Jan 18, 2013

Why debt is easier than guns: Obama’s twin challenges

Gun control fits the normal paradigm of a legislative negotiation. The debt ceiling is different, most Republicans know they must raise it -- and that's why Obama should have more success on debt than guns.

Charles Richardson — Editor of The World is not Enough

Charles Richardson

Editor of The World is not Enough

Barack Obama

Barack Obama was already facing a difficult time with Congress over the debt ceiling increase and the postponed “fiscal cliff” automatic budget cuts, but now he’s bought himself an additional fight in the shape of his plan for gun law reform. Both issues will be a test of his standing at the beginning of his second term.

In order to understand his prospects of success, however, it’s necessary to look at how the issues are significantly different.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

13 thoughts on “Why debt is easier than guns: Obama’s twin challenges


    Check this 30 minute video on You Tube ‘The Sandy Hook Shooting – Fully Exposed’ – posted four days ago with 8 million views and rising. Guns could prove to be an extreme challenge if this stuff is just half true.

  2. Malcolm Street

    “This stuff” is utter bullsh*t – it is the type of fringe nut conspiracy theory that comes out every time a gunman goes nuts (there were similar claims about Port Arthur). If you believe it you are sick, sick, sick. There’s plenty of other Sandy Hook conspiracy theories doing the rounds – scary bit is that those who most believe this crap are the ones who are most adamant about how they need guns.

    Charles – you’ve underestimated the pure batshit crazy element of the Republican party, and the power of the Tea Party at pre-election level. There’s plenty within the Tea Party who want a scorched earth USA to rebuild their no government society on. Note that over 60 Republicans voted against reconstruction aid to New Jersey!


    You’re the sort who would have disputed the United States Select Committee on Assassinations finding that JFK assassination was the result of a conspiracy and labelled them a bunch paranoid conspiracy theorists.

    A Warren Commission true believer. There’s none as blind as those who refuse to see.

  4. Gavin Moodie

    I thought Obama was seeking presidential authority to lift the debt ceiling, which would remove this particular bit of nonsense from Congress permanently.

  5. Steve777

    But where did this debt come from? Republican George W Bush started two wars, one of which was fraudulent. He badly botched both of them. He put the cost on the national credit card for future Administrations / Generations to pay. Meanwhile, he introduced unaffordable tax cuts benefiting mainly the wealthy. He let Wall Street run amok, destroying much of the Nation’s and the World’s wealth. Meanwhile the pronouncements of prominent Republicans on Social issues from abortion, rpe, guns and World affairs seem to indicate that many of them are certifiable lunatics. Why would anyone take them seriously?

  6. Malcolm Street

    Gavin – there’s an opinion that under (IIRC) the 14th Amendment he may have that authority.

  7. Gavin Moodie

    @ Malcolm Street

    Thanx. I think I recall dimly that the President being recognised as already having the power to increase the US’ debt ceiling without Congressional approval depends on a favourable interpretation by the US Supreme Court, which apparently would not be assured. Having a Presidential decision struck down by the Supremes would undermine Presidential authority too much to risk, so better take the safer course of getting the agreement of Congress, so I understand the argument runs.

  8. Charles Richardson

    Malcolm – You’re right, there are certainly some very crazy Republicans. But the majority are only semi-crazy; while I’d say most of them still won’t vote for the debt ceiling increase, they’ll let it go thru.

    Malcolm & Gavin – As you say, there’s a flourishing legal debate on this. I don’t think Obama will want to do anything that isn’t clearly legal; even if he thinks he’d win in the supreme court, he won’t take the risk. If I’m wrong & the debt ceiling isn’t raised, he’ll probably have to resort to issuing IOUs.

  9. Malcolm Street

    Charles – the problem isn’t so much what the Republican representatives think, it’s what their local party organisations think. Too many of these are in the hands of the Tea Party – help let the debt ceiling increase through (even by abstaining) and goodby preselection.

  10. Mike Flanagan

    Obama’s attempts to remedy the insanity of the American love of guns are to be commended but recognised for its minimalist attempt to rectify this social anomaly.
    The AR15 Assault Rifle that is readily available to their public is a direct evolution of the Armalite rifle that was developed as a high velocity, low calibre and short range means for their infantry to apply their ill-conceived strategy of ‘area neutralisation’, similar to how Mortars have been traditionally used.
    The user didn’t have to accurate aim the monster but fire in the general direction to affect major injuries to the intended victim because of the velocity of the projectile emitted.
    It has little or no value as either an accurate competitive rifle or for hunting, and why their public should have access to it with large capacity magazines is an indictment of the social values that many of the American public seem to hold dear to themselves.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details