Tuesday, 2 August 2011

By on August 2nd, 2011 in government, politics

08:19 – Wow. The vote in the House on the debt limit proves that the politicians of both parties are mostly morons. The deal pretty much gives the Democrats everything they wanted and the Republicans nothing they wanted. And yet the Democrats split evenly on the vote, and the Republicans voted overwhelmingly in favor. This bill should have failed on a party-line vote, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans opposed. Morons, and with the exception of half the Democrats and a minority of Republicans, they’ve voted in favor of simply more of the same. Of course, the Democrats who voted Nay did so for all the wrong reasons, so they’re morons as well.

I suppose there is one small bright spot. As George Will commented this morning, the electorate is rapidly shifting toward a libertarian perspective, not because they’ve suddenly taken up reading political philosophy but because they realize that the Democrats and the Republicans are all insane. Let’s hope this trend continues and accelerates. If so, the 2012 elections should be interesting.

11:13 – With kids like this, there’s hope for Australia. What’s interesting is that Charlie Fine, who is 11 years old, both reasons better and writes better than his adult opponent, Fred Nile.

12:23 – The US debt deal has driven the Euro crisis off the front page, but European problems continue and accelerate. Today’s 10-year bond yields for Spanish and Italian debt are about 6.46% and 6.25%, respectively, a level that is not sustainable, and those yields are quickly headed for the disastrous 7% level, which would make bailouts almost certainly necessary. Of course, there’s no money for bailing out Spain or Italy, let alone Spain and Italy, and no prospect for finding any. And now Belgium is being mentioned in the same breath as Spain and Italy, and France itself can be expected to come under severe bond yield pressures shortly. This is going downhill fast, and there’s simply no way to put the brakes on. We’re heading for a Euro crash sooner rather than later.

13 Comments and discussion on "Tuesday, 2 August 2011"

  1. ech says:

    The deal pretty much gives the Democrats everything they wanted and the Republicans nothing they wanted.

    Well, if you look at the Democratic side of the blogosphere, they think they got nothing (a “Satan sandwich”). This is the best that can be accomplished with the Republicans controlling only the House. Shutting down the government for more that a few days was never going to happen as the consequences in the markets would have been catastrophic and there would have been angry mobs of the elderly at every congresscritter’s office. And the media would have blamed the Republicans and the Tea Party, Obama would have gone on TV to explain that they forced his hand and he had to prevent Social Security checks going out, close the national parks, etc. Result: a Democrat landslide in 2012 and deficits and tax hikes like we’ve never seen outside a declared war.

    What is encouraging, as you note, is that the message that government can’t do it all is finally sinking home. Also, the terms of the debate have moved from “tax hikes and (small) spending cuts” to “spending cuts”. After the next election it might be possible to do something about entitlements.

  2. Miles_Teg says:

    “Let’s hope this trend continues and accelerates. If so, the 2012 elections should be interesting.”

    I can’t wait till Rand Paul has a bit more experience and profile. 2016 should be interesting if things don’t go your way in 2012.

  3. Ray Thompson says:

    Obama will win the next election regardless of who runs against him. Blacks will vote for Obama because he is black. Matters little about Obama’s real skills. The leaches of society will vote for Obama because to them Obama is more free money. So the people in this country who largely contribute nothing in terms of revenue will determine the next president.

  4. Jim Cooley says:

    Got gold? [url]http://quotes.ino.com/chart/intraday.gif?s=FOREX_XAUUSDO&t=l&w=1&a=0&v=w[/url]

  5. Jim Cooley says:

    Oh damn this new thing. Makes conversation about as useful as a pair of tuna fish cans and some string.

  6. ayj says:

    Welcome to the brave new world, when Economist prints things like this

    America’s economy

    Is that all there is?

    More government intervention may be needed now

    Something is completely wrong, or, american dream is finished, sooner

  7. Miles_Teg says:

    Yeah, Fred’s a bit crazy. Nearly as crazy as an anarcho-libertarian of my acquaintance… 🙂

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    Many women swim and sunbathe topless on Sydney beaches. Fred wanted to make that illegal, not because it’s evil, but to save these poor women from exploiting themselves. Needless to say the major parties weren’t the least bit interested.

    Fred’s a bit conservative but he’s no Jesse Helms.

  9. brad says:

    I fear that Ray is right. Anyone who doesn’t support Obama will be branded a racist – the fact that the guy is just plain unqualified won’t matter. On the positive side, his rousing speeches will have lost some of their freshness, so perhaps there is hope…

    I really do not understand the final vote on the debt-ceiling debate. Both parties split, which is usually a sign that the individual members of Congress are actually thinking, and that the bill under consideration is actually controversial. The thing is: what is special about the compromise bill? It still plans for continued annual spending increases – from current levels! How anyone can find any sort of fiscal discipline in such a plan is a mystery. The global markets apparently agree – after the compromise was agreed, the dollar immediately fell to new record lows. So did the Euro, for that matter.

    In Switzerland, because we have an export-based economy, these exchange rates are a serious problem for local businesses. The Swiss National Bank is coming under pressure to start printing money – to force the Swiss Franc to devalue, in order to keep the exchange rates from getting any worse. The thing I find odd – perhaps the financially minded can explain – is this: If the SNB is going to print money, why not use this money to buy back bonds and thus reduce debt? Instead, the discussions are all based on the idea of buying up foreign currency (specifically, Euros).

    In any case, we are indeed living in “interesting times”.

  10. Dave B. says:

    If I were Switzerland, I certainly wouldn’t be buying Euros now.

  11. brad says:

    Me either… Printing money, I understand: (1) to keep the exchange rates in balance, and (2) to counteract the big-time currency speculators (and maybe make a profit off of them, why not?). But why one should use that new money to buy Euros? That makes very little sense. Better to take this as a one-time opportunity to pay off some of the national debt (we are around 60% of GDP).

  12. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Switzerland (and Germany) are chasing an illusion. Both want to continue to export to the rest of the EU, but the reality is that the rest of the EU, including France, is effectively bankrupt. Anything those countries purchase from Switzerland or Germany is ultimately being paid for with what will amount to worthless paper. Of course, in Germany’s case it’s even worse. Germany is sending these deadbeat countries money, which it hopes they’ll use to buy German products. Logically, it’d be simpler just to send them the products for free.

  13. Alan says:

    Jim Cooley says:
    2 August 2011 at 18:19

    Oh damn this new thing. Makes conversation about as useful as a pair of tuna fish cans and some string.

    Agree 100%.

Comments are closed.