Another Fake Debate: Raising the Debt Ceiling - Page 2
Here is where the appearance of a showdown gets legs. “Administration officials say even GOP firebrands won’t risk a national default and an international financial meltdown,” according to Politico. “There is a growing sense among all parties that President Barack Obama won’t be able to extend the credit limit without making significant new concessions to congressional Republicans.”
Democrats have leverage, however. “There are obviously divisions in the GOP among the leaders and the people pursuing their dumb notions of linking [cuts] to the debt vote,” said Representative Barney Frank (D-MA). Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has repeatedly said the limit needs to be raised. Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA), Boehner’s number 2 in the House, is keeping with his alliance with tea party conservatives and taking taken a tougher line. But that’s all it is – a line.
Conservative strategists are warning that the GOP should not push the debt ceiling debate too close to the breaking point. According to the Huffington Post, “If there is a vote on raising the debt ceiling and it fails, there will be a significant market reaction,” said Tony Fratto, a former Treasury and White House official in the Bush administration. “Investors already believe that Congress doesn’t understand the financial markets. A failure to raise the debt ceiling will confirm this to them."
The country is already sour on congress. Gallup reports, “Congress' approval is at 17%, essentially unchanged from last month's 18%, and identical to where it was just after last November's midterm congressional elections. The current rating is just four percentage points above the all-time low of 13% from December.”
Gallup also reports that neither the budget nor unemployment is Americans' top overall concern. “That distinction belongs to the economy, by a significant margin over any other issue. The economy has placed first or second on the list each month since February 2008.” Even so their polling shows that “Independents and Republicans are both twice as likely as Democrats to say the budget is the most important problem. In turn, Republicans are less likely than Democrats and independents to view unemployment as the top problem.”