Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Remember when Burr said: 'Draw everything from ATMs'?

An Observer colleague reminded me that North Carolina's U.S. Sen. Richard Burr wasn't always so sanguine about the resilience of the U.S. economy as he expressed in a New York Times story today about a possible debt default. When the banking crisis hit in 2008, Burr was pretty frenetic in his response, telling his wife to take as much money out of the ATM as she could. It was an anecdote Burr repeated often in describing how spooked he was about the financial fallout.

He said in one speech quoted in the Hendersonville Times and reprinted in the Raleigh News and Observer that he told his wife Brooke this:  "Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take. And I want you to tomorrow, and I want you to go Sunday. I was convinced on Friday night that if you put a plastic card in an ATM machine the last thing you were going to get was cash."

His comments were lampooned by some and led to this explanation to Charlotte's WFAE radio station, quoted the Huffington Post: "Absolutely I'd do it [again]. The exact situation we were faced with was a freeze bank to bank. And as I stated, my attempt was to make sure my wife had enough cash at home to make it through the next week."

If only he could have a fraction of that kind of concern - without the knee jerk, dangerous and misguided notion of advocating a run on banks, of course - and apply it to Congress' crisis-inducing government shutdown and flirtation with not raising the debt ceiling and causing a U.S. default. A lot of people around the country are worried they won't have "enough cash to make it through the week." The irresponsible actions of Congress on the shutdown have already pushed some citizens into that position.

A non-profit stepped in Wednesday to help restore death benefits for military families that were cutoff by the ongoing government shutdown, according to USA Today. The nonprofit Fisher House Foundation said they'd fill in the gap and don't want to be paid back though the Pentagon said it will. The House did vote 425-0 Wednesday to restore a $100,000 death gratuity to family and other lost benefits to veterans' families, but the Senate has not taken action.

The debacle with veterans' death benefits highlights how crazy the actions of Congress have become. Senate Chaplain Barry Black, a retired Navy admiral, summed up the frustrations of many of us in his daily opening prayer in the Senate chamber Wednesday: "Lord, when our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of children dying on far away battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say enough is enough."

- Fannie Flono

The debacle with veterans' death benefits highlights how crazy Congress is acting; Senate Chaplain Barry Black, a retired Navy admiral, summed up the frustration of all of us in his daily opening prayer in the Senate chamber: "Lord, when our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of children dying on far away battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say enough is enough."

Read more here:


Tandemfusion said...

congress does indeed need to do its job. and that means that democrats and Republicans must negotiate an end to the impasse. unfortunately, the arrogant, petty , vindictive, narcissist in the White House has drawn a "red line" , so to speak: no negotiation -nt even any discussion of budget priorities until he first gets what he wants.

Since you obviously voted for him (and every Democratic candidate for president in you lifetime) perhaps he'll listen to you. Ask him to show a little leadership on the matter.

Edward Martin said...

I hinted at this in a post to the previous blog on Burr. Details:

Republicans refuse to acknowledge that the nation came within less than 48 hours of total collapse under George W. Bush in 2008. I, like hundreds of others in Charlotte, had grown increasingly uneasy about the economy and in particular, the weakness of then-Wachovia Bank. On a Friday afternoon, I went to my branch and attempted to withdraw a large sum, to move to another bank. I was amazed when I walked in at the length of the lines. When I got to the teller, I was told I could not make a withdrawal without the manager's approval. He then explained that he had to obtain permission "downtown." I had to wait nearly an hour. I later found out that there was in fact a general run on the bank, and the "permission" ruse was to slow withdrawals until closing time. That was the weekend when, it later developed, frantic negotiations were under way to save Wachovia, the nation's second (or first?) largest bank, from complete collapse. Without successful negotiations (CitiBank stepped in, then Wells Fargo) Wachovia could not have opened Monday morning.

The FDIC would have been able to cover about one penny on the dollar of Wachovia deposits. And of course, its collapse would have triggered runs on Bank of America and all others, and their collapse too. The result would likely have been panic and riots and a general national collapse that would have dwarfed the Great Depression. This is the mess created by George W. Bush that the present Administration has had to salvage. And Republicans are upset because the national debt has gone up 50% under Barack Obama? Ronald Reagan took a healthy economy and ran up the national debt 300%. And not a peep from Burr and fellow Republicans.

annnort said...

The article mentions things that were closed. Just a reminder that the administration (Obama) chooses what to close when the government is shut down, not congress. Obama needs to be a leader, but he is certainly not that. No leader ever says he will not negotiate. Only a dictator would utter those words.

Archiguy said...

The sad comment from Tandemfusion hints at the underlying problem that infuses every aspect of our political lives these days. President Obama has never been anything except gracious, dignified, and a clear example of one of our country's best and brightest. We're lucky to have him in this job, especially considering what we could have had instead given the GOP's opposing candidates.

But this kind of foaming at the mouth, irrational, unhinged hatred of this very good man hints at a darkness that's ever-present in the right wing extremists that have shut Washington down. It's evident in the racist signs and denigrating images of the President seen at Tea Party rallies. It's evident in the speech of GOP legislators and the right-wing pundits who coarsely shape modern conservative opinion when they expressed the hope that Obama would fail, even before his first inauguration, then have done everything in their power to make their dream come true. All at the expense of the American people.

There's no doubt that Tandemfusion would bristle at being called a racist even though there's really no other justification for his shockingly profane, anti-Obama rant, since the President exhibits none of those characteristics. Perhaps a better description should be applied to someone who so unfairly defames a sitting President in such a vituperative fashion: psychopath.

