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Cataclysmic Fiscal Cruzin’

September 25, 2013

TRNS: “House Democrats Call For Clean Debt Ceiling Increase

“Refusing to raise the debt limit poses a cataclysmic danger, some say worse than cataclysmic danger, to the stability of our markets and the economic security of our middle class,” Pelosi said

At CSPAN: “House Democrats on Federal Spending and the Health Care Law” Sep 25, 2013

Also lots of talk about “hostages” (see Rep. Hoyer) – as if the radical Republicans are terrorists? Recall #youmightbeaterrorist

This rhetoric is ridiculous. Debt limits are politics. This isn’t a hostage situation, it’s political negotiation. It’s what Congress does. It what they did last time – No one cares. Last time we went Fiscal Cliff Diving and they fixed it a few days later. = “So this is what falling off a cliff feels like

Now we are Cruzin’ towards another cliff. But it isn’t as dire as they say it is. It wasn’t last time. They can retroactively fix it. The deadlines are just part of the horsetrading.

President Obama insists that we have to pay our bills on time. He keeps using the Ford F-150 example and talking about car payments. We already bought the car so of course we have to make the payments.

But that’s not true. It’s the ideal but we all know people who has missed a payment. And sometimes if you ask nice, sometimes they won’t even charge the late fee. Now that’s not always true and it won’t work for many months, but missing a deadline on a credit statement is not catastrophe, it’s a fine – “hey-ah-it’s-ah-fine-ah”

Now that’s not always true. Maybe there is an acceleration clause that activates when you miss a payment. That could cause more problems. But ultimately, even in a horror situation, it’s about negotiations with the bank. And if cash flow is tight, it might even sometimes be rational to miss a payment if it’s just going to be a fine and the extra cash can actually help you sort it all out sometime soon thereafter. Now, cruising toward a fiscal cliff is risky (“Wild behavior“? say Rep. Welch), but it’s a legitimate negotiating strategy and makes a lot of rational sense when your party only controls one house.

And of course both sides are gaming to blame the other side for decreased job hiring and interest rates eventually must go up. So, who is going to take the blame for these things? ObamaCare? or these Republican “shenanigans” (word from Rep. Clyburn)? Both sides are trying to shift responsibility. But the car is going over the cliff. Do I really have to pay for it if it’s a lemon? What if it’s not so much a lemon, but I wrecked it? I hope we bought insurance…

Remember again the end of the movie “Thelma and Louise” – the question is whether this car is going to fly this time.

“It’s about confidence.” Pelosi said.

But unlike the last time, this round of fiscal cliff-hanging is seemingly without mention of “zombies”. It’s still a “cataclysm” maybe, but we don’t have the coincidental timing of taxmageddon, nor the Mayan end of long calendar Apocalypse. And the sequester has become already the new normal. So instead these are hostages and intentional terrorists, and not zombies.

I guess the only zombies in this current fiscal showdown is the social security recipients who will be amongst the first to feel the pain of any actual (seemingly unlikely) government shutdown. Nobody wants to wake those zombies because no one really knows what would happen if Social Security sent checks a little late. On the one hand, people really might die (it’s a terrible thought that a few days without a check could cause that, but it really could happen). But on the other hand a lot of people who fit the Tea Party stereotype might suddenly realize that they actually like government assistance after all and suddenly they’ll demand more “Green Eggs and Ham”.

And flying F-150’s!!! – Where’s my flying car!!!

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