Friday, April 8, 2011

Politics and the debt ceiling game

There is just no way to connect a politician with debt and not results in theatrics. The reality is that politicians love debt because they use it, as many people do, to help create the illusion of capability, effectiveness and power. Having access to capital is usually considered and achievement and results in a significant amount of power. The reality is that whether you portray that image with capital you borrowed or capital you actually earned is not entirely obvious to the superficial perception.

Now, our illustrious politicians have the debt ceiling issue, and of course, they can not resist the dramatics required to use it as an element of their campaign rhetoric for later this year. From a cursory point of view, I would imagine that the best thing for a politician who needs campaign material, is to let the government shutdown. But more than anything, with the chaos going on within the infrastructure of the western economic systems, we need distractions so that people attribute coming financial calamities as something other than what they really are. Sarkosy tried this with he recent Libya exercise at home and it failed as his popularity is now at the lowest in history - but anything to distract for these politicians is a good thing apparently.

I can not help but wonder how much this type of thinking and concept belies the policies of our government - especially at this time. Certainly, if you were to ask a voter who now has a job, but who will be using food stamps by the time he is voting next year, to what he should attribute his condition, Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Barrack Obama and a host of others would be much happier to have that person associate his predicament with an event such as a government shutdown or a close call because of someone else, becuase they certainly were not a part of the problem, rather than the intentional manipulative policies that have lead to the financial crises that eliminated his job.

So, what to expect? Well, if I was one of those guys avoiding confronting the results of my policies and actions, I would encourage the cover of a shutdown for a few days as a great opportunity to deflect and effect responsibility. Certainly would make campaigning easier, wouldn't it? But any way you cut it...they will drag this thing on in minutae to try to wring out as much drama as possible.

Therefore, I will not be surprised with a brief government shutdown or dramatic last minute theatrics based on the least little things worth .01% of the budget. After a few days of inconvenience then they can figure out if Big Bird actually gets sunflower seeds or has to attend to his own needs and then get the things rolling again. But, between the imperial interventions, budget issues and government shutdown hoopla, all who need cover will have plenty of room to play it up, while pretending for posterity that they are doing a great job and did so for the right reasons.

The election campaigns are officially beginning and it looks like this debt ceiling BS to kick-off the campaign trail.
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