Your morning jolt: About the debt-ceiling crisis and unemployment checks

Five paragraphs into a piece on Georgia’s preparations for a drought of federal funds – if debt-ceiling talks in Washington collapse – Blake Aued of the Athens Banner-Herald has this calamitous line:

If the debt ceiling is not raised, unemployment checks could stop immediately….

But you can unwad that underwear. Brian Robinson, spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal and the source cited for the above information, says it’s not going to happen.

“We’ve been given no reason to believe there will be funding disruptions. This is not a government shutdown,” Robinson said this morning. “We don’t think unemployment checks will stop immediately.”

Robinson said that the point he was trying to make is that programs that are jointly funded by federal and state governments – Medicaid and PeachCare, for instance – could be carried by the state for an extra two weeks in an emergency.

But unemployment checks, while administered by the state Department of Labor, are completely funded through the federal government.

“If there was a dramatic decline in federal funding available, we would have to wait for the Obama Administration to prioritize the bills and decide what to pay,” Robinson said. “We see no reason to believe that there’s any scenario where people would not get their unemployment checks.”

Last week, the state Department of Labor issued unemployment checks to 181,665 people for a total of $47.5 million, according to department spokesman Sam Hall.

***
In an interview with Rob Johnson on WGST (640AM) this morning, U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, strongly hinted that he’ll vote for the revised debt-ceiling/deficit reduction package pitched by House Speaker John Boehner – if he can be assured that House Republicans will be allowed to vote on a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget on Friday.

“Companioned with a balance budget amendment,” Price said, “That’s a reasonable course of action at this time.” The congressman, of course, added that the Boehner package doesn’t include as many budget cuts that he’d ideally like to see.

***
As many have suspected, the Atlanta Public Schools system may not be alone. From the Detroit Free Press:

One out of three public school educators report pressure from bosses, parents or others to change grades, and nearly 30% say pressure to cheat on standardized tests is a problem at their school, according to a voluntary Free Press survey of Michigan educators.

At schools that don’t meet federal standards, the tension is higher: About 50% say pressure to change grades is an issue, and 46% say pressure to cheat on the tests is a problem.
Some cave in — about 8% say they changed grades within the last school year, and at least 8% admit to some form of cheating to improve a student’s standardized test score.

***
From down in south Georgia, Sid Cottingham points one and all to this heart-breaking piece in the New York Times:

An image of the peach is on the official state quarter and its license plates. In Atlanta, where a giant peach drops from a downtown building each New Year’s Eve, a driver can get lost among all the streets with variations on the name Peachtree.

But here is the harsh truth: South Carolina has shipped out more than twice as many peaches as Georgia so far this summer. And it has been that way for years.

It gets worse. At the end of July, the University of Georgia will officially close its peach program. The head peach horticulturist left the job a couple of years ago. When budgets tightened recently, university officials decided to simply eliminate the position altogether. (Programs for blueberries and vegetables had to go, too.)

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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90 comments Add your comment

Brenda

July 28th, 2011
9:49 am

Can we please get the butt ugly peach license plates revoked?

Sylvia

July 28th, 2011
9:52 am

“Last week, the state Department of Labor issued unemployment checks to 181,665 people for a total of $47.5 million, according to department spokesman Sam Hall.”

This makes me sick.

MiltonMan

July 28th, 2011
9:57 am

The left-wing NYT needs to be more worried about why people are leaving the crappy, over-taxed, uber-liberal state of New York in droves and less worried about how many peaches are being grown.

xdog

July 28th, 2011
10:11 am

Way to go veering off, MiltonMan. Do you often have trouble staying on any kind of point?

luangtom

July 28th, 2011
10:11 am

I find it appallng that people in every level of government and media use the scare tactics of witholding of benefit checks as a means to push for passage of their favorite version of budget and deficit bills. The President, himself, used Social Security and military pay as a reason to vote for his version of proposed legislation. There are means in place to avoid that and they just happen to neglect telling the public that fact. Why? Do they really feel we are a nation of sheep and will blindly follow them to slaughter?

It is about time for all in Washington DC to get down to business and act like responsible representatives of their constituents and to act as a leader as President and not a celebrity-seeeking buffoon with no grasp of reality.

jconservative

July 28th, 2011
10:22 am

“It is about time for all in Washington DC to get down to business and act like responsible representatives of their constituents and to act as a leader as President and not a celebrity-seeeking buffoon with no grasp of reality.”

We have been waiting for “all in Washington DC to get down to business and act like responsible representatives of their constituents” since 1789. Wonder how much longer we will need to wait?

We have been waiting for a presidential leader since Harry Truman. Looking at the likely Democratic nominee and the crowd of Republican hopefuls, looks like we will continue to wait for a spell.

