Eric Cantor, Terrorist or Just Terrorist-Supporter?

Reuters econoblogger Felix Salmon, discussing the proposed S&P downgrade earlier this evening:

Firstly, talk of debt-to-GDP ratios and the like is a distraction. You can gussy up your downgrade rationale with as many numbers as you like, but at heart it’s a political decision, not an econometric one.
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Secondly, the US does not deserve a triple-A rating, and the reason has nothing whatsoever to do with its debt ratios. America’s ability to pay is neither here nor there: the problem is its willingness to pay. And there’s a serious constituency of powerful people in Congress who are perfectly willing and even eager to drive the US into default. The Tea Party is fully cognizant that it has been given a bazooka, and it’s just itching to pull the trigger. There’s no good reason to believe that won’t happen at some point.
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Finally, it’s impossible to view any S&P downgrade without at the same time considering the highly fraught and complex relationship between the US government and the ratings agencies. The ratings agencies are reliant on the US government in many ways, and would be ill-advised to needlessly annoy the powers that be. On the other hand, the government has been criticizing them harshly for failing to downgrade mortgage-backed securities even when they could see that there were serious credit concerns. So by that measure they have to downgrade the US: the default concerns we saw during the debt-ceiling debate were real and can’t be ignored.[…]
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Do the mandarins at S&P — people who, it seems, can’t even get basic macro sums right — really want to cost the US economy tens of billions of dollars a year by downgrading the country’s debt and causing all manner of potential market mischief as a result?

Looks like the answer is yes. My emphasis; much more detail at the link.

Steve Benen in the Washington Monthly, yesterday:

Remember the Promise Keepers? Say hello to the Promise Breakers

“What we have to be, I think, focused on is truth in budgeting here,” Cantor told The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal. He said “the better way” for Americans is to “get the fiscal house in order” and “come to grips with the fact that promises have been made that frankly are not going to be kept for many.”

He added that younger Americans will have “ample time to try and plan our lives so that we can adjust” to the post-Medicare society…
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[N]ote the rhetoric the oft-confused House Majority Leader uses: the United States has made promises to the public, and as far as Eric Cantor is concerned, “many” Americans will simply have to accept that those promises “are not going to be kept.”
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Why not? Because Republicans say so. Promises to Grover Norquist are sacrosanct, but promises to senior citizens are not…

If national security! ! eleventy-one! requires that Gitmo remain open, why aren’t the patriotic Republicans demanding that Eric Cantor be renditioned there posthaste, so that Jack Bauer’s bastard offspring can use Whatever Means Necessary(tm) to get a complete list of the traitors and fifth-columnists whose goal is to destroy the American economy?






39 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    I heard teabaggers saying they welcomed a downgrade because it would affect the ability of our country to take on debt.

    Since they love the kitchen table analogy so much, would they approve of somebody with lots of debt intentionally driving their credit rating down to 300 and running their interest rates up to 30%?

  2. 2

    Put another way, Eric Cantor doesn’t want to keep our promise to continue Medicare and Social Security. What other promises does he want to break? Why should you trust him to do anything?

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    @MikeJ

    I’m afraid your analogy would be better if the teabaggers weren’t the precise type of idiots who would do something like that.

  4. 4
    Ash Can says:

    I sat up and took notice here when I saw that your link went to NASDAQ reporting on Cantor’s nihilism. Things that make you go “hmmm…”

  5. 5
    jon says:

    Remember:

    1. Tar and Feathers
    then
    2. Pitchforks and Torches

    It’s just more satisfying that way.

  6. 6
    Martin says:

    @MikeJ:

    Since they love the kitchen table analogy so much, would they approve of somebody with lots of debt intentionally driving their credit rating down to 300 and running their interest rates up to 30%?

    Actually, I think the analogy is “If dad went to the bank and threatened to not pay back his loan, do you think they’d want to loan to him ever again?”

  7. 7
    Keith G says:

    the United States has made promises to the public, and as far as Eric Cantor is concerned, “many” Americans will simply have to accept that those promises “are not going to be kept.”

    Promises to Grover Norquist are sacrosanct, but promises to senior citizens are not…

    Is there anyone on the Democratic side of the fence who is ready, able, and willing to get this these important stories out to the public? Anyone?

  8. 8
    Ron says:

    Eric Cantor is a an AAA (or is that AA+) douchebag.

  9. 9
    jl says:

    I think the linked Salmon article makes good points.

    The only credit problem is whether the US Government (to the extent that Congress affects its decisions) decides to pay.

    Many in Congress have publicly said that they would be very pleased if the US would not pay, because they want to wreck up the joint to bring on their revolution. Now how do you calculate the probability that they will actually carry though, or that others will not cave to their threats?

    You can’t. It’s a judgment call. So S&P has dress up their call with a macroeconomic analysis with a big mistake (any surprise?) in it. Otherwise it might be deemed too political, I suppose.

