What Will Be The Debt Ceiling Deal?

We've gotten the "Grand Bargain" sideshow out of the way, so the question now is what will be the actual debt ceiling deal? Is it possible that the "clean" bill (with respect to spending cuts) McConnell option will be the end result? Absolutely not. The question is, as it has always been since last December, how much in spending cuts will the GOP extract in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. The talks resumed this morning:

Congressional leaders trooped to the White House for a Saturday morning meeting called by the president Friday night to discuss what options existed for moving forward with the negotiations. [. . .] To meet Republican demands for dollar-for-dollar cuts to correspond with any rise in the borrowing authority, Congressional aides said there were discussions about extending the debt ceiling for a period of months tied directly to cuts, with a second installment then subject to the McConnell process. Democrats and Mr. Obama were insistent that the increase be guaranteed to take the Treasury Department through 2012 without another fight.


In the short term, I think we will see the debt ceiling raised to cover a few months coupled with commensurate spending cuts. Then a similar deal to get through 2012, probably tied to the budget. The total cuts will amount to about $2.4 trillion. And no, there will not be any revenue increases. I expect Medicaid to get hacked, but Medicare and Social Security to be untouched. My view has always been that the substance of the deal would be that. My hope is that the cuts are in out years and not in the next 18 months. After all, the 2012 election will be a new Congress and possibly a new President. They will be the ones to determine our path after 2012. Nothing anyone agrees to now will bind anyone then.

Speaking for me only

< Budget Talks Fall Apart, Obama Reveals Some Details | The Debt Ceiling Battle Was Lost Last December >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    How will hacking Medicaid now (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 11:49:35 AM EST
    impact the health insurance legislation that relied heavily on expanding medicaid to insure more of the population? IIRC there was a set amount designated for this legislation and due to dollar limits it was not universal coverage. Less dollars for Medicaid - less people provided with coverage?

    Short term hacking medicaid will result in more people doing without health care but what are the ramifications going forward.  

    hurts it (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 11:51:45 AM EST
    Because the baseline dollars for Medicaid go down.

    No question this is starving the only unequivocally good part of ACA - Medicaid expansion.


    Bipartisan compromise (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 11:51:56 AM EST
    with people who need health care is off the table?

    But the President and the Congress (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:09:59 PM EST
    will receive free or heavily tax payer subsidized health care for life.

    Junk insurance rather than health care, means testing at a low level of income, raising premiums and out of pocket expenses for us but not for them.

    What a deal? Don't you just love this shared sacrifice thing?  


    Now look (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:14:23 PM EST
    it pays, very well, to support Obama heavily.

    This shared sacrifice thing, July 22, 2011.


    This has been my worry about (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:10:17 PM EST
    the expansion of Medicaid, a major and beneficial component of ACA.  The involvement of the states (after the federal start-up) and political vulnerability associated with its consideration as a welfare program were always troubling.   Further means-testing of Medicare and Social Security bring similar prospects for unpopularity and vulnerability, in my view.

    I share your view then and now (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:26:16 PM EST
    Also the "magic" of the exchanges (excuse me while I barf) are being used to rationalize raising the Medicare age to 67 since people will be able purchase insurance there. H&ll, I'm sure seniors will be able to purchase a family plan for $300 a month due to this magic even if Kaiser is estimating that the  insurance premium for someone in their 60s is over $24,0000 a year in 2014 for a policy with an actuarial value of 70%. Seems that Kaiser doesn't believe the exchanges will work the magic that some claim:

    - Most 65- and 66-year-olds would pay significantly more for their health care because they would not be in Medicare. If the Medicare age was raised to 67 in 2014, about three out of four people ages 65 to 66 would pay $2,400 more, on average. The rest would be eligible for various kinds of subsidies for low-to-moderate income people provided under the health care law.

    -- Employers would pay an estimated $4.5 billion more for health insurance in 2014, because older workers would stay on the job longer to remain eligible for their company's coverage. Under the rules, workplace plans must provide primary coverage for employees who keep working past 65.

    -- People under 30 buying coverage in new health insurance markets that open for business in 2014 would see their premiums rise nearly 8 percent over previous projections. The health care law sets up insurance markets to provide one-stop shopping for people who buy their coverage directly and for small businesses. An influx of older adults no longer eligible for Medicare would raise costs for that pool. link



    Hurry Up and Die Already, low income scum is also (none / 0) (#11)
    by jawbone on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:35:17 PM EST
    part of the Obama/Corporatists' plan.

    Call me bitter? I'm not sure I've plumbed the depths of my bitterness yet about what this president is doing. And where he's dragging the Democratic Party.

