In the lead-up to Thursday’s party elections, wannabe Speaker Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) vowed Monday during a CNN interview that he would let the nation default on its debt and shut down the government so that Republicans could get their way. In other words, Chaffetz is willing to destroy the U.S. economy just to win the Speakership.
Chaffetz wants to fight everyone, including his own party leadership and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has promised there would be no shutdown and Republicans would not play debt default games again this year.
When asked about McConnell’s promises that there will be no debt default this time around, Chaffetz vowed to hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage, “I have no interest in just simply raising the debt ceiling without changing the trajectory of spending.”
Chaffetz, like many Republicans, is trying to use a refusal to pay off debts as a way to dishonestly remake the budget into a conservative one. Chaffetz is saying he bought all of this stuff on his Visa, but he’s not going to pay for it because he’s sick and tired of Republicans “caving” to the President and Democrats.
After all, as Republicans like to remind everyone, they hold the purse strings. So if there is spending they don’t like, well, the time to have dealt with that was during budget negotiations. Oh, wait, they don’t do negotiations anymore. Republicans got their precious sequestration that they promised would force everyone to the table, only to laugh behind everyone’s back as they refund the things they agree with while leaving austerity measures in place for everything else.
Also, it’s a bit childish to view paying your bills as “caving”. Chaffetz said this is a time to “reflect” so we don’t have to keep raising the debt ceiling.
Nope. Actually, the time grown-ups reflect is when they purchase something, not when the bill comes due. But Chaffetz called the President’s refusal to have our credit used as a weapon against the country “silly” while he rattled off inflammatory red meat/ figures about the debt explosion under Obama.
Factcheck.Org pointed out, “The federal debt owed to the public has more than doubled under Obama, rising by 103 percent. But federal spending has gone up only 7.9 percent.”
How does debt go up so much when spending does not? Oh, well, not collecting revenues is part of it. That would be the lower tax rates, the corporate subsidies, etc. that Republicans champion. Furthermore, debunking another Republican debt lie – this time Rand Paul trying to make Bush’s debt seem like it is Obama’s, PolitiFact determined,”For example, the debt has increased so dramatically in Obama’s term — particularly in the first couple years — largely due to the recession, which unfolded before Obama took office,” said Neil Buchanan, an expert in law, economics and the national debt at George Washington University Law School. “The gross debt increase in 2009 was huge, because of the decreased tax revenues and increased benefit payments caused by the Great Recession.”
There was that whole great recession of 2008 (before Obama took office, for those who are struggling with Republican math) and then the two wars that Bush put on a credit card.
Is Chaffetz talking about defunding the military? No. Of course not. This is just a political stunt to wag a finger at Obama, and it’s not the pointer finger, in an effort to appease the conservative base, which has been lied to so much that it is understandably frothing at the mouth for vengeance.
We are careening right into another Republican shock and awe campaign with the debt ceiling needing to be raised by November 5th in order to pay the bills Congress already said it would pay, and the government shutdown will loom in December on the 11th after the short-term CR expires. Even the Wall Street Journal is getting anxious enough to speak out:
According to a recent survey of 62 real economists by the Wall Street Journal… What frightens a great majority of the nation’s leading economic experts most of all is that the Republican-controlled Congress will “precipitate another fiscal crisis this fall” when Republicans plan to either shut down the government unless Planned Parenthood is destroyed, or hold the debt ceiling hostage until Planned Parenthood is destroyed.
And then, which came after business accused Republicans of not knowing what they were doing, “And on Wall Street, fear set in at the prospect of another showdown over the government’s ability to pay its debt, support its export businesses and simply keep its doors open,” Jonathan Weisman and Michael D. Shear writing at the New York Times reported.
Why does Chaffetz want the job of Speaker? He claims the “the communications war is not going well. We just seem to cede that at every level. We haven’t been taking the fight to the Democrats and the President. That’s in part what we got elected to do.”
Hmmm. That’s not how reality sees it, but okay.
Basically Chaffetz wants the House to be even more crazy than it already is, whilst the grown-ups in the party realize what a disaster it will be if Republicans shut down the government and refuse to honor its credit in an election year. Chaffetz will do anything for that Speakership, including sinking the credit of the United States and shutting down the government.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.