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 Post subject: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1135
Location: Illinois
If you want to something to help lighten all the over-hyped doom in the media about the debt ceiling, try this article http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-us-could-use-a-strategic-default-2011-07-14?dist=afterbell

My favorite part:
Quote:
Perhaps the most compelling argument for a strategic default on our federal debt is that it’s not our fault in the first place. China probably holds around $2 trillion in U.S. debt right now — what the heck were they thinking? Clearly we were spending beyond our means, and Asian investors who extended loans to America have no one to blame but themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1144
Quote:
America, it is time we just walk away.

...and we would learn absolutely nothing in the process.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:01 pm 
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I am so disgusted with those idiots in Congress. To even suggest that they would refuse to raise the debt limit and allow the country to default is treasonous. Seriously.

The modern global economy is driven by confidence. A default by the US would absolutely destroy confidence. I think we would enter a global depression very quickly. It would also likely be the last time the rest of the world would be willing to support our trade deficit...


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1135
Location: Illinois
DoingHomework wrote:
I am so disgusted with those idiots in Congress. To even suggest that they would refuse to raise the debt limit and allow the country to default is treasonous. Seriously.

The modern global economy is driven by confidence. A default by the US would absolutely destroy confidence. I think we would enter a global depression very quickly. It would also likely be the last time the rest of the world would be willing to support our trade deficit...

While I agree with that probably 99% (pretty much everything except the treason part). I've been reading a lot that suggests that not raising the debt ceiling wouldn't necessarily cause a default, because we'd have plenty of revenues to pay the interest and some other things, but we wouldn't have enough to fund a majority of the gov't. Whether or not there was a default would be determine by whoever gets to decide which things get paid (Sec Treasury maybe?).

I've not really looked into it, that's just what I read.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:51 pm 
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bpgui wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
I am so disgusted with those idiots in Congress. To even suggest that they would refuse to raise the debt limit and allow the country to default is treasonous. Seriously.

The modern global economy is driven by confidence. A default by the US would absolutely destroy confidence. I think we would enter a global depression very quickly. It would also likely be the last time the rest of the world would be willing to support our trade deficit...

While I agree with that probably 99% (pretty much everything except the treason part). I've been reading a lot that suggests that not raising the debt ceiling wouldn't necessarily cause a default, because we'd have plenty of revenues to pay the interest and some other things, but we wouldn't have enough to fund a majority of the gov't. Whether or not there was a default would be determine by whoever gets to decide which things get paid (Sec Treasury maybe?).

I've not really looked into it, that's just what I read.


There is a lot of misinformation floating around and I'm also not sure what the truth is. But I'm fairly certain that the administration (executive branch) has 100% authority to decide what gets paid if there is a cash shortage. It seems odd that Congress would put them in that position. They could have solid ground to pay for Democratic pet projects and withhold things the Republicans champion. But I don't know.

Frankly, I would lean to the Republican side in terms of what we should do long term. We should cut the size of government. But to threaten a default or to even put us in a position where rational people and institutions question the veracity of the "full faith and credit of the United States" is extraordinarily irresponsible. It may not rise to the level of treason, but it outshines things that people are convicted for all the time.

These elected officials have a job to do. They are not doing it.

I'm waiting for the announcement that military pay will be withheld. It's not too hard to issue stop work orders on government contracts. But you can't fail to pay civilian workers - that's forbidden by the 14th Amendment. You can't fail to pay bondholders without violating a contract. They can't withhold social security payments either because that is paid from a separate trust (strictly speaking). You can hold back military pay. That's a big chunk that can be tapped right away. And say goodbye to oil company subsidies, farm subsidies, and probably anything else that appeals to Republicans.

That's just speculation though.

The truth is, I really don't think it will happen. The bond market certainly doesn't. But the announcements this week from rating agencies were interesting. I suspect the Republican's will cave soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Maybe I'm just young and cynical, but I'm quite certain that behind the closed door talks, they already have a deal hammered out. Something that matches what economists recommend, a mix of budget cuts and tax increases that take effect a few years in the future. This is just all political posturing during an election cycle.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1135
Location: Illinois
DoingHomework wrote:
And say goodbye to oil company subsidies, farm subsidies, and probably anything else that appeals to Republicans.

