RUSH: “On Feb. 4, 2010, when the House of Representatives voted to increase the legal limit on the national debt by another $1.9 trillion (lifting the limit from $12.394 trillion to $14.294 trillion), not one Republican voted for the increase.”
It’s amazing how this tracks. It’s like I just said: If you go back to 2006, not one Democrat voted to raise the debt limit in 2006. Republicans ran the show then. One year ago, not one Republican voted to raise the debt ceiling when they didn’t run the show, of course. Just a year ago, one year, the debt ceiling has gone up by $2 trillion. Now, “Then-Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R.-Va.) rose on the House floor that day and declared that it was ‘beyond comprehension’ and ‘a travesty’ to talk about raising the legal debt limit to $14.294 trillion.
“Last week, the Republican House leadership agreed to a deal with President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) to spend $3.7555 trillion in this fiscal year — even though at the close of business Friday, as the deal was being struck, the Treasury reported that it could borrow only an additional $80.85 billion before hitting the $14.294-trillion debt limit Congress set last year.” So the debt ceiling increase of last year, we’re bumping up agin’ it now — against it. We need to raise it again.
“In the first six months of this fiscal year (Oct-March), according to the Treasury, the debt increased $708.492 billion. Even if you subtract $38.5 billion [of this deal] from that number … the federal government would still be on a pace to increase the debt by about another $670 billion in the remaining six months of this fiscal year,” just to put that $38.5 billion into further perspective. By the way, these numbers are from Terence Jeffrey in a piece he has at the Cybercast News Service.
“Simply put: To consummate the spending deal the Republican House leaders cut with Obama and Reid on Friday, the Republicans would need to lift the debt ceiling by hundreds of billions just to let the government borrow the money the Republicans have already agreed to let the government spend between now and Sept. 30. Back in February 2010, when the then-Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted to lift the debt ceiling to $14.294 trillion, then-Minority Whip Cantor delivered a scathing speech against the measure.
“‘It would be recklessly naive to go about our business in Washington pretending there won’t be severe consequences for the mountains of debt we are piling up,’ Cantor said on the House floor. ‘Yet today it is evident that this kind of willful ignorance is sweeping across Washington. We are set to lift our Nation’s debt burden to $14 trillion. I would ask my colleagues in this chamber if they know how many zeroes 14 trillion has,’ said Cantor. ‘I would ask the American people if they know how many zeroes are in 14 trillion. It is 14 trillion.
“‘It is beyond comprehension to be talking about numbers this big. More precisely, the limit is 1, 4, 2, 9, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0. It is a travesty,’ said Cantor. ‘The writing is on the wall. Congress needs to wake up and realize that the future of American prosperity is in dire straits, mortal danger,” and he was right then! But if you go back to 2006 when the Republicans had control, it was the Democrats saying almost identical — word for word — what Cantor is saying here.
So what we’ve learned here is that the party out of power is always opposed to raising the debt limit, and they use the same arguments that the previous time that the previous time when another party was out of power used. It’s just mind-boggling here. It’s all about who’s running the show — and if you’re not in charge, if you’re not in control barbecue you’re not the majority, you’re gonna oppose raising the debt ceiling except we’re gonna kick the can down the road. This is why Terence Jeffrey has written the piece. If you’re just joining us, the Republicans are sending a signal out that they’re not gonna fight the debt ceiling increase; that the Ryan budget deal, that really should be our area of focus. That’s what they’re saying.
From The Politico today: “Republicans are growing increasingly concerned about the impact a bruising fight over raising the nation’s $14.29 trillion debt ceiling could have on U.S. financial markets. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has had conversations with top Wall Street executives, asking how close Congress could push to the debt limit deadline without sending interests rates soaring and causing stock prices to go lower, people familiar with the matter said. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Tuesday night that he was not aware of any such conversations.” But the media is reporting that Wall Street execs are warning Boehner, “You better not fight this fight.” So that’s where we are.
RUSH: You know, folks, we’re getting the same kind of hysteria about the need to raise the debt ceiling that we got about the government shutdown. The hysteria is the same as we got for TARP. “We better do this. If we don’t do this, there’s gonna be a whole collapse. Why, if we don’t do this, the financial system of the world could come crumbling down and everything could end.” Remember that? There’s still unspent TARP money. And then the same thing with the stimulus bill, we had to do that right then. We had to bail out General Motors. All that stuff in the fall of 2008 had to be done right now. And we’re getting the same kind of hysteria about the need to raise the debt ceiling. Washington knows how to do this. Why shouldn’t they? They got what they wanted, every bit of it in 2008, playing us this way.
