"Are we ready for our new Republican overlords? ,,,It looks as if Kevin McCarthy will finally realize his goal of becoming speaker, but when he speaks, it will be Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert doing the spewing. It will be like the devil growling through Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” — except it will be our heads spinning.
...People voting for these crazies think they’re punishing Biden, Barack Obama and the Democrats. They’re really punishing themselves. These extreme Republicans don’t have a plan. Their only idea is to get in, make trouble for President Biden, drag Hunter into the dock, start a bunch of stupid investigations, shut down the government, abandon Ukraine and hold the debt limit hostage." - Maureen Dowd, 'The Greene-ing Of America', NY Times
The esteemed Financial Times columnist Edward Luce put it flatly in his recent piece: This Will Be The Mother of All Midterm Elections:
"The only real damage the Republicans can wreak - if they gain control of congress - is if they follow through on their threat not to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. That could trigger a market crash."
But also a recession or depression as I have pointed out before. More distressing (perhaps) in Luce's piece is his reason for why most voters appear not to be concerned over protecting our democracy. In his take:
voters see a healthy democracy as nice to have rather than decisive. They view
protecting the U.S. Republic from itself as primarily an elite concern."
In other words, more or less a question of philosophical interest. Well,
when their craniums are being bashed in by police or National Guard truncheons or
shot with rubber bullets to prevent them from protesting, they may have a
distinctly different take. Or when AR-15 toting goons prevent them from voting next time and all mail voting is prohibited. Like the good Germans after they let Hitler come to
power in 1933. But by then it'll be too late.
Back to the GOP threat of using the debt ceiling as extortion if they get back into power. We know this cult has had a boner to cut Social Security and Medicare since their 'Tea Party' ascended after the 2010 midterm blowout of the Dems. Believe me, they have not forgotten.
To refresh readers' memories, in 2011, Standard &
Poor’s stripped the U.S. of its triple-A credit rating for the
first time after the Treasury came within days of being unable to pay certain
benefits. In other words, a credit downgrade merely for coming close to
default. Now imagine what an actual default at the hands of Republican
terrorists would do.
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. If. the government can’t borrow to pay bills that come due, it would have to suspend certain pension payments, withhold or cut the pay of soldiers and federal workers, or delay interest payments, which would constitute default. Unless Congress raises the debt ceiling, the Treasury could be forced to cut payments by more than 40%, including Social Security, VA benefits.
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 these roaches would stoop to making it even worse. But they will and have said so openly. (Though more recently they've tried to notch it down in order to not give too many independents second thoughts.) This is also why Kim Strassel's comment in her latest WSJ blarney (p. A14 today, 'Bring on the Non-Drama Election':
"People want a governing class that acknowledges their real problems, presents a sober plan for tackling them, engages in regular order and— more than anything—meets that baseline requirement of acting grown up."
Is such a Richter-magnitude howler. A "governing class"? The Reeps are a goddamned cult of dyspeptic infants bent only on exercising raw power and retribution against the Dems for the January 6th committee and its public hearings. Acting grown up? Playing brinksmanship with the debt ceiling is not "grown up", but reckless and irresponsible. If voters put this bunch of losers back into power they will reap a financial whirlwind. The problem, as Janice likes to point out, is the rest of us will too.
We will see Tuesday - or maybe later - how seriously voters take this threat - and the one to permanently alter our democracy into an autocracy. I am betting enough sensible voters save the day. Janice is betting "too many idiots" will put the GOP goons back in power. We will see who is right - hopefully Tuesday night or next Wednesday morning.
The Republicans, in making sure they get their voters out, are really doing their part to make sure that Democrats have all the fodder they need to turn out the majority of non-whackadoodle voters between now and Tuesday. House Republicans are still measuring the curtains and out there, in public, talking about all the things they’re going to do if they take the majority—things that have absolutely nothing at all to do with governing or policymaking.
Here’s what they told CNN will be top priorities: Hunter Biden, COVID-19 conspiracy theory hearings, removing the metal detectors at the House chamber doors. That’s along with forcing Social Security and Medicare cuts or destroying the U.S. and global economies. That’s their argument for their election. Yes, “vengeance and destruction” is a pretty great message for Republican voters. It should be a really motivating message for every other voter in the country, because yikes!
Reports now say Republicans will pursue their usual plan: tax cuts for billionaires and corporations. Sorry, but how’s that going to help?
America’s billionaires have seen their wealth increase by $1.7 trillion since the pandemic started. If it’s “inflationary” when single moms like Maureen Bowling get help with their groceries and heating bills, isn’t it more inflationary when the absurdly rich get even more? And if you reward price gouging with tax cuts, won’t that just encourage more gouging?
If the GOP regains the House, four of the leading Republicans contenders for the House Budget Committee chair have all vowed to demand cuts to Social Security and Medicare in return for their cooperation in raising the debt ceiling next year. To be clear, that’s Republicans saying they will crash the U.S. economy to force President Joe Biden to give into their demands.
Now would-be House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has confirmed that yes, that’s exactly what Republicans intend to do. That continues to generate yawns from the super savvy reporters in D.C. and New York, who largely ignored the first reports of this threat. Now they’re continuing to try to downplay it. But it’s as real and as dangerous as can be.