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  • Morning Bell: Bernanke Helps Defuse "Default"

    Our federal government is currently $14.1 trillion in debt. The vast majority of the American people believe this number is far too high and on track to go far higher. Fortunately, Congress created a mechanism to force itself to reexamine its spending habits when budget deficits got out of control: the debt ceiling. Once total outstanding federal debt reaches the limit, the Treasury Department is no longer authorized to issue new debt. Like the states and family budgets, the federal government would then be forced to make do with tax receipts. The current debt limit is $14.294 trillion. The Treasury Department predicts that we will reach that limit sometime this spring. Somewhere between 62 percent and 71 percent of the American people oppose raising it. Will Washington listen to the American people? Or will they heed the Obama Administration and just continue their reckless spending ways?

    In defense of never-ending reckless spending, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been trying to bamboozle Congress into raising the debt ceiling so that the Obama Administration can continue their free-spending ways unchecked. Geithner claims that unless the debt ceiling is raised by “the end of the first quarter of 2011,” the “full faith and credit of the United States” would be “called into question” and there would be “catastrophic damage to the economy.” As we have detailed before, this is simply false. In the fall of 1995, the federal government reached its $4.9 trillion debt ceiling. Congress refused to raise it. The world did not end. Instead, Treasury took several measures during the period to raise funds to meet federal obligations without exceeding the debt ceiling. Was, as Geithner warns, the “full faith and credit of the United States … called into question”? No. Was there “catastrophic damage to the economy”? No.

    To remove any possible doubt regarding “the full faith and credit of the United States,” Senator Pat Toomey (R–PA) and Representative Tom McClintock (R–CA) have introduced the Full Faith and Credit Act, which would make the payment of interest on the debt the top priority. The Obama Administration quickly identified this legislation as a threat to their scare tactics and thus their big government spending plans, so Deputy Treasury Secretary Neil Wolan wrote a letter to Toomey claiming that any form of non-payment, be it to a retiree holding a U.S. savings bond or to the state of California to build its train to nowhere, “would merely be default by another name” and “would therefore bring about the same catastrophic economic consequences Secretary Geithner has warned against.”

    Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reluctantly contradicted this claim after persistent questioning from Representatives McClintock and Mick Mulvaney (R–SC). McClintock went first, asking: “In January you told the Senate Budget Committee that we’re not seeing extraordinary stress in the municipal market, which suggests that investors still are reasonably confident that there won’t be default among major borrowers. One reason they might believe that is because most states have rules which put debt repayment and interest payment at a very high priority. Above many other obligations of the state and locality. Wouldn’t be a good idea if the federal government did the same thing?”

    Bernanke responded: “Well, it would reduce the risk with the debt limit that is for sure. You haven’t done that yet, of course. I would like to just comment that it would take some time for us to change our systems and computers and so on to make sure that we could change that prioritization, but doing that would reduce some of the risks associated with the debt limit.”

    Later, Mulvaney followed up: “Given our fiscal situation, if we are able to figure out a way to work through those workability problems if we were able to figure out a way to prioritize, would that assuage your concerns about using the debt ceiling as an environment to have a discussion about changing our fiscal policy?”

    Bernanke: “Well, my concern since I’m involved on the financial side, my concern is about not defaulting on the debt, and for me that is a very high priority so that would help on that count very much.”

    So yes, there are some minor technical issues to be worked out and some computer programmers at the Treasury Department may have to pull an all-nighter. But Bernanke’s testimony clearly confirms that prioritizing interest and debt payments is possible and, in direct contradiction to claims by Wolan and Geithner, would help reduce the risk of default “very much.”

    The responsibility for driving down spending and borrowing rests—under our Constitution—squarely with Congress and the President of the United States. In light of the nation’s fiscal plight, raising the debt limit should not be the first option but rather the last resort, and it should be accompanied by immediate, substantial spending reductions and other actions to set the nation on a path to reduced spending and borrowing.

