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July 28, 2011 07:22 PM UTC

Tipton Plays Dangerous Debt-Ceiling Promise Game

  • 41 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Tipton falls into line; will support Speaker John Boehner’s latest House cuts plan coming up for a vote this afternoon. From Tipton’s statement (H/T: ClubTwitty):

“The House of Representatives has led the charge to find a solution to our nation’s debt crisis from the beginning, passing a responsible budget earlier this year and a plan just last week to Cut, Cap, and Balance spending.  In each of these instances, the response from the President and the Senate has been a deafening “no,” without offering any plan of their own in return.

“Today I will cast a vote to help determine the future of our country, and support yet another plan from the House of Representatives that responsibly cuts, caps and balances spending. The American people gave us a standard to measure up to; a standard that has forced Congress to confront the debt ceiling and seriously address our country’s spending.  With profound consideration of our $14.3 trillion debt, and $1.4 trillion deficit, today I heed the call of the people of my district…”

—–

As the Telluride Daily Planet’s Matthew Beaudin reports today, following up a related story in yesterday’s Pueblo Chieftain–freshman Rep. Scott Tipton, a bit player in the debt-ceiling drama playing out in Washington, is awfully quick to reassure his constituents that everything will be fine if the impasse isn’t resolved before the deadline:

Colorado’s Third Congressional District Rep. Scott Tipton pledged to keep Medicare payments flowing even if the government doesn’t vault its debt ceiling by Tuesday.

Tipton, a Republican from Cortez, held a phone conference on Tuesday night with constituents across his district, which runs from the Front Range west. He took questions for an hour but didn’t offer any specific cuts he’d make to slash the federal budget, [Pols emphasis] though he did say the Republican plan coming from the House of Representatives didn’t cut deep enough…

Tipton said he is co-sponsoring legislation that would prioritize spending in the event the debt ceiling isn’t raised that would ensure armed forces employees still receive paychecks and that Medicare and retirement payments keep coming.

One elderly man called in from Loma, Colo., outside of Grand Junction. He said he suffers from diabetes and that his son was also disabled.

“I rely on my SSI check coming through,” he said. “If we was to lose that – it’s scary, it’s really scary. And I’m hoping that they come through with something, because this is scary.”

“If you shake hands, you’ve made a deal. I will not support any plan if it is going to hurt our current [Pols emphasis] senior citizens,” Tipton said. “I’m going to be doing everything I can here.”

We’d say that everyone hopes there would be some provision made for Medicare and Social Security recipients if the government is forced to “prioritize” its financial obligations, but that will create other very serious problems if it means that bondholders and other creditors would not be paid. And beyond joining in en masse cosponsorship of a bill to accomplish this, Tipton has absolutely no way of keeping any “pledge” to keep checks flowing to his constituents. It is therefore highly irresponsible for him to make a promise that he is gambling to keep.

Even if he is only trying to keep it for “current” seniors.

But it’s worse than that: just like Tipton’s ridiculous assertion that warnings of a possible downgrade of U.S. debt by the Moody’s ratings agency are “not so,” what he’s doing is demonstrating his fundamental lack of understanding of the problem he and the House majority have themselves created–and irresponsibly misleading those who don’t know better. He is contributing to the misinformation and denial about the consequences of arbitrarily forcing a debt-ceiling crisis, seeking to obfuscate the fact that he bears responsibility for the crisis.

We understand why: if this does end badly, the polls say it’s Tipton who will pay the price.

Comments

41 thoughts on “Tipton Plays Dangerous Debt-Ceiling Promise Game

  1. Below is one of those interesting emails that puts things in perspective …. we’ve mortgaged our grandchildrens future and yet many of you stand there bitching for more as the train whistles by….

    Federal Budget 101

    The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

    U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000

    Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000

    New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000

    National debt: $14,271,000,000,000

    Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

    It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.

    Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700В 

    Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200 В 

    Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500 В 

    Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710

    Amount cut from the budget: $385

    So in effect last month Congress, or in this example the Jones family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385 from its annual budget. What family would cut $385 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending?

