The Lose-Lose of the Debt Ceiling Debate

The sheer recklessness of the tea party Republicans is
astonishing to watch.

They’re playing a sick game of chicken with our entire
economy, even as the latest figures show the economy barely limping
along at a paltry 1.3 percent rate.

Speaker Boehner has shown little willingness and less
ability to control the tea party fanatics.

They’ve already succeeded in rattling the stock market.
And they are willing to damage the country’s credit rating, which
would raise interest rates across the board, and make it more costly
for you to borrow for a mortgage, or a student loan. And more costly
for businesses to borrow, too, to meet payroll or to buy new machinery.

As a result, the economy would go down.

Actually, either way the economy is going to go down.

If the U.S. defaults, it’ll swoon right away.

And if the Democrats in Congress and if President Obama accept the ransom notes that the tea party is issuing, the economy will go into a long slide because of the savage cuts they’re demanding.

Already, Obama and the Democrats have shown a willingness to pay most of the ransom. Obama was even prepared to slash Medicare and Social Security. And Harry Reid’s proposal, which Obama has endorsed, would cut $751 billion from non-war-related discretionary spending—essentially the same amount as Boehner’s proposal (actually $11 billion more, according to the New York Times).

These cuts will devastate many desperately needed social programs and will throw a wet blanket on the entire economy.

It’s a lose-lose for the American people.

But it’s a win-win for the most ideological Republicans, who hate government so much and hate Obama so much that they’re willing to make everyone else pay for their hatred.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "In Debt Speech, Obama Asks for Public Support on Wrong Issue."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter