Debt Ceiling Impasse: Who’s at Fault?

Are Republicans to blame for the failure of a grand bargain on the debt ceiling?

The problem with this storyline is that eight months ago three prominent Senate Republicans supported the Bowles-Simpson recommendations, which contained a net tax increase. The House Republicans on the commission did not support those recommendations, but Senators Coburn, Crapo, and Gregg did. No one would call any of these three men moderates – all are clearly conservative.

However, unlike the Bowles-Simpson package, the deal the President is now offering is a bad one:

Bowles & Simpson offered a long-term fiscal solution in exchange for [a] net tax increase, under which spending would never have exceeded 22% of GDP and deficits would have quickly dropped below 2% of GDP and eventually reached balance. That’s too much spending (and too high taxes) for my taste, but it’s qualitatively different from and far superior to the President’s proposal, which is to trade permanent tax increases for only a temporary slowdown in government spending growth and budget deficits.

See full post by Keith Hennessey.

Comments (9)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    Democrats are at fault.

  2. Nancy says:

    Agree with Joe.

  3. Buster says:

    The local newspaper just ran a tear jerker of story where it interview disabled seniors about how they would manage if their government checks didn’t go out on time. Nobody in Congress is talking about withholding seniors’ Social Security checks. It’s just scar tactics.

  4. Brian Williams. says:

    Either we can’t afford the government we have, or we need to pay for the amount of government we want.

  5. James says:

    So then what do you make of most House Republicans’ categorical opposition to tax/revenue increases of any sort? We’re really only seeing flexibility from one side, and it’s not from Boehner and co.

  6. Fred says:

    Republicans howl that the whole problem is the fault of President Obama, who exploded federal government spending the moment he took office.

    Democrats, meanwhile, blame massive increase in federal government spending during the Bush years and the triumphant assertions by Republicans during those years that “deficits don’t matter.”

    So, what’s the truth?

    They’re both right. (And wrong. And, on the Republican side, hypocritical.)

    Federal government spending has risen under President Obama, mostly because of the $800 billion stimulus designed to offset the massive recession he inherited from President Bush. But the increase in federal spending under Obama is dwarfed by the colossal increase under President Bush.

    [F]rom 2000 to 2008, under President Bush, Federal spending rose by $1.3 trillion, from $1.9 trillion a year to $3.2 trillion a year.

    From 2009 to 2011, meanwhile, under President Obama, federal spending has risen by $600 billion, from $3.2 trillion a year to $3.8 trillion a year. It has also now begun to decline.

    In other words, federal government spending under President Bush increased 2X as much as it has under President Obama.

    This isn’t intended to place blame on one party or politician, but simply to display that both parties have a history of overspending. Just as they have overspent together for years, lawmakers must work together and come to an agreement on the debt ceiling.

  7. Ryan says:


    Yes both have spent more money, but Obama’s spending money was his attempt to “prime the pump” so to speak. The democrats plan has worked before where the government spends more money to increase the economy and pull it out of a recession, while bush was just spending money he thought he had when he really didn’t…..

  8. Gaia says:

    because they would have had to give into those who wanted Fair tax and evenroye would have had to receive the same health insurance to make it Costitional This bill is all pretend and as Obama is a Lawyer I think he knows this.This has all been for show and a waist of time and tax payer money.Once the States have lined up and take the Big boys to Court this is all over.

  9. Ericx says:

    The death of people from the lower and mlddie classes is in accordance with the will of those who have chosen the messiah. Their lives are meaningless to those who control the wealth of the world. Let those who oppose the New World Order die so that the wealthy may better rule the world. Obey the messiah!