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
10:38 am

jcon-

You may well be correct. It’s to bad a Feingold or some other democrat doesn’t challenge Obama. I have found when a candidate isn’t challenged it is not a good thing.

Hazel

July 28th, 2011
10:41 am

“act like responsible representatives of their constituents”

Alas, I think they are.

td

July 28th, 2011
10:43 am

The problem is the members in Congress are doing what their constituents are wanting them to do. We have about 40% of this country that wants small government, tax cuts and less regulation. We have another 40% that wants more government involvement (Larger safety net), more taxes and more regulation. We have the other 20% of the country that wants government involvement but they can not make up their mind how much, they do not know if taxes are to high or to low and they want regulation on what they want regulation on.

We are getting a government that looks very much like we are as a society.

Centrist

July 28th, 2011
10:46 am

The reason that Democrats use scare tactics concerning Social Security, Medicare, unemployment checks, etc. is that it WORKS.

Saving the nation from future economic problems is not part of their agenda when they can buy votes in the short term.

Republicans have their own forms of hyperbole – but it is aimed at social issues.

Such tactics are all about getting campaign contributions and re-elections.

cs

July 28th, 2011
10:49 am

let me see if i get this…… goober Price wants a balanced budget ammendment yet is unwilling right now to raise taxes just to lower deficits? praises himself and the house for approving a 638 billion war mongering budget and is now throwing a kiddy tantrum with his other playmates over a debt celing? Talk about wanting your cake and eating it to

td

July 28th, 2011
10:55 am

cs

July 28th, 2011
10:49 am

What is the primary responsibility of the Federal government? Is it to provide for the defense or to provide for the lazy?

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
10:56 am

cs-

I just have to chuckle when liberals continue to be critical of republicans about “war” issues. Your guy is president and has been for 2.5 years. Want the wars to stop? Fine. Obama is the commander in chief. What has Obama done?

1. Followed the Bush plan in Iraq
2. Surged troops in Afgan, 3x the number Bush had there.
3. Started a new war.
4. Kept Gitmo opem.
5. Kept military tribunals.

Not satisfied about war issues? Take it up with the White House.

Brenda

July 28th, 2011
11:00 am

have to agree with Retired Soldier. Mr. Obama’s assurances to end the wars was they key reason I voted for him. I am very disappointed in the lack of results.

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
11:01 am

cs-

While we are on the war topic, where are all those anti-war protesters that we saw every night on the news when Bush was president? I guess wars are acceptable when democrats are president with the far left. At least during Vietnam the anti-war protesters were consistent. They protested when Johnson and Nixon were president.

Chairman Mao

July 28th, 2011
11:04 am

You know who ships the most peaches? Communist China, that’s who. You know who ships the most peaches in the U.S.? Looney lefties from California. And if you don’t think Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Community Reinvestment Act aren’t to blame, then you haven’t been paying attention to the wise words of MiltonMan.

td

July 28th, 2011
11:05 am

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
11:01 am

That is because the anti war protesters are just as disingenuous about war as NOW is about supporting women. Only if they are liberals.

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
11:11 am

I agree, women’s groups like NOW or EMILY’s List only care if you are liberal. They aren’t about women, just about liberal women.

Centrist

July 28th, 2011
11:13 am

Gotta love the folks who are for raising taxes during a recession with very high unemployment. Of course, they mean OTHER people’s taxes. The “wealthy” is defined as those who make more than I ever expect to make. Never mind that if business taxes are increased (including small businesses where most jobs reside), taxes won’t be much of problem for many since jobs will disappear. Eating might be a problem because the economy tanks so far that freebie government benefits may dry up. Such folks advocating tax increases in these poor economic times might learn the hard way that there is no free lunch – but they will take many of the rest of us down with them.

Brenda

July 28th, 2011
11:15 am

And now Retired Soldier has fallen off the tracks. Didn’t take too long did it?

dixiesdemons

July 28th, 2011
11:16 am

It seems like the House should be able to pass their bill. The Senate will not pass it. The Pres would veto it. Why does J Bo keep playing theses games. He has been in Congress over 20 years just like Reid . Why won’t they get out of the way and retire ?

Real Athens

July 28th, 2011
11:18 am

Same poop. Different day.

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
11:22 am

Brenda-

Is what I said about those two organizations incorrect? If so please point it out and I’ll be happy to say I am wrong.

mum

July 28th, 2011
11:23 am

To say liberals are using scare tactics because Obama couldn’t guarantee SS checks going out is a bit over top considering Michelle Bachmann stated yesterday that we should pay the interest on the debt, then the military. She has always said don’t raise the debt ceiling but pay the interest, then prioritize from there. If that’s the thinking, who goes 3rd, 4th, 5th, and who does without each month to be sure the first 2 get paid?

