Tom Coburn: The 'Bond Vigilantes' Are More Dangerous Than Not Raising Debt Ceiling


Why do Republicans insist on using this sort of language when trying to scare the crap out of everyone about a problem they created? "Bond vigilantes" Tom Coburn... really?

This is nothing but an excuse to starve the beast and get rid of every social program that Republicans have hated for decades now. Rather than raise taxes on the rich, they'll use this as an excuse to go after Social Security or other programs that help ordinary working people.

Chuck Schumer laid out pretty plainly the dangers of not raising the debt ceiling this spring. He also talked about Eric Cantor admitting that it was going to have to be done. So if the Democrats give in to the Republicans on this, I agree with what Dibgy wrote the other day, it's because they want to and not because they have to.

GREGORY: All right, final question here about-- what Eric Cantor in the House, a Republican leader, called a "leverage moment" for the Republicans on the debt ceiling.


GREGORY: It has to be raised. We have to keep borrowing money, even though we're so deep in debt. Republicans, Senator Schumer, to exact a promise on a certain amount of spending cuts before they vote to raise that ceiling. Do you think that agreement can be reached?

SCHUMER: Well first, I think using the threat of not renewing the debt ceiling is like playing with fire. If we didn't renew the debt ceiling, our soldiers and veterans wouldn't be paid, Social Security checks wouldn't go out, and worst of all, we might permanently threaten confidence-- of the credit markets and the dollar, which could create a recession worse than the one we have now, or even a depression.

So that is playing with fire. And I was glad to see that both Speaker Boehner and Eric Cantor said they're not gonna use that as a threat. We have-- are gonna have to come together on spending. There is no question about it. And we Democrats agree there oughta be spending cuts. And the appropriation that came up last year-- late last year, the McCaskill-Sessions Proposal, bipartisan, to cut spending considerably lower-- than was originally proposed in the budget--


SCHUMER: --was supported. But you can't just do it willy nilly across the board. There are some things that changed since 2008 and need to be funded.

GREGORY: Senator Coburn, does it have to be a specific amount-- in cuts before you vote to raise the ceiling?

COBURN: I think for me it does. I've had conversations with the President. Look-- the debt ceiling, we had warnings last week from the rating agencies that we're gonna get a downgrade in our bonds. A debt ceiling non-increase-- is nothing compared to what's gonna happen to us if we don't address the real issues facing our country.

The CBS poll out this morning, 77 percent of the people in this country believe we need to cut the spending significantly. Only nine percent-- say we need to raise taxes. The fact is, is I believe the President and the-- bipartisan majority in both houses know that we can come together before the debt ceiling and-- reach an agreement that says, "Here's where we're gonna be and-- here's what we must do to send the signal to the international financial community." If, in fact, we don't raise the debt ceiling, that won't be near the catastrophe that, if, in fact, the-- the-- the bond vigilantes come after the U.S. government bonds in the next two to three years--

COBURN: --we will have such bigger pain than not raising the debt limit.

GREGORY: I will let-- make that the last word. Senators, thank you both very much.


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