Free Markets, Free People

Closer to the edge

The grand compromise over the budget and debt ceiling was scuttled by the House. So, the expected Republican surrender didn’t emerge yesterday or today. And everyone was so hopeful, too. Anyway, we now move closer to at least a technical default on US Securities, and, as a result, Fitch announced today that the US rating was being put on watch for a possible downgrade.

Chicago-based Fitch, the third-largest of the major debt-rating companies behind Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service, put U.S. Treasury bonds on Rating Watch Negative, which is sometimes but not always a first step before a downgrade. Fitch said in a statement that it still thinks the debt ceiling will be raised in time to prevent a default.

Fitch said the government would have only limited capacity to make payments on the $16.7 trillion national debt after Treasury Department’s emergency measures run out Thursday.

Speaker Boehner did come up with a plan for some sort of House bill, but he abandoned it at the end of today, apparently not having the votes to pass it.

Last-minute protests from conservatives in the House created a day of delay and confusion in Congress’s efforts to avoid a U.S. debt default, as Republican leaders failed to craft a GOP budget proposal that could muster enough votes to pass.

In an embarrassing retreat for House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), House leaders had to cancel plans to bring a GOP bill to the floor for a vote Tuesday night.

At this point, under Congressional rules, I don’t see how a debt deal can be struck that can pass Congress and be signed by the president before the Treasuries emergency actions on the debt run out on the 17th.

The markets are starting to get cautious about all this. There were 3- and 6-month T-Bill auctions today. They didn’t go especially well. The rate for the 3 month jumped 10 basis points, while the 6-month yield rose 9 basis points from last week. Last month’s 4-week auction was weak, as well.

Doom approaches! Or not.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government is calling for a de-Americanized world.

“The world is still crawling its way out of an economic disaster thanks to the voracious Wall Street elites,” the commentary said. “Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated.”

“The congressmen are behaving irresponsibly not only for other countries but also for” the United States’ “own creditors,” said Mei Xinyu at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, which has ties to the Commerce Ministry. “They are gambling the U.S. future on their political-struggle interests.”

I don’t know what they’re complaining about. After all, we’re funding a great portion of their defense budget with the interest payments on the US bonds they own, so I don’t see why….oh. Wait. If we default, those interest payments stop. OK. I think I’m beginning to see what they’re so upset about. I imagine our messy democratic maneuverings are also a bit foreign and frustrating to a one-party dictatorship, too.

If only we had a dictatorial, one-party, state here, we could do these things so much more efficiently. Just like Tom Friedman always says.

I like the phrase, “political-struggle interests.” You gotta hand it to those Commies, boy. You just can’t beat ‘em for catchy political sloganeering. “The running dogs of the capitalist-imperialist forces” has always been a favorite of mine.


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36 Responses to Closer to the edge

  • Doom approaches! Or not.

    <CLANG> Bring out ‘yer dead!!

  • Or maybe the GOP could embrace the approach of people like Senator Susan Collins (my blog today).  I actually am more comfortable with moderate Republicans than ideological Democrats.  Find the middle ground.

    • George Will had fun with the Democrats response to Susan Collins’ idea

      In exchange, Collins asked for only two things. First, a mere delay, and for just two years, of Obamacare’s medical-device tax, which is so “stupid” — Sen. Harry Reid’s characterization — that bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress favor outright repeal. Second, enforcement of income-verification criteria for those seeking Obamacare’s insurance subsidies — criteria the administration wrote but waived.
      Here Collins was asking not for alteration of, but for enforcement of, Obamacare. Just as many Republicans believe the Democrats’ primary goal regarding immigration reform is to turn as many immigrants as possible into voters as quickly as possible, many Republicans also believe the Democrats’ primary goal regarding Obamacare is to turn as many people as possible into subsidy recipients as quickly as possible. Hence Democrats’ aversion to income criteria to prevent fraud.

      GASP !#! Pshaw .. enforce the law as written !!! Democrats can’t have that.

    • Or maybe the GOP could embrace the approach of people like Senator Susan Collins, which you should trot over and read at my blog, which I’m certainly not pimping, no sir. Because so many, many people read my stuff there, I don’t need to pimp it.

      So don’t start with why I show up here when I have so many, many people to discuss the whole thing with over there. I come here to offer my exhaustive expertise and my godlike powers of political science to you sterile, inbred righties out of the goodness of my heart. Not from any pathological need for attention so desperate that I’ll even take insults to feed it. Stop saying that.

      I actually am more comfortable with moderate Republicans than ideological Democrats. Stop laughing! I am! And don’t you dare ask why if that’s true I didn’t support McCain and Romney over Obama. Because, as I’ve explained so many times, Obama isn’t ideological, and Romney wasn’t moderate, he was conservative. Stop laughing, damn it!

      Obam isn’t ideological because he thinks like me, and I’m not ideological either. Find the middle ground – that’s what we both think.

