Politics
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant in Liberty, MO., Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. Obama traveled to the Kansas City area to visit the Ford automotive plant as he continues to highlight the progress in the economy since the 2008 financial crisis. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama shifts into rhetorical overdrive at Ford factory

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama maxed out his rhetorical horsepower Friday, telling employees at a Ford auto-plant that Republicans are willing “to send our economy into a tailspin.”

His fast and furious invective came shortly after the GOP-led House voted to deny 2014 funding for Obama’s primary legislative accomplishment, Obamacare.

Obama and allied Democrats have repeatedly threatened to kill any GOP budget plan that doesn’t include funds for the government-directed Obamacare network, even though polls show the network is increasingly unpopular.

Republicans say they support government aid to Americans to help them buy health-insurance in a free market.

Obama defended his network, saying it is getting health-care services to millions of Americans, and he argued that the GOP wants to stop Americans getting health-care services.

He borrowed the “tailspin” attack line from a 2009 quote by Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

Republicans “will send our economy into a tailspin, just like Speaker Boehner said. They want to threaten default just to make sure that tens of millions of Americans continue not to have health care. … They’re holding the whole country hostage,” he told the workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant in Liberty, Mo.

“They’re actually willing to plunge America into default if we can’t defund the Affordable Care Act,” which is the formal name for the Obamacare system, he said.

“They’ve tried to repeal or sabotage this — more than 40 times they’ve had these repeal votes. Every time they fail,” said Obama.

In fact, Obama has signed seven bills changing unpopular portions of the Obamacare system.

The 2014 budget has to be approved by the House and Senate, and signed by the president, prior to Oct. 1, or much of government shuts down.

Many GOP leaders believe the president is willing to allow the shutdown, and to inflict much damage to the economy, in the hope that the public will blame the GOP, rather than Obama and his Democratic allies.

The president also slammed Republicans’ offer to trade spending cuts for another increase to the nation’s credit limit.

Similar 2011 negotiations trimmed federal spending and dropped the government’s annual deficit. In his speech, Obama took credit for reduced deficits caused by prior credit-limit negotiations, without mentioning those talks.

The credit limit, also called the debt ceiling, has to be raised because Obama’s government has maxed out its ability to borrow funds.

Since Obama’s inauguration, he has borrowed $6 trillion, pushing taxpayers’ debt above $11 trillion.

If Congress doesn’t raise the debt-ceiling, “America becomes a deadbeat,” he told the autoworkers.

“If the world sees America not paying its bills, then they will not buy debt, Treasury bills from the United States, or if they do, they’ll do it at much higher interest rates. That means somebody wanting to buy an F-150 will have to pay much higher interest rates eventually, which means you will sell less cars,” he declared.

Obama also repeated his refusal to negotiate a debt-ceiling compromise with the elected GOP majority in the House. “I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States,” he declared.

“Tell Congress — pay our bills on time,” he urged the autoworkers.

“You don’t have to threaten to blow the whole thing up just because you don’t get you way,” he said.

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