Obama's phony debt default threat
To paraphrase a famous Democrat, "It's the Federal Debt Stupid." On this issue, the Tea Party probably can win. And, now a knowledgeable Washington insider is on their side.
When he took office, President Reagan promoted a young Michigan congressman, considered a federal budget whiz kid at the time, to head the Office of Management and Budget. David Stockman was convinced that federal spending had to be reduced. I can still recall a famous headline at the time likening him to the Grim Reaper: "The Stockman Cometh."
Now he's arguing in an interview at Yahoo Finance that the President can indeed prioritize Federal spending so that the debt limit does not have to be mindlessly raised.
He tells The Daily Ticker the real story is the debt ceiling, and he thinks we're "finally getting to a defining moment when the truth comes out...if we run out of debt ceiling, the president does have the power to prioritize the inflow of revenue which is still massive coming in."
And the first thing the government will do, he says, is spend $30 billion paying the interest on the debt (according to Stockman, the government could also pay social security retirees, the armed services, and Medicare reimbursements despite broaching the debt limit).
"It is a complete red herring to say there will be a default," he tells us. "There will never will be a time in which there is not enough cash to pay the interest."
Stockman's no lightweight. He knows the law and encourages House Republican's to call Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's bluff about breaching the debt ceiling. According to Stockman Uncle Sam is collecting $250 billion a month, which leaves plenty of cash for Social Security, Medicare, the armed forces and a host of other things. He also argues that Obamacare should be delayed. Let's face it -- who knows how much that'll cost?
"The fiscal process doesn't work. It's broken and the only way to get the wheels of this thing to stop turning is for a determined minority to grab the bull by the horns. And if they want to call it 'hostage taking' they can use that term but why do people think we can keep adding to the national debt?"
Stockman sees the government shut down morphing into a national debate about spending and the federal debt. It looks to me like most democrats and lobbyists agree -- which explains the apocalyptic, wailing and gnashing of teeth from liberaldom over the shutdown.