Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Chechen Strategy

In May 2004 Akhmad Kadyrov, the Russian-supported President of Chechnya, was killed by Chechen rebels in a bomb explosion at a stadium during a parade. The bomb had actually been built into the structure of the stadium during earlier repairs. In a sense, the stadium itself had been turned into a weapon.

Now the United States finds itself locked in a deadly impasse as a simple procedural issue that has been performed dozens of times since its institution - raising the limit on the "debt ceiling" - has been turned into an artificial crisis, a hostage situation in which the financial future of the United States of America is being held at gunpoint by a coterie of Congressmen unwaveringly committed to an absolutist ideology.

Some have likened these members of Congress to "mad bombers." They can't be reasoned with, they can't be persuaded; the only way out seems to be to accede to their demands - and pray that their demands don't change again. If they don't get their way, they will allow the United States to default on its debt ratings, automatically destroying our national credit rating and ensuring an increased financial burden for all Americans - at least, for all Americans who can't pass the the burden on to someone else.

And if they do get their demands? Well, again, increased financial hardship for Americans, at least for the most vulnerable Americans; an economic hokey-pokey in which any additional spending must be balanced by cuts somewhere else (except to their sacred cow projects); a prohibition against raising additional revenue - something that will make cryptoanarchist Grover "I don't want to abolish government, I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub" Norquist smile; oh, and while they're at it, they also want the Constitution to be changed. Or else.

But I don't think these - and let's call a spade a spade - these Republicans are mad bombers. No. That would imply that they're the ones making these decisions, calling these shots. No. I think they're tools, dupes, pawns in the hands of people like Grover Norquist and his "Americans for Tax Reform" whose ultimate goal is nothing less than the collapse of the Federal government. No, I don't think these are mad bombers. I think they're the bombs. I think they were moved into position last November, and built into the structure of the government last January. And now the bombs are ready to go off. Will they?

Maybe.  Maybe not. We'll soon find out.

"No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow." - Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova, Babylon V, "Grail"


Anonymous said...

DB -

Even with these cuts (assuming the "super congress" actually agrees on something), unless we raise taxes, our long term revenue will be far less than our spending. We'll have to cut another 20% of spending OR increase taxes from 19% to 25% of GDP. We can't get that much more money by taxing the rich.

The Bush spending, the Iraq war, Bush tax cuts, and Bush drug plan represent a huge chunk of the deficit. I was as apalled willingness of that crowd to plunge our country into deficits, so I was not surprised that the we would be taken to the brink by the same people.

I sold all my SIMPLE holdings the week before the debate intensified on my cynicism about their willingness to default on the debt. Thankfully that just saved me 6% of my retirement, but it is a somewhat hollow victory.

I wish I knew the way out from here, but government must shrink and we must raise revenue ... it is sadly simple. So, we are caught in the middle:

Death by deficits because the mainstream is unwilling to come to terms with spending and death by feverent belief that any tax cut somehow is equal to the devil's work.

I guess the thing that makes me maddest about the Bush era GOP deficits is that we didn't have to do it then - and now when deficit and borrowing is actually helping support our economy - the damage is already done.

Regards, Super G

PS Good luck with the job search. While my business survives, we will lose money over half of the months this year and may have to layoff some employees. We are maintaining staff because it so hard to build, but I can only do that for a few more months.

dr.antony said...

Essentially this is all the result of maniacal spending by the Bush regime for imaginary causes.Some one has to take the burden.And someone else has to be blamed.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link on the topic:

Also one typo in my previous post:

"feverent belief that any tax INCREASE somehow is equal to the devil's work"

Good luck everyone, we all need it.

Super G