    Quick Hits:

    • After a revolt from GOP freshman over this Congress’ first spending bill, a House leadership aide promised National Review yesterday: “The bill that passes the House will cut substantially more.”
    • Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) will introduce legislation today to defund stimulus projects that have yet to be implemented.
    • California, who wants a federal a bailout for its own $25.4 billion deficit, is planning a $2 billion bailout for borrowers who owe more than their properties are worth, funded by federal funds from the TARP bailout.
    • As Dodd-Frank tries to regulate payday lenders out of existence, American Indian tribes with sovereign immunity are offering to shield the lenders from regulation.
    • According to a new report released today by Alliance for School Choice, nearly 200,000 children are benefiting from 20 publicly-funded private school choice programs in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    54 Responses to Morning Bell: Bernanke Helps Defuse "Default"

    1. and2therepublic, ill says:

      "As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occassions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occassions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occassioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear."

      George Washington – Farewell Address – September 19, 1796.

      The 'Father' of our country doesn't mention spending for any domestic programs, maybe because domestic expenditures were intended to be the responsibility of the States, or the people, themselves. How did the country ever get by without Social Security? Medicare? Medicaid? Prescription drug benefits? Obamacare? Especially since these things are not among the enumerated powers of the Constitution of the United States of America?

    2. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Tax revenue is expected to be $2.2 trillion.

      The reckless spending so this FY has totaled $1.8 trillion.

      Meaning we only have $400 billion left to spend.

      The debt ceiling will have to go up, but it should be done so with at least $500 billion or more in cuts.

    3. George Colgrove, VA says:

      The difference from where we left off from last year ($13.8 Trillion) and the current debt cap ($14.3 Trillion) is about $500 billion. We have spent $1.8 trillion – $450 billion a month (including a total of about $450 billion of deficit spending – an average of about $120 billion a month). This means we have spent about $1.4 trillion of real cash and have only $800 billion of real cash available and about $50 billion of debt available to finish out the remaining of the fiscal year – until the end of September. We need to cut spending to about $110 billion a month (a 76% reduction in spending) to stay within the cap. Of course we can put the final stake in the heart of our economy and tax the bejeebers out of the Americans and raise more revenue for the feds. This is probably less desired than freezing the cap.

      I think it is reasonable to cap all debt at a rounded $15 trillion permanently – no more reviews. That gives the feds another $700 billion plus the available $850 trillion ($1.6 trillion for the rest of the year or $200 billion a month). We would need to reduce monthly spending – across the board – by 56% to keep below $15 trillion.

      Next year however, we will need to cut overall government spending to what is collected in taxes (about $2.5 trillion – hopefully). This represents an overall permanent operational cut of 35%.

    4. Dennis Georgia says:

      As a working person I can not manage my budget by simply spending more money. I can not borrow my way out of trouble. The "guvment" should behave the same way. The dems and obama think they can borrow more, spend more and all will be just great. Well they have reached their liomit on the credit card. NO MORE CREDIT on my back.

    5. Lou, Tucson AZ says:

      I don't know how Geithner has any credibility left after being proven dead wrong on the need for "stimulus" spending to save the economy. In fact. congress should do the exact opposite of what Geithner suggests, and that would probably be the correct course of action.

    6. Myron F. Curtis, Hun says:

      Really great article. I did not realize that in 1995 the Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling. We should do this now in 2011. As a nation, we must control our spending.

    7. B. Schaefer, Marylan says:

      AMEN!!!!!! Where would America's families be if we just simply RAISED our OWN debt ceilling everytime we spent and lived beyond our means???? Oh, yeah, that's right, we would be in Bankruptcy court!

    8. RUTH SC says:

      I can just see us know, bowing to a citizen of the united States of China. We all know what will happen. This administration does not care if we get to keep our country or lose it by default. As long as he can use money we don't have to further his agenda, ie get re- elected by buying votes with borrowed money he could care less about our country, after all when his term is up he is set for life, why should he care about the people of this country, we all know what he thinks of America why should we expect anything less than disaster from him?We all need to be in deep prayer for the USA I feel God is our only hope, I for one will continue with the church members all over for God to soften the hearts of these evil people who just want to destroy our way of life and freedom. God bless America, people wake up.

    9. Robert, North Richla says:

      The responsibility for spending cuts, fiscal sanity and checking the executive branch rests squarely with Congress, and our Speaker John Boehner has already proven he is not up to the task. He is fast on his way to being the most worthless republican Speaker since Dennis Hastert. Praise God for the other brave representatives that are willing to stand up and push for what Boehner "promised" in the first place. In 2012, the welfare recipients and "give me" seniors will show up at the polls and send these empty suits home. Heritage needs to stop giving these wimps cover and help us call them out as the liars they are.

