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Why didn’t Obama deal with debt ceiling when he had a Democratic majority?

From January 20, 2009 until January 3, 2011, a period of more than 700 days, Democrats controlled the White House and held overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress.  And for the past six months, with increasing vitriol and ever elevated volume, they have been criticizing Republicans for their attempts to finish the work Democrats left undone, like not passing a budget for FY 2011.

If the president thought raising the debt ceiling was so important, why then didn’t he schedule a vote to do so when his party controlled Congress?  Obama, John Hinderaker writes,

. . . is now fixated on the “deadline” of August 2, 2011, but where was he in 2009? Or 2010? Or prior to last week? It has been over two years since the federal government has had a budget. For Obama to adopt a sanctimonious “eat your peas” approach to the federal budget is so disingenuous that it is not surprising that Republicans find him infuriating to negotiate with.

When Democrats were in power, they ran up the tab, acting as if they would never be no consequences to their spendthrift policies.  And now they’ve left the Republicans to clean up the mess they left behind and is now faulting them for not doing it the way the Democrats (claim they) would have done it when they had the chance.  They had the chance but didn’t take it.

Instead of criticizing the Republicans, why doesn’t the president’s party acknowledge its own responsibility for the current impasse?

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80 Comments

  1. Why should Republicans agree to something they’ve agreed to before and always gotten burned on?

    Reason #1: The alternative to not getting a deal is that the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the United States gets a downgraded credit rating, and Republicans get blamed for maintaining a dogmatic “No tax hikes” policy at the expense of not getting a deal.

    Reason #2: If you decide your opponents are entirely unreasonable and getting a fair deal with them is actually impossible, you end up with… well exactly what the United States has right now. Gridlock, and gridlock is never good for the markets.

    Comment by Serenity — July 13, 2011 @ 9:59 pm - July 13, 2011

  2. Again, cite your sources. If ‘most economists’ agree on this, you should be able to find at least a few who have already written on the subject.

    Oh, Pomposity, have you forgotten the number of times your butt got kicked and you were called out for this very game?

    Liars and hypocrites like yourself can never live by their own rules. You scream and cry and wet yourself and demand “sources” while you spout off nonsense left and right. That’s why you left, of course; you had thoroughly shredded any ounce of credibility you ever had, and you ran away and hid for a few months.

    And then it got even funnier:

    You state unequivocally that I made that statement or words to that effect at this site. When challenged, rather than admit that you cannot find any evidence of me having made such a statement, you instead post a link to a video by The Agenda Project, a group that I have no affiliation with and in fact had not even heard of before today.

    As usual, Serenity lies when confronted with evidence of what Serenity believes, does, and says. But of course, we expect that from liars like Serenity who don’t want to own up to their ads shrieking that Republicans want to murder grandma.

    That really shows how desperate, cowardly, and pathetic Obamabots like Serenity are. It’s like back in January when Serenity claimed that Sarah Palin tried to murder Gabrielle Giffords.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 13, 2011 @ 10:28 pm - July 13, 2011

  3. The alternative to not getting a deal is that the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the United States gets a downgraded credit rating

    Lie. Serenity is, as expected, merely repeating Obama talking points, as the welfare addict is programmed to do, and not dealing with reality.

    Serenity is doing as Obamabots like itself invariably do, which is to lie to protect its Barack Obama. As was made clear today, the decision to default and the decision to cut off Social Security checks would be solely that of Barack Obama, and is nothing more than an example of how Obama Party liars and welfare addicts like Serenity would throw the elderly under the bus so that Serenity can continue to suck on the welfare teat.

    Those are facts, Serenity, provided by experts. You merely sit and repeat Obama talking points and push polls, which is no surprise; you have never demonstrated any degree of intellectual prowess here, much less honesty, and thus do little more than demonstrate how “progressives” and liberals like yourself are nothing more than welfare addicts desperate to preserve their parasitic existence.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 13, 2011 @ 10:37 pm - July 13, 2011

  4. And then we get to Levi, another example of the utter lack of intelligence of liberals.

    So… how did the Democrats stop the Republicans from doing anything about it?

