I knew this day would come, and finally, it’s arrived… but incredibly, it’s much worse than I ever anticipated.
I refer to the furious fracas going on south of the border over raising the US Debt Ceiling: that wholly self-inflicted hemorrhaging scalp wound in the American economic psyche also known as “The Debt Crisis”.
As even my dog knows by now, raising the Debt Ceiling is a peculiar little process the US government uses to stay afloat on borrowed money. It’s generally a simple matter of congressional housekeeping, almost a rubber-stamp process, so hideous is the prospect of not raising it. Ronaldus Maximus raised it 18 times, Georgie raised it 7 times (yes, they did!), and it was never a problem for teabaggers or anyone else until the Black Guy took over — just a coincidence, no doubt. (Of course, there were no teabaggers until the Black Guy took over — another one of those coinkydinks, I’m sure.) But I digress…
I said above that it’s “so much worse than I anticipated” because at that time I totally expected the GOP to do what they always do when confronted with raising the Debt Ceiling: vote to raise it. Then do an amusing little soft shoe routine to explain the vote to their fiscally-illiterate teabagger contingent, who’d no doubt be livid. But I underestimated the GOP establishment’s fear of the teabagger’s white-hot wrath, and the size of the teabagger tidal wave that swept Congress last November. Republicans now find their power over Congress compromised by “T.M.T. Syndrome”.
Yep: Too Many Teabaggers. At least half the GOP congress are baggers, a toxic , sweaty combination of dumbness and jabbering batshit insanity… so much so that they won’t even vote for a Debt Ceiling bill from one of their own. They think blowing up the economy sounds like it might be kinda fun, maybe have a tailgate party or something.
On the mini-TV in my office, CNBC is interviewing one teabagging congresscritter after another, and they become increasingly belligerent with every sound bite. The market’s finally reacting to the possibility that the US might actually default — stocks are down, the price of gold is on fire: an ominous portent of something hideous on the horizon.
There’s no doubt that the US debt is nauseatingly, obscenely massive, Debt On Steroids, after a violent 10-year spree of psychotic spending. That something needs to be done about it is indisputable. But it didn’t get that way overnight, so trying to fix it overnight is probably a Bad Idea. A scalpel and a surgeon’s delicate touch are probably what’s called for, not some rube swinging a chainsaw with one hand and a bottle of cheap whiskey with the other.
UPDATE: Boner Bill passed the House, now proceeds to the Senate to be Terminated with Extreme Prejudice. (All that this cute little drama accomplished was to save Boehner’s ass.)