    Don’t pay any attention to the credit ratings macroeconomic analysis, at least for the purpose of understanding how the real world works.

  10. 10
    some guy says:

    Ezra Klein at the Post thinks McMegan has insights about the S&P downgrade worth considering.

    fucker went House Pundit faster than you can say Fred Hiatt’s Bitch

  11. 11
    Carolinus says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14428930

    John Chambers, chairman of S&P’s sovereign ratings committee, told CNN that the US could have averted a downgrade if it had resolved its congressional stalemate earlier.

    “The first thing it could have done is raise the debt ceiling in a timely matter so the debate would have been avoided to begin with,” he said.

  12. 12
    scav says:

    Vague ideas running through my mind. Let there be no cost of living adjustments or raises for members of congress without compensating tax increases. That’s actually almost the fall-back position. What we really should get the hard-liners to agree to is a personal legally-binding pledge that they (and their households, aka all those around the sacred kitchen tables) will never look for a better-paying job or ask for a raise when they find themselves in financial difficulties. They’re big on pledges. Do you think they’ll be lining up to affirm their vows of fiscal purity?

  13. 13
    Derf says:

    Bahahaha! Captain Doom John Galt Cole is deleting my posts now. Too much truth. Guess I better get with the program eh. Yup, that market is definitely crashy, yup you betcha!

    How’s that for gloom porn John? I know, kinda tame. I’m just not as good at hard core gloom pornography like you.

  14. 14
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @scav: Even better, pay the congresspeople minimum wage. I think I could get 99 percent agreement on that in a poll. The 1 percent would be congresspeople.

  15. 15
    Kane says:

    The problem is not that the Republican philosophy isn’t working the way it’s supposed to work, the problem is that it is working the way it’s supposed to work.

    Nobody said that drowning the government in the bathtub was going to be pretty. But they were quite honest with their intentions. Problem is, not enough people took their rhetoric seriously.

  16. 16
    Carolinus says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/BUSINE.....onomy.cnn/

    John Chambers, the head of sovereign ratings at S&P, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the political brinkmanship over the debt ceiling proved to be a key issue, with “the U.S. government getting to the last day before they had cash-management problems.”

    Asked who was to blame, Chambers said, “This is a problem that’s been a long time in the making — well over this administration, the prior administration.”

    Congress should shoulder some of the blame, he said. “The first thing it could have done is to have raised the debt ceiling in a timely manner so that much of this debate had been avoided to begin with, as it had done 60 or 70 times since 1960 without that much debate.”

    Chambers added that his agency’s decision is likely to have a long-term impact. “Once you lose your AAA, it doesn’t usually bounce back,” he said.

    He pointed to the decision by Congress about whether to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts as one crucial area. “If you let them lapse for the high-income earners, that could give you another $950 billion,” he said.

  17. 17
    fuckwit says:

    These teabaggers remind me of a lot of the Anonymous/LulzSec kiddies on IRC. “Let’s go LOIC someone! Who can we LOIC! Who are we attacking? When? Come on guys, I so want to DDoS it’s making me crazy! Can we please go LOIC someone? Anyone?”

    They’re childish nihilists. They want to blow things up just to watch stuff go boom, and marvel at their own sudden power. Then they will masturbate furiously and high-five each other.

    Seriously, WTF?

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    Some Planet Money guy makes a good case why the practical effects of any downgrade are likely to be small (at least in the short-er run).

  19. 19
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @fuckwit: we could have done without that mental image, tyvm.

  20. 20
    Hill Dweller says:

    Cantor was also on CNBC saying we shouldn’t extend unemployment benefits next year. Unemployment insurance is the single most stimulative policy you can employ during a recession, but this moron thinks it’s bad policy.

  21. 21
    Monkey Business says:

    If some variation of the sentence “We gave the GOP pretty much everything they wanted because we had to, and S&P downgraded our debt for the first time since 1917 because of it.” Isn’t on every Democrat’s lips in 2012, I’m going to make it my personal mission to primary every one of them until they find a Democrat that will.

  22. 22
    hilts says:

    Eric Cantor is a smarmy, obnoxious cocksucker. Watching this prick speak on tv is more nauseating than the sound of fingernails being dragged across a blackboard. One more reason to dislike Cantor: the asshole held a fundraiser at a Britney Spears concert in 2009.

  23. 23
    srv says:

    The proper term is “Eric Cantor is a Clear and Present Danger to the National Security of the United States of America.”

    IOKIYAR doesn’t work for me here, he is as legitimate a drone target as any card-carrying AQ goatfucker. Their God Bush made clear it didn’t matter if you were a citizen.

  24. 24
    The Dangerman says:

    @fuckwit:

    Then they will masturbate furiously and high-five each other.

    I hope this isn’t simultaneous and there is hand washing in there someplace.

