Monday, July 18, 2011

Observations on the debt crisis

I like to watch "Meet the Press" Sunday mornings. It keeps me out of church (whatever church I might go to), perhaps endangering my immortal soul, but sometimes I learn an interesting thing or two.

A couple of weeks ago Tim Pawlenty was on MTP, obviously to sell himself as a Presidential candidate. His take on the debt crisis was interesting, to say the least. He literally boasted about a time he allowed the Minnesota government to shut down during a budget impasse. He emphasized and repeated that the shutdown caused no harm, and suggested the same would hold true for the federal government.

Last weekend Jim DeMint, Republican Senator from South Carolina, was one of the guests. He took the line Democrats have been repeating about credit rating agencies (Moody's, etc) downgrading the credit rating of the US, and gave it an interesting spin. DeMint claimed that Moody's actually will downgrade our credit rating if the government does not cut spending (according to how the Republicans want it cut) with no tax increases. In other words, Moody's is saying (according to Jim DeMint) that unless the Democrats give exactly what Republicans want, the world will punish us.

It's not just that Republicans are engaging in mental gymnastics to find ways to talk themselves into believing a default would not hurt us, it's as though they are competing to see who can come up with the most elaborate (not to say far fetched) spin on reality.

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