The Democrats and their media are having a hissy fit. They consider the Tea Party (or Tea Baggers) to be our version of the Taliban (only worse, since Taliban aren’t Christian or Jewish). The New York Times, John Kerry and the cast of MSNBC simply cannot get their knickers untwisted over these folks.
Missing in all the teeth grinding and dire warnings of the imminent demise of the United States as we know it, not to mention life on the planet in Nancy Pelosi’s words, is the fact that the fiscal conservatives in the current House of Representatives were actually democratically elected in a free and open election. But unlike the re-election of, say, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the election of conservative House “freshmen,” the story goes, is somehow illegitimate because, in reality, it threatens Democratic orthodoxy. It is touching to witness the Left’s crocodile tears shed over the Tea Party’s alleged destruction of America when the Left has been trying to destroy America (as we know it) for decades.
As usual, Canadian columnist David Warren gets it right:
…Over the last several years, even the discipline of regular budgets has been abandoned down there [the U.S.of A]. But the debt ceiling inconveniently remains.
It was raised to the unimaginable height of $14.3 trillion in February of last year, to accommodate wild “stimulus” spending, on top of the remorseless inflationary advance of “entitlements,” and the rise of the debt-service costs, too.
From the point of view of the political class, this is not the problem.
The problem is rather that a large faction of the U.S. electorate has had enough. Worse, they have tired of attempts to scare them with what will happen if the ceiling is not raised again, by Tuesday.
The “Tea Party” is tactically Republican, but suspicious of the entire political class, both Democrat and Republican. The Republicans know it, and are thus in a bind, unable to make the usual last-minute compromises.
Populists, these “tea-baggers” (as the Dem wits call them) are under the naive impression that in a democracy “the people” call the shots. They have familiarized themselves with the language of the American constitution, to this effect. They are mostly, indeed, just like old-fashioned Americans, still employed in productive labour, as opposed to the sophisticated and abstract paper and service economy on which a more urban America now lives.
And they will not stand for another penny in taxes; the U.S. economy has already slowed enough without that. Instead, they demand that the vast system of “entitlements,” that has grown like a fiscal cancer, be attacked with the equivalent of fiscal chemotherapy. Simple souls, they think that instead of raising the debt ceiling, the government should try to live within its means…
Yet, whatever transpires politically, “default” will not go away. The United States have been bankrupt for some time, regardless of accounting: bankrupt like Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Ireland. That is to say, the U.S. federal government has no ability to repay its creditors within any foreseeable period of time. It has been operating upon “full faith and credit,” since time out of mind, trading upon a productive reputation from long ago. But America’s actual productivity has itself been progressively “outsourced.”
“Full faith and credit” is something that cannot survive doubt. And we are approaching the point where doubt triumphs.