Let me confess that this is one of the occasions when I find it hard to write about the issue that everyone wants to discuss. The debt ceiling debacle is the most depressing subject imaginable. Nevertheless, the whole horrifying episode (not to mention the whole horrifying Murdoch media empire) may be justified by this NY Post
headline: "Raging Boehner"
Apparently, one of the huge sticking points is aid to the Pell Grant program, a $17 billion item. That's not a lot of money compared to the $16 trillion
dollars loaned to various banks (at home and abroad) in 2008. For many students, these grants are the difference between getting a degree and the wonderful world of would-you-like-fries-with-that
. Even previous Republican administrations used to trumpet the value of college grants; when confronting workers displaced by outsourcing, Dubya preferred to talk about re-education instead of job creation.
But the teabaggers are hard fucking core. They think Pell Grants are welfare
, not an investment in the future -- and never mind the queasy fact that our competitors, who excel at making higher education available to those who seek it, are producing science whizzes the way we used to. The libertarians want to keep college a club for the wealthy. And they want to keep decent working class jobs where they belong -- in India and China. Everything has its place, right?
I like what Digby has to say about the baggers:
They are simpletons, drunk with power, who in their zeal to serve their masters have decided to burn all the crops in order to save on watering costs.
The end of "Raging" Boehner's plan means that Harry Reid has a chance to get his own proposal passed. There's a lot to dislike about Reid's concept; the plan
goes for deep cuts and includes no new tax revenues. (We'd have no problem if we would simply return to the more progressive tax structure we had under Clinton -- or better still, Reagan).
But the Reid plan has one thing in its favor
The package will also reportedly include roughly $1 trillion in savings that will come from the drawdown of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...
Let me flip on all the lights so you can see what is really going on here.
Obama favored a very different approach: He (unlike Reid) was willing to cut into Social Security and Medicare. Get it? Get it?
Barack Obama -- the guy who got the nomination because he gave a tepidly anti-war speech before a fervently anti-war crowd back in 2002, thereby allowing himself to claim the peacenik position -- was and is willing to cut Social Security in order to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Let that sink in.
And while you ponder that ugly tableau, consider this: Since Reid's plan raises no taxes, the tea partiers should be able to reconcile themselves to it. But they can't. They want
to eviscerate Social Security. They would rather have grandma sleep on the street than bug out of Iraq and Afghanistan. They'd rather see an end to the Union than countenance Social Security and Medicare.John W. Smart's
solution to this mess has a certain elegant appeal. Obama should...
Invoke the 14th amendment. Deem the debate ceiling raised. Dress down the “childish” Congress, grab the mantle of the leader who saved the nation from “default”.
Go on vacation.
on vacation. Increasingly, I favor the "minty" approach. Stamp out a few trillion-dollar platinum coins, flip 'em at the Fed with that cool-ass George Raft spin, and then pop on over to Sichuan Pavilion for some marinated duck.
I wonder what would happen?