    10. James Cooke, Ireland says:

      OR, simply follow the Irish path and spin out of control. The Germans (and I really hate to admire them) have a constutional requirement limiting deficits. As they are now conquering Europe with their balance sheet instead of panzers, we might consider that model.

    11. Bobbie says:

      The dignified has to clean it up! Today is a good time to start.

      The dishonest will always corrupt, change or ignore any rules necessary to follow. ACCOUNTABILITY! The elites in Washington telling us to spend our money we barely have any of, yet they obviously aren't spending their over paid income on the economy or it would show improvement.

    12. Bruce J. Kolinski says:

      Every dollar of interest paid on U.S. debt as well as on printed U.S. currency goes into the coffers of the private family owners of the Federal Reserve Banking system. This is the biggest financial scam in world history. Of course Bernanke wants the interest payments – and logically more and more debt – to continue.

      Bernanke works for the families who own the Federal Reserve Banks. He does not work for the U.S. government nor for the American people. Every Federal program, such as Obamacare, that runs or will run in the red is an enormous gift to the families who own the Federal Reserve – as long as the Fed has confiscation rights to the U.S. tax payer earnings through the 16th Amendment as rammed through Congress by the world's central bankers on February 3, 1913. American freedom died on February 3, 1913. That was the day we traded individual liberty for euphemistic feudalism to the world's central banking families – by our own vote.

      You might say Ben Bernanke and his Bosses own Barack Insane Obama, just as they owned W and every President and every Congress since 1913. The reason our Federal government doesn't work for "we the people" is not a mystery. As usual, just "FOLLOW THE MONEY".

    13. wayne gilbert,az says:

      Why is it so difficult, STOP SPENDING. You have wasted more than imaginable over the years, it is embarrassing, pathetic, why aren't the politicians off in the corner ashamed beyond belief. Bernanke is the biggest crook in the country only behind ODUMBO. Geitner is nothing but wall street pawn, ready to take the blame because he has no credibility. How ist so difficult to tell congress they do people's wishes, STOP SPENDING, NO MORE DEBT!!! What's difficult?

    14. Nancy, Georgia says:

      What is the ratio of federal spending allocated to entitlements? I think it's in the area of 85%. When are we going to get serious and start looking at that? Ponzi schemes are illegal in all other areas of American life. We HAVE to do something about this. Our children and grandchildren deserve a better legacy than bankdrupt states and exhorbitant taxes. Will it be painful? Yes. Difficult? Yes. Necessary? YES. Just like California's $500 billion unfunded liabilities; it is unsustainable.

    15. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      Aesop is alive and well. From before it was "This Administration" This Administration, its handmaiden 110 and 111th congress and their lapdog media has made a "science" of crying "Wolf".

      From TARP to Stimulus, from bad bill to bad bill, eg Obamacare and Cap and Trade. From no budget to wild incompetence in spending controls of any kind. The call has been "catastrophe", "end of the world as we know it", doom and gloom and coming mayhem in the streets.

      "Wolf","Wolf","Wolf","Wolf" —– You get the picture.

    16. Terry, Dayton OH says:

      As a small business owner with a lot of debt when the economy turned sour I've had to make interest payments and real debt reduction my top priorities while still managing to maintain a core operational capability in order to remain in business. The federal government has to do the same thing. It won't be easy but it can be done. What's lacking is the political will to do the hard work and take the heat it will generate. If nothing is done, very soon there will be no reasonable options left.

    17. Scott Boise ID says:

      Of course Bernanke wants to insure that the Government (the taxpayers) don't default on the debt. Who do you think holds much of this debt and profits from it? The Fed. Who creates the money (out of thin air) to finance the debt? Who profits?

      Geitner is an idiot. Nothing else needs to be said. We are in extremely dangerous monetary territory. How can any rational person believe that the government can continue to borrow vast sums of money it can't possibly repay? When world financial markets finally wake up to that fact – then what happens?

