Oct 9, 2013

The State Of The Shutdown-Debt Ceiling Crisis

     Jonathan Chait has posted a new and insightful piece on the government shutdown-debt ceiling crisis. You should read the whole piece but here's an excerpt:
One way to understand the dysfunction within the Republican Party is to think of it as a hostage scheme that spun out of control. The plan, originally formulated by Paul Ryan and other party leaders, involved a more aggressive reprise of the 2011 negotiations, where Republicans would use the threat of default, along with sequestration, to force President Obama to accept unfavorable budget terms. The plan was hijacked by Ted Cruz and transformed into a scheme using a less effective hostage threat (shutting down the government rather than defaulting) but tethered to the much more grandiose ransom of repealing Obamacare. As the Cruz scheme disintegrates around the Republicans, the original leaders are attempting to reassert control and revert to the original plan.
The subtext of op-eds today by Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan is a promise to ratchet down their ransom terms. Neither op-ed mentions any demands related to Obamacare. Ryan proposes to trade higher short-term discretionary government spending for permanent cuts to tax rates and retirement programs. “We can work together,” he writes. “We can do some good.”
The policy demands in Ryan’s op-ed are sufficiently vague that, if viewed as an opening bid, they would not completely preclude some kind of deal if he actually wants to bargain. The trouble is that Ryan’s entire history strongly suggests he does not want to deal. Every major attempt to create bipartisan budget negotiations has been quashed by Ryan....
The single most implausible element of the House leadership’s "let’s negotiate" gambit is the premise that a bipartisan budget deal would satisfy the Republican base. Any bipartisan deal, even one heavily slanted to the Republican side, would enrage conservatives. Even the tiniest concession — easing sequestration, closing a couple of token tax loopholes — would be received on the right as a betrayal. Loss aversion is a strong human emotion, and especially strong among movement conservatives. Concessions given away will dwarf any winnings in their mind. Boehner, Ryan, and Cantor have spent months regaling conservatives with promises of rich ransoms to come. Coming back with an actual negotiated settlement would enrage the right.


Anonymous said...


Imminent threats posed to Social Security will likely involve Chained CPI and possibly a raise in the retirement age to 69.

Call your congressmembers and pledge to work against their reelection if they vote with the president to cut benefits as part of an upcoming grand bagain.

You can go to MOVEON.org and sign their petition opposing S.S. cuts.

It may be that only an occupy DC movement can stop this.

We owe it to ourselves as Americans to fight any cuts to Social Security with everything we have in us.

Anonymous said...

"The purpose is to create an atmosphere of great fear, chaos and confusion in the public who are then hoodwinked into passively accepting cuts in Social Security and Medicare- in order to SAVE THE COUNTRY".

THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT CUTTING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE. Both parties and the president want the cuts. What we are seeing is parties trying to maneuver into a position where the other takes the blame to gain advantage in 2014 and 2016.

Anonymous said...

THe guy posting this may not be wrong, given the following: