Obama: "We are not a deadbeat nation." (But the Republicans are a deadbeat party.)

The issue here is whether America pays its bills.  We are not a deadbeat nation.  … This is the United States of America. We can’t manage our affairs in terms of the way we pay our bills? … I don’t think anyone would consider my position unreasonable.

– President Obama, today

So President Obama does read Angry Bear.  Cool!

Seriously, folks, I’m so happy that Obama’s beginning an intense campaign to educate the public about the quirky statute at issue in the debt-ceiling campaign.  About what “raising the debt ceiling” actually means, technically–that is, an authorization for the Treasury to pay already-incurred financial obligations–and about what the result would be if that authorization is not made.

Now I hope he quickly takes up Boehner’s challenge, repeated today, that “The American people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time.”  As in: Oh?  The American people do think the United States should default on its already-incurred financial obligations?  Really?  Pray tell, Mr. Speaker, what is your evidence of that?

I hope Obama goes further, though, and publicly and specifically addresses the remainder of Boehner’s comments, which were:

The consequences of failing to increase the debt ceiling are real, but so too are the consequences of allowing our spending problem to go unresolved.  Without meaningful action, the debt will continue to act as an anchor on our economy, costing American jobs and endangering our children’s future. The House will do its job and pass responsible legislation that controls spending, meets our nation’s obligations and keeps the government running, and we will insist that the Democratic majority in Washington do the same.

Responding to Mr. Obama’s remarks, the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, said in a statement:

The American people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time. The consequences of failing to increase the debt ceiling are real, but so too are the consequences of allowing our spending problem to go unresolved.  Without meaningful action, the debt will continue to act as an anchor on our economy, costing American jobs and endangering our children’s future. The House will do its job and pass responsible legislation that controls spending, meets our nation’s obligations and keeps the government running, and we will insist that the Democratic majority in Washington do the same.

My suggestion for a reply to that:

Ah.  I see.  That’s why a substantial majority of your caucus insists upon no tax rate increases, no loophole closings, and supports the adoption of the Ryan budget that would add trillions of dollars to the national debt and, by its drafter’s own concession, wouldn’t begin to decrease the debt until … when?  That’s why you folks supported a presidential candidate who wanted to lower tax rates across the board by 20%.  That’s why you and so many of your colleagues supported the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and again, more nearly two years after 9/11 and after the Iraq war began, in 2003?  And that’s why you refuse to identify the specific budget cuts you want, and instead keep asking me to do it for you?

Checkmate.  

We’re not yet a deadbeat nation.  But the Republicans are a deadbeat party.

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