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Bill Hicks

Dave - thank you much for the shout out!

Another thing we must remember is that just a couple of months after the debt ceiling "debate" is settled, there will be yet another big fight in October over the USG's FY-2012 budget, likely with the threat of another government shutdown before further cuts are eventually made.


Well, a lot of people are concerned that if default were to occur, there would be a huge and serious economic blow-out, and there is reportedly a substantial number of Republicans (the Tea Party freshman) who are making noises that they won't vote to raise the debt-ceiling no matter what sort of deal is brokered. I take it you think this is just "Sound and Fury"?

I tend to think that if the debt-ceiling isn't raised and the danger of this economic blow-out is real (which I tend to think it is), then the people who truly own this country will tell Obama he had better raise the debt-ceiling on his own. 1) That debt-ceiling law was only passed in the last 100 years, so it is hardly historically sacrosanct and 2) we have been moving ever since the end of World War II towards being an executive-branch quasi-dictatorship, so it's not as if one more major step in that direction would be some big huge deal. Though of course the Tea Party would scream bloody-murder and maybe even pull off some very pathetically ineffectual acts of petty terrorism.

Don't worry, I have no illusions that anybody at that elite negotiating table represents me. I gave up on that illusion three years ago. (Yes, kind of late, I know.) But even though I try not to get worked up about these political *kabuki* shows, the idea that a government debt-default might have consequences dire enough to spill over immediately into my little world does make me squirm at least a little bit. Maybe it shouldn't, but there it is, I guess.


And BTW, if anything demonstrates that people such as myself are not at all represented at that negotiating table, it's the fact that the three wars of choice and the hyper-bloated Department of Defense that are *truly* bleeding us dry aren't even being discussed *at* *all*.


Even better than your usual tour de force, Dave. I especially loved the emphasis on distractions in light of the current non-issue I see is currently popular in circulation - "Michelle Bachman's husband is really one of teh gehs"!

What really scares me is this: "...it will be necessary to invent even bigger phony debates in the future..." because that sounds like maybe the wars currently being waged are insufficiently entrancing and we can look forward to much, much more bloodshed to occupy the teevee screen.


Okay, I can't resist:



@Gail: Well, it's just that Marcus Bachmann always starts talking about things such as "bondage" and "discipline" whenever the subject of homosexuality comes up! :-D

John D

I think the thing that amazes me most about this debt ceiling argument is the vast majority of people that think that once we get out of this pesky recession, we can grow again and the debt will start to go down. Don't they realize we'll be back having this discussion again at $20T or $25T? They don't have a clue that the great ponzi scheme is playing its last cards.


Jack Goldstone in his book on the cyclical nature of revolutionary changes noted that when demographic problems causes an economy loose steam: a number of bad things happen.

One thing that happens is that the elites begin fighting over the spoils. As the pie shrinks they do their best to grab an even larger portion for themselves to maintain their relative station.
Tie Party rallies are very much about an elite group (granted a relatively low power one) trying to stake out its share of the wealth going forward.

The Republican “Middle Class” base does not feel that they are getting much from the establishment created (in their minds) by Johnson, FDR, and (nod to Glenn Beck) Woodrow Wilson. With a strong libertarian streak , they are of the opinion that they have earned their success, and the government is both siphoning off their wealth, and intruding in their ability to create more.
Arguing that their earlier prosperity was (for many of them) a combination of hard work that was also well positioned in time and place is obviously not a going to gain a whole lot of traction. Whether you are a suburban gang-banger, or a middle class tea-partier ready to retire: success always belongs to you, failure is the fault of others.

The Republicans want to “starve the beast.” It is their way of reasserting their status within the system. And if they are not allowed that position, then they have very little care for the system. It is these types of activities within elites that get revolutions started. That the end result often looks nothing like what was intended is somewhat beside the point.

The worry is not that the “stupid” republicans don’t know what they are doing. They know what they are doing. That they are willing to risk the unknowable results is what is worrying.

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