Playing games with the United States | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Playing games with the United States

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2011 at 7:00 AM

So far, Arkansas Republicans seem united in reluctance, if not outright resistance (T. Griffin) to voting to lift the debt ceiling.

Dangerous business.


But with every passing week of stalemate over the debt ceiling, the risk increases that investors will start to fret that the United States will not pay its debts, and demand higher interest rates for loans to the federal government.

Should that happen, the cost could be vast and the damage difficult to reverse.

Like what?

Like halts or delays in military pay and retirement benefits, Social Security and Medicare payments, unemployment benefits and tax refunds.

Also: higher interest rates on government borrowing, adding hundreds of millions to government spending. Also: spooked financial markets. Also: much sharper and painful cuts in federal spending than would otherwise be required.

We have intoxicated delinquents playing with matches.

UPDATE: A deal may be in the cards that will include Republicans backing away from the Arkansas Republican-approved plan to end Medicare. They'll still be hung with that vote — and the vote to cut taxes for the rich.

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