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Why Republicans will Lose the Debt Ceiling Battle

Why have the Republicans picked a battle with the President that they are certain to lose? It’s about pure arrogance and utter self-interest. Let me explain.

In the House of Representatives, many Republicans have a dogged sense of invincibility. They think they will benefit grandly if they threaten to shut down the government next month by not raising the federal borrowing limit. To their way of thinking, President Obama will react to this threat by caving in and giving them almost anything they ask for. Sounds feasible, right? Sure, but think about it for a moment.

The Republicans are threatening to cut off funds that pay American veterans, along with Social Security and Medicare benefits for seniors. And they say they will send the postal workers home, along with almost everyone else in the federal government.

Now ask yourself: How does this hurt Obama? It doesn’t.

Besides, Obama’s popularity is on the rise because he already did what he promised during the election—he raised taxes on the wealthy.

Yet, many Republicans in Congress insist that Obama will cave into their threats. They believe the President will agree to their tit-for-tat bargain that keeps the government running if he’ll make major cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other federal spending. Sounds almost logical, but hang on a minute—

On March 1, the sequestration law goes into effect. That is when across-the-board cuts in federal spending will take place. So, if the Congress and the President do nothing, the federal government will spend less money. This will work perfectly fine for cutting government spending by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years in a semi-balanced fashion. Yet, despite this, many Republicans are saying, “No way, enough of this Obama witchcraft!”

This is because many Republicans want to use this battle as a bait-and-switch tactic in order to axe Medicare and Social Security. Then, they will use the freed up money to increase spending on defense. Sound incredible, right? Yes, incredibly stupid.

The real issue here is that the Republicans want to double down on defense spending. That is because about 25% of every defense-contract dollar gets funneled off into corporate profits. Those are the same corporations that are now “people” in the eyes of the law. And as “people,” corporations can now donate unlimited funds to Republican reelection war chests.

That easy money will free Republicans from worrying about reelection. In fact, it will guarantee that their financial standing rises as they move from Congress to multi-million-dollar-a-year, corporate lobbying positions.

So, feeling invincible, and being on the take—that is why the Republican will battle the President over the debt ceiling limit. Yet in terms of true sophistry, some Republicans are saying that shutting down the government will protect America from Obama’s big spending habits. That’s an interesting propaganda line, but do you think Americans are going to buy it?

Let’s get real. Shutting down the government makes you the enemy of the government and of the American people. Remember when the South tried it? And saying Obama has plans to drastically increase federal spending is idiotic.

How could Obama spend any money unless these nihilist Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, pass big spending bills for Obama to sign. And besides, it was Obama who got the sequestration bill through Congress that cuts $1.2 trillion in future federal spending. And the President had to fight for that every inch of the way.

These spending cuts, which are going into effect on March 1, make the Republican argument pure flim flam.

Granted, the Republican logic kind of looks good, even though the whole thing is crazy and not winnable. Yet, today’s self-defeating Republicans will be compelled to threaten to shut down the government and blame it all on a big-spending President. That’s a sad, hard argument to make, especially when the President has already put $1.2 trillion cuts in federal spending into law.


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