    18. F.D. O'Toole, N says:

      Seems to me that the debt limit is a good control on the excesses of Congress, the Fed, and the Administration. But of what use is a control if it is routinely waived? It seems obvious that foreign & domestic investors in US debt would be reassured by the Congress sticking to its own rules.

    19. Liinda, Durango CO says:

      Bravo!!

      A beautifully written analysis. If it could only be published in the drive by press.

    20. Carl, Rochester Hill says:

      Why are you using extra letters and symbols in the text ?

      Am I now suppose figure out what these mean?????

      It's VERY DISTRACTING from the message content!!!!!!!

      Footnotes would be easier and would give me references!!!!!!!!!!

    21. Brad says:

      Great job. This makes more sense than anything I've heard so far.

      Thanks Heritage.

    22. P. Griffin, Indiana says:

      How many of us would trust Timmy Geithner to be our personal financial advisor or to be the executor of our estate? Doesn't that tell us all we need to know about him? It is a national travesty that he hasn't been forced to step down for total incompetence and untrustworthiness.

    23. laurie, Hawaii says:

      It would be a terrible mistake to raise the debt limit. Please, you intelligent members of Congress, do NOT CAVE IN to the LIES of the Corruptocratic Bureaucrats. Look at the facts, every destructive action being done……cutting off the water supply in Calif, paying big corporate farming friends NOT to grow crops, over-regulating oil drilling so that we are at the mercy of our enemies, not allowing medical insurance across state lines, not dealing with torte reform, paying the legal expenses of the drug-consumers and criminals in our country, giving away the farm to everyone who crosses the border…..all this money down the drain, loss of millions of jobs, enabling bad conduct, laziness and the opposite of good incentive and pride of independent work ethics in the United States, the last free country on this earth, not taken hostage by terrorists int he name of "progressivism." Do not believe the great liars…..you can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but the sleeping giant is waking up, you sleezy liars who tell us you need to take away our medicare and policemen if we don't raise the debt ceiling. The only thing being taken away is your golden parachutes, "global warming" non-sensse, light bulb regulations…..next it will be like China or Venezuela. Slaves to the great king of the world, building his memorial, another big pyramid in the U.S. to honor the memory of the "Commander-of-Lies."

    24. Steven A. Meads says:

      Sirs: I submit that more than 75% of the common folks of this nation defy the idea that our integrity would be damaged.

      Every store owner trusts more the person who will check his limits, cut wasteful spending, then make his purchase. The folks we put in Washington should do the same.

      Unfortunately, firing federal employees will be part of that wasteful spending. Done correctly, the middle management of those agencies will go first.

      Steve

    25. KC - New Mexico says:

      How can businesses and the general public who do pay taxes expect that this will improve? When approximately 50% of Americans do not pay income tax due to the outdated progressive tax process, and when a significant number of Americans receive hand-outs from the government (housing, food, unemployment, education, medical, etc), how can we expect a change in our current financial behavior. The unions will not allow this nor will the socialistic liberals allow this to happen. This is not a case of those who have and those who have not, but it is a case of being able to survive and succeed in a country that is fair to its people. Hard decisions will need to be made and it just may be tough for a while. Just like the old lyrics – you can take from the rich until there aren’t any more. We are headed for the same turmoil in Europe and now in the Middle East. We need leadership to drive strategic and substantial change in our financial processes, and those Americans who have been on the free ride will need to toughen up!

    26. toledofan says:

      So, now the game of 'chicken' begins. I agree with everyone that says how can we believe anything these guys say and secondly if the stimulus or spending roughly a couple of trillion bucks was such a success, why aren't things better; unemployment is over 9%, housing foreclosures are still going up, the dollar is weak, gold is soaring, food prices are rising, energy is more expensive and states want to declare bankrupcy? Sure doesn't sound to me like more credit is the answer. I think some good old fashioned belt tightening is in order first; cut all government departments by 15%, freeze federal hiring and eliminate the 'czars', put the budget back to what it was at in 2007 or 2008 and start to really, not just on paper, cut the waste and redundant departments. That sure seems to me like a better plan rathwer than just throwing more money into the fan in hopes it'll land in a good spot.

