Monday, September 30, 2013

Debt ceiling: Dick Morris sounds like a heretic on the importance of the nation's honoring its bills

Tonight, Dick Morris appeared on CNN (Piers Morgan, as I recall), and for completeness, I’ll note his unorthodox view that a debt ceiling fight and default risk should be undertaken, perhaps as “cold turkey”.  His website is here and I can do without his annoying sign-up popup (pun with baseball intended).
I looked around, and it seems, on the surface, that Morris thinks that all “real debts” (interest payments) could be met, and that Social Security and Medicare payments could be made, although entitlement reform (the usual steps of increasing retirement age, and some means testing of some benefits) is essential and needs to be immediate.  But his main target is Medicaid and welfare, which he sees as wasteful and not a proper government function, but one that goes with families, charities and volunteerism.
He also has material that suggests that a debt ceiling default would be met simply by closing more departments, like the FCC (telecommunications companies would love that, except that the law requires them to get new wireless devices approved by the FCC). 
Here’s a Morris interview from the debt crisis of the summer of 2011.  He likens it to maxing on your credit card limits.  The problem with that analogy is that if you can’t pay your bills, you don’t cut out dining out, you stiff people, and you can really hurt them.  Morris doesn’t seem to think that keeping promises and contracts really matters. 

I’d love to see detailed responses to his ideas.  There’s not time tonight.

There’s no point in staying up tonight to follow the foolery in Congress.  Right now, I have MLB on (the Rangers are one out away from a loss at home).  If I wake up at 4 AM for an Ibuprofen break (after my recent total tooth replacement) will I check my cell phone?  Maybe.  It looks like the practical deadline for a shutdown is noon Tuesday Oct 1, not midnight tonight.  

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