long, hard work of educating the American public on the dangers of deficit spending . . ." Pray tell, just what do you think the Tea Partyers are trying to accomplish? I would think that that part of the American Public that have been educated to the dangers of deficit spending are exactly those (Tea Partyers?) who are now attempting to make a drastic change to the business as usual crowd in Washington. If all they can see to do is throw the baby out with the bathwater, a least they will have a clean receptacle for the next time,
    The people who need the education are the nabobs in Washington. They are supposed to listen to the people; to act in according to the demands of the people that elected them; not do what they want to feel better, all warm and fuzzy – – – and powerful. One only need to look at Ms. Pelosi's antics and demands to see the truth of that.

    The Tea Partyer is the new Minuteman – – – and not a second to soon. Please remember the the American Revolution was brought forth by not more than 30% of the colonists.

  19. scelerant July 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    The core problem is that with a debt of $ if the U.S interest rates the debt goes up 1% that’s a total of $140000000000 that must be paid in additional interest on the debt. There is a norwegian expression that translates to “Saving yourself into the poorhouse” and that’S more or less what the less than stellar intellects behind the Tea Party seem to desire.

    Now, I shouldn’t question the intelligence of the Tea Party, after all they are the movement named after a tax revolt in which a rumored 90% though their taxes had gone up under Obama, so in short, 90% of them have no clue what’s going on with taxes. They also have sordid love affairs with Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman and countless other no-brains. Therefore, I hope you accept my sincere apologies for questioning the intelligence of the Teabaggers.

    One may also want to ask, what is the most important, the deficit or the jobs deficit? Because if the deficit is cut that means jobs are cut, so that sends unemployment back up unless the private sector increases hiring. The private sector isn’t going to start spending the stockpiled cash until a government it relies heavily upon stops playing a game of chicken with the world economy. They may not even start spending it until the children who are currently in congress have been booted out.

    The longer this goes on, the more incompetent and ineffective congress looks, not only to the voters, but also to the corporations, foreign governments, the IMF and finally the rating agencies. There is a reason for the thinly veiled threats from S&P and the other rating agencies, namely that the Republican Party lead by Boehner and McConnell have proven that all they care about is the Teabaggers.

    • Rockit Daddy July 29, 2011 at 12:37 am #

      You have just discredited yourself by resorting to the name calling that typical leftists use when they are afraid of a movement that uses independent thought.

      Nobody in the media is addressing why the government has an automatic baseline spending increase of 7%+ every year. Year after year after year. The automatic expansion of government spending has to stop. The problem is in semantics as well. If there is a 1% decrease in spending, it is considered a cut when it just means that instead of spending 7% they are spending 6% instead. Sheesh, this isn’t rocket science.

      Why is it that governments grow, state and federal, when times are good as well as when times are bad? The state government in California just about doubled in size in the last ten years. Why? The population didn't double.

      It’s time to stop the government insanity!

      • ann July 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

        Um, you are part of the problem because you are buying into the current rhetoric. Take a step back and ask your self a question…..How did the debt grow to 14 trillion dollars. Maybe you don't care but I do. i grew due to task cuts given mainly to the top 1 % (wealthy), Medicare part D, 2 wars, and a lot of unnecessary spending during the tenure of the past Bush administration who, by the way, was allowed to raised the debt ceiling not once, not twice, but 78 times! Check the facts. I watched as the debt grew and grew and wondered why the Republican party did not say one word. Aren't they suppose to be the fiscal conservatives? A lie. They did not care one but. Check your facts before you throw stones. The debt only rose about 4 trillion dollars during the Obama administration and that appears to be due to the recession. Now, if you do not like healthcare reform, fine. But remember, the very same people crying foul now were once the same people who shouted down anyone who made a mention to the rising debt.

  20. tim oden July 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    I agree with StocksDoc.
    It's time for the politicians to face the music and cease their smoke and mirrors show.
    Do they really expect us to believe the debt will gradually be lowered over ten years, when it has been raised 78 times in 50 years?
    The fed should live within its means, just like every american household does.
    How many american companies today still have a AAA Bond rating?

  21. je Je Je July 29, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Anyone speaks cantonese? I just got a call from a bill collector, calling from China!

  22. Gail July 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    If we default and, perhaps, some say whether we default or not, our credit rating will go to a AA rating. What does that mean? Higher interest rates on our debt for the next however many years.

    Higher intrerest rates doesn't sound like a wise solution to me. I say keep the AAA rating, continue to educate the accurately educate the public regarding our deficit issues.

    But for God sakes, let's not add more to the debt we already have by higher interest rates. Personally, I think that the newly elected Tea Party members are not in a position to fully understand the complexities of our deficit issues until they have been in Congress for a while, and yet, they are creating a crisis that I am not so sure that we can recover from.

  23. Rick Olson July 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm #


    Do NOT kick the can any further down the road!!!!!!

  24. Whoever July 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    What makes people think that if there was a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to pass a balnced budget each year that Congress would be able to do it? And would we want them to pass such a budget if the only ways to balance the budget was to raise revenues (taxes) or cut expenditures, such as social security benefits, medicare and medicaid benefits or the military? Be careful, tea partiers, what you ask for, you may just get it.

  25. ann July 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    II think you are spot on. This was a problem that was manufactured and a lot of careers will be ruined because of the actions of a few5. The American people are going to pick and choose who is responsible if grandma doesn't get her check this month or if government jobs are lost because the Congress refuses to pay it own bulls! The tea Party lacks direction and needs an experienced mentor. Right now, they seem to lack the knowledge and finesse to succeed in getting something productive done. What they have done is manage to appear as extremists who need to be removed from office. This was really unnecessary and if America's credit rating drops, I know exactly who I believe who should receive the bulk of the blame.

  26. scelerant July 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    If we start the name-calling, I just don’t care to be honest. We are talking about a group of people who elected to hang teabags from their founding father hats despite the fact that the teabag wasn

  27. Disgusted in OH July 30, 2011 at 3:23 am #

    Of course the ceiling must be raised for now.
    Since the Rebs don't want to increase taxes to correct our debt, they should be the fore runners in eliminating the entitlements " that members of congress have". How about giving up some of the travel expenses, perts offered within the Congressional buildings, expense accounts, retirement packages after serving one term!, breaks on sending their kids to college. Come on Rebs, you're the ones that say stop spending. Who is going to introduce such a bill as this? Three guesses and the first two don't count!

  28. Mark July 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Tea Party, Republican or Democratic Party- the problem lies right there. These partisans continue to put their energy and their votes into their party affiliation and the perpetuation of their careers instead of our country. If anyone believes that any DC politician is worried about anything other than their own careers, you have been proven naive and mistaken time and time again and more frequently each year.
    Each party has taken their numerous turns selling us out in favor of their gain. Perpetuation of a system that has created an aristocracy of our national senators and representatives is their first order of business…see Machiavelli.
    We need to institute term limits. We need to end professional political careers and return to citizen politicians. Two terms, do your best, go home to what you used to do or what you want to do now. No more special health or retirement programs that only serve to keep our elected officials from sharing the consequences of their decisions. These people have taken our faith and spent it on themselves.


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