    27. jlo, Montana says:

      Isn't it amazing how the Obama administration and Timothy Geithner have branded any failure to raise the debt limit as a threat to the “full faith and credit of the United States”? Assuming this statement was true (which it is not), it is the failure to control spending that threatens our perceived credit worthiness, not the failure to raise the debt limit. The debt limit has been set, making it the constant variable in this equation. It is spending that has varied (increased) and it is spending, therefore, that is responsible for causing Geithner's strawman catastrophe.

    28. Steve Cafaro Fort My says:

      It will be interesting to see how the Repblican controlled House and the Democrat controlled Senate will approach this issue. In so far as I have no fiscal comfort in either political party, I sense the combined Congress will ,once again, dance around the problem, enact a new debt limit and soundly blame each other for the upcoming financial nightmare. Its easy to spend other peoples money!

    29. Daisysue says:

      Tea Partiers stay strong. Republicans REMEMBER why you were voted in!!! Your True colors will soon be showing. You are either with us or against us, So YOU BETTER grab your boot straps and balls and MAN UP

      STOP THE INSANE SPENDING AND STOP IT NOW!!!!!!!! Give us the change the American People want. NOT WHAT “PROGRESSIVE OBAMA” WANTS..

      NO MORE SNEAKY DEALS like the CONTINITAL PRERIMITERS WITH CANADA and the deal J. Napolitano is working out with MEXICO..We want to KEEP AMERICA’S SOVEREIGNTY……….

      BORHNER, DROP THE WHITE FLAG and refuse to fund the unconstitutional OBAMACARE. Do what the republicans have the power to do..You are begining to look like a TRAITOR…………….

    30. Cliff2008 Tampa Fl says:

      If I were in position of leadership in the House GOP, I would make it a priority to service debt, pay social security/medicare claims & pay defence/security costs in the Continuing Resolution. Then I would not raise the debt ceiling. This would force cuts in spending across the board with elimination and/or consolidation of many departments. $1.5 trillion of destructive spending would go away with a lot less pain to the economy than continued spending is going to cause in just a short time. If this caused me to lose the next election, so be it.

      Now is the time to be a leader. No one wants to be that guy.

    31. Sandy, UT says:

      What LIE does Geithner want us to believe? And coming from a tax cheat at that?

    32. Walter Rebele, Wentw says:

      The comments by Geithner show the arrogance of the Obama administration. They think they are a little smarter than the rest of us and we should just trust them. The problem is, that the figures never lie, liar's figure. Remember Obama's warning that we needed to pass the stimulus bill to keep the unemployment rate below 8%. Well, we pass the bill and unemployment is currently at 9%. The Obama administration has no credibility left. We are mortgaging our children's future and it has to stop. They should abolish FEMA and several other useless departments and they wouldn't need to raise the debt ceiling.

      '

    33. W. Colborne Mullen says:

      I would appreciate the following suggestion be considered. There is a problem looming soon. The number, of public sector jobs, must be reduced. I will provide a possible solution.

      These employees will be entitled, to draw unemployment. I suggest a choice be offered, to those individuals. The following idea will require a change, in the requirements needed, to receive payments.

      Offer the choice, of remaining, on the job, and receive the weekly unemployment money, instead, of their usual checks, until they find work elsewhere. The cost, to Government will be less the difference. The result would mean the money is given, to someone who is productive. This would generate a desire, to find work sooner. I believe that no one should be paid, to look, for work.

      The other choice would be, to work, a minimum, of eight hours per day, for a charitable, organization. This will free donations, to be better spent, than paying salary, to employees. Require a signed form, to show the person has complied.

      All unemployed individuals should be covered, for health insurance. I would not want any perks, to be continued. No vacation days, sick days, or personal

      days.

      This will need a lot, of discussion, to implement. I hope someone agrees, and will pass this message, to the proper authorities.

      I would appreciate a response either pro, or con

    34. Jack Thompson Garlan says:

      The full faith and credit of the United States is already being mocked around the world. The only reason our dollar and economy has not been driven into the ash heap is because the other nations that hold our debt are committed to perpetuating the U. S. financial status. If we do not stop this trend, we will be drummed into the New World Order, Government, because they will own us, absolutely.

      A majority of Americans are very well aware of our situation. We are ready to sacrifice our fortunes and honor to restore this country to the Constitutional Republic our founding fathers gave us.