    I've said he would damage the party's brand and image. No, he will, HE WILL, destroy the Democratic Party.

    So, best we start working on a new part ASAP.


    What is the Democratic Party's brand image (none / 0) (#18)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:09:00 PM EST
    Those who campaigned (Mondale, Dukakis) using the Democratic Party's "brand image" that you talk about got trounced in elections. Bill Clinton tried to run away from that "brand image" as far as possible, sided with DLCers and won twice while governing as a Republican. The Independent vote is less elusive to the current President than the Seniors vote. Atleast the Independent vote was with him in 2008, he has a good chance of gaining back a lot of it in 2012. The majority of Seniors did not vote for him in 2008, they rejected the Democrats in 2010 and will not vote for the President in 2012. Seniors cannot have it both ways. They cannot keep voting for the Republicans and scream and howl at the President for not saving them from Republicans. Elections have consequences. Results of the 2010 elections will have consequences. Republicans only help constituencies that vote for them. Democrats keep losing because they try to use limited resources to help everyone (even people who have no intention of ever voting for them) and not being able to make anyone 100% happy. The economic interests of Independents and seniors are at loggerheads over a lot of things at this time. The President is trying a very difficult balancing act in trying to help both groups out as much as possible even though all evidence indicates that he will never get anything from Seniors (as a group) in return. People who really want to help Seniors, should ask them to get mad at Republicans (just as TPers get are perenially mad at "liberals"), instead of sitting on their *** all day and sulking and badmouthing the Prez.

    Ridiculous (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:19:14 PM EST
    Bill Clinton tried to run away from that "brand image" as far as possible, sided with DLCers and won twice while governing as a Republican.

    Clinton ran as a moderate Democrat and governed as such.  He left office as the most popular POTUS ever, with the highest approval rating among Democrats of any POTUS, ever.

    Obama claimed to be moderate and allowed himself to be sold as a "Progressive", making a multitude of vague and/or contradictory promises.  Now, while backtracking and flip-flopping on those promises, he's destroying the Democratic brand.


    As a senior I can tell you (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by suzieg on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 10:38:54 PM EST
    why they didn't/won't vote for Obama, let me count the ways:

    1- they heard him loud and clear when he advocated reforming Social Security which will hurt them.

    2- $500 billion in Medicare cuts in Obamacare + he wants to cut another $600 billion.

    3- low/next to nothing interest rates on their measly savings to bail out banks and Wall Street (his priority constituency)

    4- no COLA for 2 years

    5- their house value plummeting which in most likelihood is their main investment + they cannot refinance if they wanted to

    6- throwing his grandmother under the bus during the campaign

    7- made the economy worse and now wants them to sacrifice for his "grand plan"

    8- never refuted Donna Brazile's comment:. "I have worked on a lot of Democratic campaigns, and I respect Paul. But, Paul, you're looking at the old coalition. A new Democratic coalition is younger. It is more urban, as well as suburban, and we don't have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics. We need to look at the Democratic Party, expand the party, expand the base and not throw out the baby with the bathwater."

    9- the party basically told the seniors that they were reforming the party and they were not invited -  they had to move out of the way because Obama would change the way Washington worked - yep, today, it works to screw the elderly and the poor so that the rich can continue to live their life of luxury!

    and so on

    and so on....  



    Not impressed (none / 0) (#32)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:07:00 AM EST
    Republican and Mark Penn indoctrination camp talking points are not facts.

    There are quite a few facts ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Yman on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:24:49 AM EST
    ... in Suzieg's post ...

    ... but when did you become a big proponent of facts?


    That's not far off, given inflation. Here in NJ, (none / 0) (#12)
    by jawbone on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:44:44 PM EST
    my individual plan with the highest co-pays ran $1200 a month or $14,400 a year. Plus co-pays and deductibles. The next lowest coverage would have cost me more with all the deductibles and co-pays, as I have thyroid cancer which must be checked for annually until there are X years of clear readings. The insurance company rep did some rough calculations and said it would be stupid for me to take that insurance plan.

    I had paid up to $1800 a month.  That's $21,600 a year, but had to Chain downward (heh, as in Chained CPI) Then I got to where there was no more feasible lower cost plan to go to.  I did go without insurance for two months prior to turning 65.

    So, I can see $24K being a possible amount for insurance for people 65 and 66 years old. (Oops, there go the retirement savings!)

    Gonna be hard, hard, hard times courtesy of the Big O.

    And, on top of that, he doesn't do jobs programs....

    When he talks about shared sacrifice it means we are sacrificed and they at the top get out share.


