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Monday, March 25, 2019

If The GOP Risks Default Over Obamacare, The President Should Remember What Bill Clinton Said

If The GOP Risks Default Over Obamacare, The President Should Remember What Bill Clinton Said

If the GOP is serious about blowing up our economy to sabotage Obamacare, President Obama has no choice but to remember the words President Bill Clinton spoke to our Joe Conason during the last debt limit crisis.

Over the last few days, Republicans have introduced a new strategy for stopping Obamacare before the law’s full implementation on January 1, 2014, according to the National Review‘s Robert Costa. Instead of demanding that the president defund his signature legislative accomplishment in exchange for keeping the government open, now they want to use the debt limit to force the president to delay Obamacare for a year.

New York Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait explains, “Republicans here are talking themselves out of using a conventional bomb and instead using a nuclear bomb.”

A government shutdown would definitely stymie the economy, resulting in, for instance, soldiers missing paychecks and losing their homes, as Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) recently pointed out to a constituent.

However, default on American debt would likely create a contagious financial crisis similar to or larger than the one that destroyed eight million jobs in 2008. There’s evidence that even threatening such a default hurts the economy and there’s no doubt that the last threat and the resulting crisis was behind the United States losing its AAA credit rating for the first time ever.

President Obama has vowed that there will not be a sequel to the last debt limit crisis.

This vow worked early in 2013 just after he was re-elected, when the GOP made a deal with themselves and raised the debt limit under the condition that Congress wouldn’t get paid if the Senate didn’t pass a budget. That extension was only supposed to last a few months but has taken us to nearly the end of 2013 because the deficit is falling so quickly.

The strategy of tying a delay of Obamacare to a raise of the debt limit could just be another way the GOP leadership attempts to patronize the base and minimize insurgencies as they trudge toward doing what they have to do: fund the government and raise the debt limit.

But teasing the base with empty promises can only work for so long.

The Tea Party’s appeal to the wider world has all but disappeared, but they still play an outsized role in GOP primaries and in this effort to destroy Obamacare they’re supported by the incredibly well funded folks T the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks.

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein points out, “eventually, someone’s going to make a mistake, and Boehner won’t manage to pull his people back from the brink at the last minute.”

If that happens, President Obama should remember what Bill Clinton said he would do. He wouldn’t mint a platinum coin; he would just raise the limit on his own and “force the courts to stop me.”

“I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy,” Clinton said.

The serious threat of default is a cudgel that no political party has ever used so brazenly before. If the GOP is going to wield it again and again knowing that what they’re demanding is unreasonable, President Obama should just say, “the Constitution requires me to pay the bills Congress racked up, and I intend to pay them.”

Photo: veni markovski via

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30 responses to “If The GOP Risks Default Over Obamacare, The President Should Remember What Bill Clinton Said”

  1. bcarreiro says:

    Republicans think they are getting smarter but are making it harder for corrupt ways. To turn our system to a voucher well the Americans are done paying twice for corporate entities and politicians lavish lifestyles. We all know what these people are doing so go into their voucher expense accts. and see how they like it. we the people know what’s right from wrong as wrong defines the republican party. you cant steer democrats from democracy fools.

  2. sigrid28 says:

    President Obama has nothing to lose by offering President Clinton’s answer and everything to gain. By contrast, if he wavers over this again, we have much more to lose than we did the last time–and much more to gain.

  3. michaelross says:

    What they’re really hoping to do is manufacture a jobs / market crash and blame the Democrats for it. They’re already rehearsing their bullshit — already accusing Obama of being the one who wants to shut down the government.

    The reality is that we’re now dealing with a party that would rather be the king of a shit pile than prosper along with the rest of us. The G.O.P. mantra has literally degenerated to “If we can’t have it, no one can.”

    • samantha657 says:

      what Laura replied I’m blown away that any body can profit $8950 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this web link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  4. charleo1 says:

    Something I don’t get, is why aren’t more Americans calling out the T-Party for
    it’s threats of intentionally damaging the U.S. and world economies? Personally,
    it feels for all the world like economic terrorism! Another thing I don’t get, is why
    is Congress keeping this nuclear destruct button around? When they’ve already proven they aren’t grown up, or responsible enough to have such a thing in the
    first place. Nowadays, it’s comparable to handing a 5 year old a loaded pistol.
    This is the same Party by the way, that spent the better part of three years
    attempting to bully the President into making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent.
    Claiming his doddering, and dithering on taxes, was creating uncertainty in the economy, and hurting job creation. So again, what’s up with all this threatening?
    I’m sure investors are looking forward to yet another round of hostage taking, and
    brinkmanship, as Congress rolls the dice once again. No, I don’t get it!
    Neither the stupidity,of it. Or the useless redundancy, and the danger involved
    in the entire exercise. This is not in the Constitution, it’s procedural. Something
    the politicians cooked up to amuse themselves, I guess. But, never in the history
    of the Country, until the T-Party Caucus, has there been a faction willing to use
    it for extortion. While actually threatening to severely harm the Country’s economy.

