Why does the debt ceiling even matter? Seriously...

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#1 Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - 12:21pm
valleygirl
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Why does the debt ceiling even matter? Seriously...

Can someone kindly explain why -- from a pragmatic standpoint -- Congress even oretends to care about their "debt ceiling"?

I mean, it's not like they heed any other rules or restrictions they don't want to obey. Like the friggin' Constitution, for starters.

Why is the debt ceiling even an issue now, then, when it's apparently self-imposed, they go ahead and raise it every time anyhow, and they could just ignore it as they do voters' concerns/sweep it under the rug as they do their many scandals/vote it higher as they do their own salaries?

Is all this drama just a "tell" that Congress's real constituents all work on Wall Street and at 20th & Constitution?

Edited by: valleygirl on Nov 8, 2014 - 5:05am
Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - 12:24pm
valleygirl
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Oops, I meant

Oops, I meant "pretends"...can't find a daggone "edit post" button for some reason. Sorry, y'all!

Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - 12:42pm
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My guess is that there's

My guess is that there's enough ignorant americans left who still believe that politicians are there to help the general public. You may be giving the general public too much credit, despite the fact that anyone with a freaking brain has known for decades that american politics is a sham. WWF wrestling matches look more legit in comparison.

There's a way to avoid this however and also slowly educate others. When you hear someone use the word republican or democrat, or bash a certain political leader, just ignore it. The system dies if everyone just stops participating in the whole hooplah. 

My grandpop will often bash our current president and I just ignore it and talk about how a debt based money system is designed to self destruct. The monetary system rules all. Focus on that as a way to get people out of the day to day grind of bitching about politicians and left/right para-dig-um.

Like my ideas? Check our blog at: https://backtobasicseconomics.blogspot.com/
Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - 12:57pm (Reply to #3)
valleygirl
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lilbromarky1 wrote: My guess

lilbromarky1 wrote:

My guess is that there's enough ignorant americans left who still believe that politicians are there to help the general public. You may be giving the general public too much credit, despite the fact that anyone with a freaking brain has known for decades that american politics is a sham. WWF wrestling matches look more legit in comparison.

Hmm. Maybe you're right and it is merely about keeping the Dorothys from peeking behind the curtain...

Quote:
There's a way to avoid this however and also slowly educate others. When you hear someone use the word republican or democrat, or bash a certain political leader, just ignore it. The system dies if everyone just stops participating in the whole hooplah.

Yep, been doing that for years now. I don't trust any of 'em as far as I can throw 'em...

Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - 2:19pm
FalseParadigm
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Means of distraction

It's a means of distraction. People are freaking out about not receiving their social security payments. Americans are clueless when it comes to how the Federal Reserve and financial oligarchs are enslaving us and the rest of the world with debt.

Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - 6:57pm
Know More
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Congressman Stark Explains National Debt

Maybe this explaination will help. I still don't get it and neither did the interviewer (but we're not as educated as the Congressman). At least it's good for a laugh.

Don't miss the end when the Congressman tells Jan Helfeld to "...get the f..k out of here or I'll throw you out the window..."

Pete Stark Blows Up Over National Debt
Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 12:17am (Reply to #6)
valleygirl
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Well, Know More, it didn't

Well, Know More, it didn't help me understand the importance of the debt ceiling at all.

But it was eye-opening just the same!

Arrogant b@$t@rd, that Stark, ain't he? "When you shut up, then you can talk about the national debt."

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 8:59am
Tom L
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Back-Loaded Spending Cuts

Back loaded spending cuts are meaningless. Future Congresses are under no compunction to listen to the diktats of past Congresses. It's just a way to grab headlines while still buying votes. Buy present votes with huge headline numbers that the MSM gladly gobbles up and spits out b/c they are ideologically aligned with more government spending.

Everyone involved knows the game and yet we continue to play it thinking that the rules are going to suddenly change. 

BZZZZT.... thanks for playing.

If Boehner was serious about doing anything the cuts would be mostly in the 1st 2 years of the package. But, then he risks not getting re-elected.

