So some version of the Reid plan it will be. The Boehner plan isn’t just dead, it’s inconceivable. The notion that Congress might “debate” a second tranche of deficit reduction six months from now — as the Boehner plan requires –isn’t ever going to fly. There is only so much that people can take.
If some version of the Reid plan it is, then it will have to pass the House with Democratic and Republican votes.
Democrats who vote for it will not be punished in their primaries next year. Some, maybe many Republicans who vote in favour of the Reid plan will be punished in primaries next year. The Tea Parties will see to that.
The vast majority of Republican House members will end up voting against the Reid plan. Speaker Boehner, regardless of how he votes, will be known to each and every one of them as someone who helped pass Sen. Reid’s plan through the House. This is an untenable position for the Speaker. He is the leader of the majority who is aligned with the minority on the single most important issue of the day. That doesn’t work. He will have to resign.
He won’t want to, which will increase the machinations and schemes to keep his “Speakership” afloat. Those in turn will slow down the already lethargic legislative process. Which in turn will make it that much more difficult to get a debt limit raise/deficit reduction deal done. Which in turn increases the likelihood that the United States will default on its obligations.
It’s no longer clear that the “August 2nd deadline” and “technical default” really matter any more. The truth is the political system has, by its behaviour, already declared its bankruptcy. And since it is the political system that has stewardship of fiscal matters, it follows that the United States government is bankrupt, politically and as a fiduciary.
Jim Cramer was on television today, saying that he thought it was possible that the Congress might authorise the sale of all the gold in Fort Knox to cover expenses for the week of August 2-August 9. If you had heard such a thing 30 years ago, you would have said: “that’s insane.” When I heard it this afternoon, I thought: “we could do that. We might have to do that.”
What happens to the social fabric of a nation that is bankrupt? Does anyone know? Care to hazard a guess? My guess is that the United States of America begins to untie, unravel. Truth is, the unravelling is already well along. The question is whether it accelerates or reverses itself with renewal.
All the political signs point to acceleration.
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