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  • Eat Your Peas or the U.S. Will Risk Default

    Yesterday, the President conditioned a debt limit increase on the House and Senate meeting his demands to increase taxes, a very risky declaration. The President declared that he would veto any short-term debt limit increase because he wants a comprehensive deal including tax increases.

    Ben Feller of the San Francisco Chronicle asked the President if he would sign a short-term debt limit increase:

    Thank you very much, Mr. President. Two quick topics. Given that you’re running out of time, can you explain what is your plan for where these talks go if Republicans continue to oppose any tax increases, as they’ve adamantly said that they will? And secondly, on your point about no short-term stopgap measure, if it came down to that and Congress went that route, I know you’re opposed to it, but would you veto it?

    The President declared that he would not sign—in other words, he would veto—a short-term debt limit increase:

    I will not sign a 30-day or a 60-day or a 90-day extension. That is just not an acceptable approach. And if we think it’s going to be hard—if we think it’s hard now, imagine how these guys are going to be thinking six months from now in the middle of election season where they’re all up. It’s not going to get easier. It’s going to get harder. So we might as well do it now—pull off the Band-Aid; eat our peas. (Laughter.) Now is the time to do it. If not now, when?

    The President wants the American people to eat their peas—i.e., tax increases—as part of any bipartisan deal to increase the debt limit.

    This is an extraordinary promise to block any short-term debt limit increase. As the President himself stated, the August 2 deadline would signal the date when the Department of Treasury runs out of tools to keep the federal government from defaulting on some obligations. It seems that the President is declaring that if he does not get increased revenues (i.e., increased taxes) he will risk default. What an astonishing declaration from the President.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to Eat Your Peas or the U.S. Will Risk Default

    1. banickis says:

      Who is holding who hostage? The Republicans invented this game. You should be ashamed!

      • Tim Az says:

        Spoken by an individual who would rather engage in generational theft for a little more comfort in an attempt to avoid any self sacrifice what so ever.

      • Michael A. Gabel says:

        Bob Beckel, is that you?

    2. Jeff says:

      so the GOP is adament about spending cuts and Obama wants a debt increase … but he won't sign a bill that does that …

      • Michael A. Gabel says:

        Obama Says:
        I've increased government spending and debt far above historic levels. I have nothing to show for it in either economic growth or employment gains. On top of that, for the first time in our nation's history, I'm not sure we can send Social Security checks and pay our soldiers.
        My solution? Although I've squandered your hard earned tax dollars, I need more.

        We the People say:

    3. @Nicols1 says:


      You sir are and imbecile…This President in nothing but an incompetent Ideologue…He is holding us hostage with constant lies…Like can't pay SS, Medicare Etc. These are funded programs and aren't included in the Debt calculation…You are a prime example of what is troubling this country..An individual who is unable to recognize
      the truth because you are desperately blinded by you left wing idiocy!!

    4. Roger S. says:

      BO should be held to account: Pea soup and day old bread each and every WH dinner until he signs that bill.
      Stop spending lunacy!
      Stop WH blackmail!
      STOP BOBYO :: Sign The Other Party's Bill Or Bring Your Own (pea soup, that is)

    5. Jeff, Illinois says:

      The President has been more than reasonable . . but what used to be considered a simple house keeping task has been used by the GOP as tool for pushing forth an insane ideology. If the Repubican Party gains any more power . . the chasm between the wealthy and the poor will be insurmountable. The GOP is owned by the Koch brothers et. al. and no longer offers a reasonable view point on the matters of American politics. The GOP's insane religion of de-regulation created the present economic mess, that the President inherited and has a near impossible task of repairing. Another vilian is the trade imbalance which has destroyed America's industrial base. Large transnational corporations don't care about this country, they just want to maximize profit. Left unchecked, there's no hope for the middle class.

      The Oil companies need government subsidies . . hah . . I rest my case . . !!

      • Michael A. Gabel says:

        Just curious:
        How many jobs have the poor created as opposed to the Koch Bros. and the Oil industry?
        How about Obama vs. the private sector?
        Last I checked, there are 2.4 million less employed from when Obama took over. That was TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO, and you still want to blame Bush? Wise up.

        GW Bush came in during a recession caused by the dot.com crash, then had to battle through 9/11/01. Yet, his eight years produced economic growth and net job gain.

        The only reason the chasm abetween the poor and wealthy increases is because leftists play the class warfare game while promoting false solutions such as increased government spending and taxation.

