The Know-Nothing Congress

I expect this guy to be casting a lot of informed votes:

In recent weeks, a number of high-profile Republicans have stated their intention to vote against any increase to the U.S. debt limit. From Sen. Mike Lee (UT) to Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN), these Republicans are essentially stating that they are willing to risk the country defaulting on its debt and a government shutdown if their demands are not met.

Yesterday, newly-elected Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) appeared on Fox Business to talk about his own intention to vote against raising the debt ceiling. The host asked Muvlaney if he was willing to “risk the possibility of a default on our debt.” Mulvaney responded that he has “no difficulty in” voting against raising the debt limit and that it’s worth it to “force a discussion” about spending. The host then followed up by asking, “What do you think would happen if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised?” Mulvaney responded, “Well, I don’t know. I’ve asked that question a lot. I’ve heard Goolsbee on Sunday say it’d be catastrophic, I’ve heard others say that. I did some research last night from [the Congressional Research Service], they don’t know what that means. I think they’re guessing”

If we had a functioning media, there would be no way this clown could have gotten through a general election without being asked about default. Then again, this is South Carolina, so I suppose we should be happy he is at least in the United States and not hiking the Appalachian Trail.

But to answer Mulvaney, they aren’t guessing. It would be a disaster. It would make the bank failures of the past couple years look trivial. It’s not even funny to joke about, and it is, quite honestly, insane to even suggest this happen.

More here at the Great Orange Satan (the Daily Kos, not Boehner).






190 replies
  1. 1

    Then again, this is South Carolina,

    Default is just the current weapon of choice against the Northern Aggressors/

  2. 2
    nitpicker says:

    Link to story busted.

  3. 3
    me says:

    Then again, this is South Carolina, so I suppose we should be happy he is at least in the United States and not hiking the Appalachian Trail.

    I beg to differ.

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    @me:
    Agreed. We’d all be better off if he’d stay on the AT or go to Argentina.

  5. 5
    Mark S. says:

    Only pointy-headed ivory tower gay abortion-loving liberals care what happens if we default. Full steam ahead!

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Matt says:

    You do realize that there are dozens of guys like this in the new congress? Mike Kelly (R-PA) was on one of the Sunday programs spouting the same thing. They don’t realize the amount of harm a self-induced default could have on the economy. I’m hoping at some point the corporatist side of the GOP caucus can have a come to Jesus (or Mammon) talk with these guys to explain the economic chaos that could ensue if the global reserve currency defaults. Christ, it would make the 2008 financial crisis look like a tiny downturn. We are so fucked.

  8. 8
    Nellcote says:

    @Violet:

    We’d all be better off if he’d stay on the AT or go to Argentina.

    If they stick to Cantor’s 3day workweek he’ll have plenty of leisure time.

  9. 9

    this is South Carolina, so I suppose we should be happy he is at least in the United States and not hiking the Appalachian Trail — or, perhaps, fucking that really good looking horse.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/fu.....l-giamatti (start at the 1.40 mark)

  10. 10
    Rick Massimo says:

    The host then followed up by asking, “What do you think would happen if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised?” Mulvaney responded, “Well, I don’t know. I’ve asked that question a lot. I’ve heard Goolsbee on Sunday say it’d be catastrophic, I’ve heard others say that. I did some research last night from [the Congressional Research Service], they don’t know what that means. I think they’re guessing”

    Translation: Newt didn’t tell me what to say if you ask that, so it can’t be anything worth knowing.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    So….what does default bring, if a admittedly non-economist were to ask? TIA

  12. 12
    Citizen_X says:

    I just read that interview with Bruce Bartlett; I was going to recommend it before I saw the link. He points out that the resulting situation would be unprecedented, in that every other country that has defaulted did so when no one was willing to buy their bonds. That’s not the case right now with the US.

    Whatever the effect would be, it won’t be good.

  13. 13

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Oh lord, warn a person! That hurt to look at!

  14. 14
    RedKitten says:

    They don’t realize the amount of harm a self-induced default could have on the WORLD’s economy.

    Fixed to reflect the fact that the state of the U.S. economy DOES tend to have incredibly far-reaching global repercussions.

    If you guys fall, EVERYBODY is fucked.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    @Nellcote: Are they going back to three day? I remember how pissed they were when Nancy told them they’d have to work.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Nellcote:

    Cantor wants to revert to the lazy ass “Coach Denny the Hutt” three day House workweek?

    Must be nice to be your own boss and have every weekend be a four day one.

    Reminds me of a classic Homer Simpson moment, when Marge informs him that his boss called, and told her that if he doesn’t come in on Friday, don’t bother to come in on Monday.

    Homer’s reaction, of course, was “WooHoo! Four day weekend!”

  17. 17
    azlib says:

    I wonder what the Wall Street MOUs are going to do about this. Wall Street will be the biggest loser if the US defaults. I am sure they are going to put a lot of pressure on the Repubs on this issue. Also when the SS checks stop going out, the Congressional switchboard will melt.

    I am just wondering if the leadership has really thought through their strategy on this one or if the debt limit increase will garner just enough Repub votes to pass and let the more extreme teabaggers off the hook. Except the consequences are so dire and they do not have the backbone to do it, it would be entertaining to have all the Dems vote no on the increase in the debt limit and force the Republicans to vote for it.

  18. 18
    Tom Levenson says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Oh lordy. what .@Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther: said.

    That is some painful video.

  19. 19
    wengler says:

    I have a degree in history, but I can’t remember a country that has chosen to default when creditors were perfectly willing to extend them more credit.

    We are entering bold new unexplored areas of crazy here.

  20. 20
    Matt says:

    @Nellcote: They’re also going home for about one week a month. They’re not even trying to govern. Source: http://majorityleader.house.gov/Calendar/.

  21. 21
    PIGL says:

    It will be fun to watch the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of this. Where the contradictions come home to roost.

  22. 22
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @PIGL: Exactly. One has to hope there are some banksters pissing their pants that these true believer Reps are not only serious but have some actual power to make insane stuff like this happen.

  23. 23

    @Tom Levenson: I had to stop!

    @wengler: bold new unexplored areas of crazy Isn’t that just awesome?

  24. 24
    Mr. Poppinfresh says:

    @Punchy: If the world gets the idea that Americans are actually seriously discussing a default, U.S. Treasuries no longer become unthinkingly safe.

    As an example, during the 2008 crisis, there was such a run on U.S. Treasuries that they were trading at negative interest- people were willing to cough up money just for the assurance that somebody would pay them what the bond was worth. Negative interest! That’s how safe they are- they are the bedrock of the world financial system.

    Now, if America ACTUALLY defaults… aside from the total financial collapse of the entire U.S. financial system, it would bring every major economy in the world to a screeching halt. It’s the financial equivalent of asking what would happen to humans if all the oxygen on Earth suddenly turned to Jell-O.

    “Nothing good and everything bad.”

  25. 25
    geg6 says:

    These dimwits are going take the whole world down with us. I pray our new Chinese overlords are merciful as their hordes overrun us.

  26. 26
    El Cid says:

    I think Pelosi should do what she did on the TARP vote: Only provide as many Democrats to vote for the bill as needed to make Republicans supply a majority of their members as well.

    It’s why the first vote for the TARP failed and caused Wall Streeters and Newt Gingrich to shit their pants, because she didn’t play the fool as Republicans expected and passed the TARP all on the Democrats’ lonesome.

    The Democrats ought provide enough votes to extend the debt ceiling as would allow passage as long as enough Republicans voted for it as well.

    The media and the entire right wing see Pelosi as some demonic freak anyway, so why not call some serious bluff?

  27. 27
    Mary G says:

    They aren’t thinking clearly, that’s for sure. The Tea Partiers will go nuts along with every other senior when Social Security checks don’t show up in the mailbox.

    This week I got a $250 check, with a letter from Kathleen Sebilius explaining that it comes because of the Affordable Care Act, because I fall in the Medicare Part D donut hole. For a fleeting second I imagined some of the nit-wits saying that it was a good thing, maybe we were wrong about Obamacare.

    Then I thought no, none of them can ever had to deal with the astronomical bills that can come from a chronic condition, or they wouldn’t be bragging about the “best health care system” in the world.

    I sometimes wonder if Wall Street isn’t betting on the economy collapsing and egging these guys on. I hope I’m wrong.

  28. 28
    MikeJ says:

    @Punchy:

    what does default bring, if a admittedly non-economist were to ask

    No money for the government to pay for anything.

    The Air Farce would be unable to buy the fuel to put in the C-17s that take the beans, bullets, and band-aids to Afghanistan.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It’s the financial equivalent of asking what would happen to humans if all the oxygen on Earth suddenly turned to Jell-O.

    Well, we know how the wingtards feel about global climate change.

    I’m sure they think that Jeebus will provide them with new jello-compatible lungs.

  30. 30
    Original Lee says:

    We should send them all to Argentina and let the bankers there explain to them what happens when a country defaults on its loans. (insert revised scene from Westlake’s “Don’t Ask,” where the ambassador has the TV reporter recite a news story during intercourse)

    Edited to change pointy brackets to parentheses

  31. 31
    WereBear says:

    This is an awesome situation for the Plutocrat Republicans; the people raking it in have the most to lose the the Tea Partiers have their way.

    Dick Armey’s monster! To the Windmill!

  32. 32
    serge says:

    All I can do is hang my head in shame and shamelessly lie to people when they ask me where I live.

    DeMint, an apparent frenchman, and the lovely and graceful Miss Lindsey Graham, Joe Wilson, the entire state legislature, Nookie Haley, it’s all coming to a boil. I think that right now, the apocalypse is looking pretty good as an alternative…

  33. 33
  34. 34
    quaint irene says:

    You kidding? These pinheads celebrate their ignorance. They think it showcases them as the opposite of Washington insiders. You know, people who actually know how to do their job.

  35. 35
    Sad_Dem says:

    The TVees were giddy with excitement that this new plague of locusts has arrived.

  36. 36
    cyntax says:

    More here at the Great Orange Satan (the Daily Kos, not Boehner).

    Whoa, whoa, whoa… I expected a fight on the debt ceiling, healthcare and pretty much everything else, but if Boehner is going to appropriate the tag GOS, well that’s just too much.

  37. 37
    Mr. Poppinfresh says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I lack a better metaphor simply because it is such an insanely awful thing to contemplate, even an econo-nerd like me is having trouble understanding all the parts that would simultaneously fail.

    Just… everything. Everything would stop working. It’s not just government funding- T-bills are the bedrock of everything. The chain of shitstorm connecting a Treasury default to ADP not depositing anything in your account at midnight on Thursday is not very long at all. Potentially: every credit card would be retracted, every mortgage would explode, every savings account would vanish…

    I say “potentially” because describing any of this in sane terms is like being asked, “OK, so all the air is Jell-O, but would Germans survive? No? How about Japanese people, could they breathe Jell-O?

    Wait, wait- what about dogs? etc.

    I’m honestly sitting here at work, sad just thinking about it. Time to go home…

  38. 38
    Matt says:

    @Mr. Poppinfresh: Only jello-air can stop the horrors of Obamasociafascicommunism. Real ‘merkans, also, too.

  39. 39

    I suspect that if there’s a real chance the US will default, the Wall Street heads will have a sitdown with some House members not unlike the one Ned Beatty had with Peter Finney in Network.

  40. 40
    Michael says:

    @Punchy:

    So….what does default bring, if a admittedly non-economist were to ask? TIA

    Picture money market funds breaking the buck and being non-redeemable for a lengthy period of time.

    You’re talking about food riots here in the US.

  41. 41
    Scott says:

    No money to pay the Capitol Hill Police = The Capitol Hill Police go home = A whole damn bunch of wingnut Congresscritters wondering why no one is doing anything about the mob with torches and pitchforks breaking down the barricades.

  42. 42
    Peter says:

    I was just thinking earlier in the day how I kept thinking GOS had something to do with Boehner.

    Also, offtopic, but Chris Weigent just put up a pretty good post about the hideous ironies involved in the Tea Party reps’ planned abject Constitution worship:

    Who, for instance, gets to read the Preamble’s clause “… promote the general Welfare…” which is (shall we say) not exactly the Republicans’ favorite phrase? More importantly, who is going to read Article I, Section 2, paragraph 3? I’m assuming that the Republicans are not going to read only the parts of the original text of the Constitution that are still in force, but the entire document as originally adopted by our Founding Fathers. Which means someone’s soon going to have a C-SPAN clip of them reading the following: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

  43. 43
    Keith G says:

    Question: Would it be too destructive if all, or as many Dems as possible, were abstain on the debt ceiling vote? The GOP has the leadership…let them lead, let them take the responsibility that goes with being the majority. The Repug plan is likely to play the child and force the DC vote to be carried mostly by Democrats and then turn around and the Dems attack for making that very vote.

  44. 44
    aimai says:

    @Mr. Poppinfresh:

    What a great, great analogy, and how perfectly it captures the stupidity of the Republican mantra “I’m not sure how it would affect *me* so why should I care?”

    aimai

  45. 45
    J. says:

    Instead of raising the debt ceiling, can they just add some dormers?

  46. 46
    WereBear says:

    I can’t help but think that if you did explain it to them, and they understood it… they’d do it anyway.

  47. 47
    Mr. Poppinfresh says:

    @aimai: Commenting on Cole’s blog instead of working is just my way of withholding my productivity!

  48. 48
    The Dangerman says:

    @Punchy:

    So….what does default bring…

    Picture, if you will, a shitload of birds just dropping dead from the sky, a shitload of fish perishing in a river, and a shitload of crabs beaching themselves and dying. That would be the world economy.

    These dumb fuckers would be proud of themselves to have that kind of impact so soon (until they tried to go home and the planes weren’t flying and gas cost you $100 a drop).

  49. 49
    maye says:

    Sorry to interrupt, but I was wondering if someone can answer a question about PayPal………. If my PP account is tied to a credit card (and only a credit card), if someone refunds a deposit I made via PP, and the $ goes into my paypal account, will it be applied as a credit to my card?

    Mucho thanks for any light you can shed on this subject.

  50. 50
    moops says:

    I don’t think BJ people know what it means to not raise the debt ceiling.

    It is not the same as defaulting.

    just go ask any state that has a no-raising-debt provision in their constitutions or propositions.

    So, you can all set aside “defaulting”

  51. 51
    demkat620 says:

    Okay so I have this Wingnut friend. He was all upset today. Couldn’t understand why. Starts ranting about some VAT tax and I just won’t admit that Obama is a failed President.

    I said
    Two Wars
    3000 dead in one day
    Great Recession
    Spy Outed
    American City Drowned

    And that was what a failed Presidency look like.

    He responded that Obama had caused all of our economic problems and we had no hope to fix them cause the GOP could take over completely for another two years.

    When I responded that the recession actually started in 2007 he called me a four year old and wouldn’t talk to me for 2 hours.

  52. 52
    Cacti says:

    I think those predictions of China becoming the world’s top economic power by 2027 were overly cautious.

  53. 53
    cyntax says:

    It just occurred to me, do these morans think the gold and ammunition they’ve been hoarding will get them out of any problems a sovereign default would cause?

    So much for my New Year’s resolution not to be drunk before 5PM during the week.

  54. 54
    Matt says:

    @moops: Not raising the debt ceiling means that Treasury has to pay for all outlays with incoming revenue, which will be insufficient to cover all of the government’s commitments. At that point the government will not be able to provide payment for its commitments, which is normally referred to as default. So, while raising the debt ceiling isn’t specifically defaulting, it create the conditions for a default.

  55. 55
    The Dangerman says:

    @moops:

    So, you can all set aside “defaulting”.

    Perhaps technically correct; here is how it would happen in a Jack Bauer kinda way:

    12:00:00am

    Debt ceiling frozen

    12:00:01am (same day, remember, Jack Bauer)

    Default

  56. 56

    Not raising the debt ceiling is saying the full faith and credit of the United States is worth less than that of any other nation on earth.

    Other nations failed to pay because they could not raise the cash, however desperately they tried.

    We’re threatening to not pay because we don’t want to pay.

  57. 57
    ware says:

    This guy is dumber than a box of rocks, but I have to admit that Goolsbee’s answer when asked this question last weekend was incoherent.

  58. 58
    4tehlulz says:

    @Cacti: Well, to be be fair, that would be like being the least dead.

  59. 59
    cyntax says:

    @demkat620:

    …and wouldn’t talk to me for 2 hours.

    Win-win, right?

