Politicians are playing chicken with America’s reputation, and if they convince the world that the US is not credit worthy — by deliberately defaulting on our obligations — they will profit while the rest of us suffer. Eric Cantor has a personal profit motive, as well as a reprehensible political agenda.
Recently the Republican leadership walked out of the bipartisan debt talks chaired by Vice President Biden. Eric Cantor, GOP whip said he would not participate if the Republicans were required to bring to the table any discussion of revenues. And yesterday we heard from Republican House Speaker Boehner that the projected default date is not, in his view, a fixed date, but is an arbitrary date put forth by the Secretary of the Treasury.
If the August deadline comes and goes without progress, Mr. Cantor stands to make money while our economy tanks. In his own investments, the Majority Whip apparently has holdings in a fund that “shorts” the U.S. bond market. Mr. Cantor knows that if we welch on our debt this summer — for the first time in US History — the bond market will go off a cliff.
If that happens our economy – and the world’s as well – is likely to be devastated. But Mr. Cantor’s investments will make him a nice sum of money, in a manner more akin to being a vulture than a deal maker. This is a serious conflict of interest, and makes him uniquely unqualified to negotiate our country’s economic future.
But both Mr. Cantor and Speaker Boehner, appear to be following the lead of Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republicans in the Senate, who said his primary goal for this legislative term was to make Mr. Obama a one term president. Whatever happend to thier promise to create jobs? There must be more to governing than scoring points and padding your wallet.
The Republicans and Democrats are both to blame for much of the stalemate, with both sides dug in to their rhetorical excesses. But if the economy tanks, and goes into a double dip recession, the Republican party knows that their efforts will be rewarded at the ballot box, as the incumbents will get the blame, as is always the case.
Politically and financially, the Republicans stand to gain from trashing the economy. Let’s hope that enough of them can put their country and constituents above their own personal and political gain, and instead do the right thing. Surely there are some patriots still in both parties, it is time for them to step up.