Thanks to my blog relaunch, I'm joining the whole debt ceiling discussion a little late. Well, not terribly late, I suppose - after all, I already posted in January some of the reasons why refusing to raise the debt ceiling is an astoundingly bad idea, before the mainstream media and political pundits decided they should start talking about this issue seriously, and back when Obama was so naive as to dismiss the notion that the Republicans would use the debt ceiling to take the US economy hostage in order to continue dismantling FDR's New Deal.
My, how things have changed since January.
Well, some things don't change, actually - a plurality of Americans continue to oppose raising the debt ceiling, though I attribute this apocalyptic desire to ignorance rather than to a genuine desire to plunge the US and the world into the Second Great Depression.
However, our elected representatives are supposed to be better, wiser men and women than the proletariat who elected them, right?
Well, not exactly. Michelle Bachmann has gone on record as saying that she will not vote to raise the debt ceiling, no matter what, while John Boehner has flip-flopped from saying that failing to raise the debt ceiling could mean "the end of our economy" to saying that the debt ceiling is 100% Obama's problem:
Mitch McConnell has even gone on record as saying that his #1 legislative goal is not to make America stronger, improve Americans' quality of life, send astronauts to Mars, reduce taxes or the size of government, or anything else that a legislator might be expected to want to do - nope, his #1 goal is to make sure that Obama is a one-term president. I can understand that as the #1 of the Republican National Committee, but that seems like an inappropriate goal for the leader of the Senate Republicans.
I sincerely hope that saner heads prevail - I hope that the Republicans back away from their absurdly dangerous hi-jinks and that the US is not plunged into default (and a Second Great Recession, if not a Second Great Depression) by Republicans trying to score political points with the Tea Party. Even Business Insider, hardly a left-wing mouthpiece, ran this piece the other day:
No, that's not hyperbole; that's the actual article title - click on the link if you don't believe me. If you're a Republican and you've lost the business press, you must be seriously in outer space.
More on the debt ceiling debacle in coming posts:
- A discussion of why a balanced budget amendment makes no sense (either for governments or for households);
- Why the debt ceiling shouldn't exist in the first place (and is probably unconstitutional, to boot);
- An irrefutable economic argument for why the US should be borrowing and spending HUGE SH*T TONS of money right now rather than decreasing government borrowing and spending;
- My thoughts on whether Obama is a brilliant or terrible negotiator; and
- Whatever else I feel like writing on the topic of the debt ceiling.