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the national debt

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    For now, the crisis has been averted.

    McConnell on Wednesday announced a sort of agreement that he will allow Democrats to raise the debt limit for two months without having to turn to the reconciliation process, while also having Democrats vote on a higher debt-limit number.

    Trump, naturally, was not happy.

    "Looks like Mitch McConnell is folding to the Democrats, again. He’s got all of the cards with the debt ceiling, it’s time to play the hand. Don’t let them destroy our Country!" - President Donald J. Trump

    My guess is that Biden's threat to end or modify the filibuster caused McConnell to soften his position. Without the filibuster, he loses a lot of his power.

    Bernie Sanders was on Rachel Maddow last night. He called out Machin by name, and said that 2 people should not control what 48 people in Congress, and the majority of the American people, want. As a result, I would not be surprised to see the filibuster modified sometime in the next two months. Since the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the For the People Act, and the infrastructure bills still need to be passed, the only sensible solution is to eliminate the filibuster altogether.

    Naturally, Heather Cox Richardson provided some additional background last night:

    Setting the debt limit started during WWI. It has been raised repeatedly since then, and was raised three times under Trump. McConnell has voted to raise of suspend the debt ceiling 32 times, and it needs to be raised now because the debt increased by $7.8 trillion when Trump was in office.

    Trump’s willingness to burn down the country is ramping up as the January 6 investigation gets closer to him. Tomorrow is the deadline for four of his aides to respond to subpoenas for documents and testimony from the House Select Committee.

    The four are expected to defy the subpoenas at Trump’s insistence, a defiance that suggests they think he and his people are going to regain power. According to Glenn Kirschner, a former U.S. Army prosecutor, contempt of Congress earns a year of prison time; obstruction of Congress, five years; and obstruction of justice, 20 years.

    Once again, Trump is throwing his former associates "under the bus".

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    Another tool that Biden could use to avoid the debt limit crisis is to use the 14th amendment, and the article below provides more details.

    No president has invoked the 14th Amendment in response to a debt-ceiling vote. But in 2011, when President Barack Obama faced Republican opposition to raising the debt ceiling, an ex-president, Bill Clinton, said that, rather than leave the country vulnerable to default, if he were in office, he would raise the debt ceiling using the 14th Amendment “without hesitation and force the courts to stop me.” (Mr. Obama ultimately reached an agreement with Republicans to raise the debt limit and reduce the deficit.)

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    The same old story; I've not seen in other countries that they have every 4 years the game of "cat" and "mouse" about the "debt" which the previous "party" created. How long can such be maintained anyway? Compare that with the "debt" levels under Clinton or Obama. The worst thing is that the Trump's hand outs to the "rich" are hard to turn back. There should be new laws made, about that any President who did fill his own pockets (beyond his salary) and therefore should get an substantial jail time.

    Further more "limit" the powers of Presidents much further and make it comparable to any "Prime Minister" job without all the benefits which apply here. In the Netherlands, the Prime Minister has an normal "house" and pays property tax and the maintenance and sometimes goes on his bicycle to work. Here they think such job is the same as Henry the "fifth" in England or an Louis the "fourteen's" of France. Ridiculous, because that is asking for corruption and "pay-offs"which was the "last" President's "hobby". In the meantime the person who created all this "debt" sits now on roses and gets treated like "royalty" with an "royal" pension and benefits. An ridiculous "lawless" country for sure. No "solid" laws for the rich and "powerful"; their "partisan" lawyers make sure of that. Yes this is and stays an pure "capitalistic country" where the rich are "powerful" only care for their own asses and barely pay "taxes". Some of them are "social" , since it does not hurt for them to loose a billion or so, if it fits them because it is deductible from their few "taxes" they pay anyway. I'm amazed that this country lasted this long, by doing all these crazy things.

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    The last Democratic president to balance the budget was Bill Clinton, who achieved that feat in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

    The last Republican president to balance the budget was Dwight Eisenhower, who did it in 1957.

    In the history of our government, there was only one year (1835) when the government did not have any debt - and it was disastrous. A few years later, the Panic of 1837 tanked the economy, and forced the government to borrow again.

    Although we might consider debt to be a bad thing, that's not necessarily the case when it comes to government spending -

    if properly administered.

    The stimulus package signed into law by Barack Obama pulled the country out of a recession - but it should have been larger.

    The American Recovery Act signed into law by Joe Biden has drastically reduced unemployment and led to economic growth not seen for many years.

    The 2017 tax cuts signed by Donald Trump did little to help the economy, but it made wealthy people a lot happier.

    During WWII, our debt to GDP ratio was 113%, but by the 1950's, America had a very robust economy, largely due to the INVESTMENTS the county had made, like the G.I. bill and the interstate highway system.

    Today, it is 106.7%. Having a high debt to GDP ratio is not necessarily bad.

    Japan has the highest ratio in the world, at 237.54%, even though it was as low as 50% in the mid-80's, when it's economy was a lot stronger.

    The counties right below Japan also are not doing well.