    • sigrid28 says:

      “While actually threatening to severely harm the Country’s economy”–for a second time!

    • Allan Richardson says:

      According to them, a 5 year old has a Second Amendment right to have a loaded pistol. Earlier this year, a 5 year old killed himself with his own birthday present rifle.

      • charleo1 says:

        That’s right! Five year olds need to be able when the time comes,
        to protect themselves from a tyrannous, government. Hell. they’d
        arm a fetus if they could. The sight of the little rascal coming out of
        the shoot with a gun already in it’s hand, would cause spontaneous
        orgasms, on the spot for many of them.

  5. Mark Forsyth says:

    These goofballs defy common sense.The only reasonable explanation for their actions is that they are a criminal enterprise parading around as elected officials.I guess they are not completely useless–they can always serve as a bad example.

  6. armour1955 says:

    This is exactly the strategy that President Obama MUST pursue. If Hillary were on the ticket instead of Biden Obama would been given this kind of advice all along and not be be in this mess. President Obama has proven himself just a politician rather than the statesman we all thought he would be. If he had just stuck to his campaign promises the country would be in a MUCH better place

    • charleo1 says:

      I have no idea which planet you came from, or when you got here. But I’d
      suggest a little catching up. Were you here when Candidate Obama talked
      about healthcare reform? How listening to his Mother on her death bed
      fight with insurance cos.? After the economy nearly collapsed due to reckless,
      unregulated trade on Wall Street, Candidate Obama promised financial reform.
      As far as the Statesmanship, I do believe Obama made a mistake in over-
      estimating the Republican Party’s ability to put the good of the Country,
      especially in a huge crisis, over their own self interests. But, the fact they
      were willing to play politics, while the economy was threatening to crumble.
      That’s on them. Not President Obama.

    • brian199511 says:

      How, please explain, could he get anything through this Congress? An unprecedented bunch of bastard republicants.

  7. SaneJane says:

    Mint the coin and shove it in their faces. These GOP tactics remind me of what a friend once said about her ex-husband, “he is like a rat who, when he finds food, eats all he can and urinates on the rest so no one else can have it”.

  8. AMADAL says:

    It’s time Obama grows a pair and invoke the 14th Amendment along with calling their bluff and stopping their paychecks by vetoing any budget that is not what he wants. I doubt Congress can get enough votes to override his veto. It’s time for Obama to hold Congress hostage and force compromise.

  9. Lovefacts says:

    Last time the Republicans threatened not to raise the debt limit, I sent Obama a letter asking him to use the 14th Amendment as justification. Needless to say, he didn’t answer of even consider my suggestion.

    However, I wish he’d call this brinkmanship what it is–blackmail–and declare that the aims of these politicians are no different from the terrorists who have attacked us–destruction of economy and way of life. If a foreign country had attempted to do what these individuals threaten, we’d go to war. It’s time the president stood firm against the bullies/terrorists who are willing to not only destroy our economy, but see millions starving and living on the streets.

  10. Allan Richardson says:

    The whole concept of a debt limit ceiling is bogus. That would be like racking up $10000 in credit card debt while believing you have a $5000 “ceiling” and then refusing to make payments on the $10000 because it would “exceed the ceiling.” If we, the taxpayers, through our representatives, have contracted to pay for something, we pay it by any means necessary, then figure out how to get the debt back down (maybe by “getting a raise” from the 1%ers?).

  11. Gerald Larey says:

    Let them step on their dicks, shit in their nest and piss in the wind (add your own meta). Its all going to hit them in the face come 2014…if the meteor or the Sun storms don’t hit first! ‘_’ ‘_’

  12. brian199511 says:

    Maybe the republic would have been better off losing the Civil War. Most of these wack job, scum bag republicants are from the south. Not all, just most.

  13. geoelb says:

    Would be a welcome change for the Repubs to legislate the solution to some of our national problems; instead of blocking, to be inovative and resourceful. I might even decide to return to the flock if the shepards again have the good of the the flock (ppl) in their minds and hearts.

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