  60. 60
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mr. Poppinfresh:

    Potentially: every credit card would be retracted, every mortgage would explode, every savings account would vanish…

    Can we dub the new GOP House the “Insane Clown Posse” now, or must we wait until Friday?

  61. 61
    cmorenc says:

    @John Cole:

    Then again, this is South Carolina, so I suppose we should be happy he is at least in the United States and not hiking the Appalachian Trail.

    A truly annoying side-effect of ex-SC (R) Governor Sanford’s follies is that formerly, if you said in conversation to someone that you “planned to take a hike on the Appalachian Trail”, you made a favorable impression as a vigorous, interesting person with a healthy lifestyle and ambitions. But now if you say something like that, they take it that you’re either deliberately making a joke, or else are obliviously making an unintentional joke. Either way, it’s enormously deflated the “cool factor” from making any bona fide plans to hike the Appalachian trail.

  62. 62
    4tehlulz says:

    @The Dangerman: Lol no. Thanks to computers it would be more like

    12:00 a.m. – Debt limit

    12:00.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000…1 – Default

  63. 63
    moops says:

    @Matt:

    defaulting on debt is just one option for a government that won’t raise it’s debt ceiling. As far as US states in this situation, none has chosen default, and for very good reasons. I don’t think the feds will behave differently in this situation.

    So, global-pants-wetting is not in the forecast.

    it is correct that the government would have to undertake some horrific and poorly planned cuts in very short order. Perhaps fatally so, but defaulting on the debt is WAY down the list of what will be offered up.

  64. 64
    Cacti says:

    @demkat620:

    When I responded that the recession actually started in 2007 he called me a four year old and wouldn’t talk to me for 2 hours

    Membership in the modern GOP requires affirmative beliefs that are demonstrably false.

    It reminds me of when Rudy Ghouliani said without even a hint of irony that we had no domestic terrorist attacks under George W. Bush.

  65. 65
    moops says:

    @Kirk Spencer:
    no, they are not equivalent statements. not even close.

    The US is still committed to servicing it’s debt obligations. Who is saying otherwise ?

    what is on the table is not raising the debt ceiling.

    if it is not raised, then a big shitstorm ensues, but defaulting is not likely.

  66. 66
    Suffern ACE says:

    O.K. a default would be catastrohpic, but aren’t we conflating a whole bunch of things together with the debt ceiling limit? Doesn’t that just mean that the treasury can issue debt until X is reached? If that is case, aren’t the Republicans just setting up a situation that would require votes to approve every auction? (I would think that they would want that as they could tie that with their budget cutting priorities. You want to issue $15 billion in bonds, well then we cut medicaid by 15 billion per year starting in 2013.)

    I thought the date where the government would not pay its bills to contractors was in March when the funding expires. That would be the government shut down, two lovely months from now.

  67. 67
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Picture, if you will, a shitload of birds just dropping dead from the sky, a shitload of fish perishing in a river, and a shitload of crabs beaching themselves and dying.

    Ha, it’s funny because it’s happening right now. Our poor, poor ecosystem, little bugger never had a chance…

  68. 68

    1. Thinking people are bluffing about the effect of America not raising the debt ceiling is about par for the course for the Tea Party.

    2. Boehner is not the Great Orange Satan. He is the Wet Orange Satan, or the Weepy Orange Satan (WOS).

  69. 69
    The Dangerman says:

    @4tehlulz:

    12:00.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000…1 – Default

    I’m not sure it would be that many zeroes; it would only be as long as the world’s fastest computers (it is the financial world, after all) to go through the number of machine cycles to evaluate the machine code equivalent of “WHAT IN THE FUCK?”.

    I’m guessing only a few nanoseconds.

  70. 70
    Matt says:

    @moops: You really think that there would be the votes to conduct entirely unnecessary and massive cuts in spending if there aren’t the votes to pass what amounts to a budgeting technicality? I’ve spent some time working on the Hill and that strikes me as highly unlikely. Far more likely is that the first attempt fails, the stock and bond markets flip out and our cost to borrow increases dramatically, than it passes on a second (or third) try before the Treasury runs out of tricks to keep things running. Thus we incur billions of dollars in unnecessary interest cost because a dedicated minority of congress critters place ideology over practical concerns. That’d be my guess on how this plays out.

  71. 71
    4tehlulz says:

    @Suffern ACE: It sounds like you’re conflating authorization to raise money (debt ceiling) with authorization to spend money (a continuing resolution).

    Those are two separate things.

  72. 72
    joel hanes says:

    “What do I care about oak trees?” remarked the pig.
    “There’s always been plenty of acorns …”

  73. 73
    The Dangerman says:

    @moops:

    if it is not raised, then a big shitstorm ensues, but defaulting is not likely.

    So, it would only cause a shitstorm that would cause everything to screech to a halt (except the wars, of course; can’t stop those). It would only be a really bad shitstorm. Really, REALLY bad.

    Count me as relieved.

  74. 74

    @moops: I’ve a suggestion for the draconian cuts necessary should the debt ceiling not be raised. Obama should identify the states whose representatives voted against the debt ceiling being raised. He should start whacking away at Fed money being sent to those states until the deficit spending is eliminated. Done.

  75. 75
    Nick says:

    @demkat620: Clearly, he wouldn’t think that way if Obama had used the bully pulpit.

  76. 76
    PIGL says:

    Rather than default, what I would expect to happen in the short term, is interest rates of T-bills will rise a little higher than they woulda. In the longer term, the other major nations of the earth will continue to disentangle themselves from US monetary and economic policies, and probably begin to isolate the US diplomatically.

    The reason for this is obvious: the US public as a whole is acting like a dangerous lunatic. As Kissinger said, we can’t allow a country to go Communist due to the irresponsibility of it’s own people. The rest of the world is not obligated to let the US take them down. And sooner or later, the other great powers will start acting to safeguard their interests.

  77. 77
    Ed Marshall says:

    Fuck these people, I wouldn’t give them any democratic votes on the debt ceiling.

    They can’t do that. Anyone ever been to a fricken city council meeting? The sort of deal where the city has to backstop some project that sounds really, really, wasteful horrible in a soundbyte, but the city can’t actually afford to wash their hands of?

    The council members will give speeches for or against as is their wont and in the end it’s a game of screw of your neighbor as the vote goes around because no one is really gonna be responsible for the horrendous consequences that occur. The people at the end of the voting order have to vote for it.

    If it did manage to fail, the world would sit there and wait for them to get their shit together and come back and not blow the global economy up.

  78. 78
    Michael says:

    @PIGL:

    And sooner or later, the other great powers will start acting to safeguard their interests.

    At some point, the UK and France will have to be the lever to stand down a nutcase USAF in the hands of a nutcase GOP president. I picture Brit and French subs parking off the Chesapeake, with the UK Prime Minister saying “with all due respect, Madame President, you are an idiot and cannot be allowed to proceed with your plans”.

  79. 79
    Yutsano says:

    @4tehlulz: The debt ceiling showdown is worse. A CR is just basically keeping current spending levels intact until an actual budget passes. But the debt ceiling is the limit on the country’s credit card, in basic terms. No money comes in, no money can go out. Trust me my co-workers and I are keeping a very close eyeball on this. And if you’re curious the CR expires in February. And will trigger the debt ceiling overage in order to pass another one.

  80. 80
    PIGL says:

    @Michael: that or the Chinese and Brazilians.

    Of course I have no idea how this could play out….I get most of my international outlook from Gwynn Dyer. But my main point in bringing these perhaps outrageous-sounding claims forward from time to time is this: I read American blogs mostly, and it is very striking the extent to which the views of other nations are discounted. This is at your peril.

    The Tea Party and the Republican Party and Wall Street are a national security threat. The Patriot Act and such even provides for how, in extremis, they could be dealt with. Of course, that will never happen. Only hippies are eligible for punching. The really dangerous people get elected to Congress or rewarded with those Manhattan midtown apartments one sees in old Woody Allen movies.

  81. 81
    marion says:

    This moron is a perfect illustration of our national political insanity. He defeated our beloved John Spratt, D-SC, chairman of the House Budget Committee, (graduate of Davidson, Oxford and Yale Law School) who had represented this district for 28 years. What can I tell you?

    Although I am a long-time lurker, earlier this fall, I hoped to persuade the BJ Congressional piggy bank to contribute to Spratt to help keep this guy out, but there wasn’t enough money to go around to fight the tidal wave of stupid across the country. This is a vintage Congressional year and Mulvaney is one of the choicer bottles.

