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Could a goverment shutdown be good news in the long run?

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Ezra Klein offers THIS FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

House Republicans plan to attach a one-year delay of Obamacare to the continuing resolution. That sharply increases the chances of a governmen shutdown beginning Monday night.

Good.

Speaker Boehner’s original plan was to pass a clean bill to fund the government and then attach the one-year delay of Obamacare to the debt-ceiling bill. It was a strategy that would minimize the chances of a shutdown but maximize the chances of a default.

Boehner wanted that strategy because he thought Republicans had more leverage on the debt limit than they do on the shutdown. A shutdown, after all, is just bad for the economy. A default is catastrophic for it. You’d have to be insanely reckless to permit the federal government to default on its debts. And Boehner believes that House Republicans are insanely reckless and that President Obama isn’t.

But that strategy failed. Boehner’s members refused to wait for the debt ceiling. They want their showdown now. And that’s all for the better…

As Alec Phillips put it in a research note for Goldman Sachs, “If a shutdown is avoided, it is likely to be because congressional Republicans have opted to wait and push for policy concessions on the debt limit instead. By contrast, if a shutdown occurs, we would be surprised if congressional Republicans would want to risk another difficult situation only a couple of weeks later. The upshot is that while a shutdown would be unnecessarily disruptive, it might actually ease passage of a debt limit increase.”

…It’s worth noting, for the record, that it would be vastly better if there was no shutdown and no default and House Republicans stopped trying to enact an agenda that lost at the polls by threatening the country. But American politics is what it is right now, and given its sorry condition, a shutdown might be the best of very bad options.

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. AmazingScott

    “By contrast, if a shutdown occurs, we would be surprised if congressional Republicans would want to risk another difficult situation only a couple of weeks later.”

    I have to disagree. I think that if they don’t get what they want here they’ll do it again over the debt ceiling with little or no regard to the damage that would cause. The fact that they’re trying either is evidence of what stupid, desperate people they are. What will they do when both of these have failed? Cancel Christmas and refuse to let the new year begin?

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