It can’t happen here

Bruce Bartlett brings up an interesting nightmare scenario for a Republican-controlled Congress:

To be sure, the debt limit has always been raised in time to prevent a default, although Treasury sometimes had to push the limits of the law to move money around to pay the government’s bills. However, I believe the game has changed because Republicans have become extremely bold in using the filibuster to make it extraordinarily difficult to pass any major legislation without at least 60 votes in the Senate.

Furthermore, a growing number of conservatives have suggested that default on the debt wouldn’t be such a bad thing. It is often said that default would lead to an instantaneous balanced budget because no one would lend to the U.S. government ever again. Therefore, spending would have to be cut to the level of current revenues.

Writing in Forbes last month, the Cato Institute’s John Tamny was enthusiastic about the prospects of default. Said Tamny, “It’s time we learn to love the idea of a U.S. default . . . For Americans to worry about a debt default is like the parent of a heroin addict fearing that his dealers will cease feeding the addiction.”

I don’t think that it’s likely that a Republican Congress would actually force a default, but they could certainly use the threat of forcing one to get their way on other matters. Serious economic minds like Charles Lane and Robert Samuelson would likely cheer them on as they held the country hostage.






74 replies
  1. 1
    daveNYC says:

    They might start their play intending to simply use the threat in negotiations, but once they get going, who is to say that the influx of support that would come from the Tea Party nutters wouldn’t go to their head?

    On the plus side, this would really help our exports.

  2. 2

    Bruce Bartlett brings up an interesting nightmare scenario for a Republican-controlled Congress:

    There so many nightmare scenarios with a Republican controlled congress, they are tntc. And having the WH AND Congress gives me the weegy creepy trembles.

  3. 3
    MikeJ says:

    How long will they be popular when they tell people default means no Social Security, no medicare, no military, no faa, no border patrol…

  4. 4
    danimal says:

    Well, if that’s what it takes to kill off the military-industrial complex, what’s the problem?

    IOW, they had better be careful what they wish for; once the default genie is out of the bottle, no one knows how things will pan out.

  5. 5
    Steve says:

    I sure hope they settle for something small-bore like impeachment.

  6. 6
    Shalimar says:

    Republicans will eventually succeed in bringing on the Catastrophic Depression.

  7. 7
    Ecks says:

    If it ever looks like this might escalate past the realm of pure rhetoric the corporate and neo-cons would have collective heart attacks. They both make all of their money off gov contracts, and if the borrowing suddenly becomes massively more expensive for the US, then there will be a lot fewer of those contracts going to their rich friends, and wingnut welfare would start running out of money in a hurry.

    It would be a TKO victory for the teabaggers.

  8. 8
    fucen tarmal says:

    ok, so lets see, no beloved wars, the war on terror becomes well. we don’t like it, any more than our proverbial daughter’s lifestyle choices, but we have to live with it, plus its embarrassing to have to admit she is uninvited, so we just put up with it on terror…not necessarily a bad thing….but the resultant passive aggressive bickering and barely sheathed rage that would underlie it, would make life unbearable and friends would start finding excuses to not come.

    the big fight would then be, government has to raise taxes to respond to anything. imagine the situation in the gulf, if the “who’s gonna pay for it” was mixed with a new tax burden? new taxes every time something gets screwed up, or the fed wants to offer disaster relief? the wars would simply be moved to a new front….like the battle of gettysburg in mid-town manhattan….

  9. 9
    Bostondreams says:

    Which is why the Repubs are hoping they DO NOT take over Congress; they don’t want the blame when the hard decisions have to be made, but they want to make those decisions as crappy as possible to make.

  10. 10
    Sly says:

    Such a thing would never wash politically. National default is still the province of crackpots like Murray Rothbard for the sole reason that our public debt is largely held by American citizens. Social Security Trust Fund, state and private pension funds, state/municipal governments, banks, insurance companies, etc. Anyone or anything that holds a Savings Bond, a Treasury Note, or a T-Bill.

    The entire U.S. bond market would likely collapse, and then the only place for money to go would be the First Bank of Simmons Beautyrest. Guys like Rothbard (and Tamny) don’t care about that, because the suffering of real people is secondary to the advancement of their dumbshit ideology.

    Sure, the Republicans could bluff. But everyone would know its a bluff, which defeats the point of bluffing, no? Even Newt Gingrich couldn’t pull it off in the 90s, and he’s one of the better bullshit artists that the GOP has had in the past thirty years.