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
11:26 am

dixie-

Please point out the senate bill. Never mind, there isn’t one. Then please point out the President’s bill (plan). Never mind, there isn’t one. The House passed one bill and is about to pass a second one today, yet the House is the problem. Have I got that right Dixie?

BRW

July 28th, 2011
11:33 am

“wise words” — “MiltonMan” is a serious oxymoron…..and the person that said it is a serious moron….

td

July 28th, 2011
11:35 am

mum

July 28th, 2011
11:23 am

I think I heard last night that you could pay the Debt, military, Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, VA with the revenues that are currently coming in. All non essential Federal workers would have to be laid off. I think we should start with all the congressional aids and white house staffers and make the President and Congress sit down and do their job.

GaBlue

July 28th, 2011
11:37 am

I just have to chuckle when “conservatives” continue to be critical of our current President for being too liberal. This guy has been president for 2.5 years. Fine. What has Obama done about the wars Bush started?

1. Followed the Bush plan in Iraq
2. Surged troops in Afgan, 3x the number Bush had there.
3. Started a new war.
4. Kept Gitmo opem.
5. Kept military tribunals.

In addition, he has continued to enable the Wall Street crooks that tanked our economy, signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts that failed to create jobs as argued, agreed to a watered-down version of promised health-care reform to please the GOP whiners in Congress until it’s a barely recognizable shadow of its intent, refused to prosecute the war criminals of the past decade, and totally blew the chance he had to make real changes during the brief Dem supermajority.

Not satisfied with your President? Wah, wah, frigging wah.

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
11:42 am

GaBlue-

Since you and I are on a roll let’s continue.

1. Failed to keep unemployment at 8% or less.

Your turn

mum

July 28th, 2011
11:44 am

td, sounds like a plan. But who decides who’s “non-essential”? I would also take away all communication devices, and have a court reporter taking notes just to keep them honest. We hear about these plans but nobody yet know exactly what they plan to cut or keep, so we only have the red meat they throw out every few hours. At $170,000 per year + free healthcare, you’d think they would do their jobs but obviously it’s all about staying in Washington for another 2 or 6 years living off the taxpayer.

mum

July 28th, 2011
11:45 am

GABlue, you should also add that he put the first 2 wars into the budget so you could finally see the actual costs.

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
11:47 am

GaBlue-
“totally blew the chance he had to make real changes during the brief Dem supermajority.”

Guess the Obama administration wasn’t “shovel ready” hahaha

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
11:48 am

Budget? what budget? oh the budget the senate won’t vote on.

CW

July 28th, 2011
11:56 am

The lst 2 years of Clinton Admin we were reducing the defcit, stopped issuing new debt (T-bills) and the economy was doing fine under the “heavy tax burden.” Bush II cuts taxes, starts 2 wars (one of which had nothing to do with defending the US, although it was sold as such), loses $7-8 billion in Iraq, and promptly reverses the progress toward reducing our deficit. Analysis shows that Bush admin accounts for 50% of the deficit and Obama about 10%, yet its the Democrats that are irresponsible. This train crash over the debt ceiling was forewarned by several Republicans, but no one thought they would sacrifice the US economy on the altar of no tax increases. The argumant that raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 would hurt the economy is specious; the refusal to close loopholes and subsidies is hypocrtitical. It is very clear that the Republicans plan to kill the economy, perhaps kill some of the poor (collateral benefit) and win the presidential election in 2012. Republicans have done a very good job of creating the problem and then blaming the other guys. Dilbert would be proud.

yuzeyurbrane

July 28th, 2011
12:02 pm

Centrist, beware of getting what you wish for. You may soon find out that what are “scare tactics” for one are simply the facts for another. When it starts crimping your 40 something lifestyle, I look forward to hearing your tune then.

mum

July 28th, 2011
12:03 pm

clean up your yard

July 28th, 2011
12:06 pm

RetiredSoldier Obama is not the one that lied us into Iraq- an illegal war. Getting into the briar patch is a lot easier than getting us out.

clean up your yard

July 28th, 2011
12:07 pm

Republicans invented “scare tactics”. It has worked for decades on southerbners. See Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.

A Conservative Voice

July 28th, 2011
12:09 pm

August 2nd is an arbitrary date……do not, I repeat “Do Not” raise the debt ceiling. It will only encourage more spending of money we don’t have. Cut all non-essential government departments…..I’d start with the USDepartment Of Education for it is the most useless of the useless govt. agencies. Cut all foreign aid (why are we giving foreign countries money we have to borrow?) Shut all national parks, they are not essential. Tell those with government issued vehicles to park them and not to drive them again until further notice and stop all payments to the 536 idiots who can’t work in a bi-partisan way to find a solution to our debt problem. Tell all other govt. agencies to immediately cut 50% of their costs, whatever it takes. Immediately institute a 1% National Sales Tax to insure that all, I repeat all people living in this country share in the pain. Tough measures, but we have to do something now, not later.