    It is a start, although hardly a solution.

    Now after years of this, the Jones family has $142,710 of debt on its credit card (which is the equivalent of the national debt).

    You would think the Jones family would recognize and address this situation, but it does not. Neither does Congress.

    The root of the debt problem is that the voters typically do not send people to Congress to save money. They are sent there to bring home the bacon to their own home state.

    To effect budget change, we need to change the job description and give Congress new marching orders.

    It is awfully hard (but not impossible) to reverse course and tell the government to stop borrowing money from our children and spending it now.

    In effect, what we have is a reverse mortgage on the country. The problem is that the voters have become addicted to the money. Moreover, the American voters are still in the denial stage, and do not want to face the possibility of going into rehab.

    1. “Below is one of those interesting emails …” — yeah, stupid fux send me all kind of similar emails but most all of us  have sense enough NOT and desire for   credibility to NOT post them.  

      This ranks up there with posting a letter to Editor of some podunk CA newspaper.  

      ‘turd is losing it (not that it was ever there 2 start).  Pathetic.  

      Here’s 3rd level stupidity — ya bother to blockquote it (like it’s from some source) but not reference or link to source.  Unless UR ass continues as the primary source of material, but even then it should at least get credit.

    2. Here’s mine:

      Federal Budget 101

      The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

      U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000

      Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000

      New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000

      National debt: $14,271,000,000,000

      Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

      It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.

      Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700

      – Dad doesn’t work – on medical leave because Republicans ignored implementing coal mine safety regulations

      – Mom works part-time in a call center – no medical benefits

      – oldest son dropped out of school to help support family – works at Wal Mart – no medical benefits

      Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200  

      – majority of this on rent since the housing market crashed and rents have gone up

      – also significant chunk on medical bills for youngest son who got pnuemonia and had to stay in hospital for a night

      Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500  

      – includes, electric bills, food, gas…

      Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710

      Amount cut from the budget: $385

      So in effect last month Congress, or in this example the Jones family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385 from its annual budget. They could only cut $385 because to do more would mean cutting out essential services the family needs to survive.

      It is a start, although hardly a solution.

      Now after years of this, the Jones family has $142,710 of debt on its credit card (which is the equivalent of the national debt). Their debt increased because the Dad never got better and died of black lungs, the Mom developed early stage Alhiemer’s so the youngest had to drop out of school as well and also work at Wal Mart with no medical benefits.

      The root of the debt problem is that the voters sent some morons to Congress that have no idea how complex the US budget actually is. They rely on baseless talking points about austerity measures for the country, while ignoring the Jones who struggle on a daily basis to survive.

      The recently electe morons sit back and crow about the damages the debt is causing average Americans or their grandchildren, while attending canape lobby lunches and enjoying campaign contribution made by hedge fund managers.

      To effect budget change, we need to change the job description and give Congress new marching orders.

      It is awfully hard (but not impossible) to reverse course and tell the government to stop stealing money from our children and giving it to the rich.

      The problem is that the politicians have become addicted to money. Moreover, they are still in the denial stage, and do not want to face the possibility of going into rehab

    3. Because of the internet, and the loss of their profit center (1st class postage) the US Postal Service will be closing down 3700 offices. Demand drives profits.

      Last week we saw that the Federal Reserve has spent $11 trillion on bailouts thus far this crisis:

      (http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/bailouttracker/).

      The debt ceiling debate is being used as we speak as the first tool to make ordinary Americans pay for this. The modus operandi of the political/financial system that holds all the levers in our country is based on a wealth transfer going one way, and a debt transfer going the other. As it has been so succinctly put, profits are privatized, losses are socialized. Deny it if you can, Tad.

