Monday, September 30, 2013

Shutdown Sh**fest

It was supposed to end by now. The federal government was supposed to be kept running. Will we be proven wrong tonight?

The latest and greatest manufactured crisis continues to rage on despite the Senate rejecting the House G-O-TEA shutdown agenda. But because G-O-TEA Congresscritters refuse to stop the drama, a government shutdown will happen tomorrow if the House can't pass the Senate approved temporary budget.

Even some House Republicans admit it's a political "loser" for their party. So far, recent polls are confirming their fear. And now, even Republican Senators are urging their party to stop the insani-TEA.

Here's Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine).

"What is abundantly clear is that the American people do not want dysfunction in Washington to lead to another government shutdown. A shutdown will only further damage our struggling economy and reverse an already slow climb out of recession.

"I voted against Obamacare and have repeatedly voted to repeal, reform, and replace it, but I disagree with the strategy of linking Obamacare with the continuing functioning of government-a strategy that cannot possibly work.  Instead, I urge the President and congressional leaders to sit down immediately and negotiate at least a stopgap funding measure to avoid a disruption in many vital programs on which our citizens rely.

And a Former President who has experience tackling manufactured crises spoke out yesterday on today's maelstrom of stupid.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” former President Bill Clinton had strong words for the GOP (and no words on his wife’s 2016 campaign). Commenting on the party’s fierce push for cuts and obsession with fighting Obamacare, Clinton noted, “”I’ve never seen a time– can you remember a time in your lifetime when a major political party was just sitting around, begging for America to fail?”

Clinton of triangulation fame also advised President Obama against negotiating with the GOP, describing Republican budget hawks as “spiteful”:

“If I were the president, I wouldn’t negotiate over these draconian cuts that are gonna take food off the table of low-income working people, while they leave all the agricultural subsidies in for high-income farmers and everything else,” he said. “It’s chilling to me. The entitlement spending is going down as the unemployment rate drops and the economy grows. Half of the deficit’s already disappeared. The rest of it just seems almost spiteful.”

Already, US and global stocks are falling amid worries of how this manufactured crisis could (further) harm the economy. No matter how much the usual G-O-TEA suspects want to deny reality, a government shutdown and possible debt default run huge economic risk. Yesterday, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman tried to inject some sanity into the crazy "debate" on Capitol Hill.

Financial markets have long treated U.S. bonds as the ultimate safe asset; the assumption that America will always honor its debts is the bedrock on which the world financial system rests. In particular, Treasury bills — short-term U.S. bonds — are what investors demand when they want absolutely solid collateral against loans. Treasury bills are so essential for this role that in times of severe stress they sometimes pay slightlynegative interest rates — that is, they’re treated as being better than cash.

Now suppose it became clear that U.S. bonds weren’t safe, that America couldn’t be counted on to honor its debts after all. Suddenly, the whole system would be disrupted. Maybe, if we were lucky, financial institutions would quickly cobble together alternative arrangements. But it looks quite possible that default would create a huge financial crisis, dwarfing the crisis set off by the failure of Lehman Brothers five years ago.

No sane political system would run this kind of risk. But we don’t have a sane political system; we have a system in which a substantial number of Republicans believe that they can force President Obama to cancel health reform by threatening a government shutdown, a debt default, or both, and in which Republican leaders who know better are afraid to level with the party’s delusional wing. For they are delusional, about both the economics and the politics.

And this is why all the major world stock indices are tumbling today. The world has begun doubting its faith in the ability of our federal government to run itself. And it's all thanks to continued G-O-TEA intransigence.

For decades, America has been the top global economic leader. For decades, we've been the platinum standard in economic stability. But now, a few Republican hotheads on Capitol Hill are threatening to shut down the government and default on US debt. This would mean our government fails to live up to its promise to pay its bills and provide for the people. It's nonsense... And it's not what the world expects of the world's economic leader.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again now. This is fucking madness. This only hurts people. It helps no one. And it risks the world losing its faith in American leadership once and for all.

Are those gawd-damned G-O-TEA fuckers happy now?

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