StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

No Talk About The Debt Ceiling Or A Shutdown In SOTU

26 Jan 2011
Posted by Stan Collender

Unless I missed it, the president stayed away from the two big topics that are dominating much of the discussion inside the Beltway these days -- the debt ceiling that's about to be reached and the continuing resolution that's about to expire.

This is not surprising: If you look at the speech as a whole it's clear that the White House didn't want to talk about legislative battles or...and far more important...didn't want the discussion after the speech to be about process.  Think back to the health care reform debate.  Those types of endless arguments (For example...Should reconciliation be used to consider the legislation in the Senate?) not only scored no points but angered those outside of Washington who quickly got tired of the political and procedural jockeying that seemed to go nowhere.

In fact, other than the promise to veto any appropriation with earmarks, which was more an attempt to be the macho president Americans seem to love than anything else, the two big budget issues on the immediate horizon weren't mentioned.  There were no threats or concessions, no predictions of dire consequences, the words "shutdown" and "default" weren't used, and, what probably was most important from the administration's perspective, no budget red meat for the GOP and tea party types to devour.

That doesn't mean the debt ceiling and CR won't soon be the big problems we expect them to be, only that the president was able to get through the SOTU without making them THE issues of the evening and today's topic #1.  The administration didn't back itself into a corner.

If you're scoring this at home...Advantage White House.

I seem to recall Paul Ryan

I seem to recall Paul Ryan implying in his response to the SOTU that we shouldn't raise the debt limit. To wit:

"...we have gotten – along with record deficits and debt – to the point where the President is now urging Congress to increase the debt limit. We believe the days of business as usual must come to an end. We hold to a couple of simple convictions: Endless borrowing is not a strategy; spending cuts have to come first.­­­­"



Stan -

You're THE BEST. You have to love a site where the post includes SOTU. I had no idea what it meant - too bad we didn't look more closely at WMD before we invaded Iraq

As someone who lives in the "real world" AND is definitely (like all of us) affected by what happens in the Federal Government, MANY THANKS for quick analysis and commentary re the President's speech. Earlier this morning, I was talking with another person who lives in the "real world" - Pennsylvania, outside city in his case, and we agreed that all of us in the real world have a good sense - a lot more than politicians would have us believe - that we're in trouble. A charming snippet about this is the WSJ headline column saying that 1/3 of American elementary and highschool students are "proficient" in science. No doubt those numbers are higher in South Korea, Finland and quite a few other countries.

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