  82. 82
    Cermet says:

    @Suffern ACE: The Fed Reserve is NOT a federal agency in any sense of the word – it is a private corporation not owned by the US – we appoint directors and their term is renewed by the Pres but they are not under control of congress. They do not nor am I sure they could operate like that – if the bonds will not be backed, will people/countries bid on them? That is the trillion dollar question.
    As one person pointed out, as long as revenue continues, that can be used to pay for a lot of things but SS, I think, would break the bank.

  83. 83
    PurpleGirl says:

    @MikeJ: No money for the government to pay for anything.

    Would that include congresscritter salaries?

  84. 84
    stuckinred says:

    A Tucson hospital says a second person denied transplant coverage by Arizona has died.

    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/.....z1ADOj9EXv

  85. 85
    PurpleGirl says:

    @J.: LOL. Very good, J, very good.

  86. 86
    alwhite says:

    I know I have a bleak outlook but I am still convinced that the “low information voter” (read: morans) are not capable of learning from reality or much interested in good governance. They are bound and determined to remove the bandage. The only actual choice is will they pull it off slowly or rip it off fast. The end result will be the same amount of pain & suffering. Had we allowed St. Ronnie to do as he wanted the total damage he did would have probably been as bad as the sum total he & the Bushies did. But, coming all at once, it would have been obvious how bad it was & whos fault it was. Instead Democrats, in good conscience, tried to minimize the damage. AS a result we have just done the damage over more time and allowed its fathers do deny paternity.

    Fuck it! Rip the band-aid off, destroy America and let the decent people start to rebuilt it.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    We actually just voted in a provision like that here in California that was included in Prop 26. I think people were more than a little pissed that state offices were closed thanks to forced furloughs while the legislature continued drawing their salaries to sit around with their thumbs up their asses and not pass a budget for almost a year.

  88. 88
    Anoniminous says:

    Federal government spending is 18% of GNP.

    Removing that in one fell swoop which would equal (roughly) the total fall of GNP in the first two years of the Great Depression: 1930 (9.4%) and 1931 (8.5%).

    The effects wouldn’t be similar. They would be much, much, worse.

    On the good side, all those shithead Tea Bagging rural types would find their govmint subsidy check for corn, cotton, sugar, & etc. wouldn’t be in their mailbox and they won’t have a bank willing to lend them dollar one; so they can watch their fields grow weeds while all of us sit down together in One Big Happy Teabagged US of A and starve.

  89. 89
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    Digya have to link to GOS? Really?

    The two hobos with tin foil hats at my train station ranting that the NFL is fixed have more cred than the loons at GOS.

  90. 90
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mary G:

    They aren’t thinking clearly, that’s for sure. The Tea Partiers will go nuts along with every other senior when Social Security checks don’t show up in the mailbox.

    It’s all direct deposit now. The SSA has been pushing direct deposit hard, for 15 years, and 85% of recipients get their payments that way. You only need a corporal’s guard of tech types to keep the ones and zeros moving. It’s not like the Newt shutdown, when there were still a lot of physical checks to be mailed.

    Because SS is run out of an independent trust fund, and not general federal revenues, payments could, and would, still be made even if other payments of government obligations to vendors, etc. weren’t.

  91. 91

    @Mike Kay (Chief of Staff):

    You do understand that GOS is just as much a satirical slam on people who demean Daily Kos as it is a comment on the people who post there, don’t you?

  92. 92
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Give everybody who loaned this government money before Barry 50 cents on the dollar. All contracts entered into after Barry took office are likely null and void, since he does not appear to be Constitutionally seated. So the people who bought government debt post-Barry get nothing.

    We have a military to be used if any of these foreign banking interests have problems with the arrangement. This military can also be used to transport any New York banker type to a country of their choice should they be unhappy. Following this announcement, set a Constitutional Amendment that federal spending cannot exceed 20% of the GDP.

    And then, happily ever after.

  93. 93
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    @Joseph Nobles: do the connotation police get to wear a sash?

  94. 94
    Yutsano says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Even for fake you that was monumentally incoherent.

  95. 95
    stuckinred says:

    Where does this clown come from?

  96. 96

    @Mike Kay (Chief of Staff):

    I don’t know. Does the fireplug up your ass ever get an evening off?

  97. 97
    moops says:

    I might stir the nest some, but at least I try to not be a troll, like BOB

  98. 98
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    @Joseph Nobles: wow, i didn’t know you were a humorless homophobe. embrace the sash, you didn’t work this hard to become the hall monitor for nothing.

  99. 99
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther: aw, but I loved the wheelbarrow, hehe

  100. 100
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mike Kay (Chief of Staff): Haha.. looks like everyone is about over yer stupid schtick. I particularly enjoyed AL slapping you down.

  101. 101
    Mr. Poppinfresh says:

    People who think that the debt cap doesn’t affect past debt servicing should look up how debt is rolled over.

    Of the current debt, 30% matures this year and will need to be rolled over.

    If you think it will be easy to disentangle which debt can be rolled over safely under the current cap and which squeaks over the cap and therefore is in default, you are a supergenius and should apply for Bernanke’s job.

  102. 102
    geg6 says:

    Good lord. TPM is now telling me that Mitch Daniels is claiming that the deficit is totally not connected to the Bush tax cuts and was completely caused by the dotcom crash. I think that, at this point, they have a random phrase generator and they are just going with it. Sadly, the Fourth Estate and the American public are untroubled by this.

  103. 103
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I think that, in this case, it’s helpful that our Congress is owned by Corporate America. Corporate America will never allow the government it bought to go into default. The Dems and a good chunk of the GOP will sort it out, probably in this way: GOP will present a list of demands and, after a brief carnival show of Obama saying, “Gee, I dunno guys”, he will cave.

  104. 104
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Yutsano, I have a proposal for you, but unfortunately do not have the time to develop it here and now. You will like it.

  105. 105
    Francis says:

    Here are some possibilities if the debt limit isn’t raised.

    1. The Treasury simply ignores the law and keeps selling T-bills.

    2. The Treasury does a lot of complex and possibly unauthorized moves involving the fed, the DOD and the SSA to keep the legal public debt at its limit. Meanwhile, the moneymen across the country tell Boehner to get his party together.

    3. The Treasury starts deciding who doesn’t get paid. People who hold T-bills continue to get 100 cents on the dollar, but maybe DOD contracts get paid slower, as do Medicare/Medicaid contractors. This is also a temporary solution.

    4. The international market for T-bills starts to get spooked that the US is actually being run by idiots. Interest rates rise rapidly on new issuances. (Buyers demand higher interest to offset the risk.) This devalues all existing T-bills. (Which is more valuable, a T-bill paying 1% or a T-bill paying 3%? The latter.) This causes massive global panic as no one knows where to park their money. This also spikes interest rates around the world because the T-bill rate tends to serve as the baseline against which all other rates are measured.

    Now, people pull money out of banks, causing runs on banks. Big investors pull money out of money market funds (which tend to be just big piles of T bills), causing the funds to collapse. But these funds are where all the big boys park their daily cash. So all of a sudden someone can’t meet payroll. Or merchants no longer accept credit cards.

    So, if you can’t get cash out of the bank, because the ATM won’t give it to you, and you can’t use a credit card, and even checks are suspicious because banks are not opening, then you’ve got a really big problem.

    [I welcome corrections to my analysis.]

  106. 106
    Bnad says:

    @alwhite: This could be a great first step to the Palin/Mayan 2012 Bepocalypse. Default, food riots, Obama approval rating in the basement, Palin nominated, Palin elected. The only problem is that she doesn’t get sworn in until 20 days after the Mayan deadline for TEOTW. But the threats and nuke posturing will follow quickly enough.

    Beware, those people hoarding the gold and the guns want to get a chance to use them. What a grand adventure the 11 years between Bepocalypse and the time of The Road will be for them!

  107. 107
    agrippa says:

    @Francis:

    Francis, that is an accurate scenario.

    There are some brain dead GOPers in Congress who may have no difficulty with that.

  108. 108
    sherifffruitfly says:

    (shrug) This is what we white folks overwhelmingly voted for. We deserve every last bit of what’s going to happen.

