John Podhoretz at the New York Post:
... [I]n a tone of high dudgeon, the president has asserted that the exemplary moral behavior for the United States (with its $16 trillion debt and $1 trillion-plus in annual interest payments on that debt) is . . . to borrow more money.
He won’t let the country be “held hostage,” nor will he pay Republicans a “ransom.” They are putting “a gun to the head” of the American people.
What Obama is saying is simple: The United States has become Too Big To Fail.
By daring the GOP to risk default in February with his refusal to negotiate over spending cuts, the president is, in effect, holding the United States hostage against itself.
He won’t allow America to be a “deadbeat nation.” The problem is that borrowing money to pay back more borrowed money that will oblige you in the future to borrow even more money doesn’t sound kosher. Because it isn’t.
.... At this point, raising the debt ceiling should be a matter of national shame. We all know that the money that will be used to pay off the current debt will be borrowed too. We are borrowing from Peter to pay Paul (or, more confoundingly, borrowing from China to pay China).
In other words, having maxed out the Amex, he wants to take a cash advance on the Visa. When that’s used up, we turn to MasterCard and then Discover. And then we start taking the White House candlesticks to the pawnbroker.
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So why is the president saying he won’t negotiate with Republicans who want to see significant budget cuts before they agree to raising the ceiling again?
Because he doesn’t want to. That’s pretty much his position. He won the election — and he doesn’t want to. And telling him he should . . . well, that just gets him angry.