      You can ignore this, as usual, but Bush drove this economy into the ditch:

      http://finance.yahoo.com/echar

      The federal deficit has breached 10 percent of GDP four times in US history: during the Civil War, during World War I and World War II, and in aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008 caused by Bush era deregulation which spurred the speculative derivatives market that created the housing bubble. Get some education here:

      http://www.usgovernmentspendin

      Do you admit that the United States is still the largest and richest economy in the world? Look here:

      http://www.economywatch.com/ec

      Now, stop your infantile bitching and finger pointing. Are you ready to start a company and create some jobs? Get off your ass. How many jobs have you created?

       

    4. Libertad: “It is awfully hard (but not impossible) to reverse course and tell the government to stop borrowing money from our children and spending it now.”

      Car 31: “It is awfully hard (but not impossible) to reverse course and tell the government to stop stealing money from our children and giving it to the rich.”

      Subtlety is great. I have a feeling which was the original one; “spending in now” does not seem to fit the rest of the sentence. But what do I know.

    5. Can you imagine anyone with an income of $21,700 and having debt of $142,710?

      Uh yeah, pretty much any working class family with a mortgage and a sick kid. Republican solution: burn down the house and shoot the kid. OK, but then you still owe the money.

      1. economic ideology.  Perfectly stated, sxp.  

        And by the way, why should something as nuts and bolts practical as economics be held hostage to any form of ideological purity.  Economics function in the real, material world. Ideals are nice guideposts but, in the end, any and every  attempt to run things in the real world based entirely and unyieldingly on some pure ideal has always and will always be a fool’s errand. Some more than most.  GOP economic ideals much more than most. The evidence for that has been in for ages.  

    6. I long ago promised myself that I wouldn’t comment on a ‘tad post, but I can’t help myself.  

      Assuming ‘tad’s numbers are correct, and going with the family budget analogy, what would this fictitious family do? Sell the house and live in the street, euthanize grandma, stop eating, or . . . get a better paying job, i.e. increase revenue.  If you were working way beneath your historic pay scale, there were jobs readily available, and past experience showed that your family thrived (even saved money) when you had a better paying job, what kind of idiot would recommend instead that you put grandma out in the street and destroy your ability to borrow money in the future by refusing to paying the mortgage.

      1. what kind of idiot would recommend instead that you put grandma out in the street and destroy your ability to borrow money in the future by refusing to paying the mortgage.

        that’s a tad easy answer.

      2. with a second job or non-working member getting a job?  Wouldn’t that be the equivalent of added tax revenue in this analogy? Absolutely no new income!  It’s a spending problem, not an income problem! Less eating, not more earning!

      3. is give the wealthy family living across town in a walled enclave another huge tax cut.  With that additional money the wealthy guy can tuck another wad of cash into his hedge fund, buy a new bentley, go on safari, get his wife re-lipo’d, and maybe hire another pool boy.

        This, of course, won’t help the first family the slightest bit, but the wealthy guy’s gonna be living larger having achieved the American dream.

        1. The appropriate analogy is the working-class family donating 10% of their income to a charity run by the Rich Guy Across Town, who then steals it to buy a pool. Then the working-class family sends their oldest son to stand in line to apply for a job to be their pool-boy.

          1. economics has to have some factual relationship to its inhabitants’ lives (as opposed to our real world where economics is mostly fantasy and religion).

            Never mind.

          1. I created my own goshdarn job, well my second job, by starting a one-woman business. And if the debt ceiling debate doesn’t wrap up right quick, my clients are not going to pay me, because they’re scared poopless and THEIR clients aren’t paying them.

            So on behalf of the “job creator class,” I would like to politely tell the Republican Party to DO THEIR JOBS ALREADY.

            /I know, preachin’ to the choir

  2. if we fuck up your social security check through all of our dicking around in Washington come on in for 10% off of any piece of pottery.  Its on me.

  3. Obama should use the 14th amendments.

    The debt limit is clearly unconstitutional via the 5th provision:

    “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

    Now some have claimed that only congress has the power to enforce the 14th via the 5th section:

    “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

    While this is technically true it all come down to the word enforce. Enforce means to follow the 14th not to violate it.

