Speaking from the White House around 10:30 this morning, the president insisted the nation work for a solution to avert default and steer clear of a predictable — and avoidable — crisis:
Right now, the House of Representatives is still trying to pass a bill that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already said they won’t vote for. It’s a plan that would force us to re-live this crisis in just a few short months, holding our economy captive to Washington politics once again. In other words, it does not solve the problem, and it has no chance of becoming law.
There are a lot of crises in the world that we can’t always predict or avoid -– hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks. This isn’t one of those crises. The power to solve this is in our hands. And on a day when we’ve been reminded how fragile the economy already is, this is one burden we can lift ourselves. We can end it with a simple vote –- a vote that Democrats and Republicans have been taking for decades, a vote that the leaders in Congress have taken for decades.
He said we shouldn’t let our credit rating be downgraded simply because we “didn’t have a AAA political system to match our AAA credit rating.”
The president also repeated the Democratic talking point that failing to raise the debt ceiling — and thus allowing our credit to be downgraded — would “result potentially in tax increase on everyone in the form of higher interest rates on their mortgages, their car loans, their credit cards. And that’s inexcusable.”
Finally, he repeated Bill Clinton’s implication from his interview with us at The National Memo that the debt ceiling is simply the authority for the United States to “keep its word,” not new spending.
“It’s not a vote that allows Congress to spend more money. Raising the debt ceiling simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up. I want to emphasize that. The debt ceiling does not determine how much more money we can spend, it simply authorizes us to pay the bills we already have racked up.”
Copyright 2011 The National Memo