GOP insanity does
lasting harm to
‘full faith & credit’ of US
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Hell) caves – as predicted. Click image to enlarge.
A LAST-MINUTE cave-in by the Republicans has, temporarily, delayed a disaster, but not before serious and lasting harm has been done to the United States.
Perception is reality.
In the eyes of the world – and some Americans – the US is looking increasingly like an ungovernable banana republic. The economic damage this is causing is palpable; the geo-political effects yet to become evident.
But the signs were everywhere in world media over the past few days. They were notably absent from the American press – largely focused on Washington – with some noteworthy exceptions.
WE NOT ONLY predicted the political outcome in GIGANTIC MISCALCULATION: GOP will cave on impasse
but even before that weighed in on the global phenomenon of American decline in As US influence wanes in Middle East, new threat emerges
Indeed, the decline of America is well under way, but far to few in the US seem to know – or care.
The Guardian column by Timothy Garton Ash on how America sees itself – or does not. Click image to enlarge.
The clearest evidence so far came Tuesday in The Guardian in the UK.
In an astute Comment is Free posting Americans need to discover how the world sees them Timothy Garton Ash writes:
“Ordinary Americans, and especially the small minority active in Democrat and Republican primaries, must learn more of what people across the globe are thinking and saying about the US.
“For if you follow that, you realize that the erosion of American power is happening faster than most of us predicted – while the politicians in Washington behave like rutting stags with locked antlers.”
That’s a rather obscure metaphor. It means the politicians are butting heads in a fight to the death.
Addressing both geopolitical an economic impacts, Garton Ash adds:
“It’s not just in the arena of soft power that perceptions are also realities. As George Soros keeps pointing out, that’s true of financial markets.
“Huge damage has already been done. Politically, in the eyes of the world, the full faith and credit’ of the US has been further eroded.”
Congress may have punted the crisis for three months, but “if the US goes on like this, then one day – one year, one decade – the copper bottom of investors’ confidence will fall out,” Garton Ash concludes.
He is absolutely correct.
First, the damage extant to the economy. The New York Times was early to explore this on Wednesday with High Cost to the Economy From the Fiscal Impasse.
Annie Lowrey, Nathaniel Popper and Nelson D. Schwartz report:
The New York Times story on the economic cost of the crisis – already incurred. Click image to enlarge.
“Even as the shutdown of the United States government and the threat of a default appear to be coming to an end, the cost of Congress’s gridlock has already run well into the billions, economists estimate.
“And the total will continue to grow after the shutdown ends and uncertainty persists about whether lawmakers might reach another deadlock next year.”
It’s a snowball effect. The damage mounts each time the radical right pushes the country to the brink of disaster.
“[E]conomists said that the intransigence of House Republicans would take a bite out of fourth-quarter growth, with knock-on effects for employment, business earnings and borrowing costs. Those effects would be global.”
So the whole world will suffer because of the temper tantrum – failed! – of the Tea Party wing of the GOP.
AND THEN, THERE is China, the fastest-growing economy, the largest American trading partner – and the biggest investor in Treasury debt.
Without Chinese support, the US is bankrupt. So it is disconcerting to read headlines like Seeing Its Own Money at Risk, China Rails at U.S. on Page 3 of the national edition of The New York Times on Wednesday.
China is getting antsy about its investment in the US, official China news agency reports. Click image to enlarge.
“China has become shrill in its criticism of the fiscal train wreck in the United States, arguing that the answer to a potential government default is to begin creating a “de-Americanized world,” reported Mark Landler.
“Beijing’s alarm is understandable, given that it is the world’s largest investor in American public debt, with at least $1.3 trillion in holdings.”
Landler was reporting about a recent commentary published by the official Xinhua news agency.
It called for the replacement of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency “so that the international community could permanently stay away from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States.”
Wow! That coming from the world’s biggest totalitarian state, where one party rules with an iron fist.
Trouble is, it’s undeniable.
Political turmoil in Congress has been at the boiling point for at least three years, and counting.
The US government has lurched from one crisis to the next – and the next is just three months hence, when we face a possible re-run of the one just concluded.
That is not the way to run a country – or a world.
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