While I won't say this publicly in my area, farm subsidies definitely need to go (probably the others too, but I'm not as knowledgeable on those.) I grew up with a farming family and currently have lots of farmer clients (non-chicago Illinois, what else would I have). Farmers are doing fine without them. The only thing farmers really have to worry about is the estate tax, since current land values are killing them (or really their heirs) in that area.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1135
Location: Illinois
DoingHomework wrote:
These elected officials have a job to do. They are not doing it.

You're preaching to the choir.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1135
Location: Illinois
kaitlyn142 wrote:
Maybe I'm just young and cynical, but I'm quite certain that behind the closed door talks, they already have a deal hammered out. Something that matches what economists recommend, a mix of budget cuts and tax increases that take effect a few years in the future. This is just all political posturing during an election cycle.

Wouldn't surprise me a bit. They may have a nice deal worked out that (for the most part) doesn't go into effect until after the election. That way they can each blame the other side for whatever.

It never ceases to amaze me how often laws are passed that don't go into effect until after the next election......................................... and how short sighted the average voter is that makes that strategy viable.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Ottawa, Canada
I'm absolutely positive that they will raise the debt ceiling, not default, and will not make any significant changes to anything.

They will kick the can down the road and let their grandkids worry about fixing things in the long-term.

Quote me on it.

Everything you're seeing now is nothing more than political posturing because next year is an election year. None of them will risk any actual carnage. They just want to be able to go to their conservative base and say, "Did you see how we put the screws to Obama, yet he still chose debt over real solutions? Vote for me, and I'll continue to try and fix things! (not)"


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1135
Location: Illinois
kombat wrote:
Everything you're seeing now is nothing more than political posturing because next year is an election year. None of them will risk any actual carnage. They just want to be able to go to their conservative base and say, "Did you see how we put the screws to Obama, yet he still chose debt over real solutions? Vote for me, and I'll continue to try and fix things! (not)"

That's pretty much what I was thinking, but couldn't verbalize it as well. I think it goes the same for the other side too.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1135
Location: Illinois
DoingHomework wrote:
It may not rise to the level of treason, but it outshines things that people are convicted for all the time.

Are we convicting people of treason regularly? I've not heard of any recently, but I've also not looked into it. I'd have though treason convictions would be relatively highly publicized, given it is the only crime mentioned in the Constitution.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Ottawa, Canada
bpgui wrote:
Are we convicting people of treason regularly? I've not heard of any recently, but I've also not looked into it. I'd have though treason convictions would be relatively highly publicized, given it is the only crime mentioned in the Constitution.


Well, there's the Wikileaks guy, but granted that's just one case (albeit VERY high-profile). And it remains to be seen if they'll convict. And even if they do, I highly doubt they'll apply the traditional punishment (execution), but rather will opt for a symbolic slap on the wrist (read: dishonourable discharge, plus time served).


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:54 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1135
Location: Illinois
kombat wrote:
Well, there's the Wikileaks guy, but granted that's just one case (albeit VERY high-profile). And it remains to be seen if they'll convict. And even if they do, I highly doubt they'll apply the traditional punishment (execution), but rather will opt for a symbolic slap on the wrist (read: dishonourable discharge, plus time served).

He's the only one I can think of in recent memory. Though, I think downloading and distributing classified military documents is a much more clear cut example of treason than refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless is coupled with a bunch of budget cuts and without raising taxes.
Quote:
Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

The problem with comparing the debt situation is there is no "adhering to their Enemies" or "giving them aid and comfort." I suppose you could argue (though I don't think convincingly) that it is in effect levying War against the U.S., but then that same argument could be made against all the pols that got us into this huge debt by continuing to spend spend spend without the money to pay for it.

It's too much of a slippery slope. You could argue any piece of legislation that you think is bad for the country is treasonous.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the U.S. Could Use a Strategic Default
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:52 pm 
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You could probably argue that irreparably destroying the full faith and credit confidence is tantamount to economic warfare. But I agree it would be a stretch. In reality though, if confidence is threatened and interest rates go up, borrowing costs on our existing debt would go up enormously. That would likely force enormous cuts and tax increases. There just is no other possibility.

It makes for good political theater but I really think these guys are playing with fire. While I agree with the republicans that we should make long term cuts, I agree with Obama that it's time to stop kicking the can down the road. Each person will have their own opinion but personally, if there is a default, I will put the blame squarely on the republicans.

But I concur with Kaitlyn and Kombat - we'll get another week or two of theater before a compromise is announced that gives both sides a "victory."


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