  109. 109
    El Cid says:

    @Anoniminous:

    On the good side, all those shithead Tea Bagging rural types would find their govmint subsidy check for corn, cotton, sugar, & etc. wouldn’t be in their mailbox and they won’t have a bank willing to lend them dollar one; so they can watch their fields grow weeds while all of us sit down together in One Big Happy Teabagged US of A and starve.

    Well, they do always seem to want to return to the Good Old Days of 1900 – 1930’s when they had no government assistance and were stuck in sharecropping hell and had no fair trade terms with Northern interests and were screwed on shipping goods via the rails. Maybe they should give yesteryear a chance.

  110. 110
    John Cole says:

    Does anyone even bother to read the links? Everything Moops and Francis are talking about is in them. Christ.

    And no, we would not technically default immediately, but it would be a fucking disaster.

  111. 111
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole:

    Does anyone even bother to read the links?

    Fuck no. If I wanted to be educated and illuminated I wouldn’t be hanging out on this dump. More puppy pics!

  112. 112
    The Dangerman says:

    @Mr. Poppinfresh:

    If you think it will be easy to disentangle which debt can be rolled over safely under the current cap and which squeaks over the cap and therefore is in default, you are a supergenius and should apply for Bernanke’s job.

    I just listened to some Congressional asshole on Hannity (ok, that would make it two assholes, but who’s counting); this isn’t voluntary, my Dad likes Fox. I can’t break him and I’ve given up trying.

    Anyway, these assholes were cheering on putting a ceiling on debt as a way to make sure they stick it to the African American in the White House (paraphrased, of course). It’s like they hate the Obama Administration so much they are willing to burn the country to the ground to spite that uppity n******.

    These people are out of their fucking minds.

  113. 113
    Pococurante says:

    Sorry, I’m in the “let the voters have their say” camp.

    Is it right, ethical apple pie? No.

    But sometimes the dishes have to drop. Whiny titty-ass baby voters need to understand what that means. Sucks for the rest of us?

    Yes.

    Crises brings out the best in people.

  114. 114
    The Dangerman says:

    @John Cole:

    And no, we would not technically default immediately, but it would be a fucking disaster.

    Immediately? Almost surely not.

    Quickly? Without defining quickly, default in short order is practically assured.

  115. 115
    moops says:

    @Francis:

    OK,
    T-bills are honored, no matter what. Agreed on by all. no panic, no run on banks, no money market collapse, no apocalypse. New T-bills are issued at the rate that existing T-bills are matured. It is a somewhat restricted supply of T-Bills, but it is still really a LOT of available government debt to buy to keep the whole system that relies on it moving along. A slight restriction in the supply will actually improve their value, not tank it. If the knuckleheads at The Economist are to be believed a certain amount of austerity is what gets them all excited about the future debt value (that they have been wrong a lot on this point doesn’t seem to bother them)

    yes, most everyone will continue broadening their government debt portfolios, but they have already been slowly doing this for 5 years now, and would be advised to continue doing so, as the decline of the American empire has been written on the wall for some time already.

    All government expenses would take a punch in the ribs, Grover’s dream scenario. Except it would be happening with a Democratic WH and Senate (which I doubt he would have liked).

    This is what the Tea Party bozos believe. It isn’t insane, it isn’t global apocalypse as bloggers are claiming. It is a total gear-grinding at the federal level.

    Is it actually good for us ? no, not a good move. a lot of Americans will suffer badly. The wealthy will suffer little.

    will my ATM card stop working ? just shut up please.

  116. 116
    General Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    And no, we would not technically default immediately, but it would be a fucking disaster.

    Filed under distinction without a difference?

  117. 117
    stuckinred says:

    Ya’ll really think the people who really run this country are going to let this shit go down? Come on.

  118. 118
    geg6 says:

    What is really frightening about this is that people like Bruce Bartlett, one of the few remaining sane Republicans, are sounding quite convinced that the crazies are running the asylum and don’t give a shit what the big money boys and their minions like McConnell and Boehner (not crazy; just cynical assholes) have to say about this. And that people like Boehner and McConnell wiil go along with the crazies because they are afraid of being teabagged.

    The thought that this once great country will become the equivalent of Argentina and Brazil in the 80s and 90s due to their fear of people like Michelle Bachmann and Jim DeMint (and BOB) is too dispiriting for words.

  119. 119
    El Cid says:

    @The Dangerman:

    It’s like they hate the Obama Administration so much they are willing to burn the country to the ground to spite that uppity n******.

    I don’t understand — what do you mean by “It’s like“? Unless you mean that by saying “Obama” you mean all of the liberal achievements in law and the structure of society since the Confederacy was defeated, yeah, it’s the latter they want the country to burn to the ground for, not just Obama. Though, yeah, especially that Kenyonesian hoity-toity big mouth strutting young buck Obama ramming his massive package again and again down their throats.

  120. 120
    alwhite says:

    @Bnad:
    Don’t need no stinkin Mayans! Palin/Bachmann 2012! Apocalypse now, apocalypse forever!

  121. 121
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    And that people like Boehner and McConnell wiil go along with the crazies because they are afraid of being teabagged.

    .

    Though, yeah, especially that Kenyonesian hoity-toity big mouth strutting young buck Obama ramming his massive package again and again down their throats.

    Fans self.

  122. 122
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Mr. Poppinfresh:

    Now, if America ACTUALLY defaults… aside from the total financial collapse of the entire U.S. financial system, it would bring every major economy in the world to a screeching halt.

    And if I’m mistaken, that would be EXACTLY what folks like Bin Laden want… soooooooooo… just whose side are the Repubs actually on these days?

  123. 123

    @Mike Kay (Chief of Staff):

    Lighten up. No one’s trying to take your self-appointed border collie duties away from you, CoS.

    And I’m gay, but thanks for calling me a humorless homophobe. That cracked me up.

    @Francis:

    That actually looks very good to me. Thanks.

  124. 124
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    It simply seems as though clowns like Mulvaney haven’t the foggiest idea of HOW the govt works… what it actually does… basic shit like that…

    What comes to mind is that scene at the end of Lawrence of Arabia when the newly-formed Arab govt meets for the first time… folks firing off their guns in the room, screaming at each other, riding farkin’ horses into the building…

    Un-frickin’-real…

  125. 125
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Pococurante:

    But sometimes the dishes have to drop. Whiny titty-ass baby voters need to understand what that means. Sucks for the rest of us?

    If I thought they could learn something from it, I’d agree with ya. But the only lesson they are going to get out of it is a certain chapter in Revelations was dead fucking on, praise the Lord!

  126. 126
    geg6 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    You’re too easy. If that gets you hot, I have some etchings of how Obama wants us all to bend over and grab our ankles that will drive you crazy. I know they gave Rich Lowrey wood, much like Sarah Palin Starburst.

  127. 127
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    And I’m gay, but thanks for calling me a humorless homophobe. That cracked me up.

    Actually, suggesting you were a homophobe simply because you suggested he had a fireplug in his ass sort of indicated his own homophobia. Why would he automatically assume something large and unwieldy fitted into someone’s ass could only be homosexual activity?

  128. 128
    eemom says:

    mooted

  129. 129
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @geg6:

    You’re too easy.

    Sigh. You see right through me.

  130. 130
    Francis says:

    @moops: I agree that the administration will do its utmost to preserve the banking system. The Fed Reserve has tremendous powers under the Federal Reserve Act which it would bring to bear to dampen any bank runs. I’m pretty sure that the largest banks, the EU and China wouldn’t do anything rash, for at least a while.

    But if we don’t default on T-bills or SS payments, then DOD/Medicare/Medicaid contractors, every state govt and every federal employee are going to face massive cuts. This is sustainable for what, a month or two tops? If the Tea Partiers insist on holding the line, interest rates are going to rise because the rest of the world will think we’re insane.

  131. 131
    The Dangerman says:

    @El Cid:

    …all of the liberal achievements in law and the structure of society since the Confederacy was defeated, yeah, it’s the latter they want the country to burn to the ground for, not just Obama.

    OK, I hear ya, but I don’t get how the game ends well for them beyond “defeating Obama”; sure, they hate the New Deal, they hate Unions, they hate Civil Rights, and on and on…

    …but roll the country back too hard and/or too fast, we get Civil War, the Sequel. OK, perhaps only massive unrest as an intermediate stage, but I see it devolving from there.

    Now, for the REALLY depressing part, this is just the threat from within; Al Queda and the like aren’t going away any time soon as long as the Middle East remains FUBAR.

