Debt ceiling fight
will harm economy,
but lunatics don’t care
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Hell) has lost control of his caucus – and the whole country will suffer. Click image to enlarge.
Click image to enlarge.
THE LOOMING BUDGET battles in Congress – one over continued funding for the federal government, the other over the debt ceiling – are totally unnecessary and threaten to wreak havoc on an already fragile economy.
If you think the Republicans in the House of Representatives care, think again.
David Firestone, writing Wednesday in the Taking Note blog at The New York Times, hit the nail on the proverbial head in his post This debt ceiling fight isn’t about spending.
“Up to now, the House has refused to even sit at the same table as the Senate and discuss ways to reduce the long-term debt (one of which, obviously, would be higher revenues).
“No, House conservatives are narrowly focused on achieving one impossible thing: the end of health care reform.”
It’s all about posturing and catering to the radial right wing of the party, which is holding the entire country hostage. Damn the torpedoes!
THERE WAS ACTUALLY more light shed on the matter in the editorial in the Wednesday print edition of The New York Times headlined The money behind the shutdown crisis.
The web site of Club For Growth: the threat to moderate GOP members is thinly veiled, at best. Click image to enlarge.
“The hard right activist group … Club for Growth and other extremist groups … are raising and spending millions to make sure that no Republicans will take similar positions (to fund the government or raise the debt ceiling) in the next few weeks when the fiscal year ends and the debt limit expires.”
Their “hidden agenda” (if one can call it that – it is hidden in plain sight) is to de-fund the healthcare reform program that actually kicks into high gear on Oct. 1.
“Heritage Action and the Senate Conservatives Fund have each released scorecards showing which lawmakers have pledged to ‘defund Obamacare,’ ” the editorial reports.
The web site of Heritage Action: it is keeping “score” and promising retribution at the polls. Click image to enlarge.
The right wing of the GOP still thinks it’s possible to stop health care reform and is trying to force its will on the majority of the population by holding the entire federal government hostage. This is beyond unconscionable – it’s lunacy.
The New York Times used this word itself in a slightly different but related context in an editorial on Aug. 26 headlined Federal Courts in Crisis.
Frowning on the havoc caused by the so-called sequester (indiscriminate budget cuts implemented because the GOP would not make a budget deal with the Obama administration in the spring), The Times described this budget myopia as “Washington’s lunatic across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.”
If insanity is best described as repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then the definition certainly applies to GOP members of the House of Representatives.
The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on his blog Wednesday used the same terminology. In Things Come to a Head Krugman wrote: “GOP leaders are weak, apparently helpless in the face of dingbat Jacobins who imagine that sabotage governing can get Obama to undermine his one major achievement.
“But the key point is that we are now in insane political terrain.”
HERE WE GO AGAIN, with budget brinkmanship at the expense of the nation’s economy and every single voter and taxpayer.
The Times editorial on Wednesday got it right in describing the hard-right’s campaign to block a budget deal at any cost: “… the combination of unlimited money and rigid ideology is proving toxic for the most basic functioning of government.”
Gridlock in Washington – when the federal government could run out of money on two different occasions within the next month – is not only bad for the country, it’s bad for the world.
It is likely to rattle financial markets everywhere over the coming weeks, adding to the instability caused by the crisis in Syria and the continuing threat of a wider war in the Middle East.
It’s enough to make your head explode.
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