Watch This Week's round table and tell me if you've ever seen a more idiotic group of Chicken Littles than Roger Altman, Sheila Bair and Douglas Holz-Eakin? It's a wonder Paul Krugman didn't just resort to banging his head on the table at the obtuseness of the discussion.
Here's the thing nobody except Krugman would recognize or admit: it's only Republicans who are threatening to vote against raising the debt ceiling. Only them, nobody else. Democrats have already said they will raise it. In fact, the Republicans have already said they will raise it too! The entire argument is bullshit.
Krugman gives the Democrats the benefit of the doubt, saying that they are being blackmailed. I honestly don't think they are this time although he's right about the dangerous precedent this portends for future negotiations. The Dems also know the Republicans are going to vote to raise the debt ceiling. (Since Democrats are all on board, does anyone believe that Boehner can't put together enough Republican votes to pass that bill? Really?)
No, this is kabuki of the most obvious kind and Altman, Bair and Holz-Eakin, with their rending of garments over what will happen if the Democrats don't give in and give the Republicans what they want, are the comic relief.
Here's an idea: why doesn't Obama take a page from his much ballyhooed bin Laden book and do the "gutsy" thing on this one? Why doesn't he just say no and issue an assassination order on this stupid debt ceiling threat. The Republicans will back down, (the Navy SEALS in this scenario are the financial sector) and he would win. And I would be among those dancing in the streets celebrating his badassedness.
Seriously, this is the economic equivalent of responding to 9/11 by negotiating with bin Laden over joining the Caliphate.
Update: It has come to my attention that some Democrats have joined the kabuki conga line. It makes no difference. They are not going to let the country default on the debt either. They are just vying to join the "Very Serious People" caucus. And the president knows this too.
There is no "negotiation," there is simply a political decision in the midst of a big campaign season to pretend there is one.