  132. 132
    rikyrah says:

    you expect logic from this bunch? shame on you. you know better.

  133. 133
    Punchy says:

    @John Cole: No. Nobody needs to read the links to be an expert, like me.

  134. 134
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: doesn’t your mom turn off your computer on a school nite? I guess she doesn’t care if you miss the little yellow bus manana.

  135. 135
    Yutsano says:

    @Francis:

    But if we don’t default on T-bills or SS payments, then DOD/Medicare/Medicaid contractors, every state govt and every federal employee are going to face massive cuts.

    Actually, we just won’t get paid. And they can’t force us to work without getting paid. Ergo government will stop except for essential functions. And when they can no longer fund those…that’s when the real chaos gets fun.

  136. 136
    Martin says:

    It isn’t insane, it isn’t global apocalypse as bloggers are claiming. It is a total gear-grinding at the federal level.

    Um, the dollar is based on the full faith and credit of the US. If we defaulted you can pretty much count on every nation switching their dollar reserves to euros, and watching the petro markets switch over as well.

    It’d be pretty apocalyptic. We’re the foundation for the global financial system. Once we lost that, we’d never get it back again.

  137. 137
    moops says:

    @Francis:

    The rest of the world is actually remarkably unconcerned about the state of America’s DOD/Medicaid/SS/transfer payments/DOE/NIH/federal employees/etc.

    Americans will be gnashing in pain, but the financial markets actually LIKE when the population is wailing in financial pain. They applaud this kind of human misery.

    Your bank will function just fine and dandy. bond markets will work fine, money markets will work fine, our dollar will actually stabilize (to our own misfortune).

    The rest of us……..

    yeah. The GOP is not going to upset the bankers.

    Wall Street will take a kick in the nuts though.

  138. 138
    moops says:

    will people just please shut up about defaulting.

    we are not about to start defaulting.

  139. 139
    El Cid says:

    @geg6: Gingrich played this game in the week or so before the TARP vote, screaming about how Paulson and the Democrats were imposing bailout soshullism and that 70% of the financial collapse could be fixed by ‘mark to market’ reform.

    And he didn’t mince words.

    “I think this is an appallingly bad plan. I think this will be an engine of corruption.”
    __
    Gingrich also characterized the bailout as “a nightmare to implement.” He added, “I believe it is about as bad as anything I’ve seen in economic policy since I’ve been active in public life… I hope it is defeated if it comes to the floor in this form.”

    But, OOOPS! Nancy Pelosi refused to let Republicans pin the blame on the bailout on the Dem’s, and only delivered as many Democratic votes as could pass the bill if a majority of House Republicans voted for it too.

    By then, Newt’s Wall Street friends had apparently called him up, and Mr. Big Britches started singing a different tune the very next day after HE HAD URGED THE DEFEAT OF THE BILL, September 29, 2008.

    Gingrich Switches Bailout Stance
    __
    ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich reversed course on Monday, issuing a statement saying that if he were still in office he would “reluctantly and sadly” support the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill.
    __
    Gingrich, who led the charge against the bailout last week, explained his change in position by saying that the House Republicans, “reinforced by John McCain,” have improved the bill “significantly” so it is “less bad” than the original proposal offered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
    __
    While saying that he sympathizes with any member of Congress who votes “no,” Gingrich says in his statement that the crisis of the credit markets is real and could have “horrendous” consequences
    __
    …The former House Speaker hinted that he was moving in the direction of supporting the bailout during his Sunday appearance on the “This Week” roundtable but did not make his position definitive until Monday.
    __
    The former House Speaker was in a very different place last week when he urged McCain to break with President Bush and Barack Obama and oppose the bailout.
    __
    “I don’t know how he can vote for this and with a straight face go around and say that he’s for real change and he’s the reform candidate,” Gingrich told ABC News on Sept. 23.
    __
    Gingrich issued the statement as the vote was underway on the floor of the House. It eventually went down to defeat: 205 in favor, 228 against.

    I want to repeat that.

    When Mr. Elder Big Britches Wanna Be At the Front of Air Force One thought the bill would pass because Democrats were stupid, he was running around screaming at McCain et al to vote it down.

    The very morning it became clear that the vote was going to fail Former Speaker Shit-Head issued a statement urging its passage.

    Urging its passage. Going on the radio. Saying how sad it was but it had to be done. After doing all but calling it financial terrorism.

    That fucking morning. After spending the prior weeks screaming against this awful intervention in the Free Market and acting like Mr. Principled on all the douchebag right wing radio and Fox shows, when push came to shove and his rich investor buddies likely gave him a few calls and probably pointed out that he better shut the fuck up if he ever wants money from them again, he shits his pants and begs the bill he’s been yelling at to be passed that fucking morning.

    This is the devious, dishonest, frightened, bought cowardly elderly statesman of the GOP revolution, who reversed course within one single day from his pre-TeaTard anti-baiout rants 0because he’s an unprincipled, gonad-free slug.

    AND NO ONE FUCKING REMEMBERS THIS.

    It DIDN’T FUCKING HAPPEN, and Mr. Principled Conservative 1995 Revolutionary gets to go on all the TV shows and ass-hat radio and play 1783 Founding Father Yeoman Farmer II, because no one in the billion dollar media gives a shit.

  140. 140
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    @moops: I’m of two minds on this. on one hand, the wingers would love to create a crisis so they can take hostages, on the other hand, they’re wall street masters would allow them to push the self destruct button, so lets ante up the pot and call their bluff, so when they inevitably cave, it’ll demonize their teabag support.

  141. 141
    El Cid says:

    @The Dangerman:

    OK, I hear ya, but I don’t get how the game ends well for them beyond “defeating Obama”; sure, they hate the New Deal, they hate Unions, they hate Civil Rights, and on and on…
    __
    …but roll the country back too hard and/or too fast, we get Civil War, the Sequel. OK, perhaps only massive unrest as an intermediate stage, but I see it devolving from there.

    If my Gingrich comment ever appears out of moderation, it says a few things about this.

    Point was that Gingrich spent the week before the first House bailout vote screaming against its passage and urging McCain to torpedo if it he was really for change, and then the very fucking morning the vote came up when it was clear that Pelosi wasn’t falling for Republicans laying the vote in Democratic hands, he reversed his position and ‘sadly’ urged its passage.

    Do you think Mr. Shit-Head ever conceived that his ass-hat anti-gubmit mongering might actually endanger his Wall Street buddies, who doubtlessly gave him some ear-filling calls on that Sunday night telling him what’s what, by helping dissuade Republicans from voting for what Gingrich actually wanted to pass?

    A hysterical movement doesn’t have to be rational or well-thought out. Enough feverish idiots in power can occasionally blow things up that even their backers oppose.

    Besides, any massive unrest is entirely likely to manifest itself as white right wing reaction in a militia / TeaTard fashion, since there are no such organizations not on the right, so they really don’t have much to worry about from that end.

    I’m not suggesting that any of this would be some sort of a plan. Just that the flying monkeys occasionally miss the whistle to come back in.

  142. 142
    Martin says:

    @moops: Tell that to the jackasses in Congress that are suggesting that we should default.

  143. 143
    UmYeah says:

    So if we defaulted how would we pay for all those groovy wars right wingers love so much?

  144. 144
    El Cid says:

    @The Dangerman: I just want to point out that I’m not thinking that any of these extreme scenarios are likely to actually happen, just that it’s either worthwhile or at least interesting to feel out how such extreme failures could happen and what one might think it means or how it would change things. Excited speculation is only wrong if a person forgets that that’s what it is. However, it’s always sobering to recall that one of our political parties is happy to flirt with such nation-flattening tricks.

  145. 145
    Yutsano says:

    @UmYeah: Here’s the worse part: we wouldn’t have the money to get them home. They would literally be stuck in the middle of a hostile foreign country with dwindling supplies and little hope of immediate rescue. Either another country fills the gap (probably impossible as they rely on our infrastructure for supplies as well) or we tell them to huff it immediately to safer parts of Pakistan and await further instructions. Should either event occur both missions would fall apart and the wars would be over almost by default.

  146. 146

    Does Ned Beatty still do his one-on-one act? I can see a lot of little Tea Party Caucus members being escorted into their own private boardroom for a chat with the Masters of the Universe.

