Question #1 regarding the Federal Budget Debt Ceiling Limit Talks is are we hurtling toward a disaster on August 2?
Although the actuality for the U.S. Government and economy (depending on which pundits you choose to believe), may be more political than a real fiscal disaster, the political war of words has escalated to an incredible intensity.
Anyone paying the least attention to the rhetorical clashes between the political parties–and their internal factions–knows that the positions on both sides have been hardening, although perhaps ossifying (even fossilizing) might be more appropriate.
August 2, 2011 has become an temporal Great Wall of China (yes, I get the irony of the comparison). Imagine two opposing armies charging headlong toward it from different directions, oblivious to fact the wall is not going to move. Even though they hit the wall at the same time, the damage they inflict upon themselves will be enormous. Evidently, only in the split second after the crushing blow of charging warriors into the wall begins, will the generals of both armies realize the magnitude of their mistake. The Wall, though, won’t be hurt much at all.
In this game of chicken with an unmovable object, however, something unexpected has just happened. Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, perhaps, has blinked. The New York Times reports (9 July):
Citing differences over tax revenues, House Speaker John A. Boehner said on Saturday night that he would pull back from joint efforts with President Obama to reach a sweeping $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan tied to a proposal to increase the federal debt limit.
Now. Who’s paying attention? Will the Republicans, both the Mainline and the Tea Party factions trust Boehner’s judgment and unexpected move? Is their iron-will to resist compromise, in the end, a strategy they can hold up as a prize, not only in congress but with their base?
Will the Democrats pull back from their headlong rush into the wall as well, and trust that the President’s growing pressure on Boehner to soften his position is having an affect that will meet their political goals regarding the deficit cap, as well as those for the Federal Budget and the economy in general?
We’re going to find out in just a few days.