My Old Daddy Used to Say,”If You Want to See Time Fly, Sign a 60-Day Note”

House Democrats discard larger debt limit By Paul Kane Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, December 15, 2009 House Democratic leaders, bowing to their party’s deficit hawks, will move the year’s final must-pass piece of legislation without a long-term increase to the national debt and without a large boost in infrastructure funding that was aimed at creating jobs. . . . last week’s proposal to increase the debt limit by more than $1.8 trillion had been discarded in favor of a more politically acceptable plan to give the Treasury Department a two-month extension on its current limit of $12.1 trillion, which is expected to be hit by New Year’s Eve.

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Happy New Year! No jobs, no wiggle-room and just enough time-pressure for Steny Hoyer and his bunch to get concession after concession on a Wall Street recovery at the cost of a Main Street disaster. And someone thought the Democrats controlled Congress. Sixty days and the note comes due.

The balloon may not yet be up, but the next bubble is being inflated by Republican (and Blue-Dog Democrat) gas in the cloakrooms of the House and Senate. Care-less health care, job-less blather about balanced budgets and bowing to 18% credit card rates in a 0% Fed interest rate environment are the result of ‘work being done’ on our behalf. Interestingly, and perhaps unfortunately, Barack Obama became president in the exact same environment as Herbert Hoover in 1928–an eighty-year convergence of circumstance. 

Those without memory talk of October, 1929 as the date of the Great Depression, but the markets actually wandered along (just as they do now) in ups and downs, every up celebrated as a breakthrough and every down ignored. Thus it went until 1932, when the walls came tumbling down, the Drake Hotel in Chicago became the high-dive platform of choice for busted investors and the machinery of commerce finally seized up like an overheated Model T. 

Unlike Barack Obama, FDR was swept into office by a paralyzed nation, which gave him extraordinary tools with which to work. We are there now, stuck in the unreality of 1930-31 and Obama is essentially being set-up to take the fall. 

Like Germans trying to outrun the taint of Holocaust, Republicans are tired of the Hoover legacy and determined that the next dude to step over the edge will be a Democrat. What do you bet they are successful?

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