A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

The Anti-Cavalry Has Arrived

by evanmcmurry

No:

Obama has work to do as far as keeping the caucus in line. The Times also reported that 26 House Democrats would attend an event Thursday sponsored by the group No Labels, an organization helmed by former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former Indiana senator Evan Bayh, a Republican and Democrat, respectively. No Labels is calling for immediate negotiations between the two parties. (via)

No.

The Most Jaw-Dropping Line About Default Yet

by evanmcmurry

So this is terrifying:

“We always have enough money to pay our debt service,” said Mr. Burr, who pointed to a stream of tax revenue flowing into the Treasury as he shrugged off fears of a cascading financial crisis. “You’ve had the federal government out of work for close to two weeks; that’s about $24 billion a month. Every month, you have enough saved in salaries alone that you’re covering three-fifths, four-fifths of the total debt service, about $35 billion a month. That’s manageable for some time.” (via)

Unless I’m misreading that, Senator Burr is suggesting that we avoid default by keeping the government closed, thereby freeing up money to plug our debt by using funds that would otherwise pay the salaries of 800,000 government employees. The phrases “every month” and “some time” suggest he does not consider this a short term solution.

Bill Kristol made the extraordinarily cynical point the other day that the GOP might as well ride out the shutdown, as the party had already absorbed the negative effects and couldn’t get any more unpopular. I guess that sounded like a wager to Burr.

For more Burr, click here.

Paul Ryan Hits It on the Head

by evanmcmurry

Apparently Paul Ryan now thinks sudden and harsh austerity measures are disruptive and traumatic to the economy. I’m sure he’s re-writing his past two budgets as we speak.

But here’s the key line that Ryan slips in. Listing previous examples of presidents negotiating over the debt ceiling, he includes:

Two years ago, Mr. Obama signed the Budget Control Act, which swapped spending cuts for a debt-ceiling hike.

Ha! So the “negotiating” Obama did during the debt ceiling debacle two years ago—at gunpoint—is now being used as a precedent to force him to “negotiate” now—at gunpoint. That’s exactly why Obama’s not negotiating now.