Yes, folks, the Tea Party loons who call the shots for the Republican Party are very serious about destroying the US economy: Republicans Say Obama Underestimates Their Resolve as Debt Default Nears.
While Democrats refuse to negotiate on the continuing resolution and the debt limit, apparently assuming the GOP will eventually cave, House Republicans insist they are prepared to bring borrowing authority to a screeching halt.
“I can assure you it’s not posturing. It’s not a political play or anything like that,” Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday.
Gingrey said Republicans were “absolutely” prepared to lose the House to extract concessions on the CR and the debt limit, and he said the White House is “missing the determination of the Republican Party.”
“I mean, they seem to think that we will miss this opportunity for a ‘Braveheart’ moment to do the right thing for the American people and that we’ll back down for fear of losing the House and not gaining control of the Senate,” Gingrey said.
This post originally appeared at NationalMemo.com.
When Standard & Poor’s downgraded America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+ after 2011’s debt limit crisis, President Obama was apoplectic.
“Our problems are eminently solvable, and we know what we have to do to solve them. With respect to debt, our problem is not confidence in our credit,” he said. “The markets continue to reaffirm our credit as among the world’s safest. Our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long term.”
Since then, America has made incredible progress in tackling its short-term deficit but the issues that caused the initial downgrade have only gotten worse. The problem has never been America’s finances, but rather the emergence of radical politicians willing to gamble with America’s full faith and credit, as S&P noted in a statement this week that reaffirmed their 2011 ruling.
“The current impasse over the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling creates an atmosphere of uncertainty that could affect confidence, investment, and hiring in the U.S.,” the S&P research team explained.
“This sort of political brinksmanship is the dominant reason the rating is no longer ‘AAA,’” they added. But the agency also noted that it wasn’t considering another downgrade.
Within hours of S&P’s new guidance, Tea Party congressman Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said that he didn’t believe it was even possible for the United States to default on its debt. He called such talk “false demagoguery,” which was his major at Glenn Beck University.
Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau wrote in The Daily Beast about the speech he was preparing for the president to give in the case of an actual default in 2011. He described the scenario America faced at the time like this:
Without enough cash on hand, the government would be forced to delay indefinitely Social Security checks, the ones our grandparents depend on to put food in their mouths and a roof over their heads. Veterans who served this country would stop receiving the benefits they earned, and the men and women in uniform risking their lives for us wouldn’t get paychecks.
Every company in America that does business with the federal government, of which there are hundreds of thousands, would not see their contracts paid on schedule, an effect that would ripple down to their employees and their families. With each passing day, making our debt payments to businesses and governments around the world would become more and more difficult. When the world stopped seeing the United States as a safe and reliable place to invest, the cost of borrowing money would skyrocket for every single American—whether it’s a home mortgage or a personal credit card. And those high borrowing costs, coupled with billions in delayed income for seniors, soldiers, small-business owners, and their employees, almost surely would send our economy and the world’s into a crisis even deeper and more dramatic than the Great Recession of 2009.
Bangladesh’s government deployed paramilitary troops in the industrial belt of Gazipur to deter further protests as garment factories reopened after five days of violent demonstrations.
“The situation is now relatively calm,” Mostafijur Rahman, additional superintendent of police for Gazipur district, said in a phone interview. Television footage showed the troops patrolling streets where workers attacked factories and blocked traffic earlier this week to demand wage increases.
The government is acting after factory owners met Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday to urge tighter security. Thousands of garment workers clashed with police this week in the industrial belt on the outskirts of Dhaka, forcing about 400 factories that supply companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to close.
“Unrest in the garment sector will be firmly dealt with,” the minister told reporters, after the meeting.
The labor unrest came five months after the collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza factory complex killed more than 1,000 people in the worst industrial accident in the South Asian country’s history. Low wages and production costs have helped spawn the country’s $19 billion manufacturing industry that supplies global retailers with cheap clothes.
The protestors, some of whom pelted factories with bricks and blocked a highway, demanded a minimum monthly salary of 8,114 taka ($104), up from 3,000 taka now. Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Inditex SA, Gap Inc. and Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB) source goods from Gazipur, according to Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of the Exporters Association of Bangladesh.
This is not a situation unique to Bangladesh. Similar unrest is occurring all over Asia in nations where exploitation of labor is common and more or less perfectly legal.
Halfway around the world, the American desire for cheap everything is taking a high, high human toll and sadly, most of the representatives in Washington are doing everything they can to keep the fires burning.
This is the dark side of globalization and one these countries would prefer you didn’t even know about. Like addicts to a drug, they are now hooked on billions upon billions of dollars of American manufacturing business.
Don’t expect these workers to get what they want anytime soon, but they are not alone. More demonstrations like this will take place, more workers will rise up and maybe one day they will get so loud that they can be ignored no longer.
But that day is not today, so for the time being Americans will remain oblivious as they enjoy their $3 shirts and $5 handbags.