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  • Morning Bell: Obama's Dangerous Debt Ceiling Strategy

    President Obama kicked off the weekend with a testy Friday night press conference warning of the drastic consequences of failing to raise the debt limit, the havoc it would wreak on financial markets, and the disastrous repercussions for the poor and middle class. That message of fear was reiterated throughout the weekend, bookended this morning by a senior White House official who says there’s a 50/50 chance that the standoff in Washington will not be resolved by the August 2 deadline.

    But it’s not fear for fear’s sake. The White House is employing the same cynical, irresponsible political strategy to force Congress’ hand that it started in January, using Wall Street as its foil. This morning, NPR—as usual and unsurprisingly—had the zeitgeist of the Obama White House just right.  Cokie Roberts, its long-time commentator, said:

    [T]here’s a certain element of waiting for the markets to weigh in and show Congress that they have to get serious here…You see the Administration almost kind of, almost daring the markets to respond, yesterday saying that the Congress had to act by 4:00 yesterday afternoon before the Asian markets started to open.

    How true, and how irresponsible. The Obama Administration spent all weekend trying to talk down markets, hoping to make use of any artificial drop for political purposes.

    Never mind that the financial security of hundreds of millions of Americans and others would be injured in the process. The Administration needs what it has already dubbed “the Boehner drop”—named after Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner—to try to get its way in the debt ceiling negotiations.

    The attempt by senior members of the Administration, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, to make markets even more nervous than they are was noticed by other journalists. Veteran financial journalist Charles Gasparino vented his frustration on ABC’s This Week with Christian Amanpour by saying “it’s irresponsible for Geithner to go out there to talk about default. If he’s worried about the Asian markets tonight, why does he mention default? We are not going to default. We have cash on hand to pay bond holders.”

    But that is the political game the White House is playing—and it’s a dangerous one. Investment adviser James Rickards wrote to Politico‘s Playbook, “Geithner and Obama are foolish to try to ‘scare’ markets over the debt ceiling. Markets are already scared. They’re looking for reassurance and a more mature dialogue.”

    Instead, we have the President and his legion of foot soldiers running amok, hoping to threaten the markets to achieve their political ends.

    But amid the maneuvering, there have been some moments of unvarnished honesty, if only accidental. Yesterday, White House deputy press secretary Dan Pfeiffer admitted on Twitter that President Obama will likely sign any debt deal Congress sends his way. Heritage’s Rory Cooper writes:

    This revelation came in an exchange with Stephen Gutowski, the blogger known as The College PoliticoGutowski asked Pfeiffer: ‘Do you see a scenario where the house & senate pass a deal but the President doesn’t sign it?’ and Pfeiffer responded: ‘No, bc only something that has R and D support can pass both bodies.’

    With those words, Pfeiffer highlighted a truth that has become increasingly clear. Obama is not the mediator of a grand bargain the White House has attempted to portray him to be, Cooper explains. Instead, his role in the debt ceiling debate has been subordinated to the House and the Senate, leaving him with nothing but veto threats, ultimatums, and rhetoric designed to force a resolution that suits his political ends.

    Since Congress holds the cards, it’s up to them to get the job done. Now they should listen to their employers—the American people—and deliver a solution that meets the test of Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s to bring down our debt ratio through spending cuts, not tax hikes, and preserves our nation’s ability to defend itself.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    28 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama's Dangerous Debt Ceiling Strategy

    1. Ken Jarvis - Vegas says:

      This Debt limit thing was CREATED by Murdoch to keep the heat on Obama and give FOX something to talk about.
      The Limit was raised 17 times under Reagan with NO Problem.
      What changed?
      The GOP have "never serious about real spending cuts." – WSJ

    2. Double Ace says:

      This is the modus operandi that community organizers use. It was taught to them by our imposter president. When will America wake up and see the fool in Washington for what he is, an agitator. These tactics remind me of the same tactics Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson utilize, If they don't get their way they threaten to boycott, or strikes, or perhaps even civil unrest. Wake up America these dogs are mostly bark, and little if any bite.

    3. Jerry says:

      Obama doesn't care about the poor and middle clas, he wants to keep everyone poor.

