First, I must apologize: I am at Saybrook’s residential conference right now, where I’m not really well set up for writing. I will not, therefore, be citing sources in the way that I prefer. UPDATE: Some citations have been added since this post was originally published.
I have seen the story in Politico this morning that a significant portion of the House GOP caucus is willing to accept sequestration and a default on the federal debt, rather than accept an increase in the debt limit without spending cuts. We can agree that these people are nuts. In terms of the present paradigm, it would be a reasonable determination that these people are a danger to themselves (politically) and others (with far more dire consequences) and should be involuntarily committed for psychiatric treatment. It is also reasonable, as Paul Krugman and others have expressed, that the “fiscal” conservative concern is not really with the deficit itself, but rather who is spending what on whom–it is unlikely, for example, that the Republican caucus would be engaging in these theatrics if Mitt Romney had been elected, and if it were widely acknowledged that we were accumulating these deficits in large part due to defense spending based on a notion of “national security” that is more imperialist than rational. Read more
- Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Jake Sherman. “Double trouble: House GOP eyes default, shutdown,” Politico, January 13, 2013, http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/behind-the-curtain-house-gop-eyes-default-shutdown-86116.html↩
- Paul Krugman, “Hawks and Hypocrites,” New York Times, November 11, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/krugman-hawks-and-hypocrites.html↩
- Roger Simon, “Fools on the Hill,” Politico, January 3, 2013, http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/fools-on-the-hill-85697.html↩