The US is approaching its own "triple witching hour", when we hit the debt ceiling, automatic spending cuts are triggered, and the government's continuing resolution spending authority expires. The confluence puts in stark relief the government's unsustainable spending habit. It also provides the GOP with a rare opportunity to curtail the growth of government. The left recognizes this and is furiously spinning an apocalyptic tale that anything less than a clean increase in the fed's borrowing authority will be an economic disaster.
Paul Krugman tipped the left's hand this weekend:
The Nobel-Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist argued that congressional Republicans are “threatening to blow up the world economy” if they don’t get their way in the debt-ceiling debate. After a difficult fiscal cliff battle, President Barack Obama said he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling, but Republicans have said they won't authorize an increase in the country’s spending limit without major spending cuts.
"We should not allow this to become thought of as a legitimate or normal budget strategy," Krugman said on ABC's "This Week." “This is hostage taking.”
Right. Congress exercising its constitutional obligation to authorize government borrowing shouldn't be thought of as legitimate. Congress should just ignore its constitutional responsibility because...well, because Krugman says it should.
This rhetorical bullying of Congress is taking place because the left realizes its jig is up. We are rapidly approaching the point that government will no longer be able to issue unlimited IOUs to keep open the spigots of government spending. The day of reckoning is coming, but the left is desperate to put it off as long as they can.
We are approaching the end-times of the left's, and Krugman's, conceit. The political bribes they have made over the past few decades are getting outstripped by demographics and the private economy's ability to finance. Were we to have an actual debate over the appropriate size of government, they would have to admit that much of what they've been peddling is wrong. So, they are bullying the GOP to avoid that debate.
Knowing the GOP, they may very well succeed. But, it will be a pyrrhic victory. The left may convince the public that the debt ceiling debate is quaint and out-dated. If they do, they will, oddly, soon be proven right. A debt ceiling is only relevant if investors want to buy your bonds. Once that changes, not even the Fed can prop it up. The fuse has been lit.
Follow me on twitter