Monday, August 1, 2011
Wake up, everybody! The Tea Party is a step closer to screwing us!
The Tea Party is the winner in the debt ceiling deal struck just hours ago by the White House and congressional leaders.
Everybody knows by now that the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since the month and year of my birth, March of 1962, and that ten of those times have occurred since 2001. It was always a routine, benign procedural act – until the Tea Party rose to power, that is, aided by a lazy, cynical media and pandering politicians, and decided it didn’t like a black man sitting at the president’s desk.
The last several months have seen debt ceiling-related hand-wringing and nail-biting and political posturing and finger-pointing and threat-making unlike anything ever seen before. Now, if politicians fail to raise it by tomorrow, we could face rising interest rates and a declining dollar. Financial experts have predicted a downgrade of our country’s credit rating and a plunge in the stock market. (The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped for a sixth straight day last Friday.) We won’t be able to pay our bills, Social Security checks might not go out, and U.S. troops might not get their paychecks, among other problems.
This was no Asian tsunami or Japanese earthquake or Hurricane Katrina. This crisis was man-made.
According to the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, what politicians have come up with “will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.”
The deal made by political leaders – which includes big spending cuts with no increase in revenue, no tax increases, no closing of loopholes – also calls for a special panel to be created to recommend further deficit reductions, and if these recommendations aren’t accepted, there will be more spending cuts.
There’s no guarantee that the proposal (which also makes “modest adjustments,” according to Obama, to spending programs like Medicare) will win enough support to pass both chambers of Congress.
There’s no guarantee that I’ll ever trust another politician either.
Krugman also wrote, “Republicans will surely be emboldened by the way Mr. Obama keeps folding in the face of their threats. He surrendered last December, extending all the Bush tax cuts; he surrendered in the spring when they threatened to shut down the government; and he has now surrendered on a grand scale to raw extortion over the debt ceiling. Maybe it’s just me, but I see a pattern here.”
It’s not just you, Mr. Krugman. There’s no doubt about it: Obama’s taken a sharp turn to the right. I couldn’t be more disgusted.
Sources: CNN, New York Times, Daily Beast.