The president meets with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tonight. So how serious is Sen. McConnell about having a grownup conversation on not just the debt, but spending and revenue? This serious, as Steve Benen points out. This is all pure political theater – and to hell with the very real lives and jobs and businesses at stake.
At least, however, the default crisis has laid bare – if anyone’s looking – what the GOP’s real priorities are. They used to be the party of a strong defense. But they’d rather take money from the military (which needs it badly not for the contractor boondoggles Republicans love, but for things like veterans’ care and PTSD treatment and suicide prevention) than from millionaires. Specifically, we know now, the GOP walked out of these talks last week in defense of private jets, big oil and hedge-fund managers.
How fraudulent is the GOP concern about government spending? At the same time they were scapegoating government workers as overpaid, they were increasing the pay for some government workers: Their staffs. And if some of them are open, as they claim, to raising tax revenues, why is it they’re only open to doing so by closing loopholes, rather than by raising rates? Why are rates sacrosanct, but loopholes aren’t? Because rich people can always find more loopholes. Why else are Democrats having trouble closing loopholes specifically for the rich?
It almost makes me want to see a short-term default. Short enough that it doesn’t tank the economy – but violent enough that Wall Street forces Republicans to make a deal fast. Because a fast deal at that point will be a clean bill – with no cuts attached to it. And that’s what we need.
Follow Senior Producer Jonathan Larsen (@jtlarsen) on Twitter