Thursday, June 9, 2011

The dangerous politics of the debt ceiling

The Financial Times' conservative columnist Clive Crook warns:
Tea Party true believers may be salivating at the prospect of the coming Battle of the Debt Ceiling, but the GOP’s leaders are dreading it. Shutting down the government is a button they dare not press – not if they retain the least grip on reality. They did it once before, during the Clinton administration, and were slammed: the shutdown rescued the Clinton presidency. To do it in 2011, with the economy laid low and financial markets still twitchy, would be the limit of irresponsibility. It would be betting the recovery to make a point. This time, political annihilation might follow, and the party would deserve it.

The fraud and fallacies of "Ryancare"

Jared Bernstein, former chief economic advisor to Joe Biden, offers this critical commentary on a Paul Ryan Youtube touting the GOP's plan to kill Medicare:
The basic flaw is that Ryan and his video pretend that the R’s Medicare plan gives consumers the power to negotiate directly with health care providers, who can thus use their voucher-driven bargaining clout to hold down prices.  But, in fact, that’s not how his plan works at all.  Under his plan, seniors get to negotiate with insurance companies, not service providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.).