Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 01:28 am
I recall that during the W years, my friends on the Left consistently, and continuously decried the use of fear as a motivator of the American people.

There was the puppet W, and the puppet master Cheney using fear to compel Americans to support their insidious schemes!

Case in point: The Iraq War.

So now I'm wondering how these ferocious foes of fear mongering are reacting to President Obama announcing that he can't guarantee that social security checks will be issued if the Debt Ceiling isn't raised.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 2,548 • Replies: 56

 
maxdancona
 
  4  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 01:39 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
The term fear mongering implies that the danger isn't real. For example, the weapons of mass destruction used to justify the Iraq war didn't exist nor did the links of Al Qaeda to Saddam.

Debt default is a real danger. You know this is a real danger if you listen to experts from both sides of the political spectrum who are saying that default will be a very dangerous thing for the economy.

The danger of a default to the US economy is clear to everyone except for Tea Party partisans.

Ronald Reagan wrote:
The full consequences of a default – or even the serious prospect of default – by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.
...
The risks, the costs, the disruption­s and the incaculab­le damage lead me to but one conclusion­: the Senate must pass the legislatio­n before the Congress adjourns.

Finn dAbuzz
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:16 am
@maxdancona,
You seem to have this habit of adopting definitions that suit your perspective.

"Fear mongering" doesn't imply that the danger isn't real. It may in Max-World, but that's not a faithful interpretation of the phrase.

I don't wish to reargue the Iraq War, but the fact that a fear didn't ultimately prove to be justified, doesn't automatically invalidate the fear when it was felt.

The whole world, including just about all of your left-wing heroes, believed that Saddam was pursuing, if not stock-piling WMDs. As it turned out he wasn't, but this doesn't mean the original fear was not reasonable.

The Bush Administration didn't assert Irag posed some WMD danger while knowing this was entirely false, but still they were guilty of "fear mongering."

There were several valid reasons for invading Iraq, but the Bush Administration, apparently, didn't believe the American people could comprehend them and so focused on fear of an Iraqi WMD finding its way to America.

That actually is "fear mongering."

Debt default is, of course, a real danger, but failing to raise the Debt Ceiling will not automatically result in America defaulting on its obligations.

If a deal cannot be reached, America will not default on its debts, unless Obama chooses not to pay our creditors.

There is sufficent revenue to not only pay the interest on our debts but to account for the financial obligations of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and the compensation and benefits of our military service men and women.

Something will have to give, but it won't have to be social security checks.

In this sense, Obama is guilty of even your definition of the phrase.

BTW - I hate to break it to you, but I don't believe Reagan was an infallable deity. That he said something doesn't, in my mind, make it so. All presidents are politicians and they all act accordingly. Some are worse than others, and Reagan was less worse than most.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:38 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Ay Finn, you apparently get your news from Fox. Everyone outside of the world of Tea Party partisans, including responsible Republicans and conservative groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerces says this would would be a disaster.

Quote:
Although the Treasury Department likely could avoid delaying Social Security checks, the analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center points up the depth of the cuts that would be needed if the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling isn't raised.

It shows that in August, the government could not afford to meet 44% of its obligations. Since the $134 billion deficit for that month couldn't be covered with more borrowing, programs would have to be cut.

If Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, payments to defense contractors and interest payments on Treasury bonds were exempt, that would be all the government could afford for the month. No money for troops or veterans. No tax refunds. No food stamps or welfare. No federal salaries or benefits.

Want to protect the social safety net? That would be possible — but only if Treasury stopped paying defense contractors, jeopardizing national security. Plus virtually every federal agency and employee.

"We should be honest with ourselves what this would be like, and the answer is it would be chaotic," said Jay Powell, a former top Treasury official in President George H.W. Bush's administration. "There is no way to avoid really serious pain."

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  4  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:40 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Not only this, not paying our debts is irresponsible. I can't believe that conservatives are actually considering it. This money that Congress has already spent. We already owe this money.

If the consequences aren't serious for you (and responsible economists from across the political spectrum are warning of serious consequences) don't you think that we should pay our bills?
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  4  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 10:01 am
Those of us that know people who depend on those SS checks had some heart-racing moments when the president said it back in February (the government shut down thing), but it turned out to not be true, so I'm not too worried this go-round. Besides, there's trillions in the trust fund, so surely they can find a way to cough up a mere $50B.
RABEL222
 
  3  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 10:26 am
@Irishk,
The trillions you refer to are paper money, not cash. Our taxes are the cash that pays social security. Government has already spent the social security funds on things like wars which were unfunded by Bush, and his famous drug plan which was also unfunded and of course the tax cuts for the very rich.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 11:59 am
@Irishk,
Quote:
Besides, there's trillions in the trust fund, so surely they can find a way to cough up a mere $50B.


Sure, there is a very good way to "cough up a mere $50B". It is called raising the debt ceiling. The only difficultly is that this solution can be stopped by political extremists who see the nation's economy as a way to win political points.

