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January 20, 2023 10:18 pm MST

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Whatever must happen ultimately should happen immediately.”

–Henry Kissinger


17 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. [after quickly checking the news to make certain there isn't something breaking … ]

    Kissinger is 99 years old.  He, like all humans, will ultimately die. I'm sure the quote and the physical reality must have a logical syllogism in there somewhere.

  2. Who is going to break it to Bimbo that our debt:GDP ratio after WWII was far north of 100% and we went on to build the greatest engine of economic growth and prosperity ever known to man: the American middle class. 

    1. Lauren "Bim" Boebert apparently has a simplistic, absolute view of government finance.  Not to mention an incomplete view of how we developed the debt, blaming "liberals." I was amused to read earlier this year that

      former U.S Representative from Florida and current MSNBC contributor David Jolly, tweeted, "for context," that "roughly 25% of our total national debt incurred over the last 230 years actually occurred during the 4 years of the Trump administration."

      Two of those years were a Republican trifecta, two of those years the Republicans controlled Senate and Presidency.

      ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,House ……….Senate…………President

      115th  (2017–2019)  Republicans  Republicans   Republican (Trump)   Unified

      116th  (2019–2021)  Democrats    Republicans   Republican (Trump)   Divided

      and as a reminder … debt ceilings were raised in actual votes on 4 occasions during the Trump Sad!-ministration.

      Date,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Debt Ceiling($B)……Change ($B)…Statute

      Mar 15, 2017…19,847 (de facto)    +1,734 [n 1]

      Sept 30, 2017 …Suspended……………………………….. Pub. L. 115–56  &Pub. L. 115–123

      Mar 1, 2019…..22,030 (de facto)…..+2,183

      Aug 2, 2019…..Suspended………………………………….Pub. L. 116–37

      [and then it was reestablished for the Biden Administration]

      Jul 31, 2021……28,500 (de facto)….+6,470

      1. I seriously doubt that Boebert cares about your analysis.

        You aren't her constituent, and you aren't her target marketing opportunity, so I'm pretty sure she doesn't care about you at all.

        In other words, Boebert isn't the problem, the Republican Party and all of its enablers from Fox News to Pillow-boy are the problem.

    2. Coming out of a world war, very reasonable that the debt ratio was over 100%.

      But when the economy is doing very well and unemployment is at historic lows, that is when we should be paying the debt down like crazy.

      Boebert is an idiot and the right wing crazies probably don't know enough about finance to balance their own checkbook. But like a stopped clock, they're occasionally right. We do need to reduce the debt.

      1. When Democrats are in power, the yearly deficit declines. When Republicans take over, deficits skyrocket.

        It's almost like Republicans are lying that they care about deficits.

        One problem I have with your debt concern. WHO buys the debt? (Answer; WE buy the debt for our retirement portfolio because we know it is safe and stable.). If it were such a bad thing, then the buyers would stop buying.

        Let's say that dad loans mom $100k to go to college, and them mom gets a job and doubles her income. The household has $0 net debt, but mom has doubled her contribution to the family income.

        1. Let's say that dad loans mom $100k to go to college, and them mom gets a job and doubles her income and Mom decides to run off with her personal trainer. The Dad has $100K debt and no income but mom has doubled her pleasure with the new boy toy.

    1. Each of the words represented in that acronym (Environmental, Social, Governance) taken separately, are terrifying to the feeble-minded evangelist-in-training. One can only imagine, taken together, they elicit peak pique in our little red-necked brain trust.

      It is important to remember these pronouncements are by no means the product of thoughts by Reppy le PewPew, just regurgitation of the conservative swill she gladly consumes. 

      Mind boggling, it is.

  3. Siberian independence -> European peace. Kamil Galeev on twitter.

    Siberia is the central question. Not Caucasus, and not even Volga-Urals. Without Siberia Moscow will never be realistically able to launch successful wars of aggression in Europe anymore

  4. The Debt Ceiling is Unconstitutional under the 14th Ammendment, Josh Marshall at TPM.

    Congress has the power to incur debt. But in the modern budgetary process Congress does that when it passes a law (the federal budget) that mandates spending which the President must carry out – legally and constitutionally. This gets lost in most of the debt limit conversations. If the Treasury cannot borrow money to finance legally mandated government functions, the President is faced with a menu of options each of which violate the law and the federal constitution. If Congress says X must be spent on Social Security and Y must be spent on defense, the President can’t simply decide not to do so. It’s the law and the President’s primary constitutional responsibility is to see that the laws be faithfully executed. Presidents have in the past argued for discretion in spending, so-called ‘impoundment’ of funds. But the argument for that has been that the President must be allowed discretion to harmonize or balance different congressional or constitutional imperatives. Not defaulting on the debt is a major imperative.

    …no one should be afraid to make the correct argument which is that attempts to default on the US federal debt are themselves forbidden by the constitution and that Congress itself approves the borrowing when it mandates spending by law.

    1. Yes but…

      The executive is stronger than it has historically been. Congress is weaker than it historically has been. The country is split 50:50 politically.

      Emasculating the Congress further, deciding this by Executive fiat, and telling half the country to go pound sand and ignore who they elected to office – that's not a good thing to do.

      Yes playing chicken with the debt is a really dumb idea. Yes if they take it too far it can cause a giant recession. But we live in a Democracy and doing a "clever" end run around it for something that is a central argument is a really bad idea. Harmful to our Democracy.

      1. Less harmful than actually disobeying the Constitution directly and defaulting.

        The right solution is that Congress should suspend the debt ceiling and recognize that they already authorize both expenditures and revenue streams.

        All the hubbub is about what happens if Republicans in Congress don't choose to do the right thing. Platinum coinage and other solutions are responsible people reacting to irresponsible hostage-takers.

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