      • Steve says:

        Reasonable??? are you kidding? How is it reasonable to say "… I can't guarantee… those checks…", referring to VA/SS/Medicare checks when the truth is there is enough current revenue (without any changes to taxes) to not only service the debt, but to pay all these checks! So was that a threat to those check recipients? Are they supposed to "fall in line" or "eat their peas" because Obama wants more money to spend? If there is a hostage-taker as Banickis insists, its not the GOP.

        As for "de-regulation" causing Obama's misery, you are way off base. It was the housing bubble stupid! And who caused that? Well, it was the DImocrat-controlled congress who forced lenders to abandon their proven business models because the lending wasn't "fair". When financial institutions tried to adapt to limit the excessive risks imposed on them, they got burned on some not-so-smart secruity scam. But, congress (with Bush's blessing and urging) bailed them out instead of letting them fail. Once again, government meddling where it doesn't belong.

      • Steve says:

        Also the GOP isn't owned by a large corporation like the Dimocrat party is by Soros. The GOP belongs to those sane people in our country that believe you don't spend beyond your means, unlike those of you on the left who can't seem to understand this simple economic principle. By the way, do you ask the credit card companies for a higher limit when you max out the cards?

        And lastly, isn't it a bit trite to be blaming the prior administration when Obama has been in office for over 2 and a half years? At some point, he has to take responsibility for not fixing it. When are you on the left going to wake up and realize that this president has failed miserbly, especially when you compare his "recovery" with all those presidents who inherited recessions, except for FDR. Oh wait, those results seem awfully similar. Hmmmm. Is this history repeating itself because people failed to learn from it?

    6. Tim Az says:

      The whole cast of this regime might want to start fasting now, because the American citizenry will be serving up plenty of peas to be eaten by the regime after the 2012 elections. I think we should also serve them green bologna as a side dish and outfit them with pink panties as well. Had enough yet?

    7. Bill says:

      You conservatives don't get it, we need to raise taxes beacuse the department of transportation ONLY has 1700 employees earning over $170K+ a year. We need to tax the rich 100% so every person in that department can make $170K+!

      Private-sector employees are fools, it seems:
      Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months – and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted . . .
      Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.
      When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.

      Continued on next post…..

    8. Bill says:


      This is how I concluded yesterday’s piece:
      Private-sector employees could be forgiven for thinking that state and local government is a racket. In the private sector, you can do your job well, for a well-established company like Circuit City, KB Toys, Lehman Brothers, Saturn, or Gourmet magazine, and suddenly find yourself without a job for one of many reasons: changing consumer habits, a dramatic drop in revenue, new competition, reckless management decisions, or just bad luck. State and local legislators face possible job loss once every two years at most, and gerrymandering and the benefits of incumbency ensure its rarity. And when the governing classes want more money, they just demand it from those they govern.
      I was wrong; the federal government looks like a racket, too.
      The average federal worker’s salary is now 76 percent higher than the average private-sector salary.

      Yes I'm being sarcastic (had to say this so the Jeff, Illinois and banickis of the world could understand.

      Jeff, regulation was what caused the economic mess we are in, not de-regulation.

    9. Denise says:

      What's laughable is that there is a debt ceiling at all. What is the purpose of it if every little while it has to be raised. What a joke!!

    10. Ray says:

      Jeff, Illinois – You are an idiot! More and more government regulations mean higher costs for everything and less jobs! Less regulations means lower costs for everything and more jobs. Obama has destroyed the job base in this country and he has no idea how to simply get out of the way of job-creators – whether they are Democrats or Republicans. Stop with the constant regulations! Kill Obamacare pronto!!! No more stimulus!

    11. Michael A. Gabel says:

      Mr. President, some of us like peas. I like tea, too.

    12. Stirling says:

      Big Government taken to it's end creates a nation of Surfs and dependents on the government just for basic needs.. True "Freedom" is when you can tell the government to "pound sand." and enjoy your life as YOU want to. Why liberals think that they will not eventually have the government turn them also into "financial slaves to the system," is beyond explanation. The GOP is just laying a mark in the sand speaking for the american taxpayer who has had "enough," and can see clearly the bankruptcy that is facing us if we continue down this course.

    13. citizenvoter says:

      I see no hope for the future. America is on a collision course with disaster and the leadership act like Idiot vs Insane with no way to bridge the gap. ( I don't hear much better in the world of comment columns) One day we will all just be working for the MAN and NO ONE will own their own paycheck, then you all can be happy.

    14. Sir Knot says:


      A simple house keeping task??? Seriously. That is how you view it? That makes me wonder what the H#!! your house looks like. The local rent a center van must be outside waiting to repo your TV and Computer. The answer is not to just get another credit card but to forgo the vacation and pay one of the cards off.

