New York Times: A Denial of Reality

In an editorial entitled “A Denial of Reality”, the New York Times writes today:

How can so many Republican lawmakers justify pushing their country toward catastrophic default just to score ideological points? The answer can be found in their statements and writings: They are constructing an alternative reality far different from that of most Americans.

A large number of Republican lawmakers, for example, simply don’t accept that the United States is going to be in default as of Tuesday. (Wall Street banks say the nation will run out of money within a few days of that date.)

The Treasury Department, which keeps the government bankbook, set the Aug. 2 deadline, but they say it cannot be trusted because it is an arm of the Obama administration. Representative Joe Walsh, a freshman from Illinois, recorded an instantly notorious video in which he accused President Obama of “lying” about the dangers of default. “There’s plenty of money to pay off our debt and cover all of our Social Security obligations,” he said, without saying where all these billions might be hidden…

Jim Jordan of Ohio, who leads an influential group of House conservatives, said he is willing to go down with the cut, cap and balance ship even if default is the only option, since he, too, is not persuaded that the Treasury is telling the truth…

(In Mr. Boehner’s alternative reality, by the way, it just popped into Mr. Obama’s head to ask for “the largest debt increase in American history, on the heels of the largest spending binge in American history.” The president was required to ask for an increase by law, and the spending was mostly incurred by his Republican predecessor.)…

If the economy does begin to crumble next week, the trail back toward the reason will not be hard to follow.

Read the full editorial»

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