by Frank Holmes, reporter
President Joe Biden says America is only 20 days away from a catastrophic government default — and he’s leaving the United States for New Guinea.
It took Biden more than three months to meet with Republican leaders to negotiate raising the debt ceiling. Now that they’re just weeks away from disaster, Biden is hoping on a plane.
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“The president has waited 97 days without ever meeting. Every day I asked that we meet and he said no,” said Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., after his meeting with the president on Tuesday.
"The president has waited 97 DAYS without ever meeting. Every day I asked that we meet and he said no," says @SpeakerMcCarthy.
"The House has raised the debt ceiling in a responsible matter … does [Biden] not believe there's any place we could find savings?" pic.twitter.com/vIRCp5JLyW
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 9, 2023
“I didn’t see any new movement,” McCarthy told reporters after the failed negotiations.
Biden’s team tried to put a positive spin on things, with one of Biden’s economic advisers, Gene Sperling, calling the talks “productive.” But he admitted the two sides had nothing to show for them.
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The two sides have “a long way to go” before they stop the government from possible default, he said, but at least “there was a good feeling in the room.”
There’s also a mountain of debt and the possibility of looming recession hanging over the American people, as Biden dithered for months.
Biden has known about the problem since January, when the national debt reached $31.4 trillion, the current debt limit negotiated by Congress.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen immediately shuffled federal accounts around to keep paying the bills, but she has repeatedly that will run out on June 1.
Rather than meet with McCarthy, Biden rolled out a $6.9 trillion budget proposal and dared him to pass legislation.
Insiders say Biden thought McCarthy couldn’t pass a budget and would have to take Biden’s budget as a starting point—but Biden bet wrong.
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Instead, Republicans support the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which demands the government not spend any of the unspent money set aside for the COVID “pandemic,” which Biden said is over months ago. It also eliminates the $71 million Biden spent to tens of thousands of new IRS agents, gets rid of government subsidies and incentives for green energy, says government programs cannot grow beyond one percent, and cancels Biden’s scheme to pay off $10,000 or $20,000 in student loans. Instead of almost $7 trillion, it spends $1.5 trillion over the next year.
Senate Democrats haven’t introduced an alternative. But Biden accused Republicans of “literally, not figuratively, holding the economy hostage,” confusing the meaning of “literally” and “figuratively” again.
Then Biden waited another five days before meeting with the Speaker… and he’s admitted that those talks went nowhere.
They’re meeting again Friday. They’re important—but not important enough for Biden to stay in Washington. This weekend, he’s going to discuss economic growth…in Papua, New Guinea.
Republicans say Biden won’t budge, something even Biden promoted when he was in the U.S. Senate.
Raising the debt ceiling “has been done 78 times since 1960,” said Karine Jean-Pierre—but it’s always required both sides to give-and-take.
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His fellow Democrats have savaged Biden for his inaction as a possible debt ceiling crisis approaches.
Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said Biden’s refusal to negotiate is “not rational, it’s not reasonable, and it’s not practical, and…it’s hypocritical.”
He’s not the only one on the Left to say Biden should step up. “Now McCarthy’s been able to deliver a bargaining position, then it’s up to Biden to respond,” former Democratic Congresswoman Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota told CNBC’s Squawk Box.
Biden is going all the way to the brink—and he’s ready to push ordinary people over. In January, he said, “We’ve got to do something about Social Security and” Medicare.
“There’s a lot of things we can do” to elderly people on fixed incomes, he said.
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Meanwhile, Biden’s falsely accusing Republicans of trying to cut veterans’ benefits—a charge the left-wing Washington Post said took the spin to “a four-Pinocchio extreme.”
Biden falsely claims Republicans want to "cut" veterans' health care.
That's a lie — even the Washington Post says Biden is taking "the spin to a Four-Pinocchio extreme." pic.twitter.com/zJYZnxNUyf
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 10, 2023
He’s also “considering” ignoring the debt ceiling legislation and just keep spending. Liberals claim this is allowed by the 14th Amendment, which says, “The validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.”
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“I have been considering the 14th Amendment,” Biden told a White House event on Tuesday.
If he does, you’ll be the one who pays, economic experts warn. The president’s decision to ignore Congress would probably trigger a recession, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.
Legal experts say Biden doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The amendment just “means that the president is under a constitutional, as well as a pragmatic, obligation to keep current on interest and principal” on the national debt, not that he can spend 100% of his budget forever without Congress, writes Michael W. McConnell, director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School.
Even liberal legal guru Laurence Tribe explained, “some payments simply have to be postponed until the Treasury has enough money to make them,” even though the president has to make “payments on the public debt.”
Of course, he said that in 2011, during the Obama-Biden administration.
“The problem,” Biden admitted, “is it would have to be litigated. And in the meantime, without an extension, we still end up in the same place.” Still, he said he’s “thinking about taking a look at — months down the road — to see what the court would say about whether or not it does work.”
So, Biden says he will negotiate today and try to stab McCarthy in the back tomorrow.
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Some people say the 80-year-old Biden can’t finish a coherent sentence… but his latest moves show Joe Biden can still talk out of both sides of his mouth.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”