    Who had complete control of the government at that point in time?

    And yet, Levi screams and cries and insists that the Obama Party, despite having complete control of the government AND a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for the past two years, far more than Republicans even dreamed of having, was powerless and hamstrung against the Republicans, and thus is not at fault for Obama’s actions making the economy worse.

    When you’re dealing with an liberal zealot like Levi or Serenity, neither of whom is capable of dealing with facts or practicing rational thought, they produce these types of hilarious contradictions. It’s almost mind-boggling.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 13, 2011 @ 10:43 pm - July 13, 2011

  5. Oh, Pomposity, have you forgotten the number of times your butt got kicked and you were called out for this very game?

    Wow, more brick jokes. At this point I’m actually re-reading my own comments and effectively commenting on them as a third-party given how little I remember about what happened in these year-old debates.

    I don’t really want to get too far into either due to the fact that it would take more time than I’m willing to give, but I note a neat quote mine in the second where a comment in which I stated I saw no relevance to polling on the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ due to it being intrinsically permitted under the First Amendment was used to try and make it look like I was flip-flopping over whether Sarah Palin’s favourability mattered or not.

    Liars and hypocrites like yourself can never live by their own rules. You scream and cry and wet yourself and demand “sources” while you spout off nonsense left and right. That’s why you left, of course; you had thoroughly shredded any ounce of credibility you ever had, and you ran away and hid for a few months.

    Meanwhile, you use petulant indignation and irrelevant year-old comments to obfuscate the fact that you have not posted any evidence towards your ‘Most economists think’ comment.

    As usual, Serenity lies when confronted with evidence of what Serenity believes, does, and says. But of course, we expect that from liars like Serenity who don’t want to own up to their ads shrieking that Republicans want to murder grandma.

    Once again, you try to make me into the liar when your comments are on record for everyone to see. You did not state a belief that I share such views, you said that those were my actual words.

    That really shows how desperate, cowardly, and pathetic Obamabots like Serenity are. It’s like back in January when Serenity claimed that Sarah Palin tried to murder Gabrielle Giffords.

    Then, after all that, we get back to square one! Another claim that I said something with no evidence to back it up.

    You’re just trolling at this point and I’m not going to converse with you further in this thread. Have a nice day.

    Comment by Serenity — July 13, 2011 @ 10:52 pm - July 13, 2011

  6. And, as expected, Pomposity is easily manipulated into shooting itself in the foot.

    Meanwhile, you use petulant indignation and irrelevant year-old comments to obfuscate the fact that you have not posted any evidence towards your ‘Most economists think’ comment.

    Which neatly proves that Pomposity is in fact not interested in and does not actually read or consider any sources; Pomposity simply dismisses anything that contradicts Pomposity as irrelevant without any consideration and merely repeats Obama talking points.

    As the cited comments also showed, and as Pomposity was called out on at the time.

    And now, of course, Pomposity, just like Levi, runs away. That’s typical; Pomposity also ran away today when slapped with the fact that Pomposity supports tax cheats and hypocrites and that Pomposity supports and endorses government practices like cutting off benefits for which people have already paid that Pomposity insists constitutes murder and fraud if private insurance companies were to do it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 13, 2011 @ 11:13 pm - July 13, 2011

  7. And yet, Levi screams and cries and insists that the Obama Party, despite having complete control of the government AND a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for the past two years, far more than Republicans even dreamed of having, was powerless and hamstrung against the Republicans, and thus is not at fault for Obama’s actions making the economy worse.

