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Thu Sep 23, 2021, 12:41 PM

This is what a broken system looks like

If you want to know what a broken political system looks like, consider these new developments:

- On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open and suspend the debt ceiling until December 2022. While putting aside any policy disagreements by simply maintaining the status quo, the CR would avoid the twin looming crises of a government shutdown and the United States defaulting on its existing debt, which is what will happen if Congress does not act.

- That CR must now pass the Senate, where not only will Republicans not vote for it, but they will filibuster it so that it dies.

- The Post reports that former Republican treasury secretaries Steven Mnuchin and Hank Paulson recently held private discussions with current Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), essentially begging McConnell not to create catastrophe by blocking a debt limit increase. Unfortunately, their intervention “did not resolve the matter and the U.S. is now racing toward a massive fiscal cliff with no clear resolution at hand.”

- A Moody’s Analytics report found that a showdown over the debt ceiling would cost “up to 6 million jobs, wipe out as much as $15 trillion in household wealth, and send the unemployment rate surging to roughly 9 percent from around 5 percent,” as The Post puts it. The report’s authors called the potential consequences “cataclysmic,” saying it could be as bad as the Great Recession.

- When Morning Consult and Politico asked Americans whom they would blame if the United States defaulted on its debt, 33 percent said they’d blame Democrats, 42 percent said they’d blame both parties equally, and only 16 percent said they’d blame Republicans.

It’s as though there are two roommates who don’t get along and one says, “How about we buy a new couch?” and the other responds, “I don’t really like your taste in furniture. How about instead we set fire to the building and kill everyone inside?”

This is madness.


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