Saturday, July 23, 2011

Conduct of politicians, Boehner's behavior Friday, rattle confidence of investors in future US stability

What upsets me about yesterday’s “blow up” was the conductor of the negotiators, especially Boehner, rather than the "numbers".  I won’t rehearse the details, which the media have reported ad nauseum now. 

What does he mean, that the White House is not serious about cutting spending, with $3 trillion in cuts on the table?   Why would revenue enhancements by close fringe loopholes destroy jobs?

I get the ideology. OK, it’s not the responsibility of government or the public (in GOP parlance) to provide and maintain safety nets for the vulnerable, it is the personal responsibility of every one of is, in and around the family.

I also understand that the GOP thinks it can call the administration’s bluff on what really happens if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. I understand the ambiguities in the numbers and in the law. I’ve discussed these points several times recently.

But when you hold individual people hostage to your agenda, you show you have no regard for them. You say you’re willing to throw them off the boat and let them drown.  Authoritarian governments do that all the time. No wonder the right wing talks about survivalism.

Why would Boehner work on a plan with the Senate without a deal?  The president has called him right back at 11 AM today.

What should people do to prepare themselves?

Clyde Anderson’s advice on CNN:

Focus on safe assets:  gold (not sure I agree, gold could go down later).

Think more about Roth IRA, pay taxes now to avoid inevitably increased taxes later.

Make your big purchases now, before interest rates go up.

But rates can go up very quickly. 

Talk to your broker about unloading bonds (yes, that’s what he said  -- but then what?).

I spoke to mine Monday.  It takes three days to sell securities.  Will there be a panic Monday morning and it be impossible to sell?
I don’t see a read early Saturday AM on how the financial markets are taking this.  Yahoo! Finance repeated the AP story here

The Washington Post has a detailed account here, and it looks like the two sides were not as far apart as the hissy-fit makes it look. The administration supposedly added a demand for $400 million more in revenue increases (taxes??), resisted more cuts to Medicaid (small in proportion to the whole problem), and the GOP wanted to put some of ObamaCare at risk.  

Judge Judy should show up at the 11 AM meeting and give both sides in the sandbox one of her lectures. 

Andrew Sullivan has an alarming piece in his "Daily Dish": "The Cold Civil War", here.  He calls The GOP now a faction of anarchists, and writes "Their fiscal anarchism has now led to their threat to destabilize and possibly upend the American and global economy because they refuse to compromise an inch. They control only one part of the government, and yet they hold all of it hostage."  And they hold "ordinary people" hostage , too.  Welcome to the 1930s.  

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