  11. 11

    Said Tamny, “It’s time we learn to love the idea of a U.S. default . . . For Americans to worry about a debt default is like the parent of a heroin addict fearing that his dealers will cease feeding the addiction.”

    Because that worked out so well for Iceland.

    I swear, every time I hear something these Morans say about fiscal responsibility, I say to myself, “surely it can’t get anymore stupid than this.”

    Sadly, yes.

    And Lady Smudge is considering going Galt over shit like this.

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    no one would lend to the U.S. government ever again.

    What could possibly go wrong with that?

  13. 13
    The Dangerman says:

    From the article:

    While acknowledging there might be some pain from default, he dismissed it as trivial compared to the enormous blessing of a massive reduction in federal spending.

    Oh, you betcha! Turning the world economy into the Titanic would be minimal compared to…

    …ending a whole shitload of spending that, as it turns out, isn’t going towards young bucks buying T-bones.

    Of course, this would send us into a depression, tax revenues would plummet, and, since no one would lend to us and with the world economy already circling the toilet, it would be a death spiral to a Mad Max movie.

    I’m guessing the monied interests aren’t interested in living in a Mad Max movie, so, no, it can’t happen here.

  14. 14
    Paul says:

    Who could imagine that they would freak out in Washington, D.C.

  15. 15
    mogden says:

    I would be so happy if the Congress could be made to default, but it will never happen.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    FUUUUUCK YEEEEEAH!

    I’ve always found South America of the 1960s and 1970s fascinating! I think it would completely give us all much more exciting lives if we let Republicans remodel our country to improvise a reliving of those good ol’ days.

    But who will be the U.S. who pays for either a compliant military officer or death squad movement to keep us in line?

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:

    The Republican lunacy on fiscal policy knows no bounds.

    In the Idaho legislature, the Rs have put a guy on the tax-writing committee who failed to file Federal income tax returns for several years because he claimed that the tax was unconstitutional. The IRS recently filed tax liens for over $300K.

  18. 18
    Mark S. says:

    That Tamny piece might be the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read in my life, and I’ve read a lot Townhall and WorldNutDaily articles.

  19. 19
    Ash Can says:

    Does anyone doubt that the people who would scream first and most about the ensuing pain would be those who most fervently wish for a default now?

  20. 20

    OT, but I just saw ACTUAL FOOTAGE of workers cleaning up beaches on Keith Olbermann. It’s a conspiracy to silence the media!! ! 1 1 1!

  21. 21
    Joey Maloney says:

    I haven’t been a big fan of the unitary executive, but if ever there was an argument for the President to crush a lot of children’s testicles, it would be these Republican children being willing and able to destroy the United States and take the world economy down with it, in the service of some ideology they don’t even understand themselves.

    If this ever looks like a real possibility I hope Obama invites the Republican leadership to the White House for tea and crumpets but when they get there a Special Forces team Tasers them, shackles them and bags their heads and hustles them onto a secret flight to whatever black prisons we still operate.

    And then Robert Gibbs can tell the pressroom with a straight face that no, strangest thing, they never arrived. Crime in the District is certainly getting out of hand, isn’t it? Next question?

  22. 22
    The Dangerman says:

    @El Cid:

    But who will be the U.S. who pays for either a compliant military officer or death squad movement to keep us in line?

    Since there won’t be one, the target of the death squads will be people like this asshole Tamny that proposed a default as a fine solution (go look at his picture at the Forbes article; it screams first up against the wall)…

    …and Wall Street bankers….

    ….hold on, I need to reconsider my position on this option.

  23. 23
    jwb says:

    @Ash Can: But hoocoodanode?

  24. 24

    And another OT: I am fucking sick and tired of the bobbleheads with their amateur psychoanalysis of Obama’s response to the oilpocalypse. First it was Chucky Todd on Hardball, then Jonathan Alter pimping his book on Olbermann and lecturing the Obama administration on what Obama needs to project tomorrow night.

    And neither Todd nor Alter has ever run for, nor won, public office, or, for that matter, ran a damned campaign. GRRRR!

  25. 25
    robertdsc says:

    @Joey Maloney:
    This. 100%

  26. 26
    The Dangerman says:

    That Tamny piece might be the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read in my life…

    You “inspired” me to go to the Forbes piece (of shit); it truly may be the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read in my life. In fucking FORBES, no less. WND is one thing, but FORBES?!!!