Wiley Coyote said...

Did that same colleague remind you where you put your car keys?

Anonymous said...

Since Obama refuses to address the debt, let it shut down.

Shamash said...

"Congress' crisis-inducing government shutdown and flirtation with not raising the debt ceiling and causing a U.S. default."

-Chicken Little

CharlotteObserver said...

Someone made a glowing report about obama earlier.

I just wonder why in the entire history of our country, we have not had a president, who has used the terms, terrorist, hostages and the like to describe the other party?

Oh and if Fannie is wondering why Burr said to get all the money out of the ATM. It is because our country went out of business.

We just were not aware of it. It seems overseas folks all demanded their funds on one day, and we closed our window (went out of business). It is almost like they wanted to influence the upcoming election. But that is for more studied folks to research.

But if you are not aware of the history of this going broke, this might help

Adolf said...

This episode in history would be very sad except...

Boehner knows well he has the votes in the House to end the shutdown. He's wisely letting the Tea Party hang themselves. Sure, a lot of big money will be disappointed, but where else are they going to put their influence... Democrats? Kudos to Boehner for making Burr and his cronies into his puppets.

Archiguy said...

"I just wonder why in the entire history of our country, we have not had a president, who has used the terms, terrorist, hostages and the like to describe the other party?"

Maybe because nobody ever has, including Obama. Not in the context you're saying, which, of course, is no context at all. But that won't stop people like you from saying it, will it?

The fact is, the extremist wing of the Republican Party is holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to extract concessions from the President they couldn't achieve at the ballot box or from the Supreme Court. This is extortion, plain and simple. And when you give in to extortionists, it never stops, does it?

That's the bottom line here. The President and the Senate have said they'll negotiate on the budget and talk about how to IMPROVE the ACA, but ONLY after a CR (clean resolution) is passed to keep the country from defaulting on its already agreed obligations.

Otherwise, it's giving in to blackmailers. Someday a Republican president may face a similar situation - what would you have HIM do?

CharlotteObserver said...

First, the tv president would never give in, as this administration is the first west wing show in the white house.

Now a real president would look at what benefits the country as a whole, the debt and spending, and sit down the whole night in a location away from the white house and congress, to discuss on neutral grounds, the way to stop all this crazy spending. Spending he and his group have help create with the Republicans.

You know as well as I from looking at the official site, this stimulus was a colossal waste of close to a trillion in tax money.

Now is the time for the cameras to stop rolling and Statespeople to lead. If you guy is not that person, then sorry you thought he was.

Shamash said...

Meanwhile, the Chinese are making hay in Asia while the sun ain't shining over here.

Because there's nothing like an artificial crisis to hide the real crises we face.

Yes, let's focus on each other and our internal issues and let the world pass us by.

We as a nation are truly asleep at the wheel in so many ways.

Empires rise and fall.

And we are living in interesting times.

Shamash said...

Yep, it was a White House Senior Advisor, Dan Pfeiffer, who compared Republicans to terrorists, not Obama...

I'm sure Obama has nothing to do with what his senior advisors say to the public.

But, if they seriously think the Republicans are doing anything illegal such as blackmail, extortion, robbery, or terrorism then they should prosecute them under our laws, not slander them will false accusations.

But, hey, that's just me.

And obviously not the way our guvmint works.

jay1937 said...

If only Obama would do something, he is the main ingredient in this situation. Also, I would suggest to everyone to get their money out, put what you don't need for day to day expenses into gold or silver. The country is broke, your dollars are not worth more than a penny or two, in fact, not worth the expensive paper they are printed on. Get enough to buy food, gas, and necessities for six months because there are many more factors involved in the value of your money than the current Obama Crises.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...

If nothing else, this "shutdown" should be a wakeup call for people who are EXTREMELY dependent on gubmint services for their survival.

This should convince them to save something (even if it's just dried beans, macaroni and powdered milk) for the day when the spigot is shut off.

Because you NEVER know when that just might happen.

If it's not from a manufactured crisis like this, it could be from a natural disaster or who knows what else.

Gold and silver might be useful, but the basics will keep you alive long enough to spend it.

CharlotteObserver said...

Oh I thought he used the term when describing Republicans, maybe this will jog your memory:

PackDr97 said...

The Republican Party has been a minority party for decades and has only controlled Congress and Executive branch once in recent history. If so, then how were all the crisis that have come about by actions of the GOP? As a minority party they have always had to compromise to get their issues appropriated in bills. Was the Prescription Drug bill Bush passed a conservative goal? No. Was the Leave No Child Behind bill a conservative issue? No. Did Democrats vote to be involved in the Iraq War? Yes. Did Senator Obama vote against issues that now he says are vital? Yes. In other words, the GOP can’t get their programs past the Majority Demos unless they give in. Wake up you folks on the left…you've run the show for decades. You can’t always have your way like you have in the past. A new time is coming. Most of us Republicans will leave the party and support Tea Party causes if they fold on the present issues. And yes I did take money out of the ATM/bank for Y2K and 2008 fiasco. What prudent person wouldn’t?

deepenwide said...

The ignorance of the populace continues to astound me.

We are experiencing Republican propaganda at an astounding rate.

Over 200 organizations have been funded by wealthy billionaires to manipulate the elections disguised as the "tea party movement".

The American people sit idly by like sheep getting led to slaughter.

These are the facts.

Ignore them at your peril.