First up we have a real Western-style showdown: The republicans hold the debt limit hostage, threatening to cause the U.S. to default on its debt. Yes, these tea baggers wanted to be the first Congress in the nation’s history to tell the rest of the world that the United States of America is truly in decline.
The fact that the 2011 debt limit fight harmed the U.S. economy in various ways has been well documented, but a new report by a government auditor attempts to quantify one piece of it. Specifically, by walking the country up to the brink of default and spooking creditors and making borrowing more expensive, how much money did Congress cost the federal government?
The answer? In fiscal year 2011 alone, the debt limit brinksmanship cost the government $1.3 billion, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.
And the losses to the U.S Treasury will mount. And where is all that extra cash going? The Wall Street Middlemen, of course.
Next up, we have a more reasoned, literate take on the evils of hostage-taking:
Here’s Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, discussing the looming battle over the “Fiscal Cliff” with Sean Hannity.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday cited recent comments from Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) and other Democrats that suggested they would be willing to let all the current tax rates expire at the end of the year if they don’t get their preferred deal.
“It’s ideological fanaticism. They are so fixated on raising taxes that they’re willing to do anything,” McConnell said in an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show. “It shows you how rigidly ideological they are.”
So, to review: Democrats want to keep taxes at their current historic lows for 98.5% of the population. Republicans are willing to throw that all away because they insist on keeping taxes at historic lows for rich people.
But the Democrats are the fanatics.
Yes, don’t trust the Turtle. He lies.
And lastly we have a nice, lighthearted international romp:
A new report from the Tax Justice Network puts the amount of money diverted offshore into tax havens at $21 trillion. At least. It may be as much as $32 trillion. Even at the lower figure, that’s more than the Japanese and American economies combined.
According to James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey, half of that gigantic stash is owned by just 92,000 individuals. That is 0.001 percent of the world’s population.
Enjoy the show!