Tag Archives: Debt Ceiling

Charles Krauthammer

Our interview with Charles Krauthammer is online. Charles Krauthammer is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post and a contributor to Fox News. We covered nearly every area of policy including the 2012 elections and the upcoming Palestinian statehood vote in the United Nations.

One quick note, we’ve decoupled the Talking Points section from the interview portion of the episode and will be releasing the Talking Points tomorrow morning.

ChrossTalk Episode 8: Charles Krauthammer

We’d like to thank Charles Krauthammer for joining us.

Want to read more by Charles Krauthammer? Find his work for the Washington Post here.

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The Talk: Congressional Recess and the Economic Mess

The Talk: Congressional Recess and the Economic Mess
August 5, 2011

Chip Lebovitz: The debt ceiling crisis has been finally defused, or at least, temporarily disarmed. Congress has fled the capitol for its August recess. With unemployment over 9 percent, how should the president be trying to get the country back on track?

Ross Freiman-Mendel: Having just turned 50, the president should probably just celebrate his birthday. The most effective thing that he can do at this point is nothing — this vacation could be the least destructive weeks of his presidency. In all seriousness though, the name of the game when Congress and the president return will be the economy.

Chip Lebovitz: Think more proactively: the name of the post-recess game may be the economy, but the unemployment numbers determine the score. The president has a couple of options moving forward to help bolster the flagging economy. A smart first step would be to demand a resolution to the recent Federal Aviation Administration shutdown. 75,000 workers should not remain unemployed because members of congress are more focused on their recess and fundraising than actually running the country.

Ross Freiman-Mendel: Again, Congress remains divided on the FAA issues, with both houses having offered different plans. The president displayed his immaturity as a negotiator and inability to lead during the debt-ceiling debate, so I don’t expect much from him. With a failed attempt at stimulus, can you be more specific in what the current administration can do?

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Today’s Debt Ceiling Deal

A bit of prescience from Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer during our interview last Friday about the final debt ceiling compromise.

Our full episode with Charles Krauthammer comes out next week.

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The Talk: The Washington Tea Party

The Talk: The Washington Tea Party
July 29, 2012

Chip Lebovitz: With less than a week to the August 2nd default deadline, both Congress and the president have still failed to pass a debt ceiling increase. The failure is due, in part, to the extremely divided Republican caucus split between a Tea Party faction opposed to nearly any debt ceiling increase and a mainstream element supportive of a spending cut only increase. Ross, what’s piqued your interest most about the recent GOP dynamic?

Ross Freiman-Mendel: Speaker Boehner is really stuck between a rock and a hard place. He must find a solution that stands a chance against two ideologically intransigent caucuses. It’s certainly harder to govern in the majority.

Chip Lebovitz: It’s nice of you to admit to the Republican caucus’ intransigency, though I’m not so sure that’s a fair characterization of Democrats. Without the Tea Party movement, Speaker Boehner would’ve already passed a grand bargain with President Obama and Congressional Democrats that would have reduced our deficit by $4 trillion and seriously reformed entitlements, weakening Obama on his left flank for the 2012 elections. Instead, Speaker Boehner and the Republican establishment are forced to deal with an insurgent element of their caucus that is willing to sacrifice political victory in order to achieve an impossible goal – a balanced budget amendment.

Ross Freiman-Mendel: That’s a bit harsh. The Tea Party caucus is rightly forcing Boehner, Senate Democrats, and Obama to acknowledge the referendum that propelled the GOP to big gains during the midterm elections. I think it’s fairer to say that the Obama administration has been disingenuous during these talks. Continue reading

The Talk: The Cut, Cap, and Balance Gang

Please enjoy ChrossTalk’s new weekly column:

The Talk: The Cut, Cap and Balance Gang
July 22, 2012

Chip Lebovitz: Welcome back from Costa Rica Ross, have you kept up with the tangled mess that is the debt ceiling debate?

Ross Freiman-Mendel: Good to be back Chip: the venue changed, but it’s all a jungle. The debt ceiling is a truly global issue. I don’t support an increase, but since that view is unacceptable to reasonable people, I support Cut, Cap and Balance.

Chip Lebovitz: While I’m sure the foreign policy implications of a failure to raise the debt ceiling are ominous, the Cut, Cap and Balance Act (CCB) going through Congress is equally portentous. CCB is a radical attempt to balance the budget on the backs of entitlements like Medicare and Social Security and would cap discretionary spending at 18% of the previous years’ GDP. The last time the U.S spent that little on discretionary spending was in the 1960’s, and I think that this Center for American Progress info-graphic shows that times have been a-changin’ quite significantly since then.

Ross Freiman-Mendel: You’re characterizing radical change as if it’s a devastating consequence, rather than a necessary one. To me it’s a simple logic issue: this government has consistently demonstrated its profound ability to live outside of its means, evidenced by the previous 74 times the ceiling has been raised since 1962. Congress is kicking the can hard — this time it obstinately is going nowhere down the road. What would you have Congress do?

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Full Ed Kilgore Interview

The full interview with Ed Kilgore is now online. Beyond the version of the interview found in Monday’s episode, Kilgore discusses the debt ceiling, the 14th Amendment option, and the demands of writing for multiple publications.

ChrossTalk Episode 5: Ed Kilgore (Full Interview)


Here’s some background on the 14th Amendment option and you can find the Jonathan Chait article referred to in the interview here.

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Want to read more work written by Ed Kilgore? Check out his column at The New Republic and Progressive Fix.