Who will “blink” first in this “government shut-down” (of 17% of what the government normally spends in the name of the people)? Will it be the Speaker of the House John Boehner? Will it be the President giving orders to the Senate Majority Leader of Congress, Harry Reid, who he has controlled from the beginning? Will Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell craft some backroom deal to punish conservatives who dare threaten how things work in government? With the debt ceiling hitting on Thursday…we will find out shortly.
In my opinion there are three classes of people when it comes to government. There are those who are not well off and depend on government as a means of resources. There are those who are wealthy but need to influence government to retain said wealth or status. There are those in the middle who are doing ok, but feel they may need government at some point.
The people who are not well off have seen their source of resources usurped by the government. This used to be the responsibility of church, charity, or family. There is no better example of this than Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts and former Harvard professor, decrying a threat to the social security her brother receives despite the wealth she has accumulated that is more than enough to take care for a family member. Liberals like Warren are always charitable with the funds of the public coffers. They rely on public assistance, welfare, food stamps in exchange for tolerating unemployment and economic policies that reduce the possibility of independence. They will vote in ways the feel gives them the best opportunity to retain these benefits, decrying those who wish to build a stronger safety net with slurs of greed or a concern of not being able to eat without the help of the government. This group is ignorant of economics and tends to support the Democrats and their destructive economic policies.
There are those who are wealthy and depend on the crony-capitalist system that our economy has disintegrated into as a means of buying influence and thus retaining power. One of the largest companies in the world, General Electric, somehow paid little to no income tax recently. I am sure this has nothing to do with their CEO sitting on a council appointed by President Barack Obama. A default on the debt will have serious consequences to the bond and stock markets. Some will point to the damage it will do to savers in the form of 401(k) accounts or mutual funds. I don’t remember these politicians decrying weak dollar and low interest rate policies that come from the printing spree the Federal Reserve is currently engaged in and will sure to continue under Janet Yellen’s direction.
The people in the middle are able to make up their minds a little bit more. They may not rely on the government or immediate needs or resources, but they lack the capacity to buy influence in Washington and spend their way into prosperity with a well-timed donation or receive an exemption from poorly crafted legislation like the Affordable Care Act. Politicians will come around in September and October and rub up against their leg like a hungry cat…but once they are comfortably in Washington they will turn their backs on those who supported them calling them “out of touch” or “lemmings”. They may not understand Social Security, why 15% of what they make goes to these things called FICA, or why their employers have to pay unemployment taxes even though they have never collected unemployment…but they just keep on going along the way hoping government doesn’t interfere in their lives too
If there is no agreement to increase the debt ceiling history will only remember one name. President Barack Obama would bare sole responsibility. If you need to understand why…think of all the credit Bill Clinton receives for a booming economy in the 90’s…even though he vetoed that legislation twice and disagreed what was being forced upon him so much he shut down the government twice. No President will ever want to go down as the first to have a debt default, but this is a President of first. The first black President, the first President to experience a downgrade in the credit rating, the first to come out in support of gay marriage, etc. Who will mind if he is the first to default and blame the Republicans with the assistance of the media?
The Republicans need to understand that this is a President and a Senate that will not negotiate. They are still smarting over an agreement to a Sequester that was suggested by the President. For all the talk of Obamacare being the law of the land…you sure never hear the liberals refer to the sequester as the law of the land even though they were passed exactly the same way. The moderates that first decried the conservatives are now understanding the extremism and ideals they are up against. Susan Collins (Sen, ME) is probably one of the more liberal of the Republicans and even her attempt to broker a deal was decried by Patty Murray (Sen, WA). It is time for them to realize they will get nothing and they need to be prepared to go into the last hour.
One thing they should be worried about is the President’s view of society. Is this a man that would really care about the consequences of a default? This is a man that will only oppose spending if it suggested by a Republican. If the markets all and the economy collapses he is the most protected man on the planet. His salary, his vacations, his family will continue to be taken care of. When you hear him campaign he comes off as a man who despises the rich one moment…and in the next he is quoting their economic stances that find some agreement with his own.
In the end I believe the pressure from the wealthy that donate to the Republicans will foil this brave stand of conservatives to stand up for the well-being of the country. The uncertainty that would come from the rift in the markets would be too much for them to bear. I would much rather see a strong and unified Republican Party that would force the Senate to vote on the 14 bills sent over to fund the government and spending reductions that would ensure a debt ceiling increase would never be necessary. This nation takes in $3,000,000,000,000 in tax revenue and could increase it even more with pro-growth strategies. That may mean less money to Pakistan, a few less robotic squirrels in New Mexico and mechanical bulls in Utah, but a nation that boasts a Nobel Peace Prize winner in Economics nearly every year just might find a way to figure this out.