  147. 147
    Francis says:

    It’s worth noting how much money we’re talking about. According to Wikipedia, total federal debt (which is the relevant number here) increased by $1.017 trillion in Fiscal Year 2008. According to the Summary Tables for the FY 2011 budget at the OMB website, the total deficit was $1.4 trillion in FY 2009, $1.5 trillion for FY 2010 and is proposed at $1.2 trillion for FY 2011. (I’m too confused right now to explain the difference.)

    But even going with a deficit of $1.0 trillion, and assuming 250 business days per year, that’s $4 billion PER DAY that’s getting cut.

    On edit: moops, I think you overestimate the ability of the Federal Reserve and Treasury to hold things together long-term. A few months, sure. Much longer and I think the banking industry starts to fall apart.

  148. 148
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    @UmYeah: exactly. why are republicans against the troops?

  149. 149
    The Dangerman says:

    @El Cid:

    I think we are in general agreement except for:

    …since there are no such organizations not on the right, so they really don’t have much to worry about from that end.

    Once the Right starts something, the Left will finish it (just like last time, if it doesn’t end all of us first). They SHOULD worry, as it’s lose-lose for them.

  150. 150
    El Cid says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Once the Right starts something, the Left will finish it (just like last time, if it doesn’t end all of us first). They SHOULD worry, as it’s lose-lose for them.

    I don’t see any evidence of that at all. Most of what I’ve seen indicates that surging grassroots-based forces build out of existing organizations. I see absolutely nothing which would foreshadow some anti-rightist populist force, which is not to say that one couldn’t develop. It just depends on whether or not you’re talking about various violent militia/’patriot’ groups with dangerous and terrorist and murderous scattered attacks, or some sort of Mad Max thing, and I’m just thinking of the former.

  151. 151
    El Cid says:

    @UmYeah: Wars pay for themselves. Either that or you just keep them off the budget and their cost magically disappears.

  152. 152
    gene108 says:

    If the financial system totally collapses and banks and stuff are out of business, do I still have to pay my mortgage?

    If I could stay in my pad, free and clear, I think I’d be doing alright in the coming financial apocalypse.

  153. 153
    Mr. Poppinfresh says:

    I don’t know who moops is, but I am plugged into a lot of global financial experts from work, and they all get the vapors trying to think of what happens when America tries to roll over its bonds under a hard debt cap. Maybe he’s smarter than finance officials in three different countries I talked to today? He certainly acts like everyone who is worried about this is just a retard, which makes my B.S. detector go off.

    An example of the kind of shit someone from the Ministry in GB asked me today: If you are at 14 trillion dollars (right on the cap), and you have to renew, say, 100 billion in bonds on May 1st, how does this work? Do you issue new bonds to raise the capital, thereby technically violating the cap, and then pay off the old ones, taking you back down below it? That would violate the law.

    Alternately, you can let them lapse without having immediate payment available, THEN have your bond auction, which is like a temporary mini-default. Hopefully the bid to cover is decent despite the fact that it is now public knowledge that you are basically doing the macroeconomic equivalent of juggling credit cards… China failed to cover an auction recently, and the only thing standing between the U.S.T. and that kind of failure is the sterling reputation of Treasuries. FuckifIknow what happens if that starts to tarnish.

    Nobody fucking knows, because this is unprecedented. Plugging your ears and going “nah nah nah ALL WILL BE FINE I KNOW SO” when the entire global financial system is starting to get worried is… silly. People are watching this.

  154. 154
    Yutsano says:

    @Mr. Poppinfresh: If it helps, the person who said this:

    If you guys fall, EVERYBODY is fucked.

    is Canadian. And she knows what the hell she’s talking about here. This is a VERY bad thing to have happen. And the worst part is no one knows what the repercussions will be. And I don’t have faith that our Galtian Overlords can get us out of teh crazy.

  155. 155
    The Dangerman says:

    @El Cid:

    ….I see absolutely nothing which would foreshadow some anti-rightist populist force.

    if the bullets start flying, being started by the Rightist Militia groups, they will be met by the Constitutional Forces (National Guard, etc., let alone the police forces) that will, with limited exceptions/defections, remain loyal.

    I’m still with ya, this is worst case shit, but I still see it as lose lose for the Right.

  156. 156
    Darkrose says:

    @Matt: And yet, these same assholes like to bash (other) government employees as lazy and entitled.

  157. 157
    jinxtigr says:

    What concerns me is this: how many bankers are preparing a strategy for epically massive short positions over this?

    If we can be sure all the bankers will be hosed, that’s one thing, but if any of them think they can ‘win’ by some short-selling-type strategy in the face of the collapse of T-bills, they’ll ALL think they can do that, and they’ll try to encourage the collapse.

    Never mind that not everybody can short the global economy at once- I’d like to know what’s possible out there, what these guys might be up to.

  158. 158
    change says:

    Heheh, buckle up, liberals, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

    We’re going to get massive SS and Medicare cuts out of this threat.

  159. 159
    Sly says:

    If we had a functioning media, there would be no way this clown could have gotten through a general election without being asked about default.

    The newsmedia functions by providing customers what they want for as cheap as possible, like most any other business. They get away with marketing sizzle as steak because their viewers don’t know the difference. The “media” isn’t the problem. Politicians aren’t the problem, either. They do and say what they think it will take to get them elected and try to hide what might hurt those chances. They almost never succeed in the latter.

    No. The public is the problem.

    Minnesota’s 6th District didn’t elect and reelect Bachmann because they have shitty media. The local papers hate her guts, likely for all the reasons that everyone here does. They all endorsed her opponent, Tarryl Clark. The voters, however, picked Bachmann anyway. And the reason is simple: Minnesota’s 6th district has a majority voting population of doddering morons.

    There is no crime in having a healthy level of contempt for the American voter. The problem with Democratic officeholders and seekers is that, in general, they have too little contempt. They think that if they push a certain policy, the voting public will rationally weigh the costs and benefits and come to a positive conclusion about the ethics and skill of that politician based on the obvious merits of said policy. The problem is that the vast majority of the voting public doesn’t do that.

    Republicans, conversely, have too much contempt. They make little effort to form coherent policy, deal exclusively in abstract narratives, argue solely based on first principles, and do little to hide the fact that they despise everyone who doesn’t think, act, and look exactly like they do. But it hurts more to have too little contempt than it does to have too much.

  160. 160
    change says:

    BTW, none other than Obambi himself voted AGAINST raising the debt ceiling in 2006, he said it would be “irresponsible” to raise the limit.

    Can you say “hypocricy”?

  161. 161
    catclub says:

    @Pococurante: “Crises brings out the best in people. ”

    and the worst.

  162. 162
    Yutsano says:

    @change: Why do you hate the troops?

  163. 163
    change says:

    @Yutsano:

    Why did Obambi vote against raising the debt limit in 2006?

  164. 164
    Yutsano says:

    @change: Irrelevant. Why do you feel the need to cut funding for the troops for your political point?

  165. 165
    change says:

    @Yutsano:

    Obambi was quite willing to cut funding off to troops in the field to score political points, wasn’t he?

  166. 166

    @The Grand Panjandrum: So of course I had to check this out after people commented on it. Ouch.

    I have a very hard time believing even the shit-for-brains looney-tunes right-wing will allow us to default. Maybe it’s because I don’t WANT to believe it.

    @Yutsano: So, trying to break your own troll, too, I see. I’m not mad of money, remember (that would be you). You break it, you buy a replacement. And, um, did you see B-O-B has a proposal for you? I would be a-skeered if I were you.

  167. 167
    Yutsano says:

    @change: I don’t know who Obambi is so that renders your point moot. And we are not talking about 2006. Now get your damn facts in order. Or just go the hell away cause you’re not very good at this.

  168. 168
    catclub says:

    @gene108: lol

    Do you have an employer that uses a bank to pay you?

    Or perhaps customers who use financial instruments to pay you – like credit or debit cards or checks. They would no longer have those.

    But yes, the house would be free and clear; until things got straightened out, and then you would go back to owing on the mortgage. During the ‘until’ period you would not be able to buy food,
    since neither could the grocer.

  169. 169
    change says:

    @Yutsano:

    Your President voted to raise the debt limit in 2006. He said the out of control debt was a “failure of leadership”on the part of the President.

    How is that not hypocricy? If he gets to vote against debt, so do we!

  170. 170
    Yutsano says:

    @change: LOL. Yer so cornfuzzled you have no idea what you’re even saying anymore. And BTW unless you’re not a citizen of the US he’s your President too. Chew on that little factoid for awhile.