Ta,

-- Support bacteria, it's the only culture some people have. Need Goats or Chickens? Say hello at: www.facebook.com/PirateDogAcres
Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 9:24am
Violent Rhetoric
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It is good for fundraising

It is good for fundraising for both sides and it gives 24x7 cable outlets something to talk/rant about.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.” ~ Robert Heinlein
Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 10:38am (Reply to #7)
Know More
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@valleygirl

Yep, arrogant is a good word for him. I would add, in most respectful and humble manner: arrogant lying government representative.

My take on this interview - is the interviewer is asking almost same question: "Why does debt ceiling matter? Why not just increase the debt by a few (more) trillion and really make the USA wealthy?"

But, this is almost what most of our DC "representatives" and their controlled media are right now saying we need to do. 

/sarc off/ - government representative Stark does make a few good points about the complexities of the system, debt actually being a good thing at times, but to me the problem is that this indebtness for growth/expansion is completely out of balance (has been for past 75 years) and we are going to see the results of this - soon.

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 11:30am (Reply to #10)
valleygirl
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Hey, everybody, thanks for

Hey, everybody, thanks for all your entertaining replies. :^)

Know More, I feel ya. Yes, I think one of Helfeld's parrying questions was basically "so why heed a debt ceiling at all?" Of course Stark wouldn't (couldn't) answer him.

And sure, more currency moving through the system at a good clip of velocity can make for a vibrant economy...so long as it moves broadly and swiftly enough that the debtors can keep paying those funds back...

Yes...out of balance...Koyaanisqatsi, as the Hopi call it.

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 11:32am (Reply to #9)
valleygirl
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@Violent Rhetoric

Violent Rhetoric wrote:

It is good for fundraising for both sides and it gives 24x7 cable outlets something to talk/rant about.

Gold star for succinctness! :^)

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 11:35am (Reply to #9)
valleygirl
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On this same note of

On this same note of wondering at the fundamental illogic behind these gummint games...

How is it that Timmah can threaten to delay Social Security checks if the debt ceiling isn't raised...yet no one makes the connection that there's obviously no SS lockbox -- if Timmah needs to borrow another coupla trillion just to pay the geezer brigade?

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 - 11:38am (Reply to #8)
valleygirl
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Tom L wrote: Back loaded

Tom L wrote:

Back loaded spending cuts are meaningless.

True dat!

Quote:
It's just a way to grab headlines while still buying votes. Buy present votes with huge headline numbers that the MSM gladly gobbles up and spits out b/c they are ideologically aligned with more government spending.

I expect you're right. It's all such a crock anyway. When the gumming shut down in 1995-96, all the poor feddies moaned about having to make do without their precious paychecks...for like a month. They all got their back pay once the deal on the Hill got done.

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - 12:58am (Reply to #14)
Tom L
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valleygirl wrote: Tom L

valleygirl wrote:
Tom L wrote:

Back loaded spending cuts are meaningless.

True dat!

Quote:
It's just a way to grab headlines while still buying votes. Buy present votes with huge headline numbers that the MSM gladly gobbles up and spits out b/c they are ideologically aligned with more government spending.

I expect you're right. It's all such a crock anyway. When the gumming shut down in 1995-96, all the poor feddies moaned about having to make do without their precious paychecks...for like a month. They all got their back pay once the deal on the Hill got done.

Lew Rockwell reposted his article from the last Gov't shut-down. Read it and you'll see your comments reflected there.

https://lewrockwell.com/rockwell/when-govt-shuts-down186.html

It's all a big reality-show and just as scripted.

Ta,

-- Support bacteria, it's the only culture some people have. Need Goats or Chickens? Say hello at: www.facebook.com/PirateDogAcres
Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - 5:02pm (Reply to #15)
valleygirl
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Tom L wrote: Lew Rockwell

Tom L wrote:

Lew Rockwell reposted his article from the last Gov't shut-down. Read it and you'll see your comments reflected there.

https://lewrockwell.com/rockwell/when-govt-shuts-down186.html

It's all a big reality-show and just as scripted.

