The Debt Nightmare Returns

Friday, December 14, 2012

the National Debt Clock after it was restarted July 11, 2002 in New York City. The digital sign was turned off two years earlier when the federal government had a budget surplus. the National Debt Clock after it was restarted July 11, 2002 in New York City. The digital sign was turned off two years earlier when the federal government had a budget surplus. (Mario Tama/Getty)

For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about what’s at stake if we plunge off the fiscal cliff, but it looks more and more like America is about to hit its head on the debt ceiling.

President Obama has said that there will be no negotiating over the debt limit and that Republicans must agree to a debt limit increase. But Republican lawmakers don’t want to give up the leverage they have, particularly while losing the battle over higher taxes on the wealthy.

If Washington can’t reach a compromise over the debt ceiling by mid-February or early-March, things are going to look an awful lot like they did in 2011 when the country was on the brink of default.

Todd Zwilich is The Takeaway's Washington correspondent.


Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman

Comments [4]


The debt limit and taxes could have been raised sky high in 2010 when the Democrats controlled the Congress.

The Democrats deliberately shirked their duty and did not provide a budget for the trillions they spent so they could deliberately cause a financial and political crisis for the incoming Republican House in 2011.

The left media love to ignore that fact...."yes"?

If Romney was elected President and the Republicans controlled the US Senate the media would be rightly asking for the Republicans economic plan.
When Obama wins and Democrats run the US Senate, the media again demands only the Republican
economic plan.

This constant Democrat talking points narrative in the media is getting boring.

Dec. 14 2012 06:34 PM
Shaun from Oregon

It is essential that the media insert some level of fact into their reporting on the debt crisis. Merely repeating what politicians say creates a situation in which people are arguing over something that they simply do not understand. It is the job of the media to explain simply the facts of a situation. As in TELL THE PUBLIC WHAT THE DEBT CEILING ACTUALLY IS. Too many Americans believe that raising the debt ceiling is a decision to raise our national debt. They liken the situation to a household pulling out its credit card. It is much more akin to a household having received a bill for debts ALREADY INCURRED, and then debating whether or not to pay the bill. Except that the US is NOT a household, and the failure of congress to pay our bill will "turn the lights out" on our entire country.
The American public needs to understand that NO ONE IN WASHINGTON SERIOUSLY HAS ANY INTENTION OF ALLOWING AMERICA TO DEFAULT ON ITS DEBT. It simply will not happen. This is an imaginary debate and the media should call this bluff for what it is.

Dec. 14 2012 02:03 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

all I was able to understand is that if we go over the cliff on January 1st, we will still be clinging to Mount Rushmore for a couple of months before the debt ceiling collapses on the coyote instead of the road runner.
Do I have it right?
Boehner once talked about a pig with lipstick, but I don't remember the context. I bet the pig association got on him about that.

Dec. 14 2012 12:16 PM
Doug Nunn from Mendocino, CA

Lets make sure and give credit where credit is due. John Boehner did not make up the comment comparing politics to sausage making. That one goes back to Otto von Bismarck in the 1870s or 1880s. Bismarck was capable of original thought.

Dec. 14 2012 09:47 AM

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