    I’ve never said anything of the sort. The Democrats did have an unprecedented opportunity to do whatever they wanted, and they squandered it, mostly due to Obama’s foolish pursuit of bipartisan unity that will never come. I don’t buy the Democrats’ excuse that they were hamstrung by the Republicans. Obama deserves to lose in 2012 because of how poorly he handled things in the first two years in office, and I don’t think it’s too early to count him among our worst Presidents. His pitiful leadership might have been acceptable in a different time, when the economy was booming and when we weren’t fighting wars, but he’s only exasperated the problems we’re facing by failing to defend the liberal ideology that supposedly props up the Democratic Party.

    I don’t know why I’ve bothered to respond to you, you’ll accuse me of defending Obama no matter what I say.

    Comment by Levi — July 14, 2011 @ 1:11 am - July 14, 2011

  8. The problem is history. In 1986 and 1990, Demonrats promised spending cuts in return for tax hikes. The tax hikes happened, the spending cuts didn’t. The Demonrats still ower Republicans from the last two times they promised… but did not deliver… spending cuts. Why should Republicans agree to something they’ve agreed to before and always gotten burned on?

    That point is rendered irrelevant by the Bush years, when Republicans had free license to do whatever they wanted and they chose to spend. At some point, people like yourself are going to have to realize that the supposedly conservative politicians you keep voting for over and over again don’t really care about deficits, government spending, or the size of government. They make a big deal about it when they’re out of power, and they forget all about it when they’re in control, excusing their behavior as necessary based on the recession they inherited, or the wars they need to start, or the policies of the previous administration, etc. It’s a trick, they’re lying to you, and you keep falling for it even though people are warning you that it’s all total bull.

    Comment by Levi — July 14, 2011 @ 1:19 am - July 14, 2011

  9. Oh, this becomes too, too easy.

    Levi whines this when confronted with the Obama Party blocking the Estrada nomination:

    That doesn’t have anything to do with it.

    But of course, what did Levi whine and cry and scream last year when called out on his Obama Party’s failures?

    By the way, it isn’t as if voting against something is the only way to obstruct in the Congress anyway. Before bills even get to the main chamber, they have to pass through committee, and Republicans can put holds on items and otherwise delay a bill’s movement. Take Obama’s appointees; more than a hundred that he appointed have yet to be approved because the Republicans in their respective committees have put holds on their nominations.

    So Levi is claiming nomination blocking is irrelevant as an example when he was using nomination blocking as an example to blame Republicans for his Obama Party’s failures mere months ago.

    And it also neatly explodes his backpedaling that he’s “never said anything of the sort” and that he didn’t buy such an excuse…when in fact he makes clear in that same comment that the Obama Party was powerless and hamstrung by the Republicans and he endorsed and supported that excuse.

    And then the desperate hypocrite tries this one:

    If Democrats, when they didn’t have control of any part of the government, are singularly responsible for the entire financial collapse, than shouldn’t the Republicans, who at least control one of the chambers of Congress, be held responsible for the terrible way the economy is performing?

    Sorry, Levi. You’ve stated that the leadership of the House is in no way responsible for the performance of the economy.

    Or you can acknowledge that your Pelosi-Obama Party IS responsible – and thus bring your entire blame-the-Republicans fiasco crashing down around your ears. Hypocrite or liar, your choice.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 14, 2011 @ 2:46 am - July 14, 2011

  10. And then the desperate, pathetic book-banner Levi really beclowns himself:

    That point is rendered irrelevant by the Bush years, when Republicans had free license to do whatever they wanted and they chose to spend.

    And now we see the comical inversion that happens when you have anti-fact magical thinkers and bigots like Levi in charge.

    Big deficits are bad – except when Obama runs four times the amount, which is good

    Government spending is bad – except when Obama runs three times the amount, which is good

    There’s no consistency, intellectual argument, or even link to reality — just magical thinking, childish adherence to dogma, and a complete and total aversion to any facts whatsoever.

    But this is my favorite:

    It’s a trick, they’re lying to you, and you keep falling for it even though people are warning you that it’s all total bull.

    Levi, you acknowledged that Obama supporters like yourself lied during the campaign to deliberately mislead and trick people.

    You’re projecting. You have stated that it’s OK for politicians to lie. You support and endorse politicians lying. You are trying to attack Republicans for the very policies and practices and lying that you and your fellow “progressives” and Obama Party leaders endorse and support and practice.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 14, 2011 @ 2:52 am - July 14, 2011

  11. Shorter Serenity: Democrats are going to lie about spending cuts anyway, so Republicans should just raise taxes and the debt limit and not demand anything.

    If debt and deficits don’t matter, why even bother collecting any taxes? Why limit spending in any way at all?

    Comment by V the K — July 14, 2011 @ 4:18 am - July 14, 2011

  12. And the proof of Obamacrat’s lack of sincerity about spending cuts is this.

    1. Republicans want $4 Trillion in cuts, no tax increases.

    2. Obamacrats claim to want $3 Trillion in cuts, and $1 Trillion in tax increases.

    If you take the Obamacrats and Republicans at their word, then there are $3 Trillion in cuts they agree on. So, if the Obamacrats were being honest about their willingness to cut spending, they could agree to the $3 Trillion in cuts and put aside the tax increases as a separate issue.

    That they won’t shows that the Obamacrats are about as honest about spending restraint as Abe Blumenthal is about his Vietnam War record.

    Comment by V the K — July 14, 2011 @ 6:17 am - July 14, 2011

  13. Also, even though no real conservative would defend the profligate domestic spending during the Bush years, it is worth noting that deficits declined steadily throughout his administration until the Democrats took over Congress in 2007 (thank you Liz Dole). The first budget by a Democrat Congress tripled the deficit of the last Republican budget. The next Democrat budget more than tripled the previous year’s deficit.

    Worse, the Demonrats under Obama have increased Federal Spending to 24% of GDP and they have no intention of ever returning it to historical norms of 18-20% of GDP. And therein lies the problem.

    Comment by V the K — July 14, 2011 @ 6:58 am - July 14, 2011

  14. All total bullshit. Taxes are the lowest they’ve been in decades. The richest people don’t pay any taxes at all.

    Levi, IRS statistics from 2008 disagree with you.

    the top 4.2% of returns came from those making $1 million or more in taxable income. They made 14% of the adjusted gross income reported to the IRS — and they paid 24.1% of all the income tax revenues the IRS received. Those who made more than $10 million accounted for 5.2% of the adjusted gross income reported to the IRS, 0.015% of the returns — and 8.1% of the total amount paid in income tax.

    H/T Hot Air.

    How can you tell when Levi’s lying? His lips are moving.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 14, 2011 @ 7:57 am - July 14, 2011

  15. The lefties have found a way to manipulate statistics to claim that taxes are lower than ever. Basically, Federal receipts are lower as a percentage of GDP than they have been historically. This is not because of Bush Tax Cuts or because the productive class has not been beaten enough. It is because of Obama’s massive unemployment. Tax receipts are lower simply because there are fewer people paying into the system. And because people in the upper income brackets tend to have the most volatile incomes, and they have been hit sharply by the economic downturn.

    Comment by V the K — July 14, 2011 @ 8:04 am - July 14, 2011

  16. If you take the Obamacrats and Republicans at their word, then there are $3 Trillion in cuts they agree on. So, if the Obamacrats were being honest about their willingness to cut spending, they could agree to the $3 Trillion in cuts and put aside the tax increases as a separate issue.

    But the Republicans don’t control everything. What you’re saying is that the Republicans, who only control 1/3 of government, should get everything that they want and not be made to give up anything at all. You’re being completely unreasonable if you agree with that premise. Further, I could just as easily say that the unless the Republicans agree to tax increases, then they don’t care about the deficit.

    I also just want you to know that I’m playing devil’s advocate here, the idea that we will be cutting this much spending during a recession is absurd to me.

    Comment by Levi — July 14, 2011 @ 8:17 am - July 14, 2011

  17. I also just want you to know that I’m playing devil’s advocate here, the idea that we will be cutting this much spending during a recession is absurd to me.

    Wow, Levi actually told the truth for once. The idea of sound economic policy is absurd to him.

    Now hush Levi, Adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 14, 2011 @ 8:52 am - July 14, 2011

  18. So Levi and Serenity both acknowledge that they’re lying, that Obama and the Obama Party will never support any spending cuts whatsoever, and that all this is about is gamesmanship and lying to raise taxes and continue wasteful spending.

    Typical.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 14, 2011 @ 9:21 am - July 14, 2011

  19. If you take the Obamacrats and Republicans at their word, then there are $3 Trillion in cuts they agree on. So, if the Obamacrats were being honest about their willingness to cut spending, they could agree to the $3 Trillion in cuts and put aside the tax increases as a separate issue.

    Brilliant that you can’t seem to see your own argument working in reverse.

    The Republicans have spent the last few months doing nothing but saying “We will never, ever raise taxes” over and over again. So then you give them $3 trillion in spending cuts, ask for the $1 trillion in tax increases to go with them, and watch the Republicans refuse to vote for any tax increases because they’ve now got most of what they wanted, the deficit is no longer a pressing issue, and they’ve now got no reason to give the Democrats anything whatsoever.

    That’s what’s called ‘giving away the queen’. Start your game of chess by giving your opponents what they really wanted to end up with anyway, then hope that they will spontaneously give you what you want despite no longer having even the slightest reason to.

    This is, of course, the main problem. The Democrats believe the Republicans would just take the spending cut side of any deal and spurn the tax increase side if given the opportunity, and they’re right to believe that. Meanwhile the Republicans believe the Democrats would take the tax increase side of any deal and spurn the spending cut side if given the opportunity, and they’re also right to believe that.

    They key now really seems to be who blinks first.

    Comment by Serenity — July 14, 2011 @ 10:28 am - July 14, 2011

  20. Oh, and I think I’ll just leave this here.

    Moody’s Puts U.S. Ratings on Review for Downgrade

    “Moody’s is the first of the big-three credit rating agencies to place the United States’ Aaa rating on review for a possible downgrade, meaning the agency is close to cutting the country’s rating.”

    But yeah, saying there’s a possibility the United States could lose their Aaa rating, that’s just liberal propaganda! Right?

    Comment by Serenity — July 14, 2011 @ 10:33 am - July 14, 2011

  21. I’m curious….

    Has anyone actually, you know, answered the question posed in the title of Daniel’s post?

    What part of “M-A-J-O-R-I-T-Y” don’t some of these people understand???

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 14, 2011 @ 10:44 am - July 14, 2011

  22. So, Serenity admits the Democrats aren’t bargaining in good faith, but just playing a game; proving my point entirely.

    And the Moody’s report isn’t much but hype. Competent financial managers have already taken the possibility of a temporary delay in payments into account. And there is no reason to default unless Obama chooses to; the Treasury will have ample funding to service the debt in August, regardless of whether there is an increase to the debt limit.

    Comment by V the K — July 14, 2011 @ 10:47 am - July 14, 2011

  23. Has anyone actually, you know, answered the question posed in the title of Daniel’s post?

    I think we assumed Daniel was being rhetorical. But if you want an answer, it’s because Democrats didn’t want to. They had a plan which was to vastly expand the Government, and that would force the public to accept a massive tax increase to cover it. Also, they figured the economy could take another one for the team and would recover no matter what they did to it. That was a major miscalculation, but given the absolute economic illiteracy displayed by the Obamacrats and their followers… not surprising.

