Sunday, September 09, 2012

Romney thinks the U.S. should have defaulted on its debt

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Do you have the remotest clue what you're talking about?

The Hill:

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" airing Sunday criticizes GOP leaders, including his own running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), for agreeing to the August 2011 debt-ceiling deal.

Romney was asked about the $109 billion automatic spending cut known as the sequester that is due to hit in January. Some $55 billion comes from the defense budget. 


The debt-ceiling deal was forged by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden hours before the United States was set to exceed its debt ceiling and begin defaulting on its obligations.

His point here is to attack the military spending cuts, and thereby to try to paint himself as tough on defense -- understandably so after his failure to thank the troops in his acceptance speech in Tampa and the Democrats' strong record on national security, on full display this past week in Charlotte.

It was President Obama, after all, who ordered the strike that took out Osama bin Laden. It has been President Obama who has aggressively targeted America's al Qaeda and Taliban enemies, with great success. And it is the Democrats, with President Obama leading them, and with so much good work done by Michelle Obama and others, who have provided America's men and women in uniform with so much support upon their return.

In contrast, Romney has proven to be not just a lightweight on foreign and military matters but an utter embarrassment, bringing ridicule upon himself throughout his overseas trip this summer and otherwise proving to be grossly ignorant on world affairs and U.S. policy. (Russia is America's #1 enemy?!)

But this isn't just about going hard on military spending, saying that he'd spend more than Obama, even though spending more for no reason other than to spend more, and without any real purpose, is a huge part of the current fiscal problem.

Looking back, as Romney does in this interview, it's about how these relatively meager cuts came to be, and that was through a last-minute deal, with the country standing on the brink of default, to avoid disaster. Even most Republicans at time time knew that the game was up, that a deal had to be done, that their ongoing efforts to hold the country hostage had to end, at least temporarily. Defaulting would have send shockwaves not just through the U.S. economy but around the world. This is why prior to that standoff, initiated by Republican ideological extremism and unwillingness to compromise with the president, presidents both Republican and Democratic had kept pushing for debt ceiling increases, and why Congress had always gone along.

And yet here's Mitt Romney, seeking the highest office in the land, offering himself to the American people as the sort of competent, business-savvy manager the country supposedly needs at this time of economic difficulty, criticizing even the extremists in his party who went along with the deal (like his own running mate), basically saying the country should have been allowed to go into default. And all because he wants to pretend he's a tough guy?

Look, this is the same guy who thought Detroit should go bankrupt. So it's hardly any wonder he now says the U.S. should just have defaulted on its debt.

It's incredibly irresponsible as a policy position, showing that his business experience doesn't mean he knows anything about actually running the country, and it's just another pathetic attempt to bolster his image as something other than a recklessly out-of-touch, flip-flopping opportunist.

Too bad for him it's just so transparently obvious.

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  • The debt ceiling vote is an obsolete piece of legislative history. The US Constitution expressly forbids the US to default, and the exercise could legitimately be dismantled. Most other countries don't do it, and the US does not need to do it.

    The US public is ripe for manipulation on the debt issue because of rampant misunderstanding, which our stenographer-press does nothing to help.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:56 AM  

  • Everyone is conservative regarding their own finances, I have never know a liberal boast " I just spent my entire paycheck on a tv and now I don't know or care how I am going to buy food for my family, oh will!"
    Running a government is different, nobody is going to show up on your "grandchild" door asking for money, but if the republicans get their way, YOU will be showing up at your grandchilds door because without SS and Medicare, who else will you turn too?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:43 PM  

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