Monday, March 14, 2011

Crashing the Ceiling

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seems to think that it would be okay for the United States to go into default unless “something credible” is done about the excessive deficits that he voted for.

There are 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. My prediction is not a single one of the 47 Republicans will vote to raise the debt ceiling unless it includes with it some credible effort to do something about our debt.

Now, the House is another matter. I’m just predicting that the Senate Republican votes. I don’t believe Senate Republicans are going to vote to raise the debt ceiling. The Democrats can raise it themselves if they choose to and try to do nothing whatsoever about the problem.

I think to get any of the 47 Republicans, you’ve got to do something credible that the markets believe is credible, that the American people believe is credible, the foreign countries believe is credible in addition to simply just raising the debt ceiling.

Most sane people, including a number of Republicans, think that not raising the debt ceiling would be a very bad move. It would mean defaulting on a sizable amount of our debt to other countries, who really don’t care whether or not we have a big deficit; they just want to get paid what’s owed them.

Mr. McConnell’s goal is quite plain. He doesn’t really care about the deficit; after all, he voted for all the mechanisms — the Bush tax cuts, two wars, Medicare Part D, and the financial bailout (when it was Bush’s idea) — that got us to it. So the only reason he’s doing it is because he really would like to stick it to President Obama and the Democrats. That’s all. Forget about the financial consequences; it’s economic terrorism.