October 12, 2013

Frankly, I hope Boehner’s deal falls through on the weekend. The Dow would drop around 500 points Monday morning, by mid-week Republicans will respond with retreat, and markets will soar by 1,000 or 2,000 within a fortnight. Is it as good as winning at Powerball? No, but it’s as close to a sure thing as you can get outside of a rigged casino (which is about what Wall Street is these days).

Economic Misunderstandings. The US government takes in enough to service debt obligations, more than enough to stay solvent in the short term. To default, the government would literally have to choose not to pay those debts from incoming revenue. Over the long term there is clearly a problem, but two weeks into a 17% shutdown was hardly cause for pop economists to act like Chicken Little.

Even George Will pointed this out, and he is about as authentically conservative as Obama’s illegal Auntie Zeituni. Fellow Republicans were less adept in their comprehension of the way money works. An international economy is not at all like “balancing your checkbook,” even if almost every politician on television says so.

Severe faults exist in the US fiscal system’s infrastructure. Debt obligations and entitlement programs are the chief causes. However, they are not a Sword of Damocles that threatens to cut us down at a moment’s notice. America is still the safest haven for assets. Our problems, large though they may be, can be solved”€”but not when serious advocates quickly capitulate.

A final aspect of this whole disgrace lies with the GOP’s leader. No serious political party can be martialed by a man who cries at the first drop of spilled blood (or spilled milk, for that matter). It’s unseemly and off-putting.

Anyone with such a tender heart is in no position to coldly look at untenable situations and keep his mettle. If you want to go to war, you have to kill. If you want to do political battle, it means killing services provided to deserving people. That isn’t particularly fair to those not involved in politics. Yet neither was it fair that thousands of civilians died in France during the liberation. One must harm to heal.

Boehner may be a decent man, and (some of) his Republicans may have noble instincts. Still, obviously neither is capable of the difficult choices that define politics.
When a country and its parties are as diametrically opposed in aims as is the United States, politics is no more about conciliation than is hand-to-hand combat. The wisest thing Patrick Buchanan ever said is, “Compromise is the surrender of fundamentals.” As of today Boehner and his cohorts have proved the point once again and demonstrated what they do best”€”meekly submit.


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