So the Democrats and their copyboys in the media are saying that it would be an apocalypse if the debt ceiling is not raised. Michele Bachmann was on Fox & Friends this morning. She pointed out that it would probably take six to seven months before the debt ceiling would force the government to shut down, if ever. And that’s the bottom line. A genuine shutdown of the United States government isn’t going to happen. It simply will not happen. Revenue would still be coming in. People are still working and paying taxes. Revenue is still coming in. The worst that would come out of it is that we would have to prioritize our spending. In fact, she pointed out it would be almost like a de facto balanced budget amendment, which would be a good thing. But we’re getting the same kind of hysteria, just like, “Oh, we can’t have a shutdown, oh, no, no, we gotta raise the debt ceiling.” It’s the same damn way, folks. It’s the same damn procedure. It’s the same strategery. It’s the same promise of calamity, apocalypse. And it’s not true.
There is not imminent disaster on the other side of failing to raise the debt limit. You see what’s guiding all this is that which I believe is our biggest single problem today. Well, that’s hard to really categorize. But if it’s not the single biggest problem, it’s very close. And that is the notion that not one measly thing in this country can happen unless the government is involved in it. That’s destroying us. The notion that kids can’t eat, that people can’t learn, that products can’t be manufactured, that services can’t be performed, nothing can happen unless government is open and actively involved in it, and folks, that whole premise is fallacious, and yet it is destroying us.
What would happen if we don’t raise the debt ceiling? Well, we couldn’t borrow any more money. It’s a good thing, right? If the United States government were a person or a family, would anybody loan ’em any money? Nope, just the sharks, just the predatory lenders out there. Wouldn’t that force the government to finally make some real cuts, set some priorities, if it couldn’t borrow any money? We keep hearing that government is like family. Family sits around the kitchen table, although I don’t think families do that much anymore, families sit around the kitchen table, they pore over the monthly bills. Yeah, you can just see that, mom, dad, the 2.8 kids, the family dog, poring over the family bills. Do you do that with your daughters, Dawn, sit down and go over the bills with your daughters? I didn’t think so. Yeah, okay, the college bills. But I mean the whole — (interruption) no, you don’t. At any rate, what would be so bad if the federal government couldn’t borrow any money? (interruption) See, this is my whole point. “It would destroy the confidence.”
The fastest way to destroy confidence in the United States is to have Obama succeed at everything he wants to do. We’re gonna become a laughingstock. Obama wants to take this country precisely to where it has no respect around the country and around the world ’cause it isn’t anything special. But we’ve been there, said that, done that. This whole notion here that any time the ruling class in Washington desperately wants something the same tactic is employed. If they don’t get it, it is the apocalypse. It is an utter, unthinkable disaster. And in none of these cases has that been true, as it turns out. As I say, there’s still TARP money that hasn’t been spent. There’s still stimulus money that hasn’t been spent. Hell, folks — heck, for those of you offended by hell — some of the 38 and a half billion dollars in the budget cuts is simply money that hasn’t been spent yet from previous budgets. It’s not new cuts. There’s all kinds of money that hasn’t been spent.
Let’s look at this realistically. You mean to tell me that this government cannot get along on a measly $14.3 trillion? We got a budget of $3.7, 3.9 trillion, we can’t get by on that? This is absurd. We’ve lost all perspective. We’ve lost connection to reality here. A real debt limit seems to me to be exactly what we need here. And you know what I think the rest of the world would actually be happy that we are beginning to act like adults for once, where our debt is concerned. Well, look at the IMF. I’m not particularly fond of the IMF, but let’s look at ’em anyway. They and everybody else are telling us that we need to get our house in order. Well, wouldn’t it be a real cap on our borrowing, a big, important first step to getting our house in order? Folks, we’ve gotta resist this. We have to resist that there’s a disaster in the next 24 hours. There’s a disaster in the next month. The disaster is in the Oval Office. The disaster is gonna be making a speech here in about seven and a half minutes. The disaster is gonna be making a campaign speech on “winning the future” with tax increases.
Hendersonville, North Carolina. Hi, Curt. I’m glad you called. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I appreciate you taking my call, and my question is regarding the debt ceiling, but before I ask that I just want to compliment and thank you for educating us and for keeping us informed. It’s very difficult for the average barn animal to weed through the maze of misinformation, and I appreciate it.
RUSH: Appreciate that, sir, very much. Farm animals do, too.
CALLER: Well, the question I have for you is just before I actually clicked on your program, on the news I saw that there was some congressmen and senators that were saying, in essence, we are not going to up the debt limit until we vote or until we get a handle, and there is a bipartisan consensus that we must agree to spending that will be responsible and so on and so forth. Well, if that happens, then why do we need to increase the debt limit if those things have been accomplished? I mean that’s not a rhetorical question I’m asking, I’m really serious. I don’t understand. If they’ve already pre-agreed, said, all right, we realize that we can’t spend more than we’re taking in, da-da-da-da, but we still need to increase the debt limit? Well, what am I missing?
