John Boehner's Self-Pity Party Is Still Going Strong

Comments

1
Who was the Japanese soldier in the Philippines still fighting WWII in 1971?

That's Boehner.
2
I wish Boehner would at least let everyone know what his demands are. Couldn't somebody just buy him a villa or something and we can be done with it?
3
What @1 said
4
In that giant casino colloquially known as Wall Street, I'm trying to decide whether to plunk down a big bet on double-zero on this crooked roulette wheel known as Debt Limit Negotiations. I've already got a smaller bet on the table in a gambit sometimes called "portfolio insurance."

It's unheard of, of course, so picking accurate odds is impossible. That number has never, ever come up before. If the bet fails, as it should, I lose the money. If it pays out, I get most likely somewhere between 3 and 10 times what I put in. If I bet a tenth of my portfolio's value, I could possibly double my original portfolio. If it fails, I've blown my gains for the year.

How does one gauge how fucked up Boehner and the Republicans are, whether Obama and Lew have an ace up their sleeves, and whether we're actually going to see the stupidest thing ever done to the US's financial standing?

Let's see... I could always ask my fellow Slog commenters for an opinion...

Putting aside the question of how chickenshit I am to make a big-ass bold-faced bet, what would you guys guess was the likelihood of default?
5
I wish someone would bring a resolution to the floor declaring the office of Speaker vacant. Anyone can do it. The Republicans who want a clean CR passed + the Democrats would be more than enough votes.
6
@4,

I think the odds are low, but I also wouldn't put anything down that I'm not prepared to lose. Since I recently de-vested to buy a house, I'll be sitting this one out. If I already had skin in the game, I'd probably put another grand in, which is what I did the last time Republicans threatened default.
7
How many more conditions does he want? The budget the Senate passed is Republican enough as it is.

You can't please House Republicans. You can't. Because they don't want to be pleased.
8
@2 - He will issue a list of demands only when we capitulate to his demands.
9
God, I would be so happy if I never had to hear another word from The Weeping Cheeto.
10
@9, best name for Boehner ever, and there've aleady been a lot of good ones.
11
Probably shouldn't be using the term 'unconditional surrender', since most of the history of that term is associated with the United States demanding it of their enemies,
12
@2: his demands are simple: defund the ACA or the credti rating gets it. that's the only demand on which the dems haven't capitulated.

the VRWC has been planning this since the day O was re-elected: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-f…

except i don't think they have a fall back position.
13
@4: If by default you mean "not paying off bondholders," I'd say the odds are roughly 0.0%.

If you mean possible other delayed payments prioritized to inflict damage to unprotected people (rather than big money interests and defense contractors) in an attempt to gain leverage, I think that's closer to a coin flip and a possible way to make some money if you can get good odds.
14
@12: With all due respect, I think that's a simplistic reading.

Delaying the individual mandate in Obamacare for a year was on the table as the demanded concession a few days ago. I suspect that's still the real price, arm waving aside. Obama should have taken it IMO, it wouldn't have mattered a bit - the exchange would have stayed open and gotten kinks ironed out, people just wouldn't be penalized for being uninsured until 2015 instead of 2014, just like corporations got a break until 2015.

As to the credit rating, the Treasury will simply have to prioritize payments to pay off bondholders, and other payments will have to be delayed and paid as cash from revenues becomes available. The 'fallback' is simply an overnight way to dramatically cut spending. I'm not saying it won't hurt people, and I'm not saying they won't prioritize payments to maximize pain to the peasants (see: closing public viewing areas at national parks), but it's just like the sequester - they can let it happen and see who gets blamed.
15
@14 The ACA is the law of the land and cleared every hurdle a law has to clear to be signed. Upheld by a conservative supreme court while Obama was re-elected in 2012. Now, why again should the law be delayed? This is a Republican instituted, unnecessary shutdown that corrupts the constitutional and legislative processes that have been in place over 200 years ago. There is no reason what so ever to delay implementation.

