The official, on-budget debt of the United States government has hit a plateau. It remains $56 billion below the debt ceiling. It has not moved up for two months. It is locked at $16,699,396,000,000.
But the spending continues. The government has spent about $500 billion more than it has received in revenues so far this fiscal year. How was this possible?
“Extraordinary measures.” That is what the Secretary of the Treasury calls them. “Cooked books” is what they would be called in the private sector.
He has informed the Speaker of the House that he will run out of “extraordinary measures” sometime after Labor Day. At that point, he says, the government will default. (We can always hope!) His letter is here.
The Secretary of the Treasury called on Boehner to eat what Boehner called a “mud sandwich” when he voted for TARP in September 2008. Old Weepy John rolled over for Hank Paulson in 2008 in full public view. This was crony capitalism, pure and simple. Where did the $700 billion in TARP money go? Nobody knows. “Easy come. Easy go.” He will roll over for Obama before the end of the fiscal year. In his letter, Lew wrote this.
Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the responsibility of Congress because only Congress can extend the nation’s borrowing authority. No Congress in our history has failed to meet that responsibility. It must be understood that the creditworthiness of the United States is an essential underpinning of our strength as a nation; it is not a bargaining chip to be used for partisan political ends. I want to reemphasize what the President has said repeatedly regarding any threats to cause default in order to extract policy concessions from the Administration: We will not negotiate over the debt limit. The creditworthiness of the United States is non-negotiable. The question of whether the country must pay obligations it has already incurred is not open to debate. Congress has no choice but to protect our creditworthiness and our economy.
You’re going go buckle, Johnny boy. Eat your mud sandwich, now or later. The President has got you by the short hairs, the same way Clinton had your predecessor Newt Gingrich back in 1995. Obama will blame you for all those Social Security checks that will not be going out in October. So you might as well eat your sandwich now. You’re going to eat it, one way or another.