Oh, House GOP. You just can’t quit crisis mode, can you?
Yesterday, House Republicans—all by their lonesome, no Democrats involved as far as I’m aware—passed an act to permit themselves to default on America’s debts. Debts Congress ran up. Ran up with all due deliberation, eyes wide open, making their own bed knowing the country would have to lie in it, and every other cliché I can possibly mangle.
They intend to do this by “prioritizing” payments to foreign creditors and Social Security. Everyone else gets stiffed. Yes, you read that right. All in the name of “cutting spending,” the Holy Grail of GOP politics. Because God forbid we should spend our money, contributed to our Treasury by you and me and everyone else who works for a living, on anything we might actually use. Like better roads, well-regulated public utilities, bridges that don’t fall down, high-speed rail, universal health care, a living minimum wage, green technology research, Head Start for poor kids, a top-notch public school system that reaches every child in America, etc. etc. etc. (Of course, some spending is perfectly OK. Like fat payments to private military-industrial contractors and bloated mega-banks, or yet another round of ginormous tax cuts to hyper-wealthy “job creators” who mostly create crappy jobs in China and Bangladesh. Whose people deserve better, by the way, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant.)
Now, the GOP could instead vote to raise the (completely arbitrary and artificial) debt ceiling come September 30,so that all debts already incurred can be paid when they fall due. They could take responsibility for the power of the purse that our Constitution gives them. But they don’t cotton much to that idea. No—the party of personal responsibility and fiscal rectitude can’t quite wrap its tiny collective mind around actually living up to those claims. Easier to welch and piously say they’re “cutting spending” when they’re actually doing no such thing, and hope America doesn’t notice.
House GOP, you’ve inspired me. I will give serious thought from now on to no longer paying all of my bills. In the name of cutting spending, I’ll pretend I didn’t run up those charges on my credit card for the needs of my small business, Word Nerd Inc. I’ll pick and choose which expenses to pay. Professional dues? Office supplies? Conference fees? It’s hard to decide… but whatever I don’t pay for counts as spending I’ve cut. Doesn’t it? If it’s good enough logic for the GOP in Congress, it’s good enough for me. Best of all, by selectively ignoring debts I don’t like, I’ll magically force this whole Word Nerd enterprise to become less costly. Kind of like the GOP is forcing the government to do, by welshing on America’s debts for the first time in our history. Won’t that be great?
Should work like a charm. No problem at all. And if you believe that, there’s this Nigerian prince who emailed me last night, who’s having a spot of money trouble and could use a little help…