    I need a primal scream.

    *ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRG*

    I feel better now. Carry on…

  27. 27
    PeakVT says:

    Sticking a crowbar in the spokes of the global economy is sure to work out well.

  28. 28
    Kryptik says:

    The worst part is that I really COULD see it happening if the Republicans got majorities, given that 1) that silly little 60-vote floor never seems to apply in Republican senates and 2) we have enough twits on the Dem side of Congress that would go along with this crap because ‘balanced budgets are good!’ (and also to stick it to the DFHs). Oh, and 3) We’d end up inundated by the media about why we’ll be better off defaulting and cutting everything but our glorious war efforts. It’ll be just like the utopia of Colorado Springs, except with nukes!

    And yes, I’m pessimistic and cynical, but only because reality continues to be so much more frustrating and stupid than the predictions bear out.

  29. 29
    mai naem says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Chucky Cheese Todd would drive round the bend if I watched the whole show. I listened to part of it this AM. On one hand, he and his buds on Morning Ho were going on about the lack of emo in Obama’s response blah blah blah then Obama goes down to the Gulf Coast and they’re like “see, see, he’s admitting he was wrong because now he is down here and doesn’t that show how weak he is?”

    My sis thinks Obama should just walk away from the job and give the finger to the American people. Just give one last farewell speech, explain how he cannot deal with the immature American population with the nutcase teabaggers and the never satisfied firebaggers, the greedy corporate fatcats, and tell us to grow the f#$k up and act like adults.

  30. 30

    @mai naem: It would be hell for the country, but I think it would be personally satisfying to watch Obama do exactly this after detailing in great lengths the reasons why he’s walking away.

    OK. Someone talk to me like I’m stupid (because on financial matters, I’m pretty close). To me, it looks like this.

    1. Default on debts
    2.
    3.
    4. Wolverines!

    What am I missing? How on earth can we default on all our debts and continue to live in the style to which we’ve become accustomed (especially massive spending on defense) without astronomically raising taxes?

    @arguingwithsignposts: Lady Smudge grows more beautiful with each passing day. I would love to see her snuggling with my boys. She would be the cream center to their Oreo cookies.

  31. 31
    KG says:

    So, rather than just propose actual cuts to the budget, like adults… they’d rather the federal government default and go bankrupt?

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    This is cutting off your fucking head to spite the entire universe. These are the same fuckers that preach personal responsibility, right? But they don’t want to actually take responsibility for making budget cuts or otherwise balancing the budget?

    My guess is they probably think that this will play out the same way it did in the 90s. Of course, I think Obama will probably handle it better than Clinton did.

  32. 32
    KG says:

    @mai naem: I was at a Federal Society MCLE event a few weeks back, and a couple of movement conservative types were talking about Obama. This was right after HCR passed. One of them said they didn’t think Obama cared if he lost in 2012. The other said they thought Obama would mail in the rest of this term. Basically, they thought he’d just give up and not try. I stood silently by and listened. Then I laughed all the way back to the office.

    He does what is nearly impossible, and they think he will just go away or suddenly lose. I just don’t get it.

  33. 33
    El Cid says:

    @KG: These people were probably calling Argentina’s then-President Nestor Kirchner a fool, a maniac, an crazy Marxist, when they defaulted on their debts and ridiculous interest payments on international lenders, then with Venezuela’s reserves backing them, told the lenders to fuck off or get in gear to play on Argentina’s terms now.

  34. 34
    YellowJournalism says:

    @KG: Of course, these ideas come from the same people who often shoulder the blame of the current crisis to home owners and “welfare queens” who have defaulted on mortgages and other debts they couldn’t afford to pay back. “Live within your means!” is their battle cry when it comes to the poor and struggling.

  35. 35
    MikeJ says:

    @KG:

    My guess is they probably think that this will play out the same way it did in the 90s. Of course, I think Obama will probably handle it better than Clinton did.

    It got Clinton reëlected and drove his chief rival in the congress, Gingrich, to a 65% disapproval rating.

    Granted, most Republicans would kill for only 65% of people to disapprove of them.

    Based on what it did for Clinton Obama should put a sign that says “Republican seating section” on the door to the lav on Air Force 1.

  36. 36
    Mike Kay says:

    Shutting down goverment is suicide, just ask Newt (circa 1995/6).

  37. 37
    Mark S. says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    4. Wolverines!