    4. Turner says:

      I think Obama is purposely sabotaging the process if he cannot get his way. Cleverly designing the narrative so he can blame others.

      • Bruce Bonner says:

        I couldnt agree more……that is part of their plan….and puppet boy is doing exactly as he is told

    5. wayne says:

      no thanks

    6. 1ConservativeUSA says:

      Spin like a top, Obama. Only a stupid person would believe that the free spending liberals are not responsible for the debt crisis. The lib media has also been irresponsible in reporting this matter.

      From my seat, conservatives have heard the call of the American people and are putting plans in place to reduce reckless government spending and to foster economic growth.

    7. Terry Stone says:

      Winners don't need to compromise. The Republicans won the election last year.

    8. BDowney says:

      FDR said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" Today we have nothing to fear but the President of the United States.

    9. Handyman says:

      All the lies from the oblabla admins.and the so call media,is making it hard for a lot of people grasp what the real American people want for our great country.I may not be doing any good with all I keep saying but I'm still trying.

    10. Stephen says:

      This is what comes from electing a president with no executive experience,let alone military or economic
      common sense. Read a list of his appointees, none of them are qualified.
      He's the ideal puppet for Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to advance their social agenda.

    11. Bobbie says:

      okay, I get the hint and pray you stand and stay true! audios…

    12. daniel t williams says:


    13. Bruce Bonner says:

      The three stooges made more sense the Obama and his underlings

      Unless one believes he wants to happen……Hmmmmmmmm then what he doing makes sense.or put it another way……….he is doing exactly what they want him to do…which is destroying our country…….well u voted for change….now u are getting it

      We cant afford 4 more yrs of this man….if he get re elected the USA as we have known it is toast

    14. Roy Johnson says:

      Comment deleted?? The truth shall set us free! Roy J PS this won't be accepted either!

    15. Russ says:


      On May 23, 1973 in British Columbia did the following individual Barak Mounir Ubayd have his name changed to Barak Hussein Obama?????
      Google, Barak Mounir Ubayd

      When companies go in the red, they usually hire a new CEO and his job is to get them back in the black and his job is not to blame the person that got them in the red but, as the President (CEO) Obama has not done his job as to get the country our of debt but get the country further in debt and bad mouthing Bush and any other GOP person. Get him out as he is a puppet of Soros. Fire the B@#$@*d!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      LOL RBB

    16. Mr B says:

      Obama's strategy, sitting back and voting PRESENT, as he has done all his political life then after a solution has been decided upon, jumping in to take all the credit is not working this time.

    17. JohnD says:

      Amazing that deems and reps still blame each other. If you don’t se that it is the fault of both parties, you are simply choosing not to do so… And enabling future incompetence.

      We’ve enabled these legislators enough.

      Time to pay the piper. Not raise to debt limit!

    18. Victor Barney says:

      Yes, right; like Obama's father didn't overturn the only other republic in the world, which was Kenya! Like our CIA isn't a Marxist organization! Like Obama and his father are in love with anglo-saxon men! Yeah, like Lucifer does not want to destroy u.s. Like England hasn't been a marxist government since the 1930's. Wake-up America and smell the roses. We couldn't have had and still have so many Marxist(Anti-Christ) elected officials if both our CIA and FBI were not fronting for a Marxist takeover! No? Well, your wait will not be much longer, no longer than the election of 2012. Watch!

    19. Leith Wood says:

      Obama is acting like a spoiled child. What more do people need to know about his destructive agenda, before they kick him out and save our country from further decline?

    20. robert ackert says:

      Reagan's name was raised and people wonder what's the Difference now. The difference is President Reagan was working with Tip o Neill and Obamba's has to work with Sen Reid. John Boehner is forth right and Reid is something less.

      • Bobbie says:

        not only that but Reagan had dignity and integrity greatly missed today and unacceptable for today!!!!!

    21. Glen says:

      Mo money, Mo money. Tax,Tax, Tax! There, I have just written another Obama speech.

    22. Noel says:

      Obama is getting most of his finances from the Financial community so why wouldn't he try to boaster the feeding of the political machine.

    23. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama's debt ceiling strategy is no debt ceiling strategy.

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