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Published on Jul 24, 2011
By Christina Botteri Democrat firebrand Pete Stark appeared at a town hall meeting in Fremont, California Saturday morning. After receiving an award from the local MoveOn.org chapter for his work on their behalf, Congressman Stark addressed the Debt Ceiling crisis.
Said the staunch liberal:
"You've heard a lot about the Debt Limit. And I guess that's - I don't know how many of you are worried about it or concerned about it. The fact is I think it's a political charade.
"I'm afraid that the Democrats have done that in the past, threatened to shut down the government. I don't think there's a chance that it will happen. I think the last time somebody did, they lost enough seats in the House of Representatives to convince them it was a dumbest thing they ever did. [It] doesn't get us anywhere, it doesn't help anybody, and to extend the Debt Limit is nothing more - than people have described it - than that the government's credit card doesn't run out of resources.
"And we all know we have more debt than we should be carrying and there's a fight going on: Should we raise your taxes to lower that debt? Should we quit government spending? The question is if we quit government spending, what do we quit spending? Do we quit spending on Social Security and WIC and children's daycare? Or do we quit spending for corporate jet deductions, and those sorts of things? And those are the political fights.
"They are going to go on. You'll hear about them 'til the end of the year. My prediction is that we will extend the Debt Ceiling; and the Republicans will accuse us Democrats of being big taxers and big spenders; and I guess we'll accuse them of not being concerned about the elderly, and the poor, and children.
"And the country will go on with its debates, and we hope that you will all stay involved and express your opinions loudly and to all of us. ..." (emphasis added)
Congressman Stark's statements expose a rift between the President and his allies on the ideological Left and Democrats in office. Elected officials and Hill watchers have always known that the August 2 deadline was arbitrary, and that the US Treasury - receiving $200B each month - is well-able to pay its financial obligations, including the military, interest on the debt, and Social Security with money left over.
Meanwhile, the President's insistence - for political gain - on August 2 marking a 'debt ceiling doomsday' continues to send shock waves through an already jittery global financial market. The phony deadline is creating the possibility of very real negative financial ramifications to the US economy.