So who are the people that are driving us toward default and who do they represent? Start with Steve King of Iowa, who said threats of default are “false demagoguery.” Friday’s New York Times ran a piece on the people who live in King’s Fourth Congressional District in Iowa.
“When I reached Brent Geels, co-owner of Geels Glass Inc. in Sioux Center, he’d just finished sending an e-mail to Representative King urging him to, as Mr. Geels put it, “stand firm and not back down.” Like many people there I spoke to, Mr. Geels says he thinks the economic harm attributed to a government shutdown, and even that associated with a federal debt default, is overblown by the media, a tactic to get Republicans to cave in. “Look at the sequester,” he said, referring to the automatic spending cuts that took effect in March. “That was a lot of hype. They went into effect and two months later everyone forgot about them.” Moreover, he feels (as did several other people I interviewed) that there may be a silver lining to the shutdown. “If we can get along without all these nonessential services, then maybe we don’t need them,” he said. So far, he said, the shutdown has had no impact on his glass business, which he started in May.”
Conservative thinking in a nutshell, ‘it hasn’t impacted me, screw everybody else.’
Then there’s Rep. Tom Graves from the 14th Congressional District in Georgia:
“Mr. Graves, 43, won 73 percent of the vote in November in a district that is 85 percent white and has a 16.6 percent college graduation rate…“He represents the
dumbass redneckspeople,” said Tim Ferguson, a forklift operator who was waiting for a haircut at Paul’s Barber Shop in Calhoun. “He’s not going to commit political suicide by backing down.”
…Mr. Ferguson, 48, said House conservatives should not shrink from the next fiscal deadline, raising the debt ceiling, even if it means defaulting on government bonds, a prospect that economists overwhelmingly say would bring down catastrophe.
“If it has to happen for the American people to get what’s best, defunding Obamacare, so be it,” Mr. Ferguson said.”
Pardon me for a moment, it’s bang my head against the wall time.
OK, I’m back. Another one of Graves’ constituents:
“Mr. Tripcony said he had a better idea for a system to provide health care at a fair price. “I think it should be the same for everybody,” he said. “One big company, whether owned by the government or private.”
Informed that he had described the single-payer system that Mr. Obama abandoned when Republican critics called it socialized medicine, he said, “Yeah, I know, it’s crazy.”
Right word, Mr. Tripcony.
A little bit of Mr. Graves’ history on matters financial:
In 2011, Mr. Graves was sued by a Georgia bank for defaulting on a $2.2 million business loan.”
Moving right along, Rep. Ted Yoho from Florida:
“Yoho has felt little pressure to change his mind, either from inside the Capitol or outside it. His leaders are still weak and uneasy. His constituents — or at least the small slice that bothers to write or call him — are mostly supportive. And his defiance has made him far more powerful than a freshman congressman has any right to expect. So he’s already planning for a bigger act of defiance.
“You’re seeing the tremor before the tsunami here,” Yoho said. “I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling.”
…“I think we need to have that moment where we realize [we’re] going broke,” Yoho said. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, that will sure as heck be a moment. “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets,” since they would be assured that the United States had moved decisively to curb its debt.
Of course Rep. Yoho is eminently qualified to know how world markets would be affected by a US default, since prior to being elected to Congress a year ago he was a veterinarian.
Last but not least, we can’t leave out the great state of Texas and our very own John Culberson who had this, among many other stupid things, to say in a Salon interview:
“You keep the federal government out of it, because other than the United States military and – with very few exceptions, the US military being exhibit A, the federal government generally screws up everything it touches. And I do not want the federal government interfering in the healthcare of average Americans.
[Interviewer] What does that mean for Medicare then?
What does that mean for Medicare? What does that have to do with anything?”
We. Are. So. Screwed.