Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Smoke and Mirrors Agreement: Debt Ceiling to be Lifted by Another $1.2 Trillion

Remember just last summer when Congressional Republicans and the White House brought the nation to the brink of debt default before passing a "compromise" to lift the federal debt ceiling? Oh, how it seemed as though there was a real possibility they might fail to reach an agreement, and then all hell was going to break loose in the financial markets. What a load of crap. The fix was in from the very beginning.

Our so-call "leaders" made a big show of creating the deficit reduction "super" committee, which then failed, as nearly every sane commentator predicted it would. So back to the drawing board, right? Nope. Just more business as usual, in fact, as reported by Reuters:
The White House plans to ask Congress by the end of the week for an increase in the government's debt ceiling to allow the United States to pay its bills on time, according to a senior Treasury Department official on Tuesday.

The approval is expected to go through without a challenge, given that Congress is in recess until later in January and the request is in line with an agreement to keep the U.S. government funded into 2013.

The debt is projected to fall within $100 billion of the current cap by December 30, when the United States has $82 billion in interest on its debt and payments such as Social Security coming due. President Barack Obama is expected to ask for authority to increase the borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion, part of the spending authority that was negotiated between Congress and the White House this summer.

Under the agreement struck in August during the showdown over the government's debt limit, the cap is automatically raised unless Congress votes to block the debt-ceiling extension. Lawmakers have 15 days within receiving the request to vote, which is largely symbolic because the president can veto it and Congress would be unlikely to muster the two-thirds majority to override it. Moreover, the U.S. House of Representatives also is in recess until January 17.

The deal called for raising the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion to serve the nation's borrowing needs into 2013 and also included mandatory cuts to the federal budget deficit. Since then, the extension has been increased twice by a total of $900 billion.

The debt limit currently stands at $15.194 trillion and would increase to $16.394 trillion with the request.
And since most of the largely cosmetic mandatory cuts were backloaded until late in this current decade, everybody got what they secretly really wanted, the ceiling will be raised until after the next election with no real pain being inflicted upon the electorate or, more importantly, their campaign contributors. Just another typical day in Spoiled Rotten America.

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