Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture: Could it be that Republicans REALLY DO want us to default? 16 May '11

Right now - there’s only one thing standing in between the United States and economic collapse…and that’s our ability to borrow from the pension funds of federal employees.

Because Republicans won’t drop their war against the working class - our nation hit its debt limit today forcing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to resort to “extreme measures” like borrowing federal employee pension funds just to keep us from defaulting on our debt around the world - a default that most economists say would trigger the next Great Depression While economists - experts - most politicians - and even the Chamber of Commerce are begging for a "clean bill" - one that only does one thing, to raise the debt ceiling - arguing that we can’t afford to play games with such high stakes - the Republican leadership IS playing games - passing the revolver around with one bullet in the cylinder.

Both Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have warned that they won’t bring Republicans on board to raise the debt ceiling unless trillions of dollars are cut out of entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

If disaster wasn’t hanging in the balance - this would be really, really funny considering that both Boehner and McConnell had no problem whatsoever turning Clinton's budget surplus into a massive budget deficit under George W. Bush..

They did it by two wars without a single penny raised to pay for them - a massive Medicare Part D prescription drug program that forces the government to pay retail - giving drug companies billions while throwing Medicare into a crisis - and hundreds of billions of dollars in tax giveaways for millionaires and billionaires, courtesy of the Bush tax cuts.

Not a peep over the debt from these guys back then.

And not a peep about the debt when their hero Ronald Reagan ran up nearly $3 trillion worth of debt in 8 years - more than any other President in history from George Washington to Jimmy Carter…combined!.

Not to mention that Boehner and McConnell have already voted to increase the debt limit 8 different times while in Congress - 8 times - without hesitation.

So why the foot-dragging now?

Could it be that Republicans REALLY DO wants us to default?

That they want to bring about the next Great Depression to forever link President Obama and the Democrats with economic disaster - just like what happened to Herbert Hoover.

Is this the "scorched earth policy" that Republicans talked about when Obama won the presidency - and they're doing it to destroy the Democrats for a generation, the way Hoover destroyed the Republicans?

We'll find out - but something tells me that even they don't understand just how bad things could get if we do end up defaulting on our debt.

But don't take my word for it - take this guy's word for it who said:

"The full consequences of a default - or even the serious prospect of default - by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation."

And who said this??

Ronald Reagan himself back in 1987.

Even the patron saint of the Republican Party would have wanted a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling today.

So let's stop playing games - just raise the damn debt ceiling - and then we can argue about how Republicans want to screw over working people next week.

That's The Big Picture.

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