Shutdown Foreshadows Political Collapse In America

Lëtzebuergesch: *Sujet:Boston Tea Party Source...

“Boston Tea Party.” Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My working title for this post was “Non-Shooting Civil War In America.”  I thought that might be over the top, if only by a little.

I don’t see immediate danger of violent civil war in America, but I think today’s U.S. government shutdown is collapse by premeditated sabotage by political failure. In other words, our regular political process for resolving differences has failed. Moreover, the failure is not accidental; it’s intentional. Congress, especially, has failed big time.

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American Debt Crisis: Many Questions About the Future of American Democracy

The first battle of the American Debt Crisis is over. Perhaps the deciding battle will be fought in the 2012 elections.Everyone’s focused on the outcome of the presidential contest, but control of the House and Senate is at least as important.

IN 2011, NEARING THE END OF THE FIRST TERM OF PRESIDENT OBAMA, CONGRESS IS SPLIT. REPUBLICANS HOLD A MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND DEMOCRATS HOLD A MAJORITY IN THE SENATE. Graph by Mattbot69 via Wikimedia Commons

Questions:

  • Is America now a three-party nation? Tea Party, Democratic Party, Republican Party? Which party, if any, will dominate the 2012 Congressional elections?
  • Will another party emerge? I’m thinking it might be called the Christian-Democratic Party. I think the Tea Party is clearly out of touch with bedrock Gospel values. The Democratic Party in America, oddly enough, more nearly reflects the Gospel message, but Democrats are so focused on being secular that they can’t connect their policies with values.
  • Exactly how real is the “Debt Crisis?” Republicans and Tea Party people have repeated “spending problem” and “debt crisis” over and over until it has become the common wisdom. But clearly, in comparison to the situation in Greece, or the European Union, or Japan, or many other countries, the U.S. financial situation if solid. The debt is not sustainable in the long run. But is it really a “crisis” in the immediate future? No. I would call it a “serious problem,” not a crisis. Common-sense problem-solving is needed, by reasonable people, in a non-crisis atmosphere. Can we do that?
  • Who are the winners and losers? I just don’t know. Except this: the core American programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are safe for now.
  • Misinformation abounds all around. Especially this: Politicians are purposely misleading the public regarding the prospects of jobs and economic recovery. People need to know that we have entered a new reality in a global economy, and the age of American Privilege is over.

Now I have to go to work. Maybe I’ll write more thoughts about a Christian-Democratic Party later. It’s probably not what you think.

— John Hayden

American Debt Crisis: The Black Swan Is Circling Washington

Another update on the Debt Crisis of 2011.

An ominous Black Swan is circling Washington, D.C., like a vulture, watching and waiting as the wise men and women of Congress argue over whether to resolve the Debt Crisis of 2011. Or not.

This is the most dangerous situation in Washington since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. I was in Washington on the weekend of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I remember it well. We didn’t know how close we came to the brink, until it was all over.

This Debt Crisis is surreal. The Cuban Missile Crisis was loaded with live ammunition. The Debt Crisis is loaded with stocks and bonds and hundred-dollar bills. No one knows what will happen if we pile up a lot of stocks and bonds and bills, and set off an uncontrollable chain reaction of unpaid debt. Never been done before. But we are about to go there.

There are three major schools of thought regarding the resolution of this debt crisis. You have your big fix, valued at around $4 trillions, and your little fix, $1.5 trillions to $2 trillions, give or take. (Or is it billions? I can never remember.)

And defying all logic, there is the “no fix” option, supported by the gentlemen and gentleladies from the Tea Party. (What kind of tea are they smoking at that party? Can I get some?)

Translation: Some folks want to fix the debt crisis for the long-term, so Congress can get on to other business.  Some folks will settle for a short-term solution. And some want to commit economic suicide on Aug. 2, rather than risk the chance of possibly serious complications down the road.

Hoo-boy! You think the rich and powerful are anxious about a little economic uncertainty? How are they going to respond to total economic chaos?

Remember the Black Swan? It’s a highly improbable disaster, resulting in unpredictable consequences of a catastrophic nature.  Have a nice weekend.

— John Hayden

And They Call Themselves ‘Patriots’

The western front of the United States Capitol...

Image via Wikipedia

No. 4 in a series on the Debt Crisis of 2011.

Here’s an American paradox, or maybe it’s a morality story. You work to pay your bills. I work to pay my bills, thereby maintaining the fiction that I’m solvent and creditworthy.

While you and I are working to pay our bills, right-wing zealots are conspiring to prevent the government of the United States of America from paying its bills. They even pretend that it would be right and good for the U.S. to ignore its debts.

The premeditated intent of these patriot-politicians is to subvert Congress and sabotage the U.S. Treasury, force financial default, and destroy America’s credit rating. With malice aforethought, they plan to run the U.S. government straight into bankruptcy and shut it down.

By bankrupting the Treasury, these people — the Tea Party, the Libertarians, the Anarchists, the tax protestors — hope to smash and destroy the government, and kill its hated programs and taxes. Then they will wave the American flag and celebrate.

Isn’t it sedition and treason to destroy from within the government of your own country?

Believers in this Tea Party and Libertarian conspiracy call themselves “Patriots.”  But aren’t they really traitors and turncoats?

— John Hayden