Heh, Tom L, yes -- I happened on that piece by Lew just after I made my comment here. I lived near D.C. in the mid-'90s and I remember all the "poor, poor feddie workers and their families" stories in the newspaper and on TV. Wonder if that's when Lew was there too...I know he worked in Ron Paul's office back in the day.

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - 10:25pm
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Explaining the Debt Ceiling

ValleyGirl - Think of politician as modern artists. They live in their own world where they use their energies to create masterpieces known as laws. Most of these laws are not intended to have much meaning beyond making the artist more famous. You have rightly observed that artists really are not concerned about trivial monetary issues such as spending no more money than is taken in. Rather, they understand that their work is on display for everyone to grade. The grading process is called voting. Therefore, functionality usually does not matter but it all about the impression that the law makes that really propels the artist to greater heights.

These artists generally all have the same goal of becoming the greatest artist. They call him the President and he gets to lecture all the other artists about creating new laws so that they may one day become like him.

Hope this helps.

Stashed away in FEMA Camp #7
Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - 11:22pm
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I'm so sick of it and it's

I'm so sick of it and it's just exhausting trying to keep up with it all. The pieces have been in motion for a long time and the show must go on. I'm loaded down with a comfortable level of metal now that I think I'm going to purposely avoid all TV, internet, etc all next week and let the shenanigans unravel. Fuck this noise.

Got GIABO? "It's called the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." ~George Carlin
Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - 11:36pm
valleygirl
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Iowegian, thanks for the

Iowegian, thanks for the chuckle! Just what I needed to wash away the residue of this past week of "shenanigans," as Dr. Durden calls them.

I've come to look at the debt ceiling as the "modern artists'" favorite tool for generating repeated, predictable crisis. They're all living the gospel of Rahm.

Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - 9:59am (Reply to #19)
Iowegian
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RE: Debt Ceiling

@valleygirl

Your welcome. Could not resist. More seriously, the whole question on the debt ceiling IMO is about what size of government we are going to have. One-half of the country wants socialism whereas the other half does not want any government at all.

So, the republicans enact tax cuts whenever there appears to be a surplus or there is an economic crisis. The answer is always the same.... cut taxes to increase economic activity and then tax revenues will increase.

On the other hand, democrats realize that their social programs need additional funding, so every crisis needs to be used to increase taxes. No crisis should ever be wasted is their mantra.

In the middle of these irreconcilable differences is a big gapping deficit that has virtual no chance of being fixed by these two clowns, but is now so large that everyone realizes it is at the brink of causing irreparably damage to the financial future of the country in terms of the Debt/GDP ratio. Frankly, the problem with that ratio is that it is not so high relative to other developed countries, but rather it is the rate that it is growing coupled with ever increasing size of government expenditures that need some type of resolution.

So, the decision IMO is socialism or continued use of the government that governs least is the government that governs best mantra. Neither side is willing the budge on that point, but the growing deficit as a percent of GDP is forcing the issue. Its simply not tenable in the long-run and no economist will argue differently.

Couple of graphs:

https://thelastword.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/07/26/7172804-brief-history-of-debt-ceiling-increases

https://floodingupeconomics.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/us-gross-public-debt-as-a-percentage-of-gdp.png

This first chart clearly shows that the debt ceiling has historically been dealt about once of year based upon the last ten year's average. So, why the need to put it off until after the 2012 election at this juncture? Its political poison because it is out of control.

The second chart shows that level of the debt is below the level that we had following World War 2. What followed World War 2? The roaring 50's! Its not that we have not been here before. But, the structure of our debt problem is totally different. Wages were not out of control, nor entitlements. Therefore, when we shed the cost of the military for funding World War 2, we were set for an economic boom. However, in the 1950's we were capable of building an interstate highway system. Now, we cannot afford to maintain what was built years ago. The difference is wages, entitlements and the size of government.

Best,

IO

Stashed away in FEMA Camp #7
Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - 8:20pm
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Debt = Wealth

...Ha! Ha! Ha! New bumper sticker...he who borrows the most dollars WINS!

Now I know that the asylum has been emptied...someone do us a favor and sew up Starks' sleeves!

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