    The only insurance I could get (none / 0) (#30)
    by suzieg on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 11:13:21 PM EST
    in Texas was through the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool - I pay $1400 monthly + $1,000 deductible + $3,000 in co-pays and that's $600 less than what I was paying in Houston and the main reason why we moved to Austin.

    This talk of raising the age to 67 really frightens me because the Risk Pool will no longer cover me as of August 1 - the month when I turn 65 thus eligible for Medicare. If the age is upped, I would have lost my coverage and will have to go 6 months without insurance before applying again!

    I'm a cancer survivor and all of this talk, about raising the age right away, becomes reality it would mean going without health insurance and that thought keeps me up at night!

    I will never forgive Obama for the angst he's causing our family. My husband, the eternal optimist, who was always so grateful and happy to live in the USA told me last week he wished he'd never moved here and that broke my heart! He's British.


    My heart goes out to you and your family (none / 0) (#35)
    by jawbone on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 04:32:07 PM EST
    I wonder how many people are having sleepless nights, or awaking to worry about what Obama will do to Medicare?

    I do.


    Yes, the idea does not seem well (none / 0) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:47:51 PM EST
    thought out--maybe just glommed onto since it was a Lieberman suggestion.   In addition, the calculus needs to consider the costs to those still eligible for Medicare (68 through death panels), since the 65 and 66 year-olds will be missing from that pool along with two-years of premiums from a relatively healthy cohort.

    Lieberman has a plan to raise the deductibes Medi- (none / 0) (#19)
    by jawbone on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:18:07 PM EST
    care recipients must pay before getting any Medicare payouts.  Holy Joe believes that seniors use the medical system too much and wants to make it hurt to go to a doctor.  He also wants an excise tax on the supplemental plans which cover these deductibles.  

    He wants seniors to have to pay out of pocket #3,750 before Medicare kicks in.  That will mean many will forego seeing doctors or having procedures done. That amount does not incude prescription costs (which Obama refuses to allow Medicare to bargain for to cut costs). He wants the deductible for hospitalization combined with the deductible for doctors' visits, which will mean most people, who don't get hospitalized every year, will end of paying more.

    Lieberman often serves as a stalking horse for Obama.

    Trudy Lieberman writes about Joe Lieberman's "gift" to seniors in the Columbia Journalism Review.


    I am sick of people like Lieberman, (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:34:06 PM EST
    who will not be adversely effected by upping eligibility age for Medicare due to his coverage via U.S. Congress' plan, having so much power to negatively effect those who do not have such coverage courtesy of U.S. taxpayer.  And, if any candidate dares to say, I'll make sure you get the same coverage Congress persons do, I'll . . . Complete this sentence, please.  Pols are pols and do what they do.  But why did I ever believe them?

    they do NOT fear us cuz we don't 'hurt' (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by seabos84 on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 05:07:02 PM EST
    them or take away stuff they care about.

    in the old days, to 'hurt' them or take away stuff they care about, that meant taking away functioning knees or working elbows ... with, like a baseball bat.

    frankly, fortunately, we don't do that kind of stuff anymore - enough eye for an eye stuff just leaves everyone blind.

    HOWEVER - we do NOT deprive them of their jobs! we don't deprive them of their ill gotten 30 pieces of silver.

    EVERYWHERE people like Lieberman go, 24*7*365, there should be people in the public space with signs and air horns and putting him through the public pillory -

    now, scum like Lieberman or Cheney aren't gonna care cuz they WANT to live in gated communities with private armies - what about their friends and families, the people who benefit from the thieving of Joe & Dick? do they want to spend all their days being labelled as thieving scum and yelled at every time they stop for a coffee or a fillup on the car or go to the grocery store?

    we don't make 'em pay,
    they don't fear us,
    they phuck us.

    pretty complicated?



    Increasing the out of pocket expenses (none / 0) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:40:36 PM EST
    and premiums for seniors on Medicare is part of the Simpson/Bowles Cat Food Commission recommendations and included as an option in the Gang of 6 proposal. Both proposals have received praise from Obama.

    The the Obama bipartisan health care cost containment efforts are geared to make actual health care so expensive that only the rich can receive care. The rest of the population will only receive bills for high insurance premiums with high out of pocket expenses that discourage people from actually getting care.    


    What it seems like to me is an effort to (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 06:46:01 PM EST
    re-shape Medicare into something that more resembles the private insurance model - and once they do that, how long before the message is, "hey, we don't need Medicare since private insurance is already doing the same thing?"

