Breaking News: Michele Bachmann Gets My Week Off to a Nice Start

February 10th, 2014 at 10:15 am

As per this AMs WaPo, Rep. Bachmann on the debt ceiling:

“There is a pragmatism here,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who founded the Tea Party Caucus four years ago, said last week. “You’ve got to know when to hold them and when to fold them. My assessment is that most of us don’t think it’s the time to fight.”

This is, of course, in re the need to once again increase the debt ceiling so the USG can have the borrowing authority it needs to meet the budgetary obligations which Congress has already signed off on.  It would appear that many in the Republican caucus are not that interested in another big showdown over the issue, so perhaps they’ll be able to stick to the “do less harm” mantra I’ve advanced for them.

I guess you could go all Freudian on her comparing the threat of defaulting on US sovereign debt to a poker game as per a Kenny Rodgers song.   But I’d prefer not to go there and just look at this as progress here at the intersection of dysfunction junction.

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3 comments in reply to "Breaking News: Michele Bachmann Gets My Week Off to a Nice Start"

  1. Larry Signor says:

    I don’t see any progress here. Now may not be the time for them to fight, but fight they will when they sense the potential for victory. Brinksmanship is their preferred tool. Conservatives feel like they are losing “their” America and if they have to destroy it to save it, they will. Just not right now.

  2. doverby says:

    I wonder if it would ever be politically feasible to abolish the debt ceiling. Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t poll well, in part because many people don’t truly understand what it means.

    On an unrelated topic, Ryan Cooper and the WaPo Plum Line and Paul Krugman have been having interesting discussions about the effectiveness (politically and in practice) of tax cuts as stimulus. Krugman argues that it would be difficult to raise taxes in the future when needed because of the “starve the beast” mentality, while Cooper argues that tax cuts, if structured correctly, are a more effective stimulus than austerity, which we are doing now. I typically agree with Krugman, but I think Cooper actually makes a pretty compelling case…is that wrongheaded?

    • smith says:

      This was Bush’s game strategy and it worked. The Bush tax cuts were accompanied by a very large increase in the EITC, and the huge windfall for the rich was accompanied by lower rates for everyone. Previously the huge Reagan tax cuts for the rich were sold as lower rates and a simpler tax code for everyone (why was Bill Bradley ever considered a liberal?).
      The battle to restore more progressiveness to the tax code and reset the economic agenda and frame issues is actually more important than immediate improvement of unemployment. The Bush tax cuts helped the economy recover from the post 9/11 recession, but at a terrible cost, and absent strong Democratic opposition.
      The whole post-L.B.J.-post-Jimmy Carter Clintonomic Democratic Leadership Conference third way centrist strategy should be considered bankrupt.
      Unfortunately 80% of Bush cuts were let to stand.
      Marginal rates need to be raised to confiscatory levels in order to throttle excessive compensation, encourage sharing of productivity by removing the major incentive not to, and raise extra revenue for government programs that help everyone (infrastructure, research and development, education).
      The true progressive Democrats (those not in the pockets of the monied interests) must go on the offensive instead of playing defense. When the next crisis occurs, Democrats must be ready with a liberal program and experienced leaders, but no centrist Andrew Cuomo or Hillary Clintons need apply.