    Comment by V the K — July 14, 2011 @ 10:50 am - July 14, 2011

  24. And, of course, Obama flouncing out of negotiations like a spoiled drama queen was not helpful either.

    Comment by V the K — July 14, 2011 @ 10:53 am - July 14, 2011

  25. That was a major miscalculation, but given the absolute economic illiteracy displayed by the Obamacrats and their followers… not surprising.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what I suspected as well, V.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 14, 2011 @ 10:55 am - July 14, 2011

  26. @Eric,

    The answer is simple, unfortunately. When in complete control, the party doesn’t want to admit the cliff is coming and that it’s going to hurt.

    Or Lorc Acton in, well, action.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 14, 2011 @ 11:00 am - July 14, 2011

  27. Actually, Pomposity, we dealt with this last night — and you ran away.

    The simple fact is this: the only way that would happen immediately is if there is a default, and the only way that there would be a default is if Barack Obama chose to default rather than to rather than reduce one dime of spending on Wagyu beef for White House dinners, jet trips to Spain for Michelle Obama and her massive entourage, salaries for SEC workers who download kiddie porn all day, alcohol education programs for Chinese prostitutes, and “stimulus” grants to nonexistent zip codes.

    Your lies are unraveling, Pomposity, which is why you are getting more desperate. The Republicans are making it clear that welfare addicts and Obama syncophants like yourself will cut off the benefits for which the elderly have already paid and deliberately default on US debt rather than stop living your lavish lifestyles at government expense.

    You threatened Social Security and it backfired. You now are whining about downgraded credit ratings, when it is clear that the only way that would happen is if welfare addicts like you and Barack Obama CHOOSE to prioritize spending on yourself ahead of paying the bills.

    What you are making clear, welfare addict Serenity, is that you don’t care about the elderly and you don’t care about the country’s economy; you only care about one thing, and that is maintaining your out-of-control spending. You and Obama are like children throwing a tantrum because you’ve blown your allowance and Mommy and Daddy are refusing to give you more — or perhaps more apropos, you’re just repeating your “community organizer” days when you would picket banks and call them racists because they held black people responsible for their debt obligations.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 14, 2011 @ 12:37 pm - July 14, 2011

  28. Oh, and it gets better: the Mocha Messiah is demanding massive tax increases on small business and manufacturing.

    You can tell that Obama’s entire economic circle is full of liberals like Serenity and Levi who have never in their life run a business, managed expenses, or had to comply with government regulations.

    Fortunately for the rest of us, the people who voted for Hopeychange and black skin last time are starting to realize that Obama truly has no concept of how anything even remotely related to the economy works, and instead subscribes to the Van Jones theory of forcible government redistribution.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 14, 2011 @ 1:37 pm - July 14, 2011

  29. And also, let’s look at what Obama is insisting can never be cut under any circumstances.

    Mr. Obama’s “untouchable” list includes his $1 trillion health-care reform, $128 billion in unspent stimulus funds, education and training outlays, his $53 billion high-speed rail proposal, spending on “green” jobs and student loans, and virtually any structural changes to entitlements except further squeezing payments to doctors, hospitals and health-care professionals.

    So Obama would rather default on the debt, cut off Social Security and Medicare, and stiff military personnel and health care providers than dump a boondoggle high-speed rail system, stop unspent “stimulus” funds that are overwhelmingly going to Obama donors, and get rid of crony kickbacks to failing companies headed by Obama donors and syncophants for “green energy”.

    In other words, Pomposity, your Obama admits that his first priority is to pay off his cronies, and to hell with anyone or anything else.

    How do you think that’s playing, Pomposity? We know you support the kickbacks and welfare for Obama supporters and screwing everyone else over, but do you think your attitude is mainstream?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 14, 2011 @ 1:47 pm - July 14, 2011

  30. So, NDT the Democrats are saying they are willing to cut anything except entitlements and non-defense discretionary spending.

    Gee, what does that leave?

    Comment by V the K — July 14, 2011 @ 2:19 pm - July 14, 2011

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