      Absolute power, corrupts absolutely!

      We can do this. God Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth, still smiles on this Christian Nation! All things are possible for God. We trust Him, we Worship Him Only, and we Glorify his Holy Name.

      Our Heavenly Father, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

      God bless you and God bless America,

      Jack Thompson

      Garland, Texas

    35. Elizabeth Moore, 434 says:

      As an elderly child of the Great Recession a nd the recession of hte 1950s, I know that the solution to our present fiscal problem is the reduction of US Government spending. Nothing else, short of WWII and I know we don'twant that again,The Great Recession of the 1930's did not end until Welfare Stopped, and the great US Military Industrial complex produced the weaponry needed to protect FREEDOM throughout the world, giving jobs to millions of the US unemloyed, ending unemployment and saving millions from opression thorughout the world. Why can't Free Enterprize be allowed to do the same Now, without the impediment the US government is imposing to prevent that from happening?

    36. David Peacock says:

      Bernanke should be fired and the federal reserve should be audited to find the 13 trillion so America can retire our debt, which is a conspiracy in the first place; debt was created by the fed, so it should be responsible for fixing the problem.

    37. Ron Berkowitz --- Ka says:

      I read the "The Morning Bell" and the statements Ben Bernanke made in it. I honestly thought for a moment that I needed to take some Ginkgo and St. John's Wort to increase my mental clarity in order to understand what he said. But then I read and reread his statements and realized that Mr. Bernanke can't (or won't) speak clearly. Does anyone know what is wrong with him?

    38. Thor H. Asgardson says:

      "Geithner claims that unless the debt ceiling is raised by 'the end of the first quarter of 2011,' the 'full faith and credit of the United States' would be 'called into question' and there would be 'catastrophic damage to the economy.'

      The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not based on the grand pronouncements of tax cheats, but rather the realization that such a goal cannot be attained under a hostile corporate takeover of our government and banking system.

      That which is "catastrophic to our economy," is obviously a debt-based fractional reserve banking system, fueled by usury.

      As for being "called into question," this writer thinks we have left that sign post about a million miles behind us already.

      The Federal Reserve needs to be "called in for questioning" and its ill-gotten assets must be expropriated and returned to the American people, who have been robbed blind by the international bankers.

      The full faith, credit and future existence of the United States of America is based on a strong military and industrial capacity. That is our credit card and piggy bank.

      The United States military must go forth and seize the stolen wealth of the American people, which is the assets of these international bankers.

      Our factors of production must be returned to the nation by strong tariffs and reining in the corporations. Corporate executives who work against the national interest should be arrested and executed by firing squad.

      Boeing Company has already announced its plan to become a Red Chinese Company and is helping Red China to develop advanced stealth fighter jets, thereby compromising the national security of the United States of America.

      This is economic treason against the nation.

      The next war must be against the banks and corporations and those spoils must be garnered by the American people.

      It is clearly time for regime change in Washington D.C..

      Can the United States military handle the truth?

    39. Lee Cord says:

      Does every member of the House and Senate, or more important, every chief of staff of every member of the House and Senate, have this testimony…or do the policy makers of congressional members disregard this testimony for their own political reasons?

      Is this testimony enough to cause the Republican members of the House to gird their loins and take a stand against raising the debt ceiling…especially the squishy RINO-types?

    40. Hermes C Liberty New says:

      Never, ever think about "Raising the Debt Limit". Once this Ribucon is crossed, it is possible that the true Enemies, those who want us down will have triumphed. Let the Congress know that this must be a sine qua non condition for US survival, because those who want its death are numerous and active. This seemingly beningn action would also open an incredible step towards what they want. Finish it. Have you remarked that US map looks like a beast hide?

    41. Dave Provo, UT says:

      We should lower the debt limit not raise it. Bernanke may be an Ivy league trained economist but he lacks common sense. On the farm if we had a bad crop year we made do and reduced our expeneditures and studied ways of keptin our debt level down. It will take at least a generation of tight belts to even begin to bring it down significantly. In 1895 when the banks failed across the US my great grand parents living in a city sold all their riding stock, bought a cow, plowed up the front lawn to plant corn and potatoes, sorted out the furniture they could trade for wheat and took in boarders. It took them 12 years to pay back their debts from their failed furniture store. I'm willing to do the same kind of thing IF the government gets serious about debt reduction.