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
12:11 pm

CW-

You forgot to point out the Congress was republican.

What analysis are you regering to?

Let’s say truth is how you posted it. Where is the senate bill? There is none. Where is the Preident’s bill (plam). There is none. All Obama seems concerned with is any deal has to go past next years election.

RetiredSoldier

July 28th, 2011
12:17 pm

clean up your yard-

Bush lied? I assume you mean WMD’s. Bush didn’t lie, he was wrong. Bush along with every intelligence agency in the world. Also in that list would be Kerry, Ms. Clinton and a host of others.

Don’t forget Sadam used WMD’s during his war w/ Iran and on the Kurds.

Illgeal war? Use use that term easily I’m sure. What court found this war illegal? And if illegal why hasn’t Obama pulled our troops out in 2 and a half years?

Cobbian

July 28th, 2011
12:19 pm

There are few businesses that run without credit. How do those who favor a balanced budget amendment hope to deal with wars, disasters, and economic downturns? There really are things the government does that do not bend well to economic cycles. Our first presidents all took out loans to cover expenses and then dealt with taxing – mostly the wealthy – to pay for the loans.

We need to raise taxes. It is the Bush tax cuts that have contributed the most to the deficit we are trying to fund – the tax cuts cost more than the justified and unjustified wars proclaimed by Bush. And don’t give me the guff about jobs. If tax cuts create jobs, where are they? Where are the jobs that should be here with the Bush tax cuts still in place?

clean up your yard

July 28th, 2011
12:20 pm

You guys just loved the Bush years and the wars, taking care of wall street, failure to enforce regulations, with tax cuts all around so the wars would be put on the credit card and would not be paid for. And now because it is a black Dem in the WH you suddenly have found financial religion and so let’s balance the budget on the backs of the poor and elderly . BUT by god we will never raise a tax on the wealthy .The Republican party has never cared one whit for the poor and working man- never. They only care about starting wars, large military budgets and taking care of big business and the wealthiest among us. And the least of us? Forget about it. Jesus would be so proud.

DannyX

July 28th, 2011
12:20 pm

“Gotta love the folks who are for raising taxes during a recession with very high unemployment.”

You mean the strong majority of Americans, including 73% of all independents?

When are you extremists going to realize you are part of a small minority on this issue?

GaBlue

July 28th, 2011
12:20 pm

mum: “GABlue, you should also add that he put the first 2 wars into the budget so you could finally see the actual costs.”

Oh, I DO appreciate that very much! I just have not seen degree of actual change that would justify the level “conservative” whining we hear. First they criticize him for being “marxist” and shoving things down their throats, (heh)… then they throw out the “gotcha” stuff about how he didn’t really change anything. They don’t realize how silly they sound.

clean up your yard

July 28th, 2011
12:22 pm

RetiredSoldier BUsh lied and Cheney and his whole cabinet. Bush and Cheney should have been impeached and removed from power.

the original and still the best John Galt

July 28th, 2011
12:22 pm

Don’t worry, the dole checks, including those to big corporations, are going to keep right on coming. The trouble is, they will keep right on buying less and less.

Isis5761

July 28th, 2011
12:23 pm

Let’s see if I understand. Mr. Obama becomes President on the brink of another great depression when the Republicans controlled the House and Senate. He had to make tough choices to prevent the financial collapse of the US. It involved propping up the banks, auto industry, many states and even local government. This added to the deficit left to him by the former President. So to prevent tax increases for the rich, destroy collective bargaining (labor rights)and create a hardship for social security and medicare recipients you’ll destroy our financial markets? How responsible is that? Let’s focus on the real issue and where we’re really headed as a country.

clean up your yard

July 28th, 2011
12:25 pm

RetiredSoldier A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Use yours sometime- it really works. Stop listening to Beck and Limbaugh and Boortz and all the other hate mongerers. I give them all the credit in the world for bringing our political discourse to the point that it has now reached.

mum

July 28th, 2011
12:28 pm

Conservative Voice: You do realize that this debt ceiling thing is for money that’s already been spent, just like using a credit card. You either pay your monthly payment on time or they raise your rate of suspend your credit. an Amex. Shut the national parks and let them return to their natural state? Dissolve the DOE and then who decides who and what our children are taught? If you cut 50% of government (whateverit takes likely will mean workers as well) so you then you up the unemployment rate. Foreign aid is a flea flicker compared to how much the military spends, not to mention the healthcare costs. Don’t know where you live but I thought everyone pays sales tax?