  171. 171
    change says:

    @Yutsano:

    Evasion, evasion, evasion, but the fact remains Obama voted against raising the debt limit in 2006.

    So why are we “crazy” for doing the same thing?

  172. 172
    magisterludi says:

    @change:

    Because we hadn’t gotten to the part in the movie when Otter tells Pinto “Look, you fucked up- you trusted us.’

  173. 173
    Yutsano says:

    @change: So you really have no point beyond high Broderism. Gotcha. We’re done here.

  174. 174
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @change: Just like DADT repeal was dead on arrival?

    Bend over, bitch. You’ll get nothing and like it.

  175. 175
    change says:

    @Yutsano:

    Still no answer to my question.

    We’ll probably raise the debt ceiling, but only after Obama agrees to credible SS and Medicare reform, OR Democrats in both houses promise to pass a federal balanced budget amendment and send it to the states for ratification.

    That’s the real end game. You choose.

  176. 176

    @Sly: Well, her district was gerrymandered, too. But, I agree with you that the public has to have some responsibility for educating itself. It’s not easy to find the facts, but it’s not impossible, either.

  177. 177
    change says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Nothing but childish taunts. We hold the real power now–the power of the purse.

  178. 178
    El Cid says:

    @The Dangerman: Shit, those types don’t go up against actual armed forces, except for the occasional lockdown in a house or cult home, and how they used to get in shootouts because they thought it was a good idea to rob banks.

    That’s not how they work. If they get violent, it’s your standard cowardly thug type violence, fires lit here, threatening letters there, pets killed, people stabbed when alone, shots into houses, occasional firebombs or dynamite, that sort of shit.

    There are always a few more dangerous nutjobs who accumulate lots of explosives and other weapons, like that crazy dude from Texas who wasn’t a terrorist organizing a plot because he was a white non-Muslim, but we have to cross our fingers that most will keep blowing themselves up, and that others continue to run their mouths about what they’re going to do so they get reported.

    This isn’t to dismiss the levels of violence which may arise, but it’s the type which various ordinary people and people of color and immigrants and civic and group and maybe political leaders may have to fear more intensely.

    Sort of a broadening of the kind of threats abortion doctors face from the anti-abortion murdering lunatico-fascists who gun them down on a semi-regular basis to a more militia / patriot basis like the 1990s, which led to McVeigh’s bombing — which, again, wasn’t some outright open attack against armed forces, but a terror attack against an office building and he and what’s his face intended to keep their role secret.

    Can you imagine what these nuts would be doing (or, more so) if ACORN was still around and operating? If more shit hits more fans, how many of their offices would have been free of firebombs, or tire slashing, or home vandalism, or threatening calls, or even worse?

    These are really dangerous types, and if they get their numbers added to substantially can be much more dangerous, but not in modern Mexican narco-paramilitary style where the drug forces have regular open-air shootouts with police in, say, Acapulco, and a few times win.

    As in the late 1990s a law enforcement intensified crackdown would likely help, but a much larger number of people could be hurt in the meantime.

  179. 179
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @change: Yep, childish insults for an insulting child.

    You got rolled in November of 2008. You got rolled on HCR. You got rolled on fin reg. You thought you got us rolled on the Bush tax cuts, only to get counter rolled on another temporary extension along with DADT repeal, UI extension, and START. Obama’s about to roll you on Gitmo too. And you’ll get rolled yet again, because the GOP ain’t going to touch the SS and Medicare that got them the House in the first place.

    Face it: You’ll get bent over again. But I imagine you just love playing catcher.

  180. 180
    Mark S. says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    That guy who failed the Evel Knievel motorcycle stunt at the 0:30 mark, he lived, right? Cause I’d feel kind of bad laughing at him if he didn’t.

    I have a very hard time believing even the shit-for-brains looney-tunes right-wing will allow us to default.

    I’d like to think there isn’t a majority in the House to do something that stupid, but reading comment sections at other places, it seems the teabaggers are gung-ho for it. This will be a huge test of the leadership of President Boner.

  181. 181

    @Mark S.: I stopped watching after the first woman, so I have no idea. I hope no one in the vid was seriously hurt.

    ETA: Yeah. No kidding about the ‘baggers.

    @El Cid: Nailed it. These are cowardly people who can only act in hordes and bunches and under the cover of the night. They’re not going to take on the government directly.

  182. 182
    fordpowers says:

    More here at the Great Orange Satan (the Daily Kos, not Boehner).

    i just lol’ed. and water came out of my nose.
    thanks.

  183. 183
    moops says:

    @Mr. Poppinfresh:

    well, my B.S. detector also goes off when someone says they are plugged in at high levels while on the internet.

    I can grant that the other country financial departments are breaking out in hives at the thought of working with US debt under a hard cap.

    Francis has done a better job of providing our rolling numbers.

    It isn’t pretty, but it also isn’t The Spring of American Default as most posters here are wailing about.

    What emergency financial operations are truly available in this mode ? That isn’t clear. Do we move to a year-averaged cap and do a rolling swap? Does every federal employee get a forced unpaid summer layoff ? NIH ? Are our wars terminated immediately ? Are all transfer payments suspended, including medical ? There are dozens of tragic and inefficient ways to cover our nut when our heads smack the ceiling. We don’t have to look far to see how governments handle this. Lots of states are constitutionally in the same boat right now, and doing just such actions. None are defaulting, and neither are we.

    central banks and fund managers are going to get the vapors. we get it. That isn’t global financial apocalypse.

    The Dems have an obvious gambit here. “Defaulting is not an option. Name what is thrown in the fire, or massive tax hikes, which is it?” I doubt we will have that discussion though. It will be dispersed and inefficient pain all around.

    more likely the Tea Party nutjobs will be taken to the woodshed by their owners and told they can make political hay with this, but you had better fail.

  184. 184
    Mnemosyne says:

    I see our troll is suffering from Conservative Temporal Disorder, where he can’t understand that 2006 is actually five years in the past and is not something that’s happening right now.

  185. 185
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: But it’s relevant! Because, well, Obama was gonna vote all by hisself to not raise the debt ceiling! He alone was responsible for it just like he’s responsible for the deficit now! IT’S ALL THE DAMN DARKIE’S FAULT AND SHUT UP THAT’S WHY!!

    (Is it sad when their supposed facts fit into parody so well?)

  186. 186
    300baud says:

    @moops:

    central banks and fund managers are going to get the vapors. we get it. That isn’t global financial apocalypse.

    Were you perhaps vacationing somewhere off Earth during our last financial crisis? Some fund managers got the vapors, and the US Treasury suddenly had to come up with a giant pile of money to get everybody to chill out again. So what happens if a lot more of ’em get worried? About everything, but about the Treasury in specific? And anybody who holds T-Bills, which is everybody?

    Even if there isn’t an apocalypse, any risk of trouble will raise our interest rates, making our debt less supportable. Which makes our financial picture worse, which creates a risk of bigger trouble.

    We get huge benefits from the fluke of history that makes us the world’s reserve currency. Playing chicken with the stability of the T-Bill is guaranteed to chip away at those benefits even if we never actually default. People fucking with that for short term political game are either fools or unconcerned with the future of America.

  187. 187
    Barry says:

    @MikeJ: “The Air Farce would be unable to buy the fuel to put in the C-17s that take the beans, bullets, and band-aids to Afghanistan”

    IIRC, there are provisions in federal law allowing military expeditionary operations to be funded, regardless of the budget.

  188. 188
    les says:

    @moops:

    Well, yeah, except for the “we can’t repay your bonds because we can’t issue any more bonds” thing. State/federal budget comparisons are beyond ignorant, which is why they featured prominently in rethug campaign ads last fall.

  189. 189
    Adrienne says:

    @ware: His answer was probably incoherent because we may actually lack the language necessary to fully describe what will happen if the world’s largest economy and only remaining superpower *chooses* to default on its loans. I don’t think “catastrophic” even comes close to covering it.

  190. 190
    Adrienne says:

    @moops: A state is completely different than a country in this respect: State economics are simple. Most can’t run deficits, they don’t borrow, and they don’t issue treasuries or currency which is then bought/sold world wide. If you compare states to the federal government I reserve the right to call you what you are: An idiot who doesn’t know jack shit about economics.

Comments are closed.