Congressman Jim Moran on Debt Limit Fight

Representative spoke to Democrats in Alexandria on Saturday night

The country wants to know: Will Congress increase the debt limit by August 2, or will the United States default on its debt and lose its AAA bond rating?

Democratic Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (8th) has been talking with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). “It’s not going well,” Moran said at a Democratic event on Saturday night in Alexandria. “Boehner is having a meeting right now in the Capitol and basically they’re deciding whether to allow an international implosion of our financial system, which could send us into the second Great Depression.

“They (Republicans) don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know how important the stability of American currency is to the stability of the world’s financial systems. They don’t understand that the debt ceiling is not an artificial construct. It has nothing to do with revenue or spending. All it says is ‘We will pay whatever we owe.’ That’s all it does. And by delaying this, it raises questions as to whether we will pay what we owe and that’s not good. That causes distrust, confusion and it weakens the authority and the credibility of the United States government.

“Obama’s furious that Boehner won’t talk, because (Boehner) has no power. It’s [House Majority Leader] Eric Cantor (R-Va.-7th) who has the power. He really thought he was talking with someone who could say ‘Yes,’ but Boehner doesn’t have the authority, because Cantor controls the Tea Partiers - the hardcore far-right. To them, it’s about principle, and I’ve talked to them. For most of them, their economic policy is Ayn Rand, it’s not on (economist John Maynard) Keynes or any economist,” Moran said.

Moran cited cuts to the Women, Infants and Children program, which provides low-cost meals for underprivileged pregnant women and children under five years of age.

“It’s one of the most important programs that a caring community and society and nation can do,” he said. “So, the Republicans would cut $650 million from that program to deny nutritious meals to 300,000 women and children for the entire year, and in the same bill, the tax cuts just for the millionaires and billionaires, people whose incomes are $1 million a year, and there are 300,000 of them, they get $650 million of additional tax breaks for one week. So, to pay for an entire year for 300,000 low-income pregnant mothers and infant children, they cut that out so they can give tax breaks to the same number of millionaires.”

Moran also charged that the intentions of Republicans are the same as Grover Norquist, the influential president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Grover Norquist spilled the beans about what he’s really fighting about, why he’s gotten virtually every Republican to sign his pledge (for no new taxes), because he said: ‘We are going to create a structure with this debt ceiling fight so that when the Democrats have control, they will never be able to govern as Democrats.’ Those are his words.”

Norquist reportedly made the statement in 2003 at his high school reunion. When asked how Republicans could retain a permanent majority in the House, he replied: “We will make it so that a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.”

Moran: “In other words, we won’t have the resources to ensure that the middle class expands, to ensure that pregnant women and infant children have sufficient nutrition, to ensure that we have good quality schools to compete in the 21st century, to ensure that people aren’t left by the side of the road...They’re fighting to make sure we don’t have the resources to accomplish that objective.”  

Chris July 25, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Moran on Republicans: "they’re deciding whether to allow an international implosion of our financial system, which could send us into the second Great Depression...."They don't know what they don't know." This from one of the dumbest people in congress. To tell you the truth, I think the Dems are running scared because their sacred cows are at risk. They know we'll pay the bills we have to pay, interest on debt, SS, Medicare, military pay, etc. but the other stuff will be on the chopping block. . Boehner and the GOP should hold their ground and call Obama's bluff. He has two choices: fold his hand and agree to Republican demands or refuse. Either way, he's going to piss off the Democrats and he'll be the one who has to make the hard choices over sacrificial lambs. To make a deal w/Obama is to let him kick the can past 2012. Republicans aren't going to lose the House because they honored their 2010 promises. The Dems had two years to prevent this but they sat on their hands. The public knows that this has been coming for a long time and sooner or later tough choices need to be made. We're on an unsustainable spending curve.
Randy July 27, 2011 at 03:54 AM
Rep Moran notes that the increase in the debt limit is just out intent to pay our bills, really? Let us see how this works in the mind of this elected official. We currently borrow 42 cents of every dollar the government spends, we collect roughly 220 billion dollars in revenue every month but the government spends over 300 billion ever month and that is not enough for them. Now they want to increase the debt limit by another 2.4 trillion dollars. No Rep Moran it is not our willingness to pay our debt, it is a clear acknowledgement that you want to spend more money that we don't have and sink us in greater debt. I know many of you still want to blame Bush, okay blame him for his part of the debt but you can't ignore the facts.....President Obama and the democrats have added 5 trillion dollars to the debt in less than 3 years and now they want to add more. Have you ever stopped to ask why the debt ceiling is not decreased? Why don't you try this in your personal or business dealings? Because you know you would be arrested. We can't continue to pay out more than we collect in revenues and borrow the difference. At some point we need to step up and pay the bill. I am tired of being taxed to the brink because these politicians are buying votes with someone else's ( our) money. Funny how our current president, when he was a senator, said any attempt to raise the debt ceiling Is an admission of a lack of leadership....I guess he knows of what he spoke.
RJ July 27, 2011 at 12:27 PM
He is right sort of: Even if the 0 out the entire FY11 and 12 budget and the US government stop writing checks....we still owe .42 to ever dollar. Nothing is going to change it, it is call incurred interest. Also of note: the tax rates are the lowest they have been since WW2, so the Federal government is not taxing you to death...maybe the states and local governments are, but to say the Feds are is absolutely false. Sure we may spend too much and you will not see an argument out of me, but we need to cut and increase revenue if we ever want to get out of the hole. Not sure why spending cuts are even within the discussion, the debt limit increase isn’t the Federal Budget. Time to stop blaming and time to start fixing. This Rep Vrs Dem Vrs Con vrs Lib is literally destroying America.
Lee Hernly July 27, 2011 at 01:14 PM
@RJ - Wrong. During Bush I's term, we borrowed 24 cents of every dollar and under Bush II, we borrowed 23 cents of every dollar. During Clinton's term, thanks to a GOP House, we only borrowed 18 cents of every dollar. Also, tax rates are the the lowest since WWII. Tax rates were lower under Ronald Reagan. If you want to 'increase revenue,' then advocate for closing the loopholes and lowering the rates. Increasing taxes on the wealthy causes the wealthy to expose less of their money to taxation as Bill Clinton found out. If you cut taxes, it causes the wealthy to pay more of a share and the middle class to pay less. Calvin Coolidge cut taxes during his term and we had strong economic growth. So did Reagan and Bush II. For an example of how increasing taxes during a recovery don't work, FDR raised taxes sharply in 1937 in an attempt to balance the budget. Once tax increases took effect, the economy collapsed into another recession – the second stage of the double-dip which lasted into WWII. It was only after FDR died that the U.S. economy started to recover.
RJ July 30, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Thanks for three paragraphs but that made no sense to the post I made. Not my figures I was using the OP numbers. But your effort is appreciated.


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