Budget without battle

In the run-up to Wednesday’s Senate vote on the bipartisan two-year budget agreement, the big news was this: The budget deal wasn’t big news. The approaching vote on the budget…


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While the Sentinel should be congratulated for today’s editorial – “Budget without battle” – it disserves its readership by perpetuating the blatant falsehood that “absolutists in both parties” are equally responsible for instigating disorder in “the kindergarten that Congress has become”.

By now, there should be no question that reliance on such a “false equivalency” serves only to camouflage the well-established fact that Republicans (and only Republicans) were responsible for, first, threatening a government shutdown and debt ceiling default in 2011 (causing $1.3 billion in increased interest expenses in FY 2011 alone and another $17.6 billion thereafter, the largest one-day increase in our national debt—$238 billion—in history, the estimated loss of 900,000 jobs, and the temporary loss of $2.4 trillion in “household wealth); second, for actually shutting down the government in 2013 (costing another $28 billion); and, third, for continuing to subtly threaten another “debt ceiling” crisis in 2014.

Republicans (and only Republicans) are cynically preparing the ground for that crisis by disingenuously perpetuating the myth that “default wouldn’t be that bad”.  Anyone still tempted to buy-into that poppycock should read the Treasury Department’s recent report:  “The Potential Macroeconomic Effect of Debt Ceiling Brinkmanship” (October 2013). 

Indeed, even threatening to default on the “full faith and credit” of the United States is an act of “economic sabotage” that only “Tea Party” Republicans mindlessly advocate.  As the ultra-conservative Macroeconomic Institute recently reported in “The Cost of Crisis-Driven Fiscal Policy” (October 2013), the fiscal uncertainty purposely perpetrated by Republicans has already resulted in the loss of 900,000 American jobs, and their ongoing brinksmanship and failure to raise the debt ceiling could cause another recession.

That explains why Congressman Scott Tipton felt compelled to lie about his vote to cause the “shutdown”, and why the Sentinel should start telling the truth.

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