Second Verse, Same as the First


Congress may be on the verge of passing a budget deal that will prevent a government shutdown for the foreseeable future, however House Republicans haven’t given up hope on extorting concessions in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

“We don’t want nothing out of this debt limit,” Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We are going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of this debt-limit fight.” [...]

“One step at a time,” Ryan said. “Patty Murray and I knew we weren’t going to solve every problem, like the debt limit problem.”

House and Senate Republicans will discuss their debt-limit strategy at separate party retreats in January, Ryan said.

They don’t want to get nothing out of it.

To put it another way; they don’t view preserving the faith and credit of the United States and preventing an economic catastrophe as something. That’s nothing to them.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said today that there will be no negotiations over the debt ceiling, and I believe him. I do not, however, share his skepticism over whether or not the Republicans will actually go through with this. I believe they will because they need something to demagogue now that is no longer a vulnerable target.

  • Draxiar

    The hubris is deafening.

  • gescove

    Democrats are getting spanked with this stupid deal. The obsession with deficit reduction continues unabated and, in fact, worsens. No new taxes on the wealthy or corporations are raised. There is no extension of long term unemployment benefits. Food stamps are still being slashed. What’s the supposed upside… that Republicans don’t threaten another shutdown? Let them pay the price again for trying, instead of living with spending BELOW that of the draconian Ryan budget. Republicans are still free to threaten another debt ceiling crisis to extract more demands. Merry Frickin’ Christmas.

    • JMAshby

      No extension of unemployment benefits is terrible, however from my understanding current levels of funding for food stamps, and the greater farm bill, will be extended through the new year with a one month temporary bill. When Congress returns, we’ll still be on this year’s farm spending levels.

      I would argue this could be a good thing because it will put the spotlight squarely on that issue instead of it getting lost in the greater budget debate.

      If Republicans want to spend January talking food stamps, I’m game.

      • gescove

        SNAP benefits were reduced on November 1 because the benefit increase that was part of the 2009 stimulus bill lapsed. That means that 48 million people now get less assistance to eat… just in time for the holidays. Sure, the Child Starvation Caucus wants to cut $40 Billion more. Sure, we can have a fight over just how much our citizens deserve to go hungry in January. Maybe there’s a nice compromise to be had with just $20 Billion in cuts. The problem is that Ryan’s dystopian hellscape is the new normal.

        • JMAshby

          SNAP benefits were reduced on November 1 because the benefit increase that was part of the 2009 stimulus bill lapsed.

          I’m aware of that. I even wrote about it at the time when most others didn’t. I was under the impression you were talking about the GOP plan to cut $40 billion.

          That plan has been delayed at least for the moment. And with that being separated from the rest of current budget talks, it’s even less likely they will get it. It will have to stand on its own and it can’t because it’s so awful.

          • gescove

            Yes, I guess I was conflating the two… sorry. I agree that delaying the plan for an additional $40B in cuts is a good thing. But I’m losing faith that such a plan won’t pass “because it’s so awful.” The sequester was too awful to pass, yet here we are, leaving much of it in place. Ryan’s Path to Poverty budget was too awful, yet here we are, spending even less. An official unemployment rate of 7% is too awful, yet here we are, with no unemployment insurance extension and no legislation to promote jobs. 46 million Americans live in poverty, yet here we are, protecting corporate profits and tax loopholes in yet another round of budget negotiations. Ryan is crowing, while Pelosi tells the Democratic caucus to “embrace the suck”.

  • muselet

    Steve Benen this morning:

    Yesterday, Ryan raised the specter of yet another crisis, in which Republicans would threaten to hurt Americans on purpose, but here’s the thing: we now know he and his party won’t actually follow through. GOP lawmakers can hold the proverbial gun to the nation’s head, but party leaders have already made it abundantly clear that they’re not prepared to pull the trigger.

    I’m not stupid (hey, you in the back, stop giggling!). I don’t doubt for a second that the Rs will pull the same stunt they tried twice this year. But as long as the Ds, as Ed Kilgore suggests, be strong and say to Paul Ryan, “We’ll see you in Hell, Granny-Starver, before we give you a thing in exchange for a debt limit increase,” the Rs will fail again.

    The only thing that can make this go badly is if the Ds decide to negotiate with the terrorists this time. Alas, the odds of that are roughly 50-50.


    • IrishGrrrl

      Sorry, I couldn’t stop laughing! Seriously though, I think the worst thing that could happen, politically speaking, would be if the D’s do negotiate. I don’t want to see us default but we can not afford setting the precedent of negotiating over stuff like the debt ceiling.

    • D_C_Wilson

      What is meeting them halfway in a case like this? Lettering Granny eat but harvesting her kidneys for organ transplants into one of the Koch’s granddaughters?

    • Christopher Foxx

      After all the hate the Republicans got last time, and how well it worked out for the Dems, that the odds aren’t 100-0 on the negating is depressing.

      • muselet

        Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid chivvied the Ds into doing the right thing the last two times, but there are a lot of Ds who are still frightened of their own shadows. It wouldn’t take more than a couple of ad buys to make a Joe Manchin break for the exits, especially going into an election year.

        We’ll see what happens.