    I don't believe the people who come up with these stupid plans have any understanding that a lot of people are already continuing to stay in the job force - if they can, and haven't been nudged out the door because they're too old - just to get to that magic age where they can either stop spending thousands of dollars a year on insurance, or can finally have insurance courtesy of Medicare.  Do they even understand that premiums for group insurance go up because there are more older people participating in the plan?  Or that for those who don't have group insurance, the private version is so exorbitantly expensive that many have to make the decision to go without because they can't pay their other bills otherwise?

    If any of these twits had to spend three months making the average SS check cover the cost of living - housing, food, insurance, utilities, gas - it might open their eyes and minds to what they are suggesting would be no big deal for seniors if benefits were reduced.

    Fat chance.


    The Senate Dems (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by lilburro on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:11:53 PM EST
    have made it clear they will accept anything.  The House Dems have made it clear they will accept almost anything.  What a triumph.

    Winning (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:15:28 PM EST
    at any cost.

    These people have no credibility (none / 0) (#9)
    by masslib on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:22:37 PM EST
    on the deficit at all.  They extended the Bush tax cuts.

    Obama's best bet is there is no (none / 0) (#13)
    by masslib on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:46:06 PM EST
    deal and he raises the debt ceiling by invoking the 14th amendment.  I think it pays off well politically and obviously it may be the only way.

    He'll take the 14th route if he gets the go ahead (none / 0) (#16)
    by jawbone on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:00:21 PM EST
    from his Big Money backers, the Wall Street Gang Banksters. Or even the coin seinorage play, if they say it's OK.  I mean, where did the $12-14 Trillions come from that went out the back door of the Fed to the Big Banksters?

    If the Money Men want some kind of new crisis for whatever reason (they have lots of side bets of default?), Obama will let the "full faith and credit" of the US tank.

    It might be intellectually interesting to see what would happen with no increase in the debt ceiling, but I would probably lose my house due to soaring interest rates. And no SocSec check in August....

    But we might get to see 21st C. Obamavilles and bread lines.

    Could be interesting times....


    Or (none / 0) (#34)
    by Warren Terrer on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 01:12:39 PM EST
    coin seigniorage - no constitutional arguments required.

    No unnamed WH source but Obama himself (none / 0) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:58:02 PM EST

    "I just got a call about a half hour ago from Speaker Boehner, who indicated that he was going to be walking away from the negotiations," the president began. "I thought it would be useful for me to just give you some insight into where we were, and why I think that we should have moved forward with a big deal. Essentially, what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security."

    Reporter: "This is not dead? "

    Senior White House official: "Not at all. We have to focus on both how we are going to make sure we avoid default, but there is still an opportunity here to do significant deficit reduction if the parties will work together."

    Reporter: "So you can do something with this plan, right? So it's not dead?"

    Senior White House official: "The speaker withdrew from the talks. So this plan is -- this offer is still available." link

    And the ads against the Dems and Obama just (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by jawbone on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    write themselves, as the Repubs will be attacking Obama and the whole party from the left.

    Obama cut your Medicare. Obama cut your SocSec COLA. Dems votes for this. Etc.


    Yep, enabling Republicans... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Romberry on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:31:18 PM EST
    ...to (however hypocritically) attack from the left. It's the political poison pill and Obama seems utterly determined to have Democrats swallow it.

    The (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:27:07 PM EST
    only good thing about that is that it shows that the GOP is willing to move leftward to win an election but always with them, they will do whatever the h*ll they want to once elected.

    How does this differ from what Obama (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:43:22 PM EST
    and quite a few Dems are currently doing?

    they will do whatever the h*ll they want to once elected.

    As do the Dems. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:43:34 PM EST
    Hey, maybe there's hope yet (none / 0) (#31)
    by NYShooter on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 06:42:13 AM EST
    at least "O" has quit lying about how he's going to "fix" SS & medicare.

    Ballsy guy, that Obama. With that list of Billionaire donors in his back pocket, we've got a Democratic President, going into an election, telling Seniors, "I'm going to cut the benefits you worked for all your life.

    I wonder how he doesn't break out in laughter knowing these "suckahs" don't even have houses or 401's to fall back on.

    "Yo, Fools, who you gonna vote for?"

    "LOL, The other side is worse!!"

    "Ha, Ha, Ho, Ha, Timmie, cut it out kid, you're killing me. It worked just like you said it would. And, `member all those editorials? To a person, they wanted me to dump you. Oh, god, that's funny! Hey Tim, m'man, you up? Get me a drink, will'ya buddy?"

    "Oh, hey, what's that thing those acne popped cherubs on "up your face book" always write? Oh, yeah: ROFLMAO!!!!!

    Oh, that's a good one, I tell ya. Hey, Michelle, Hon. C'mon in here sweety, will ya. Timmie's got a good one to tell ya."

    Yup, that's me: ROFL, banging my head on it.