The Budget/Debt Ceiling Truce: A Return to Sanity

The subtitle of my post last Wednesday was a misstatement.   I wrote: Welcome to Crazy Day.    It should have been more along the lines of Welcome to a Return to Sanity.   It just felt crazy watching the Republican controlled House push the debt limit issue to the final hour.

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY)

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we can agree that a large part of “crazy” is being out of touch with reality, the crazy element was provided by the Tea Party in general and Ted Cruz in particular.   If taken at face value, Cruz believes that Obamacare is “such a train wreck” that he is willing to do anything to stop it, even play poker using “the full faith and credit” of the United States as a bargaining chip.

I think it safe to say that most economists and businessmen would say it is a terrible misjudgement, to say the least.   The U. S. government bonds are considered the safest investment in the world, and that should last for a long time, unless Cruz and company actually succeed in pushing us to the edge of debt default as a ongoing month to month strategy.

That seems unlikely after this recent stalemate, but it is worth noting that he and his followers seem not to realize that the leading economy in the world cannot maintain world trust ( and the rewards therein) when these matters are battled over every few months and potentially taken to the edge of default whenever the Tea Party chooses to.   You may have heard about a Chinese editorial titled:  U.S. fiscal failure warrants a de-Americanized world.   They are working on creating a de-Americanized world and these recent shenanigans only help make their case.  Click the article and see.

But back to Ted Cruz and his fellow T. P.’ers.   In keeping with their collective insanity, they act as if they won this last round, with Cruz praising many in the House as “profiles in courage.”  What courage?  They were elected from gerrymandered districts whose voting majority share their insanity/simpled-mindedness.   Their reckless behavior only enhances their stature, at least from the extremist base.  Again, what courage?

Amongst the numerous opinions and statements about this recent bit of congressional trench warfare, to me the most significant comes from Mitch McConnell, minority leader of the Senate.   He has stated there will not be another government shut down when this issue comes to a head again Jan 15 and I infer he won’t work to put our remainingl “full faith and credit” in jeopardy by playing games with raising the debt ceiling when that comes due Feb 7.

This is a weather vane of changing winds because McConnell is up for reelection in 2014 and he has been careful to draw as little Tea Party criticism as possible fearing a strong primary challenge from them.     His indicating he will not play the Tea Party’s game in upcoming months suggests he is willing to take the heat they will torch him with, thinking that his chances of surviving politically are higher going against Tea Party wishes than endorsing them,

It is one of many signs of a widening Republican civil war, which makes it impossible to predict what will happen regarding these matters in upcoming months.   But more interesting than the normal gridlock.


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