Running On Empty

Actually, we’re running beyond empty now. The United States can’t legally borrow any more money until Congress acts to raise the debt ceiling.

US government hits debt ceiling, lighting 11-week fuse

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed Congress on Monday that the United States has reached its legal debt limit, setting off a ticking time bomb that could explode in less than three months if lawmakers can’t bridge differences and allow more government borrowing.

In hitting the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling – the limit on how much the government can borrow – the Obama administration on Monday began temporarily halting payments to the retirement and federal pension accounts of federal workers and started borrowing from those funds, to be restored later.

Geithner sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warning that the government can move money around for about 11 weeks but if a new debt ceiling isn’t agreed to by Aug. 2, the U.S. government could effectively default on its obligations to its creditors. He warned of “catastrophic economic consequences for citizens” unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.

An increase of about $2 trillion is expected, enough to get the issue past the 2012 elections before Congress would have to lift it again.

Republicans who control the House of Representatives vow to link raising the debt ceiling to cuts in government spending of at least equal measure. In a combative statement Monday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, upped the ante.

“As I have said numerous times, there will be no debt limit increase without serious budget reforms and significant spending cuts, cuts that are greater than any increase in the debt limit.” Boehner has called previously for $2 trillion in spending cuts as part of any deal to raise the debt ceiling.

See also:
US hits $14 trillion debt limit
US Hits Debt Ceiling, But Treasury Market Rules Out Default For Now
Deja Vu, But No Disaster: U.S. Government Hits Debt Ceiling
U.S. Hits Debt Limit, Sky Doesn’t Fall
U.S. hit debt limit today
Treasury Tapping Federal Retirement Accounts to Stave Off Default
Turbo Tim Raids Pension Plans
With Debt Limit Maxed Out, Lawmakers Hold Firm On Remedy
Rep. Jordan: U.S. won’t default if debt ceiling isn’t raised
U.S. National Debt Clock

Well, we hit the debt ceiling and, despite all the Democrat Chicken Little hysteria, the Sun didn’t explode, the seas didn’t boil, and the markets didn’t plunge thousands of points. Go figure.

/all I can say is that the Republicans had better stand firm and hold their ground this time and hold out for concrete, verifiable spending cuts that at least equal the amount of any debt limit increase

Advertisements

Is It A Draw?

Seriously, do we have any sort of endgame plan here?

Libyan Conflict Seen as Stalemate

Both the Libyan government and rebel leaders outwardly express confidence their side will prevail. But behind the scenes, concerns are rising that the eight week conflict may be at a stalemate.

Government forces continue to besiege the western rebel city of Misrata, and remain just outside Ajdabiya, a key eastern town that has changed hands numerous times.

. . .

Whatever their popular support, the rebels have been unable to make much headway on the battlefield. Their farthest drive was under the aerial protection of a mission led by the U.S., France and Britain. Those gains have been reversed during the time NATO has been in charge of the campaign.

See also:
Gadhafi military hurt, but prospect of stalemate looms, official says
Libya stalemate could thicken fog of war for NATO
EU concern at prolonged Libyan war
US Commander Sees Libya Stalemate
US General: Libya stalemate more likely now
New Battles in Libya, Strains in NATO Campaign
NATO urged to press harder in Libya as battles continue
Will Libya stalemate force US out of its back-seat role?
U.S. Faces a Libya Stalemate, What are its Options?
Libya stalemate appears to be emerging: U.S. general
With Libya a stalemate, removing Gaddafi the fastest way to end the fighting

These have to be just about the most bizarre rules of engagement for a war, oops, sorry, I mean kinetic military action, that I’ve ever seen. What is it, exactly, that we’re trying to accomplish in Libya? If we’re trying to get rid of Gaddafi, let’s back the “rebels” all the way and get it over with. This strange maintenance of an ongoing “status quo”, where attrition is killing human beings on both sides, on a daily basis, is totally perverse.

/not to mention that this ineffective, half ass “quasi-military intervention” is wasting a lot of U.S. taxpayer money, money we don’t even have to spend, and it’ll continue to do so for as long as this standoff farce continues