    That’s basically it. From that Tamny piece, which, as I said earlier, is quite possibly the stupidest thing ever written:

    When we consider the tautological reality that workers are themselves capital, the U.S. economy would boom even more as countless Americans paid to stay unemployed by jobless benefits would soon enough join laid off government workers in the pursuit of private work. Thanks to greatly reduced government spending freeing up growth capital, the job searches wouldn’t be terribly difficult.

    With the resultant 40% unemployment, hyperinflation, and 75% of banks failing, private businesses will be hiring away trying to keep up with all that demand. As Insty would say, Wolverines! Indeed.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    Every elected official and pundit that pedals the idea of a US default on debt should be immediately shot as a traitor to the country.

  39. 39
    Mike Kay says:

    He does what is nearly impossible, and they think he will just go away or suddenly lose. I just don’t get it.
    Reply

    It’s the self-reinforcing echo/propaganda chamber they reside in, with an assist from the Corporate Media.

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    What am I missing? How on earth can we default on all our debts and continue to live in the style to which we’ve become accustomed (especially massive spending on defense) without astronomically raising taxes?

    The game plan is for the haves to live in guarded palaces of privilege while the unwashed hordes outside starve.

    Unfortunately for them, IEDs are the new class equalizer.

  41. 41

    @Mark S.: Glad you made your flight safely! You know, reading that excerpt you posted causes my mind to ‘asplode. How in the world can increasing unemployment be a good thing? And, if we don’t pay our debts, how are we going to pay the unemployed workers their benefits? Private markets would expand? In what universe? They can’t be this stupid; I must be missing something. Maybe I need to read the whole piece.

    @TenguPhule: Along with my handy-dandy rusty pitchforks! So this really is just blatant classfare? “Let them eat cake” as it were? “I got mine, go fuck yourself?” Yeah, that’s gonna work out well for the oilgarchy.

    Light a candle for me, guys. I’m going in (to read the article. Guy looks like a first-class dickhead, by the way).

    Holy shit. I just read the article. It’s even worse than I imagined. Gotta go shower now. Ugh.

  42. 42
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    If this ever looks like a real possibility I hope Obama invites the Republican leadership to the White House for tea and crumpets but when they get there a Special Forces team Tasers them, shackles them and bags their heads and hustles them onto a secret flight to whatever black prisons we still operate.
    __
    And then Robert Gibbs can tell the pressroom with a straight face that no, strangest thing, they never arrived. Crime in the District is certainly getting out of hand, isn’t it? Next question.

    Okay, I LOLed. So now the Secret Service is gonna have to bring us both in for questioning…

  43. 43

    @Anne Laurie: Add me to the list. I thought it was a good idea.

    So, this Tamny asshat sets up so many strawmen, I don’t even know how to begin to burn them down. He pulls out every tired cliche possible from the overpaid, pampered fed workers with their Cadillac benefits (I hate that term) to the shining moral rectitude that is the private market. And, he blithely says, hey, let’s reduce military spending like that! Easy-peasy. How in the hell did this guy ever get any kind of degree in anything other than wishful thinking?

  44. 44
    Mike Kay says:

    they’re like “see, see, he’s admitting he was wrong because now he is down here and doesn’t that show how weak he is?”

    You know the beltway is really fucked up when refusing to acknowledge an error or keeping on the wrong corse is considered a strength.

  45. 45
    Mike Kay says:

    On 2nd thought, if we default, all US forces will have to withdraw. They’ll have to disband most of the armed forces. It’ll be like the collapse of the soviet union.

    Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea.

  46. 46
    kdaug says:

    Hey folks, remember – if the federal government defaults on it’s debt, that means you can, too! Goodbye car payment! Goodbye mortgage! Goodbye credit card debt! It’s all gone, and no one can do anything about it!

    And think of all the repo men (and attendant ER techs) we’ll need to employ! It’s a jobs program!

  47. 47
    kdaug says:

    Oh, and we’re replacing the dollar with cigarette butts.

    Don’t smoke? Too bad, poor man! That’s what you get for listening to the government!

    FREEDOM!!

  48. 48
    boredwiththeusa says:

    Warning – economic know-nothing comment:
    How can a country that uses a fiat currency and can print money ever default? I thought “default” means to be unable to pay one’s debt. How could the U.S.A. ever default? I am aware that there could be other consequences that would be negative to printing trillions, but default?