    42. Dwana Townsend says:

      A Storm is Brewing!!!

    43. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama hasn't run a general store, a supermarket, or a law firm. In short, he hasn't run a business of kind. He was community organizer, a lawyer for ACORN, state

      senator, and a U.S. Senator. He wouldn't know how to run a business. If he was a CEO of a major corporation, he'd run it into the ground.

    44. Dinah Garrison Fairb says:

      @CarlRochester Hills

      What extra symbols? Whose comment are you addressing? I don't understand your question.

    45. Bobbie says:

      Mr. Bernanke: "Give notice to make it practical"? Like the same notice you gave us? NONE???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!! Playing games with the lives of Americans behind the backs of Americans? How pathetically low some in government go.

    46. Henry says:

      America is in big trouble. Our debt ceiling must be lowered to 1980 levels. Start cutting government jobs and government benefits. We could do without half of the government bureaucracy. With 15% of the American people out of work and the rest working for walmart rates. Then you have the government workers that have jobs for life, that got raises each year and more benefits. So what happens is our state levels are raising taxes on anything they can think of, wheel tax, more gas tax, more food tax, property tax.

      Our banks are paying zero interest on C.D's. My thought on this is, everyone takes every penny out of the banks. Why do we have a bank on every corner of America? Is it because Americans have that much money? In a small community of 30,000 people we have 30 to 40 banks of some type. Wall Street just turned our lives upside DOWN and they are making billions each day. WHY? Look at their stocks.

      Our Wall Street executives are making billions of dollars, so is all our CEO's, our TVA executives making billions of dollars a year. America has been in a war every year since world war II. Rome only stood so long. America will only stand so long engaged in wars.

      America is barely standing! Do not believe the wall street stock market.

    47. Barbara says:

      Wouldn't it be wonderful if all those who represent this nation as elected officials, would actually represent the best interest of this country, Where has love of our country gone, where has integrity gone? Why can't both parties work for the best of the nation (don't they realize they all live in this country and their future generations, also); quit hurting the nation by playing games with our freedoms and financial security. I'm tired of hearing the President apologizing for our country and blaming others for the problems we now face. Let's quit the blaming game and get serious about fixing what's wrong with our country! I'm really tired of hearing about how one party is trying to punish or show the other party, who is better by pushing legislation through, because they can, just to show who has more control then the other, GROWUP and have some integrity and love for this great country, which God has blessed us with. Don't raise the the ceiling debt, lets live within our means and make do with what we have. Thank You

    48. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      Who in their right mind would follow the advise or listen to anything Geithner or Bernanke presents? How did either of them get their jobs? Both may be good at parrotting words from text books on a test. That may be how they received their advance degrees. But common sense from life experiences Mr. Geithner and Bernanke do not have. They must have lived in a closet until Obama appointed them to their positions.

    49. Pingback: » Morning Bell: Bernanke Helps Defuse “Default” | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. MySquawk

    50. gorio says:

      The really depressing part of the "debt limit" issue is that the democratic party apparently views this subject as a "golden opportunity" to hammer the republicans for being "anti-jobs" or "anti-poor" or " anti-healthcare". In other words every crisis, whether it is a Katrina, a flu-epidemic, 9/11, or a debt limit crisis is just another "gotcha" moment to smear some poop on the republicans. The sad part is that even the democrats know they are not competent to even approach solutions to the "debt limit" and THEY know the only politicians with enough integrity and thick skins to begin the process of actual solutions are republicans, yet because of the present "rules" of engagement, they continue attacking the messenger and shooting themselves in the foot to delay the inevitable reality that our country is not only "under water" but sinking faster as we add more debt to prop up the worlds "reserve currency". The world has already started our abandonment, soon it will be time to change the "rules".

    51. Pingback: » Sunday Weekly Summary MySquawk

    52. Demetri, Illinois says:

      Where do the vast majority of Americans get their information, and more importantly, how do they verify its accuracy?

    53. Pingback: GOP plan: No more borrowing and no default! | Oz Conspiracy House

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