RUSH: I don’t know what you think you heard, but nobody has agreed to stop spending, and nobody’s agreed to spend anything less than what we’re spending now. So I don’t know what you think you heard. If you did hear that, they’re lying to you.
RUSH: Let’s return to the audio sound bites this morning in Washington. Eric Cantor, the majority leader for the Republicans in the House.
CANTOR: This speech is coming a full two months after the president’s original budget proposal and speech to the nation at the State of the Union. You know, this is vintage Obama. He’s been standing on the sidelines expecting the rest of us to make the tough decisions to lead this country.
RUSH: Yep, that’s what he does. He sits around, lets other people do it, comes in at the end of the day and takes credit for it if he thinks there is credit to be taken. Now, there was an AP story, and we quoted from it widely yesterday. But there was this little nugget buried in there. “The Treasury Department reported Tuesday that the deficit already totals $829.4 billion through the first six months of the budget year — a figure that until 2009 would have been the biggest ever for an entire year. For March alone, the government ran a deficit of $188 billion.” The George W. Bush annual deficit in, I think 2005, was 160-some-odd billion. (interruption)
Oh, I know. They were howling like a bunch of werewolves in a Lon Chaney movie. They were just — how to create the notion of an economic collapse. Unemployment was around 5%, too. So in one month Obama has given us a budget deficit larger than Bush’s annual budget deficit. That is an astonishing fact, staggering the amount of debt that’s been piled up just since Obama was immaculated, doubly so that the AP would print it there for one and all to see. That was kind of buried, as I see. It took highly trained, broadcast specialist talent and eyes to spot it — and if there was a Republican in the White House it would have been the top news story of the week.
Paul Ryan was on with George Stephanopoulos, Good Morning America today. Stephanopoulos’ question: “Do you accept what Secretary Geithner says, that it will be a financial catastrophe if the debt limit is not extended?”
RYAN: Default is not our option or strategy, but we also want to make sure is that, as this debt limit increases, which is based on past spending, we get something in place to address with future spending, spending cuts, spending control —
STEPHANOPOULOS: If it’s not possible, you will still vote to make sure the country doesn’t go into default?
RYAN: No, I think it is possible. I don’t accept that premise of that question, which is: We need to have real spending cuts, real spending controls in combination with the debt limit increase — and I don’t accept a notion that that’s not possible. I think it is.
RUSH: Yeah, great going, Paul Ryan. Question: “So you’ll vote to make sure the country doesn’t go into default, right?” It isn’t going into default. We’re not gonna go into default, just like we aren’t gonna destroy the world’s financial system in October 2008. Why would we go into default? Why should we go into default? You see how easy it is for these themes to attach themselves to everybody and just be accepted? Chuck Schumer yesterday in Washington on the Senate floor…
SCHUMER: The Ryan budget has all the wrong priorities. The House Republican budget puts the entire burden of reducing the deficit on senior citizens, students, and middle school families. At the same time it protects corporate subsidies for oil companies, lets waste at the Pentagon go untouched, and would give even more tax breaks to the millionaires amongst us. In short, the Ryan budget puts the middle class last instead of first. As a result, it will never pass the Senate.
RUSH: And there you have Senator Chuck-U Schumer of New York knocking down the Paul Ryan budget, which will be the focal point because the debt ceiling, apparently (if you’re just joining us) the Republicans have decided they’re not gonna try to take the Hill on the debt ceiling fight now. It’s too iffy. We’re gonna really focus on the Ryan budget. That’s where we are at the latest.
RUSH: Mike in Columbia, South Carolina. Hi, sir. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Dittos for all you do.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: If the debt ceiling increase is so important to Obama and to the nation, as he would put it, and if the Ryan plan is so important to the GOP, as I think it is, why can not, why does not the GOP make the deal? You want the debt ceiling increase, fine, here’s Ryan’s budget. It’s a twofer deal in a sense. You need this so bad? That’s great. We’re gonna ensure that the cap that we put in place in this new ceiling is adhered to through —
RUSH: Okay, fine.
CALLER: — Paul Ryan’s budget.
RUSH: Okay. Let me ask you a quick question. In all candor what makes you think, what have you seen lately that makes you think the Democrats want to compromise with the Republicans?
CALLER: I don’t think they do, but I think they have to. The debt ceiling they’re portraying and the media is portraying is having their backs against the wall, the nation is at risk —
RUSH: Yeah, but the Republicans are already out there today saying, “You know, we’re not gonna fight ’em on the debt ceiling. We’re gonna focus on the Ryan budget now. There’s too much at stake here. We can’t afford the US default.” Republican leaders are using the same words that the Democrats are in talking about the danger here in not raising the debt ceiling. I think the Republicans have already caved on it.
CALLER: I don’t think we’ve heard it from ’em officially, so let’s give ’em a chance.
RUSH: All right, well, we’ll see.
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