    15. Bobbie says:

      Not much of a protector is he? A grown man that vowed to protect the elderly now threatens the truly vulnerable and disabled and our defense! This can't be 50% of Americans? WHERE'S THE MONEY GOING THAT ISN'T PRIORITY? Maybe someone should figure out who Obama is really protecting with the American tax payer monies and how much he'll hold himself unaccountable to.

    16. Jeff, your rhetoric has the potency of a glass of milk in the context of Obama and his buddy Jeffrey Immelt and his $0.00 tax bill at GE. Why target just oil companies? Why not end all subsidies? "Large transnational corporations don't care about this country, they just want to maximize profit." Your a damned genius Gump!

    17. Jeff, Illinois says:

      Hah !

    18. Jeff, Illinois says:

      By the way my statement about raising the debt ceiling . . which used to be considered a simple house keeping task was taken from a statement made by a former GOP elected official.

      • Steve says:

        It's not about (D) or (R). The only letters that matter are U-S-A. If a person wants to claim that raising your borrowing limit when you have dificulties with your spending habits is a "simple" task, they obviously don't understand economics. Try going to a credit card lender and asking them to raise your card limit when you already have a boatload of debt from a mortgage, new car, other cards, etc. 99 times out of 100 you would get thrown out on your ear, or maybe just laughed at if your lucky. It's time you liberal spendaholics get wise to the real world…

    19. Jeff, Illinois says:

      Steve your analogy is absurd . . In your logic . . . raising the debt limit would be like going to the world bank and they say no . . This isn't the case . . the money has already been alocated for the short run. The debt limit MUST be raised .. Everyone in congress knows that . . All the economists know that . . The issue is whether one party is going to hold the good faith and confidence of the american credit STANDING hostage over an ideology that needs to be debated in another forum. IT'S SIMPLY IRRESPONSIBLE TO EVEN THINK OF NOT RAISING THE DEBT LIMIT AT THIS TIME!!!! > > Please do some homework . . !!

      • Steve says:

        Umm. No. Our government doesn't borrow from a bank,genius, they borrow from investors, who, if they don't think it is a good risk, won't buy the debt (essentially saying NO). And there is a difference between allocated and actually spent. I can allocate $100 a month for dining out, but if I have an unexpected financial situation, that doesn't mean I have to spend it at restaurants.

      • Steve says:

        And I'm tired of people misconstuing what is at stake here. Every month we have roughly $200B in revenue, and the costs of servicing the debt (approx $40B), as well as universally accepted untouchables like SSA/Medicare/Medicaid (approx $100B), active duty military pay and veterans benefits (under $10B) still leaves 25% of our revenue. So, by my calculations, the only way we default (and ruin our full faith and credit standing) is if our government CHOOSES to not service the debt and instead (as Obama has already threatened) spend it on some faction of the population that is most likely to re-elect this corrupt bunch of politicians (all of them, not just the Dems). Desperate times require desperate mesures, and if this group of politicians are unwilling/unable to make the hard choices, we'll elect ones that can. We have a spending problem, and the way to stop a spending problem is TO STOP SPENDING!!!! Once we get spending problems in order, then we can start talking about raising the debt limit, if we need to. Homework complete. BTW, its not an ideology to spend within your means…. its just common sense. Haven't you learned that yet?

    20. Jeff, Illinois says:

      Sorry you have more homework to do . . This issue is not just about the details of making payments it's about the PERCEPTION of the ability to do so. If those who evaluate our debt repayment commitments teeter on changing our credit rating . . That's what counts . . . ! Please can be a little more intelligent than Michelle Bachman . . !

      And Genius I was making analogy . . to respond to your analogy . . but that's apparently too hard to follow . .

      • Steve says:

        You're right, for once, about the perception issue. And if we don't stop spending beyond our means (which is why we are talking about having to raise the debt ceiling in the first place), then those who are doing the evaluating are going to perceive that we will eventually not be able to cover it and subsequently lower our credit rating. So why is that so hard for you to follow? Or are you just afraid to admit that we HAVE TO CUT SPENDING TO SAVE OUR CREDIT RATING ?!?!?!

      • steve says:

        BTW, what you wrote was NOT a new analogy but as I pointed out in the previous post a botched attempt to apply the initial analogy to the govt borrowing money. So you'll have to excuse those of us with more than half a brain for not following your lack of logic. Next time you want to insult someone's intelligence, you might want to make sure you know what you're talking about, which I realize might be a bit hard for you.

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