  49. 49
    nanute says:

    bordedwiththeusa@48: Technically you are correct. What these assholes are proposing is welshing. Interestingly, these maroons have spent years trying to convince sentient individuals that bonds issued to borrow from SSI weren’t really government debt. Now that the bonds are coming close to maturity, it’s default as the “default” position.

  50. 50
    bob h says:

    I don’t think that it’s likely that a Republican Congress would actually force a default

    I think the likelihood is the same as that for an impeachment of Obama- 100%. A Republican Congress is a nightmare scenario.

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:

    This would represent a major climb-down for the GOP, whose position heretofore has been “Jesus is coming before the T-notes mature”.

  52. 52
    fucen tarmal says:

    i really think some of these conservatards are really so well insulated, they are simply fucking bored out of their minds and want something exciting to happen….

    climb a mountain, a hill if its all you can do, but seriously blowing up the country just to see what happens?

    johnny knoxville first president of the new united states of jesusland.

  53. 53
    Michael says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    Of course, these ideas come from the same people who often shoulder the blame of the current crisis to home owners and “welfare queens” who have defaulted on mortgages and other debts they couldn’t afford to pay back. “Live within your means!” is their battle cry when it comes to the poor and struggling.

    Deep within that sentiment is a codephrase.

    Its the ni55ers’ fault.

    Always remember that while Germany had its Jews, retrograde American whites and those smarmy looking, sneering caucasian pundits (who need to get shot in the face for propagandizing this shit) have black scapegoats.

    Now, everybody take out their giant USA#1 foam finger and wave it around while singing “Ah’m proud to be ‘Murkan, where at least Ah know Ah’m fraaaeeeeeeee!!!!!”. Afterward, you can see a short inspirational film showing flags, a Ronald Reagan speech, and a Medicare-supported saintly white granny carrying a pie to a heavily laden Thanksgiving table. It is much more preferable to think about that between your rages over strapping young bucks eating tbone steaks.

  54. 54
    frankdawg says:

    And you wonder why I actively cheer for the apocalypse? If, as expect, the Rs pick up a couple of Senate seats this fall they will have the alternative of a speedy & compete destruction of America to use as a club to ensure that America is destroyed slowly, painfully, one tiny drop at a time.

    Of course they won’t vote for default, but they will use the threat to continue to make everything worse so we can all suffer more. The same morons demanding more, worse, alternatives will be shocked & angry that things are getting worse and worse and demand even more draconian measure be taken. Ds will continue to capitulate & lose support because of it. Eventually default will have the momentum & Rs will have the power.

    We have been on this road for 30 years and we have been heading this way in baby steps. For the 6 years the Rs had total control those steps go much bigger and have only led to demands for giant leaps toward destruction. The last 3-4 years we have gone back to smaller steps but the demand for destruction has not abated.

  55. 55
    rickstersherpa says:

    One of things I always find remarkable about movement conservatives is deep, abiding love and compassion of non-existent people. First, unconceived people who may or may not exist in the future, and who, if the trends of the last 200 years continue, are likely to exist in a far richer world materially then we do (although this is not certainity as the Movement Conservatives seem fond of the idea or reducing the U.S. to the level of at least Mississippi, if not Paraguay or the Congo as the ideal state). Then there is of course embryos and foetuses in women wombs. They care passionately to the extent they want to coerce women to bring them to term (although no pre-natal care! Government interference!). From birth and on forward, not so much. And then of course this regard for the future burdens and risks placed on future generations, it seems not to matter when it comes to environmental pollution and degradation. And of course the sacrifices of austerity, like the sacrifices of war, are appropriately placed on the lower orders of society below the elite 1%.

  56. 56
    Michael says:

    Blame is multifold – first, there is the corpse of Ronald Fucking Wilson Fucking Reagan (who I voted for twice). The biggest share, though, goes to the maudlin, juvenile, manipulated American people, primarily those of caucasian ethnicity – they’re tribal, greedy, stupid and self-congratulatory on unearned “triumphs”.

    If it was up to me, we’d burn big piles of effigies of Reagan every year and throw a couple of screaming wingnut pundits onto the flaming stack at each celebration to show on Pay-per-View as a deficit reduction measure.

  57. 57
    Michael says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    Movement Conservatives seem fond of the idea or reducing the U.S. to the level of at least 1930 Mississippi

    Fixed.