    Russia has one of the lowest ratios in the world, at 13.79%, but it has a lousy economy, and it's being propped up almost exclusively by oil and gas exports.

    I was an Economics major in college. but trying to explain the national debt to many people would likely only get me confused looks, especially from people who get all their news from FOX.

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    The "debt" is not the issue if there is strict control on the "book keeping". However lots of government money ends up in the wrong pockets or wasted on war tools with huge "margins". Also I've never been in an country, unless it is Russia or China where the rich can rake in trillions without any limits and make an pure hobby of it while the rest of the population is dying of the Covid and can't get an hospital bed.

    Let alone can't afford the increase in the cost of "living" due to "money grabbing" inflation. The same as always: the rich are getting richer; the poor get "poorer". Why does Musk need trillions? Just to stay alive? Weird society for sure.

    Is Manchin getting richer by being an obstructionist; yes I guess so, here it works that way.

    Yes this is America; the country who's in love with crooks and money grabbing hungry idiots.

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    Carlitos used to write on this website about Modern Monetary Policy and debt. He made a halfway believer out of me, and I don't worry about the nation's debt much anymore. Lots has been written about deficit spending and its effect on the economy, but I'll refer you to the Congressional Research report on the subject.

    Congressional Research Service: Deficit Financing, the Debt, and “Modern Monetary Theory”

    No matter what you believe though, deficit spending has always been an "attack tool" of Republicans while Democrats are in office, and a way of making themselves (Republicans) look good with more and more tax cuts when they are in office. As long as Americans do not see any difference between federal government spending and household spending, it will always be contentious. Too complicated? Not really, but it depends on who is making the case.

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    Elizabeth Warren explains the debt limit crisis. Not surprisingly, it's the fault of the GOP:

    House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and extremist Republicans are running a con game. They claim their plan to use the debt ceiling to trigger global economic chaos is about fiscal responsibility. It’s not. The House Republican plan for the debt ceiling is about protecting the wealthy and the well-connected from paying their fair share in taxes — nothing more and nothing less.

    The United States has already exceeded the debt limit. While the US Treasury takes extraordinary measures to stave off an economic disaster, responsible leaders in Congress should prevent a crisis by ensuring that the ultra-wealthy and rich companies pay their fair share — instead of indulging Republicans’ fantasies of more tax cuts for their rich buddies coupled with spending cuts that will harm every hardworking family in America.

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    Your reply says it all. Also according to the "news", Trump was for more than 25% responsible for most of the debt.

    So we will see what the "present GOP will want; of course no "cuts" for the "rich" or "corporations" who benefitted from us (the people) even in the "pandemic" of course.

    But yeah we will see what "fights" will take place; as long as they keep social security ontouched.

    The "mess" because of "incompetence" is just started.

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    Powell started today his "explanation" on our situation. Mrs Warren gave him an "bucket" full, but I guess that things keep going downhill with the present policies. But Powell stubbornly sticks to his "policy".

    I guess here they never looked at how other countries do "price" control. If an company wants to raise prices in the Netherlands, then they have to get first approval by providing the "why" to the government via "facts". Then after an review it does get approved or not. I've got the idea that here only the "profit" counts and no one "screens" the escalation of prices especially on "foods" and daily "needs".

    The stock market shows clearly an "downhill trend" because of the dis-organized mess here, as well an Powell who has no clue about what he's doing. Warren surely knows its effects on our society, but no one listens to her.

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    Powell is an total idiot "programmed" by the Trump "mafia". He does not care about "affordability" of housing or "groceries" etc. Sorry "price increases" are caused by him. If the labor market is good, don't tinker with it.

    Do only as they do in Europe; is to "monitor" escalation of prices and have government control over it. If any company feels it needs an price increase, then in Europe this company first has to submit their request to the government, who then judges if it is warranted or not. Here anyone can raise their prices , without any oversight and make more profit because of it.

    Thus an Powell just "accepts" that anyone can increase their prices and makes the situation even worse by increasing the interest rates.

    The housing market and all the groceries cost will hamper the lower income classes and plenty of them become un-employed as well, due to plenty of companies reduce their workforce because of the stupid policies here.

    Sorry, but Powell wants to destroy this country because he's an 100% Trumper and is instructed by the Trump clan; Biden should have dumped him day one, but this country is so naive trusting certain GOP people.

    El-Erian said that Powell only digs an deeper hole for himself. I fully agree.

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    Somehow, the debt limit will be raised.

    Biden will force through a raise without the spending cuts proposed by the crazy people, but it won't be an easy process.

    Heather detailed Biden's very reasonable budget plan last night.

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    Again an good analyses of this issue. But yeah it shows clearly on how "messed up" this country is, mostly due to not having up to date laws and rules, as well no integrity in our representatives and governing .

    All of it shows that the "rich" are an "powerful" group here just as in Russia, and they and their lawyers keep blocking tax raises for them. In Europe they should be paying up to 50%, here they get away with may be 10%. They love the Russia "system" for sure.

    Democracy can only be kept if everyone pays their "fair" share. For the rich here" enough" is never "enough, ask Musk.