GOP's debt ceiling debate debacle
By: Cahir O'Doherty | Published Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 2:37 PM | Updated Friday, September 9, 2011, 10:23 PM
Like most people, I'm no longer sure what country the GOP and the Tea Party think we're living in.
Can they actually believe they've just showed mature leadership and vision for the country's economy in Congress?
Because what I and every independent voter in the country actually saw was an absurd internal civil war and outright mutiny that led the nation to the brink of a historic default whilst our 9.2 percent unemployment rate climbs.
If there was ever a time not to showboat, it's now. If there was ever a time not to harm Americas image in the eyes of the world, it's now.
Instead we were treated to a Congress that was prepared to threaten the livelihoods our active-duty soldiers, our veterans, and our most vulnerable citizens. It was a gross mistake.
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman calls the Tea Party the 'Hezbollah faction' of the GOP, and he now believes they are hell bent on taking the country on a 'suicide mission.'
Maybe he has a point. Last night Moody's announced that the United States would keep its AAA credit rating, but the outlook for the nation is now negative. Why? Because the debt deal that was signed into law yesterday will directly cut 325, 000 jobs from the US economy; it will slow down economic growth by 0.3 percent. (That's the direct cost of cuts Republicans forced into this deal).
The unemployment extensions and payroll tax cuts the Democrats wanted are not part of this deal - which would have stimulated the economy. So when you factor that in - and also the cuts which slow it down - then this deal announced yesterday will ultimately result in 1.8 million fewer jobs in the United States.
That shaves 1.5 percent of economic growth in America (when the current economic growth in the country is 1.3 percent). Do the math. That's a roadmap back into recession that the GOP claim as a historic victory.
'I got 98 percent of what I wanted,' said Speaker John Boehner after the vote. 'You could say I'm happy.'
But his self-congratulatory words sounded hollow and offered clear proof that the GOP placed the future of the party before that of the country. It was an absurd attempt to see the bright side after a bruising internal battle that has badly damaged his speakership, his party and the United States economy.