Obama Must Call GOP's 'Bluff' on Debt Ceiling
Can't let hostage-holding House run the country: Paul Krugman
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 16, 2011 11:35 AM CDT
Updated May 16, 2011 1:53 PM CDT
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) addresses the Economic Club of New York on May 9, 2011 in New York City.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Look out, President Obama: House Republicans have created another “hostage situation.” This time, they’re holding the debt ceiling for a ransom of big spending cuts, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. The Republican Party doesn't control the White House or the Senate, so you wouldn’t think the party could “impose its agenda on the nation. But the modern GOP doesn’t believe in following normal rules.” And don't be swayed by what those on the right are saying, Krugman contends: If we don't raise the debt ceiling, bad, bad things will happen.

Hitting it would mean a stop to Social Security, Medicare, or military-related payments. But if Obama treats the failure to raise it as an outcome “to be avoided at all cost,” he’s giving the GOP complete control. Republicans might not be as willing to hit the ceiling as they suggest: Businesses and the Chamber of Commerce, for example, don’t like the idea. “But the president can’t call the extortionists’ bluff unless he’s willing to confront them, and accept the associated risks,” Krugman notes. “The president has to draw a line" in the sand. "Otherwise, he might as well move out of the White House, and hand the keys over to the Tea Party.”

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Showing 3 of 47 comments
SPHeroid
May 16, 2011 6:47 PM CDT
The Republicans created the debt crisis with their tax cuts, unfunded wars, the whole Department of "Homeland Security", and the unfunded Medicare drug program without price negotiation... Obama and the Democrats should certainly call their bluff on the debt ceiling.... Wall street won't like it nor will the wealthy GOP donors... If the Republications follow through with their petty threat a global financial crisis WILL occur... On the upside this will spell the end of the GOP....
weekendofsound
May 16, 2011 5:33 PM CDT
I'm glad that the Republicans are still ignoring economists in regard to our economy. I mean, look at all the good they've done on our unemployment rate and our ongoing wars. Like setting them in motion, for instance.
greenlantern1
May 16, 2011 5:24 PM CDT
In the event of default, does the American citizen have a more legitimate lien than BIG BUSINESS? Clifford Spencer