Oh, and the delay was a backup. The real attempt was defund. I suspect delay was just thrown out there as a secondary with the hopes that Republicans could get enough elected to the house and senate to overturn the law, and if Obama and the Dems had simply caved, that could very well have happened.
16
@14: agree to a delay in the tax penalty now, and then they demand another concession for the debt limit.

of course it was simplistic. it was also hilarious! that's the kind of guy i am. simply hilarious.
17
Yes, if he had agreed to the delay in the mandate over the shut down they would have asked for more on the debt limit. A possibility that hasn't been explored is cutting the penalty for not having insurance in half for the first year. That would have deflated their argument on not having negotiated and might even make a little sense.
18
The individual mandate is the cornerstone of the law. Without it, insurance providers would be deluged with high-risk policy holders who need insurance the most but had previously been excluded or priced out of the market. The mandate shifts the equilibrium by drawing a lower risk population into the pools, driving down costs for everyone. Otherwise we would end up with skyrocketing rates and/or insurance providers going bankrupt. It's unfortunate that no one at HHS seems to know how to explain this.
19
@15: I'm purely in game theory mode here - the statutory debt limit is also the law though, and you're misinformed if you think it hasn't been used as leverage for a long, long time.

I think passing/cramming a change the size of the ACA through on purely partisan terms was a mistake, and it's going to be a target for a long time as a result. I think they (Ds had control of Congress and White House) could have accomplished the same things (expand Medicare to insure the poor, provide options to head off catastrophic problems for people who get unlucky) without losing the House and poisoning 6 years of Obama policy. That opinion and $2 will get you a coffee, of course.

@17 I bet BO could get enough limit cap to get him through his term, which is all he needs. As to the halving of the penalty, that's exactly the kind of thing that could/should be negotiated.

@18: Agree, but in the grand scheme, a year's worth of delay as people sign up and the system stabilizes would add up to jack shit in political/financial terms.
20
@19: He passed the conservative health care plan, and that's why the GOP refuses to give an inch on anything? It's a cute theory, but ultimately their complete intransigence on every issue has more to do with their stated desire to make him a 1-term president. That was their #1 goal, and still is, despite his reelection.
21
@20: I'm not arguing right vs wrong, I'm arguing political calculus. If he had held the House and gotten reelected, he wouldn't have had to give a fuck about anyone's intransigence. That's all.
22
Oh please the penalty the first year is already damn low.
23
@22 Exactly, which is why negotiating it away would mean nada.
24
@21: that's true, and certainly the GOP understood the stakes in 2010 (census, redistricting) far better than the dems. that's why they threw everything they had at it; media, money, useful fools, to create the tea party scam. they're playing with fire now, counting on the american public to be a flibbertigibbet electorate with memories that won't last a year.
25

I reading this as an disinterested party and my analysis so far is that what Obama has done -- gone ahead an implemented an unfunded and unauthorized program, one for which Congress has not yet passed a budget -- is an impeachable offense, as it is a violation of Constitutional mandate. I don't remember anything like this ever happening.
26
@25,
...I don't remember anything...
I think that's all you need to say.
27

#26

Do I have to say it with the incorrectly placed ellipses at the beginning of the quote?

28
So delaying the mandate for a year... ensuring that rates will be sky high and republicans can crow about what a massive failure obamacare is and scare half the country off from ever considering it... yeah, that's just a drop in the bucket. Completely cornholing a major project for the first year of its existence never keeps them from working out in the end, right?
29
@27,
Yes
30
@17 The penalty serves two purposes. It defrays the cost to the federal government of the increase in the cost of healthcare caused by hospitals having to treat uninsured, non-paying patients, and helps offset some of the subsidies available to low-income insurance-buyers. AND, it's motivation, albeit not much in the first year, to go get some damned insurance if you're currently uninsured.

It's already an "introductory rate" that rises in the out years. The two things above are necessary for ACA to even work. It both helps pay for it and helps fill the pool, so insurance rates can be kept at a minimum. If only those people in desperate need of chronic health care sign up, it can't work.

As you can see, the "public option" would have been easier and better to implement. Insurance-seekers under that system could just buy their way into the Medicare pool, which is already large enough to absorb patients without regard to preexisting conditions or needs. But the Republicans, the Heritage Foundation, and especially the for-profit health insurance industry fought that tooth and nail. They wanted this. They got this, and now the Republicans are trying to take it away so a Democrat shouldn't have anything that works as an accomplishment.