Extreme right-wing blogger Don Surber doubled down on Armageddon this morning, once more urging congressional Republicans to refuse to increase the debt limit, even though rational economic experts predict such action would have enormous global ramifications that would make the 2008 financial crisis look like a walk in the park:
To understand the danger posed by the debt ceiling, it helps to understand the financial crisis. A lot of banks and investors held assets based on mortgages they thought were safe. They weren’t. That meant that no one knew how much money they really had, or how much money anyone else really had. So the market did what woodland creatures do when they get confused and scared: It froze. And so, too, did the economy. As the unemployment rate shows, we’re still not completely thawed out.
If Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling beyond its current limit of $14.29 trillion — or even waits too long — the chain of events will be similar, but the asset under question will be America itself, not some newfangled Frankenstein bond made out of mortgages from the Reno suburbs. Which would mean the aftermath would be much, much worse.
“The cornerstone of the global financial system is that the United States will make good on its debt payments,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “If we don’t, we’ve just knocked out the cornerstone, and the system will collapse into turmoil.”
Surber says make my day:
We are up the creek. Republicans must not raise the debt ceiling.
Force Obama to make cuts.
He had his chance. He does not deserve another dime. He has wasted too much money already.
To rationalize this truly ignorant and irresponsible advice, Surber tries to argue that Obama’s policies have been a failure. Oh, really? This informative graphic from Ezra Klein refutes that argument rather nicely. The fact is that the economy began to turn around almost immediately after the stimulus was passed. Multiple independent economists have confirmed that, without the stimulus, the recession would have lasted longer and unemployment would have been far worse than it was.
The recovery has not been speedy, by any means. But no one should have expected the nation to recover from the worst recession in 60 years overnight.
Without a doubt, though, Obama’s policies helped. More proof: Check out this chart from Steve Benen showing private sector job changes since the recession took hold:
Note anything about when the dramatic turnaround began? The month after the stimulus act was signed. I’m sure Surber and his fellow Republicans could come up with a reason for that: It must have been because employers realized that Republicans would use passage of the stimulus to retake control of the House in 2010 and fail to pass any economic policies.
The most ludicrous segment in Surber’s post was this, though: “President Obama is a fool. He has been given everything in life and never had to earn it and so he is ignorant about how the financial world operates — and is blissfully incurious about the subject.”
Oh, yes. The biracial son of a single mother was surely born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He never had to work for anything – which is how he became a millionaire before he ever ran for office.
There are many presidents about whom Surber’s critique could accurately be applied – George W. Bush, for instance. Obama is not one of them.
Republicans must not listen to irresponsible voices such as Surber. Too much is at stake.