GOP: ‘I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday to kill Social Security and Medicare today.’

“My Preciousssss”

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) Saturday’s email thingie tells us that the Republicans have a genius plan for how to hold the gubmint hostage while at the same time not cause too much damage to the US Credit Rating. It goes something like this:

Amid the debt ceiling standoffs of 2011 and 2013, and warnings of global economic catastrophe, a novel proposal gained traction on the right: Rather than defaulting on bond obligations and sparking a broader calamity in the markets, the federal government could, once the ceiling is reached, simply pick and choose which bills to pay.

Such “debt prioritization” schemes never went anywhere. Democrats branded their proponents “default deniers” and firmly opposed their efforts. The standoffs were resolved, and the notion of favoring bondholders first was forgotten by all but a devoted band of conservative budget hawks.

Now what’s old is new again: Amid another looming debt showdown, WaPo’s Jeff Stein, Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer scooped details of a brewing GOP plan to put a bill on the House floor instructing the Treasury Department to prioritize 1) debt service payments, 2) Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits and 3) military funding absent a bipartisan agreement to raise the borrowing cap.

It sounds like check kiting to me, you know, on a national scale. The WaPo says:

In the preliminary stages of being drafted, the GOP proposal would call on the Biden administration to make only the most critical federal payments if the Treasury Department comes up against the statutory limit on what it can legally borrow. For instance, the plan is almost certain to call on the department to keep making interest payments on the debt, according to four people familiar with the internal deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. House Republicans’ payment prioritization plan may also stipulate that the Treasury Department should continue making payments on Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits, as well as funding the military, two of the people said.

And we will note that first in line at the trough are their billionaire pals who own the debt. Last on the list: you, me, and your Nonna. Back to TBotP:

Prioritization is also unlikely to protect the U.S. credit rating, which saw downgrades amid the previous fiscal standoffs. Bondholders might be protected but others due federal payments might not, with WaPo noting that the proposal would force Uncle Sam “to halt payment for as much as 20 percent of money that it has already promised to spend.”

And we will add that the US Government has many moving parts. Shutting it down means things like the FAA stops flights (not that it is any different for Southwest Airlines), the ports close, the supply chain gets eff’ed-up again, and the GOP’s favorite bugbear, the Border goes completely unguarded:

The controversial proposal, which has not been finalized, “would still leave out huge swaths of critical federal expenditures on things such as Medicaid, food safety inspections, border control and air traffic control, to name just a handful of thousands of programs,” the trio note.

And something you might not realize, there is not just one federal payroll. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) as each branch of the government has their own, each department has at least one (and many have several) and sometimes one entity pays the others as they subcontract other expertise for a given project. I would guess that every day somewhere in the vast federal octopus that there are hundreds of payrolls running. It would be nearly impossible to pick and choose which ones to shut down and keep the federally mandated reports running. There are also unions involved which means that there are contractual obligations, so expect law suits with damages, too. Now, even if they could do this, imagine the cost of turning them all on again.

And penalties and interest gets added to the national debt, so it is a brilliant Republican plan as you can see.

As I said, this is like check kiting on a massive scale.

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8 Responses to GOP: ‘I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday to kill Social Security and Medicare today.’

  1. YellowDog-ish says:

    Send the checks but forget to sign them. Or, send empty, unsealed envelopes. Either the checks fell out or were stolen by postal employees.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another Kiwi says:

    But, by god, they’ll not be wasting money on marlarkey like volcano monitoring (Jindal. B 2009)!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gruaud says:

    We are the only industrialized nation to impose a debt limit on ourselves, allowing the corporate minority to hold the rest of us hostage every time.

    Long overdue to abolish this anachronism.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jimmy T says:

    So they’re playing games with the debt ceiling? It would be a tragedy if they crashed the world’s economy. I’m fairly certain that the rest of the world would be pissed at us for a very long time, and might even decide to go their own way…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Republican Check-Kiting | personnelente

  6. Ivory Bill Woodpecker says:

    The default won’t happen, and here’s why.

    Refusing to raise the debt ceiling would wreck the economy–INCLUDING the wealthy donors to the GOP.

    So, those donors will not allow that to happen. The donors will remind the Republican Representatives that they can be replaced, and will be replaced, if they are stupid enough to refuse to raise the debt ceiling.

    Or maybe it will go like this:

    Republican donors to House Republicans:

    “Crashing the economy will destroy us, too.

    If you try to do that anyway, we will arrange for evidence of your various crimes to emerge suddenly.

    If there be no actual evidence, we know people quite capable of manufacturing it.”

    Selah.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Respectfully, many of the big donors want economic collapse. It’s why they hoard wealth. Their money is well protected, and when the economic collapse occurs, they will step in and scoop up anything of value for pennies on the dollar.

      When the proles can no longer pay their mortgage, their homes will be auctioned off. When small businesses can no longer survive, they (or their equipment/assets) will be abandoned, their market share will go to the larger companies – and of course, the larger companies are too big to fail, so they will get plenty of bailout money that will go directly into the pockets of the earlier noted donors.

      The point of the exercise is to reduce the economic power of the middle class, create a larger underclass, and widen the gap to the upper class. Yes, some people will die along the way, but business is business, eh?

      Like

      • Ivory Bill Woodpecker says:

        Nah, too risky for them–especially in this country, where anyone who really wants to can put their hands on military-grade personal weapons. If any of the plutocrats really are stupid enough to try that, they’ll be courting the fates of the French and Russian aristocracies.

        I suspect a lot of otherwise sensible people have PTSD from 2016 and beyond, when we basically saw pigs sprout wings and take flight over the frozen plains of Hell.

        That shook a lot of people into believing that all laws of political reality had been suspended forever, and now absolutely anything could happen, at any time. They don’t realize that the “election” of Benedict Donald was The Mother Of All Perfect Storms Of Multiple Black Swan Events.

        It is NOT The New Normal, or else Benedict Donald would still infest the White House.

        The sky is NOT falling.

        There is no Kobayashi Maru scenario that can’t be beaten with a Corbomite Manuever. 🖖

        Like

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