"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday that he does not expect members of his party to support a measure authorizing the government to borrow the money it will need to meet its obligations later this year." - The Hill, yesterday
When I read in the most recent issue of The New York Review of Books (p. 34) that Dan Drezner (an international relations scholar) had likened the GOP to the terrorist group Hezbollah, I could easily believe it. Especially given the GOP has ceased to be a viable, functional party but is now a power-driven fascist cult. At every turn these misfits have militated against the common good and general welfare, from spreading their Covid lies, to support of extremist militias, to enabling Trump's fascist phantasmagorias.
To be concise: if it walks like a terrorist, talks like a terrorist and acts like one then it must indeed be a terrorist. We can cite the insurrection and sedition of January 6th, and the (recently revealed) traitor Jeffrey Clark's effort to overturn the general election, to the latest sly provocations involving the debt ceiling. Specifically, threatening to not increase it to pay existing debts - thereby seeking to destabilize the economy at a most critical time.
Contrary to widely circulated myths a debt-ceiling increase does not authorize new spending; it just raises the arbitrary cap on how much the government can borrow to pay off bills to which it has already committed. Given that Congress generally spends more than it collects in revenue, it must allow the Treasury to borrow money to make up the difference. If Treasury can’t borrow a lot of bad stuff happens which is where the GOP terror enters.
For starters, Uncle Sam would have trouble paying military and civilian salaries, Social Security benefits, government contractors, domestic and international creditors, and almost every other bill already racked up. If we default on these IOUs, even briefly, that not only hurts those denied their promised payments. it also makes it more expensive for the government to borrow going forward. Since GOP fiscal hawks are always yapping about "saddling our great grand kids with paying huge interest on the debt" it's kind of choice they'd stoop to making it even worse. But they would because they're fiscal terrorists.
But the terror doesn't stop there. A U.S. default could trigger a worldwide financial crisis, possibly a depression. That’s because financial markets currently treat U.S. debt as the safest of assets, with all other assets around the world benchmarked against us. Our default would send waves of financial panic cascading through lots of other markets, too.
How can I be so sure the Repukes would act in such a contrary, despicable, short-sighted manner? Well, because they already have when Obama was president. During the Obama presidency, Republicans repeatedly held the debt limit hostage. The 2011 debt-limit showdown led the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s perfect credit rating for the first time, saying that “political brinkmanship” over paying our bills revealed U.S. governance and finances to be “less stable, less effective and less predictable” than previously believed." as Republican lawmakers in recent weeks expressed opposition to raising the borrowing limit.
We're on that same parlous track again - like we are with a huge new fall Covid surge- thanks to the 'pukes. This is especially as Republican lawmakers in recent weeks expressed firm opposition to raising the borrowing limit. Anticipating a crunch, the Treasury Department will suspend reinvestments by a number of retirement funds for civil servants and postal workers starting Monday. This according to a letter Janet Yellen just sent to congressional leaders. The suspended funds will be made whole once the debt limit is either suspended or increased, she said. Adding: "I respectfully urge Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting as soon as possible."