Jared Bernstein at Salon on the next self-created trap that the minority party holding gerrymandered seats bought and paid for by the 1% intends now to spring immediately on the nation--the "debt ceiling" crisis:
Interestingly, the administration has a chance to make a real difference in this area while at the same time dealing with the Congressional threat noted above: do not negotiate with the Republicans on the debt ceiling.
It is unthinkable that the nation should, in weeks, be put through another crazy fiscal debate, this one with even higher stakes. It is even more unthinkable to allow a group of renegades to force national default in order to get a dollar of spending cuts for each dollar increase in the ceiling (and again, beyond sweeping calls for reducing caps of non-defense spending, something we’ve already pushed too far, they don’t have a plan here either).
It is even more unthinkable to allow a group of renegades to force national default in order to get a dollar of spending cuts for each dollar increase in the ceiling: yes. It's unthinkable that a democratic nation finds itself in the position of being governed by a renegade minority that engineers bogus crises to hold the entire nation hostage, until the group can extract yet another pound of flesh for their super-rich handlers.
But it's even more unthinkable that the leaders of the majority party, who hold a broad popular mandate to govern, continue to treat that minority as if it holds real power and deserves real consideration, even as it engages in this kind of hostage-taking. Bernstein's prescription depends on that majority party suddenly demonstrating fortitude in its negotiations with the hostage-taking minority.
Nothing we've seen thus far gives us much reason to imagine that this fortitude will be forthcoming in the debt-ceiling negotiations. In fact, everything we've seen thus far gives us reason to wonder if these crises have been engineered with the tacit consent of the majority party, which is as much indebted as is the minority party to the 1%.
And which continues to negotiate with the renegade minority party as if it deserves respect as a serious player in debates about the nation's future, and as if only the interests of the affluent count in these debates. As if the poor (and, to a great extent, the middle classes) are simply not worthy of notice . . . .