Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ABC Nightline airs interview with Bob Woodward on Debt Ceiling Crisis of 2011

On Tuesday September 10, 2012, ABC Nightline aired part of an interview with journalist Bob Woodward, about the behavior of President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R[OH) during the debt ceiling crisis of the summer of 2011.

There link to the entire episode (no embed offered) is here

Part of the interview was also aired on Diane Sawyer’s “World News Tonight”.

ABC called the broadcast (15 min) “Obama Revealed: Bob Woodward’s Explosive New Book”.  That book is “The Price of Politics” from Simon and Schuster.

Woodward says that default (which could have happened Aug. 3, 2011) was the financial equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crisis, even more devastating than the financial collapse of 2008. That may indeed involve some hyperbole.

Yet Boehner seemed intimidated, especially by members of the Tea Party, who seemed to want to see the financial system crack so that the socially powerful could reign in on others.  

Woodward discusses a phone call that Obama made to Boehner, that Boehner interpreted as an ultimatum, and that Obama to this day says was just a request (for $400 billion more in revenue).

I recall that the government was about 40% short in revenues for bills due in August.  Contractors would not have been paid. There were legal arguments that could have guaranteed payments to Social Security recipients.

In July and August, 2011, I covered the debt ceiling crisis in detail on my Issues blog.

Woodward says that the country could face another financial Armageddon at the start of 2013 if the cuts are mishandled, regardless of who wins the general election in November.  

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