Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Speaker Boehner Has A Plan

Speaker Boehner has a plan…a very dangerous plan.
The word from the Hill is that the Speaker is trying to persuade his Republican colleagues to stop the nonsense of tying the vote to fund the government to the defunding of Obamacare. 
The Speaker knows he doesn’t have the votes to pull that off.  So do the Democrats.  In fact the only politician that doesn’t seem to understand that is Ted Cruz.  And we know that Ted’s only interest is in raising his national profile for a 2016 presidential run.
Speaker Boehner believes he has a better idea.  Boehner would like to push back the debate on funding Obamacare to next month when the government must pass legislation to raise the debt ceiling.  He wants to tie a vote to raise the debt ceiling to defunding Obamacare, building the Keystone pipeline and a veritable bucket list of conservative goodies.  Boehner believes that in this debate he can make the president blink.
Playing politics with the full faith and credit of the United States is a very dangerous proposition.  As bad as we are economically right now, the United States economy and its currency still stand as the cornerstone for the world’s commerce.  Even the hint that the US might default on its obligations can cause tremors to reverberate through the international markets.  Shutting down the federal government for a few days is an inconvenience.  Defaulting on our debts is a whole different animal.
You may recall that the last time we had this debt ceiling debate it didn’t go so well.  A few wacko congressmen suggested that allowing the government to default was a viable alternative to raising the debt ceiling.  Even though this was little more than political bluster from the lunatic fringe, the very fact that we were having the conversation caused the markets to tumble.  In the end we looked like amateurs and for the first time in our history the country’s credit rating was downgraded. 
Not much has changed.  Should the country default the economic consequences would be cataclysmic.  Think Greece x infinity.  Boehner is betting that the president will do anything to avoid such an occurrence.
If Boehner is right then he will have pulled his party back from the brink of irrelevance and saved his speakership.  But if he is wrong he runs the risk of collapsing the economy both here and abroad.
Speaker Boehner has a plan…a very dangerous plan.


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