  25. 25
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @hilts:

    As bad as Cantor is, the people who voted him into office must be some real ‘gems’. You have to be a fucking idiot to support his positions and vote him into office. Same with the other worthless fucks in congress, their constituents are fucking morons who cut their noses off to spite their faces rather than vote for people who will actually do something for them.

  26. 26
    Kane says:

    Where is Rick Santelli now?

  27. 27

    @Monkey Business:

    If some variation of the sentence “We gave the GOP pretty much everything they wanted because we had to, and S&P downgraded our debt for the first time since 1917 because of it.” Isn’t on every Democrat’s lips in 2012, I’m going to make it my personal mission to primary every one of them until they find a Democrat that will.

    Why wait till 2012? The Republicans are already out in full force blaming Obama for everything from the deficits, the national debt, unemployment, and the fact that the tomatoes you buy in grocery stores are tasteless and mushy.

    Also too, the obvious and painfully accurate response to “We gave the GOP pretty much everything it wanted . . .” is

    “What the fuck did you do that for?”

  28. 28
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:
    Add to that the numbnuts who voted in the teahadist House freshmen. The spooky thing for me is that the R’s policies crashed the economy in ’08 yet they doubled down on the lunacy and took back the House in ’10. That made me very apprehensive about the future, particularly because the teahadists are a minority within the Republican caucus yet they’ve managed to push booth parties farther to the right.

  29. 29
    hilts says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Agreed. What kind of person could vote for knuckle-dragging neanderthals like Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Allen West, or Steve King?

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    @hilts:

    What kind of person could vote for knuckle-dragging neanderthals like Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Allen West, or Steve King?

    People who don’t get enough ocean air?

    .

  31. 31
    JGabriel says:

    @PeakVT:

    Some Planet Money guy makes a good case why the practical effects of any downgrade are likely to be small …

    Thanks, PeakVT. Interesting link.

    ETA: Point 2, in particular, is something I suspected but haven’t seen anyone else mention yet:

    2. Ratings are a factor in financial-industry regulations and in internal policies at financial institutions. But almost all of these regulations and policies treat a AAA rating the same as a AA-plus rating. So a downgrade from AAA to AA-plus is unlikely to trigger much forced selling, Arora said. The nation’s bank regulators announced tonight that the one-notch downgrade doesn’t affect the way they assess banks’ holdings of government debt. And an official at Vanguard, the big mutual fund company, told me last week that “a downgrade from AAA would not trigger any events inside our funds.”

    .

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MikeJ:

    They don’t mind taxes paid directly to banks and other similar institutions. At least the banks are unlikely to pass that money on to mud people.

  33. 33
    Ken says:

    scav @12:

    Let there be no cost of living adjustments or raises for members of congress without compensating tax increases.

    Only works if they aren’t supplementing their income with speaking fees, consultation fees, and donations to their campaign funds (which IIRC they now get to keep when they retire?). A number are also independently wealthy, and most of them can look forward to lucrative positions on corporate boards and lobbying firms once they retire.

  34. 34
    Triassic Sands says:

    As long as the Republican Party controls the House OR has more than 35-38 Senators (there are usually 3-6 Democratic Senators up for grabs) OR a Republican is president, I’d give the US a Triple Z- rating. If Republicans can exert control over the US government, then we are automatically a Banana Republic worthy of scorn.

    @MikeJ:

    …would they approve of somebody with lots of debt intentionally driving their credit rating down to 300 and running their interest rates up to 30%?

    They might if they hated the person as much as they hate America.

  35. 35
    opie jeanne says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: There are total idiots out there who vote.

    The local rag, The Woodinville Weekly(or something like that) has had a couple of letters to the editor railing against fluoridation of the drinking water, and the most recent one decried it as a hand-out to poor people.

    Really, let’s not do anything for the poor and their children because they deserve to be poor.

  36. 36
    Town says:

    @ Odie Hugh Manatee:

    You have to remember, Cantor’s district is the capital of the Confederacy, and all Democratic leaning people have been packed into an adjacent district.

    The only way Cantor’s going anywhere is if he resigns, runs for higher office, or is replaced by somebody MORE extreme than he.

  37. 37
    doofus says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: They may be knuckledraggers, but they sure as hell work a lot harder than progressives do. Witness 2010.

  38. 38
    Bill Murray says:

    @jon: sure, the torches, when lit, can set the tar on fire

  39. 39
    Ed Drone says:

    How come no one has pointed out that, by making a pledge to an individual, Republicans have by those means negated their pledge to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States? Isn’t it pretty much akin to treason to pledge to a person to do acts (or refrain, in this case) that are part and parcel of supporting the domestic health of the United States?

    A house divided against itself cannot stand, as our greatest president pointed out, and when these politicians deliberately choose Grover Norquist over the Constitution, are they not in violation of their oath of office?

    It seems to me that way, anyhow.

    Ed

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