  58. 58
    Montysano says:

    Plastic folks, you know
    It won’t happen here
    You’re safe, mama
    You’re safe, baby
    You just cook a tv dinner

  59. 59
    bjacques says:

    Upton Sinclair FTW!

    We already had our President Buzz Windrip, though.

  60. 60
    4tehlulz says:

    @boredwiththeusa: The same way everyone else defaults on theirs. Stop paying the bills.

    Or have a credit agency open their fucking mouths and say bad things like before every other debt crisis in the last couple of decades.

  61. 61
    Barry says:

    @daveNYC: “They might start their play intending to simply use the threat in negotiations, but once they get going, who is to say that the influx of support that would come from the Tea Party nutters wouldn’t go to their head?”

    My standard, iron-clad assumption about such things is that the rich ain’t going to let Congress do anything which would totally f*ck them over – in the short term, at least. Actually trashing the country’s (and the world’s) financial system is not on the table.

    Threatening to, or risking it for excessive profits, is on the table, of course, which does mean that accidentally trashing it is also on the table.

    But not deliberate.

  62. 62
    4tehlulz says:

    BTW wouldn’t seeking the annihilation of the American (never mind the world) economy constitute treason? Just saying.

  63. 63
    Barry says:

    @Mike Kay: “On 2nd thought, if we default, all US forces will have to withdraw. They’ll have to disband most of the armed forces. It’ll be like the collapse of the soviet union.

    Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea. ”

    Except for the whole “large hordes of roving mercenaries who’ll fight for anybody who has food, water, gold, etc.” thing.

  64. 64
    liberal says:

    @4tehlulz:
    Don’t know, but there’s the 14th Amendment to consider, which says in part:

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

  65. 65
    4tehlulz says:

    @Barry: There’s also that control of the nuclear arsenal thing, but what’s a few loose nukes among friends?

    @liberal: That one is not part of the REAL constitution, which is referred to by LIEberal history books as the Articles of the Confederation.

  66. 66
    Montysano says:

    Will ass-less chaps and mohawks be required in our coming Mad Max/glibertarian paradise? I’m 56 and bald. I’m not sure that I can still pull off that look.

  67. 67
    Steeplejack says:

    @Montysano:

    Chaps are by definition ass-less. Better get out the GluteMaster 2000 and get to work.

  68. 68
    satby says:

    @liberal: well the same cohort is working hard to overturn the idea that people born in the United States are citizens (if they happen to be born brown in AZ) so little things like the Constitution won’t stop them.
    In the immortal words of GWB “it’s just a goddamned piece of paper”.

  69. 69
    Sentient Puddle says:

    This isn’t the first time Bruce Bartlett pushed back on the notion of a debt default. Earlier this year, Glenn Reynolds suggested one, and Bartlett wrote up a short column that said something to the effect of “That is so goddamned fucking stupid that you should not be allowed to mingle in polite company, and here’s a few of the millions of reasons why this shit is unthinkable.” To which Reynolds replied by saying that Bartlett was shrill.

    Linking that column because it was good.

  70. 70
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Chaps are by definition ass-less.

    Thank you!

    There are times, Steeplejack, when your rigorous pedantry is like a breath of fresh air.

  71. 71
    John Bird says:

    Let’s just look at that a few more times, folks.

    It is often said that default would lead to an instantaneous balanced budget because no one would lend to the U.S. government ever again.

    It is often said that default would lead to an instantaneous balanced budget because no one would lend to the U.S. government ever again.

    It is often said that default would lead to an instantaneous balanced budget because no one would lend to the U.S. government ever again.

    This is what National Republican Congressional Committee chair Pete Sessions called a “Taliban-style insurgency” back in 2008. They are really prepared to destroy America in order to save it.

  72. 72
    Nylund says:

    If the GOP weren’t so beholden to Wall St., I’d wager that they would indeed let a default happen. If they did so, they’d simply go on FOX News and talk endlessly about how Obama is the first president to ever default because he let the deficit get so large. Enough of the public would buy it, and voila, we have President Palin in 2012.

  73. 73
    Sammy says:

    I really get a good chuckle any time this gets brought up. You want to see financial market turmoil, wait for this to be brought up. So much of our financial system is built around “stable” US bond rates that even the hint of default would cause chaos.

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    I used to be a sloppy pedant, but someone pointed out I wuz doin’ it rong.

    I won’t even mention that they’re supposed to be pronounced, or at least they used to be commonly pronounced (among actual ranchers and cowboys), shaps.

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