Dumbya is going for broke

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Bush urges Congress to quickly boost federal borrowing limit, but House GOP ponders a delay

Thu Feb 28, 4:08 AM ET

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush wants Congress to quickly approve his request to let the government borrow an additional $750 billion, but House Republicans wonder if the politically painful vote can be delayed a bit.

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill planned to meet Thursday with House GOP leaders on the debt limit question. The administration says the current $5.95 trillion limit will be breached by late March and needs to be raised as soon as possible.

But with elections for control of Congress in November, Democrats are poised to use the issue to remind voters that four straight years of budget surpluses have ended under Bush, forcing the first debt limit increase since 1997. With House Republicans claiming only a slender majority, party leaders remain unsure how to drum up enough votes for the always unpopular measure.

"We've got troops all around the world. We've got men and women whose lives are at risk," Bush told reporters Wednesday, hoping to create momentum for the increase. "And now is not the time to be playing politics or using the debt ceiling as an excuse for some individual's cause."

Even so, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., said Wednesday that Treasury Department officials might be able to free up cash for the government by borrowing from internal accounts.

If they could find enough money to carry the government into April, when many Americans pay income taxes, the influx of cash might let Congress delay the borrowing limit increase, Thomas and other Republicans said.

House GOP leaders have discussed the same scenario.

When President Clinton vetoed a debt limit increase amid a 1995 budget fight with the GOP-led Congress, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin legally shifted money from government-managed civil service retirement funds. That freed enough funds to run the government for months.

"I may put it to O'Neill, `If Rubin could handle the cash management, is there any reason O'Neill couldn't,'" Thomas said in a brief interview. "Maybe O'Neill ought to look at it and see if it's something he could adopt."

Without cash, the government cannot run agencies, pay benefits or repay bond holders. Failure to pay its debts would produce an unprecedented federal default, which would be a severe blow to the government's credit rating and the overall economy.

But in a written statement Wednesday, the Treasury Department showed little inclination to use that strategy.

"An immediate permanent increase in the debt limit is crucial to preserve the confidence of our global allies in the U.S. government as we lead the effort to end terrorism, and an immediate permanent increase is essential to prevent uncertainty that could damage our economic recovery," the Treasury said.

Many lawmakers of both parties are reluctant to support debt limit extensions because their election opponents often cite such votes as evidence of fiscal recklessness.

To emphasize the return of federal deficits, the Senate's majority Democrats have been considering extending the debt limit only by a small amount. That could force Congress to vote on the issue again this fall, just before voters decide control of the House and Senate.

The civil service retirement funds Rubin used in 1995 are reminiscent of 401(k) retirement funds, said one Treasury official on condition of anonymity. Dipping into them now could be politically risky at a time when Enron executives are under fire for their management of similar funds.

The official also said that even if O'Neill used the retirement funds and April tax collections, it would carry the government only to July and leave Democrats plenty of time to seek political advantage from the votes.

In the House, leaders are considering attracting votes to the debt-limit extension by attaching it to bills to finance the war against terror or to extend jobless benefits.

-- (bankrupting@our.nation), March 04, 2002


It didn't take long to destroy the economy, reverse all of the progress in every social, enviromental, moral, national and international fronts made in the past 30 years.

Our idiot, greedy, illegal leaders knew of the threats from OBL and his groupies and not only chose to ignore them, but stopped any attempt to prevent them, criminally allowing "something" to happen so the administration would be able to justify the "carpet of bombs" they had threatened the Taliban with when the Taliban turned down the administrations offer of a "carpet of gold" if American OIL companies would be allowed to build pipelines through Afghanastan.

Am I saying the Bush administration allowed terrorism? Yes. Am I saying they wanted a terrorist act to happen, even preparing for it and knowing it would come? Yes.

Did they know exactly what would happen? Probably not EXACTLY, but they had a good idea. They had full knowledge that the terrorists were planning on using commercial aircraft as the weapons, and that national symbols were the targets.

The New York Times had an article, the week before the 911, that told of OBL's and Taliban plans to terrorize America.

Don't look for it, it has been pulled, but it still exists elswhere. I will post it later.

Don't believe me? Look in government records. The actions of the administration has been documented. They are being pulled, more every day. But anyone who believes the Bush administration gives a damn about the individuals in this country, much less any other country, is a fool. The entire charade, the entire manipulation of the information you have digested for the past 8-10 years has been the product of attempts for big oil to get their hands on the oil in the middle east.

Just look at where our troops have been positioned.

Look at this sick economy. Not to mention all of the things that have been done by the government which they do not "Publisize".

Wake up and pay attention, WWIII is in the process of of being started as we sit here. Why suddenly are the talking heads in Washington talking as if "we" have always planned this war against 6-7 countries, and our economy doesn't matter in the effort. Did they campaign on war and a crashed economy? Wake up.

-- Cherri (jessam5@home.com), March 05, 2002.

Shit, Cherri, that's the dumbest piece of crap I've read in my life.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), March 05, 2002.

All I wanted was my Tax Cut.


Didn't care about the future, just wanted my TAX CUT.

Didn't care about social security. I'm not old!! Economy?? Whatever. Health care? I'm not sick!! Don't need it!!

Just as long as I get my TAX CUT!! . . . . . . . Hey, how can the economy be bad now?? Somebody fix it!! FIX IT!!!

-- (Gimme@My.TaxCut), March 05, 2002.

Yes Cherri, "wake up".

-- (Roland@hatemail.com), March 05, 2002.

Cherri is right on the money, it's Errorton the idiot and Roland the hater who are in total denial, playing good little imbeciles just like the Repugs want them to. You idiots are so fucking dumb and blind you wouldn't know it if someone hit you over the head with a baseball bat!

-- ROTFL! (repugs@are.suckers), March 05, 2002.

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