      Stop laughing, I said. You sound like howler monkeys. Obama does too want to find middle ground. That’s why he turns down every single proposal by those extremely extreme extremists in the tea party wing of the GOP. Anything they like is extreme and ideological by definition. Compromise certainly doesn’t mean moving one iota in their direction. I decree it.

      And shut up about how the Democrats won’t accept what Collins wants either because Obama refuses to give an inch. He’s a pragmatic moderate with a christlike visage, not a hardened ideologue. I decree it! In the name of quantum spirituality, I declare it to be so! Don’t make me start thinking quantum thoughts to direct the future and give you cancer.

      Don’t you see? Everyone should sit down and hash things out and then do exactly what Obama wants. Isn’t that obvious? It’s obvious to me. I know it’s correct because every time I say it, the giant magenta caterpillars with Sarah Palin’s face and ample bosom smile and cheer me on.

    • President Obama understands “the frustrations of the American people” more than anybody else. At least, that’s what he told WABC in an interview:
      “One thing that I’ve shown is that if I say I’m prepared to compromise on something, I can deliver votes and we can get it done,” Obama said. “So, look: Nobody shares the frustrations of the American people more than I do because I see day in and day out the damage that something like a shutdown does.”
      Obama went on to talk about the “unfinished business” he needs to take care of.
      http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-nobody-shares-frustrations-american-people-more-i-do_763589.html

      Now THAT is a Costco-sized package of delusions…
       
      This is the Hateful Harry and Barracula shut-down, and anyone with a functioning brain knows it.  So Erp is excused, because he’s put his brain in “park” (not neutral) in favor of being a tool for the Collective.

    • Or maybe the GOP could embrace the approach of people like Senator Susan Collins…

      Well, the Senate sort of tried that, and the DEEMOCRATS were the ones who “failed to embrace” that lil’ piece of capitulation.
       
      You seem to forget: WE elected people who made the express promises to oppose Obama, ObamaDoggle, and run-away spending.
       
      SOME of them are actually doing what they said they would, and we support them.

      • No, Collins’ work is the backbone of the agreement Reid and McConnell are hammering out.  Collins and a few others put together a plan that got rejected, but it was the basis for starting the negotiations that are likely to finally yield a result to end the crisis.  Collins was very involved yesterday too – she and a few other moderate Democrats and Republicans have been key to finding a way out of this.  Meanwhile House Republicans are facing a disaster.  You have to admit, strategically they bungled this whole thing by overreach, under estimating their opposition, not grasping the political realities, and being led astray by ideological fervor.  It is the end of the tea party, time for more sober minds in the GOP to craft a conservative vision that doesn’t speak primarily to old white men (and even that mostly in the south) and instead accepts the reality of the cultural and demographic changes to the country that are here to stay.   We need a strong conservative alternative to the Democrats, but the tea party was built on fear, nostalgia and emotion.

        • It is the end of the tea party, time for more sober minds in the GOP to craft a conservative vision that doesn’t speak primarily to old white men (and even that mostly in the south) and instead accepts the reality of the cultural and demographic changes to the country…

          What a complete tool for the Collective.
          Have you EVER bothered to count the number of TEA party-backed candidates and office-holders who are NOT “old white men mostly from the South”, you idiot?
          Just watch and see if the “end of the TEA party” spirit is realized, as you have been saying for…what…since its inception?

        • We need a strong conservative alternative to the Democrats, but the tea party was built on fear, nostalgia and emotion.

          No.  That is just another of your lies.  It was built on math, common sense, and a knowledge of human nature and history.
          It is the revolution you are a reaction to, moron.  So, naturally, you would lie about it in an attempt to denigrate it.
          Are you, like Eleanor Clift, seeing “ghosts”?

        • Wow.  More of those scared old white men from the South…
          https://twitter.com/Kudzu81/status/390085220898066433/photo/1

        • “You have to admit, strategically they bungled this whole thing by overreach, under estimating their opposition, not grasping the political realities, and being led astray by ideological fervor.”
          Tool, of course the Democrats and Obamugabe aren’t responsible for any of that, right?
          I don’t have to ‘admit’ any such thing, because there’s plenty of bungling, overreach and under estimation of the opposition on BOTH sides of this completely manufactured crisis.
           
          I do admit however, I think you’re a colossal, hypocritical, thoroughly partisan, asshat.
           
           
          It’s not a crisis if a bunch of asshats can’t come to an agreement that they’ve had months to deal with.
           
           
           
          That’s deliberate.

        • And again, you fraud
          ” It is the end of the tea party, time for more sober minds in the GOP to craft a conservative vision that doesn’t speak primarily to old white men (and even that mostly in the south) and instead accepts the reality of the cultural and demographic changes to the country that are here to stay.”
           
          What does that have to do with not spending money we don’t have?
          What does that have to do with budgeting?
          What does that have to do with restraining the size of government?
           