    For example, congress can enforce the 1st section (natural born citizens) by writing a law that give every natural born baby citizenship and a SSN.

    However, congress can’t “enforce” the 1st section by passing a law that only white male babies get SSN and citizenship. This would clearly violate the 14th and thus the constitution.

    Likewise congress can’t enforce the 4th section by “enforcing” a debt limit. This is also clearly a violation.

    Basically, “enforce” does not equal to violate. Congress has no authority to violate the 14th and the constitution.

    1. And at this point it would do Obama a lot more good to look ballsy than to keep whining about being the grown up. Look at how things took a turn for the better for him after the ballsy decisions he made in his successful move against Bin Laden.  Americans love guts.  

      I can see the 2012 ads now…  He faced the risk and made the tough choice to get Bin Laden up close and personal so the whole world knew it was a reality beyond the shadow of a doubt.  He said “enough” and used his constitutional power to do his duty in defending and preserving the full faith and credit of the United States of America when congress took us to the brink of disaster playing politics…  

      1. ability to have an original thought or act independently, please post it.

        Just another reason for the West Slope Teapublicans to redouble their efforts to identify a primary challenger.  

      2. You thought he’d stand as a freshman against his Speaker while there’s any chance Boehner might get enough votes? Seems true to form to me. This guy is strictly a follower, not a leader or an independent type. He’s got go along to get along written all over him and CD3 isn’t exactly absolutely safe for the far right.

        1. that want him to toe the line and vote no.  Even resident guru Rick Wagner, ultra, ultra conservative said this in the Denver Post:


          “I want to see where the real cuts in spending are and when it’s going to happen,” Wagner said. “I voted for Scott and from my view he is pretty conservative. He’s committed to conservative issues and if he’s supporting this Boehner bill I want to see it why.”

          http://www.denverpost.com/brea

          1. I think.  I can’t really follow Rick’s ‘arguments’ too well.  Something about a Littleton Doctor living in a PO Box; Sal Pace not understanding Western Colorado because he worked for someone who got defeated in an election; and Mr. Tipton voting the way his supporters have expected him to.  

            It’s probably behind the pay wall, and since I already suffered through it I offer my misery for your edification and to relieve you of that awful task.  

                1. Maybe this is the insatiable demands you refer to:

                  House conservatives who have stalled legislation to raise the national debt limit are angry that it includes $17 billion in supplemental spending for Pell Grants, which some compare to welfare.

                  http://thehill.com/homenews/ho

                  Damn those kids trying to get an education.  Education is for the ‘job creator’ class sillies!  Now go stand in line at the IKEA store and maybe you can win a DIY cheapy couch.  

                    1. As far as I know the couch’s family does not post on Pols. Really, I expect this from the other posters but not from our front-pagers.

                    2. You’re right 🙁 The couch’s unwed mother didn’t deserve to be dragged into the discussion. And now BJ is going to show up and call her a welfare queen just because she accepts CHIP (Couch Health Insurance Program) while she works two jobs to give Couch the chance she never had…

                      I don’t know what I was thinking!

    1. So now Tipton and Gardner need to vote for a bill that their base doesn’t support. If they don’t vote for the bill, the Republicans look weak in the House.

      Either way, when the bill passes its dead in the Senate.

      How’s the corner you’ve painted yourselves into looking right about now Representatives?

  4. Tipton, last week…

    “The American people can’t call their banks and arbitrarily raise their spending limits; they have to cut back and tighten their budgets to live within their means, and they expect Washington to play by the same rules.”-Rep. Scott Tipton

    Tipton, this week-

    Calling a made up ‘budget’ that doesn’t address deficits (other than through a fictitious imagineered rate of growth) a ‘responsible budget,’ Tipton has issued a statement about his vote to jump on the Boehner Bandwagon, without mentioning that it is a vote to increase the debt limit…

    I guess the bank is taking his call afterall.

    http://tipton.house.gov/press-


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