The debt ceiling was actually reached months ago. The tricks to "cough up a mere $50B" without raising the debt ceiling have already been done which is why August 2nd is a real serious deadline.




0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  3  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 12:03 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
really?

"Boehner Agrees With Obama That Social Security Checks May Not Go Out If The Debt Ceiling Isn’t Raised."

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/07/15/270260/boehner-debt-ceiling-social-security/

Context is everything, and it includes those things which undermine your thesis.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 12:09 pm
And watch what is happening behind the scene. The debt ceiling will be raised with the necessary Republican support. The reason this will happen is because Wall Street and the business community, strong parts of the Republican political machine, are terrified.

I imagine they will work it out so that it barely passes. This way they can avoid what the Republican business side of their base sees is a catastrophe while letting as many members vote against it to appease the Tea Party side of their base.

It is the business community that will make sure their Republican friends don't force a debt default.

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ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:09 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Oddly, I agree. That was my first thought.
I don't think that I will not have a deposit to my bank on August 3. Well, if not I'd be in even more trouble, and I'd have a lot of company.
I'm not sure how useful or unuseful that assertion by Obama is, but I reacted as you did.

I consider social security very important, past vicissitudes about population changes, and so on. I don't care if it is self funding. As I've said many times, I'm in disbelief about how we can spend trillions on wars abroad and skimp on domestic well being, not only about Soc Sec, but infrastructure, education, and much more.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:14 pm
@kuvasz,
The title of this article is misleading.

Boehner agrees that not everything can be paid. Hell, I agree with that.

Obama could choose not to spend what's available on SS checks, but that will be his choice.

I'm glad to see though that you hold the comments of Speaker Boehner in such high esteem.

The fact that he's not a big fan of Bachman and has wanted to leave a last minute deal escape route open probably had nothing to do with his comments.

0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:21 pm
@maxdancona,
Irrespective of what will ultimately happen and why, the fact of the matter is that Obama was fear-mongering for political reasons. He can guarantee that SS checks will be paid.

Bush fear mongering was outrageous, but when Obama follows suit, you feel no outrage?

ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:38 pm
@ossobuco,
I will also say I was angry. Some of us with SS keep going to the extent we do with these checks and that announcement could and probably did scare some vulnerable people. I don't like shaking the old and vulnerable to get people to call their congress person, although that is done all the time, probably every day of the week. Or immediately frighten some past all that, to thinking the next check would not come. Tin ear.

It was a manuever, however real some stop check scenario may be in our future. Pisses me off.

But otherwise, naturally enough, I disagree with you on a variety of matters.

I should add that I am an Obama voter.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:41 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn, you are making a stupid argument given the fact that people across the political spectrum (with one rather fanatical exception) agree that not raising the debt ceiling is a really bad thing for the country.

Obama is doing his job and communicating this to the country. This crises is a real danger to our economy.

You are of course right, not raising the debt ceilings means that there is not enough money to pay all of our debts- and yes this means we can pay some of our debts.

Of course we will need to choose between competing interests which include pay for our soldiers, money that keeps at risk families from going hungry and paying social security.

Any one of these things we can do. But it will be at the expense of other things all of which Americans depend on. Would you tell our soldiers that we can't pay them because we need to send our social security checks? Will you tell single parent families that they would be able to eat until Congress gets its act together?

Congress needs to give us enough money to meet our commitments. If we don't pay our bills, not only our economy will suffer but Americans will suffer.

Personally, I hope that Congressional salaries will be the first thing cut. What really pisses me off is that this whole crises is completely manufactured and unnecessary.



0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 03:44 pm
@RABEL222,
What are you imagining? On the one hand, a huge vault filled with currency and coin like Scrooge McDuck, and on the other an empty cigar box with I.O.U. scrawled on a scrap of paper?

My Social Security allowance is sent to the bank by direct deposit. I spend 'money' with credit cards. I pay bills with checks. What's up with your big concern over "cash"? I love the stuff you call paper money, and am just as happy with electronic transactions.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 04:11 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
If he guarantees SS will be paid then he has to decide whether to not pay the interest on the debt or Medicare or the military.
The simple fact is that the incoming revenues are not enough to cover SS, Medicare, and military spending.

And that means the federal prisons, courts, FBI and all other Homeland Security would not get paid.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 04:15 pm
@roger,
Electronic transactions only occur if the money exists in an account to transfer.
Without raising the debt ceiling the Federal Treasury won't have enough money to pay our bills. One of those bills that is owed is SS. Which bills we won't pay really doesn't matter. It's like arguing that your credit card rate won't go up because you don't pay your utility bill. The real world doesn't work that way. If people you want to borrow money from see you aren't paying all your bills, they will not loan you money at the best rate.
roger
 
  0  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 06:40 pm
@parados,
Is it at all possible you did not see the post to which I was responding?
 

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