          How are any of those connected exclusively to being white, old and male?    Unless perhaps you believe that women, non-whites and young people can’t control their urge to spend money they don’t have, and their urge to be taken care of by a sugar-something (can’t be a daddy…that would be old, and male….)   You must be a closet racist misogynistic left leaning age-snob.
           
          All you have is thinly veiled accusations of racism – you obnoxious hypocritical buffoon.

          • *smile*   OK, I’ll not reply, remaining in the spirit of what Harry Reid just said announcing the agreement.    Calling it an “historic bipartisan agreement” he said  “This is not a time for pointing fingers or blame. This is a time for reconciliation.”   So in that spirit, I’ll bow out of the discussion.

          • Ah yes, Harry Reid, agreeable, non rumormongoring, truth telling, non-bully.
             
            Swell choice for a role-model there Skippy.

          • Yeah, good ol’ Hateful “why would I do that?” Harry.
            Your idea of a “moderate”.
            What a bung-sucking tool for the Collective.  What a lying moron.

          • Oh Scott, So graceful and dreamy and wise.
            Is that your cheerleader dress?
            *sigh*
             
             
            Yeah, cause I’m gonna miss you implying we’re a bunch of dumbass racist tea party hacks.
             
            *smile at your departure*

        • Who will be more discredited this year: conservatives for pushing us to brink of default or liberals for failure of health care exchanges?
          — Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 16, 2013

          And…HEH!

        • Sorry, the Tea Party is the next generation of GOP. Read your Strauss & Howe, Erb. Forget you’re a Baby Boomer, stop thinking everything is about you and your generation. Get out of your echo chamber and look around. Young conservatives aren’t like the old, and they certainly are not like young Liberals/Progressivess/Independets/whatever-label-they’re-using-this-week.

    • Find the middle ground.

      Or…business as usual.
      Where has THAT gotten us…???
      Everybody…and I mean EVERYbody…knows we cannot continue as we are going.  They have said so.
      And yet…

    • The problem seems to be that moderate Republicans seem to be more comfortable with ideological Democrats than with their own base.

  • You do realize that the anti-deficiency act requiers the US gov’t to pay interest on its debts before any other “obligations” (social security, pensions, gov’t salaries, etc.)? There will be no default on US bonds unless the President illegally directs the Treasury to do so.

  • Moody’s has already stated that they are confident that there will be no default on the debt.

  • “move closer to at least a technical default on US Securities”

    Have you lost your mind??  There’s precisely ZERO chance of any kind of default.

    Shame on you for parroting Obama’s lie.

    Interest on the debt last month was under 8% of revenue.  Debt gets serviced first.  R’s could refuse to hike the debt ceiling forever and there’d still be ZERO chance of default.  In fact, the odds of default would go DOWN.

    • Barracula could essentially order a default.
      He’s bound by law to pay US debts.
      But he’s also bound by law to do or not do any number of things.
      And he’s the head of an outlaw gang.  As we all know.

  • http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/10/15/the-house-gop-voted-11-times-to-reopen-the-government/
    There is the proof of where the shut-down/stay-down came from.
     

    • It’s deliberate.    He’s looking to help China ‘De-Americanze’ the world.
       
      We’ve been saying it for, years, now.   That hasn’t changed.    This is what Obama wants.

      • Then we probably shouldn’t play chicken with default with him in office.

        • Is it chicken when he refuses to sign whatever they bring before him short of a “Obama is now King for life” bill?
           
          It’s not chicken when you drive towards the edge of the quarry with no intention of stopping because your personal parachute will protect you from the result of the ensuing disaster.

  • http://collegeinsurrection.com/2013/10/liberal-profs-want-obama-to-seize-unilateral-control-of-government/
    Yep. Scratch a Collectivist, find a totalitarian lover of dictatorship.
     

  • “Unfortunately, once again, it appears, the Washington establishment is refusing to listen to the American people,” Cruz said. The Texas senator commended the House for keeping up the fight over the past few weeks, but sharply criticized the Senate for “doing nothing to respond to the suffering that Obamacare is causing millions of Americans.”
    While Cruz vowed to continue fighting Obamacare through different means, he would not delay the current plan. ”There’s nothing to be gained from delaying this vote one day or two days,” he said.
    ———————-
    Yep. The “business as usual” political class shows the now-historic cowardice in dealing with what we all know is an non-sustainable level of BIG GOVERNMENT stupid, hurtling toward a catastrophic collapse.
    But we have set a marker, and we have raised the stakes of more stupid, and we have highlighted the gangster government of Barracula and Hateful Harry.
    And there will be pay-back.
     

  • Frankly I have no idea about whether we (the US) are/were facing Armegeddon or not; whether tactically or strategically a shut down was the way to impede/change/remove the ACA or whether Ted Cruz is a savior or another no nothing idiot who likes the big stage.

    However, I do know this:  the current Republican Party is always, and I mean always, prepared to wage the next fight, the one right after the fight they are dealing with now, to the death.