A situation that should have gone off without a hitch has now demonstrated the US Congress is an utter joke, completely unable to govern: The debt ceiling debate should have been a non-starter -- a simple voice vote in the House where everybody realized voting for the increase was in the nation's financial self-interest. Instead, we've seen the most ridicules ideas rise to the top of the political debate.
There is no leadership: Boehner has no control over the Tea Party Wing and Reid has little real power. Pelosi -- who does seem to have more control over the more liberal house elements -- has been left out of negotiations. Obama has become more adept at using the bully pulpit, but doesn't seem to have the nuanced negotiating skills necessary for intricate negotiations. As such, there is no figure who can ram something through at the last minute.
There is every indication the economy is slowing: The consumer is trimming his expenditures, investment is weaker and manufacturing growth is slowing. The only component of the GDP equation that can increase growth right now is government spending. And yet we're talking about massive cuts large enough to send the economy into a mild recession. Why don't we ask England how their experiment with austerity is going? Or Ireland? And then there is this observation regarding austerity:
Lagarde also urged caution in adopting large deficit-reduction measures, saying that “the impact is likely to be negative” in the short term. “Our research has found that a 1 percentage point cut in the deficit could lower growth by about one-half percentage point over two years,” she said. “This is why measures that are legislated now — but only reduce deficits in the future, when the recovery is more robust — would be particularly helpful.”
There is no acknowledgement of the real problem: when was the last time anyone in Washington talked about unemployment? 'Nuff said.
There is no talk of a real solution: if you want to balance the budget, you have to talk about tax increases. The gap between revenues and expenditures is simply too large to consider any other option. And yet, those are off the table -- despite the fact the overall tax burden is the lowest it's been in nearly 50 years. This is amazingly stupid.
I have called the culture in Washington the "Washington Lobotomy Factory" for a reason: there is no mention of logic or facts; instead, everything is pure politics. No one wants to solve a problem; everyone wants to score political points, and nothing more.
As such, let them bear the fruit of their actions -- or in-actions. Shut the government down from sheer stupidity. Let the economy take a hit and contract for at least a quarter and probably two. And then vote all of these idiots out of office.