Saturday, April 23, 2011

When economically illiterate partisan demagogues control Congress: "The cascading effects on the economy would be severe and long-lasting"

Huffington Post:.

"Reagan taught us deficits don't matter."
“If there is a vote on raising the debt ceiling and it fails, there will be a significant market reaction,” said Tony Fratto, a former Treasury and White House official in the Bush administration. “Investors already believe that Congress doesn’t understand the financial markets. A failure to raise the debt ceiling will confirm this to them."

If the markets get spooked, U.S. treasury bond yields will spike, driving up interest rates and increasing the price of borrowing money for everyone from the federal government to municipalities to consumers, Fratto warned. The cascading effects on the economy would be severe and long-lasting.

The negative market reaction would "come quickly,” Fratto said. “I think you can virtually guarantee that, and I hear it from everyone that I talk to in the markets, here and abroad.” He added, “I’m uncomfortable about the number of [Congress] members who don’t seem to understand that.”

The GOP's "Kill Medicare" budget plan is in a shambles, but they have a back-up strategy

From Friday's Washington Post:
Anxiety is rising among some Republicans over the party’s embrace of a plan to overhaul Medicare, with GOP lawmakers already starting to face tough questions on the issue at town hall meetings back in their districts.

House leaders have scheduled a Tuesday conference call in which members are expected in part to discuss strategies for defending the vote they took this month on a budget that would transform the popular entitlement program as part of a plan to cut trillions in federal spending...

A Washington Post/ABC News poll published this week found that two-thirds of Americans want Medicare to remain as is. That includes 62 percent of independents and nearly eight in 10 people 65 and older — making for an uphill climb for House Republicans trying to reassure constituents...

“Republicans don’t want to be talking about Medicare every day for the next year and a half,” said a Republican Party official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to address internal strategy deliberations...The GOP official added that the party “can fight the Medicare issue to a tie” by “muddying the waters”...
Who could have guessed they might try this approach?