Chan Lowe: The debt default

As we count down the final hours to the default, we are noticing a new willingness on the part of the opposing sides to reach agreement — or at least vote to postpone the crisis a few weeks or months, which passes for agreement in Congress these days.


To me, the turning point came with the dissemination last week of a letter from the billionaire Koch brothers indicating that they never intended for the government to shut down over Obamacare. These two shadowy individuals are responsible for providing much of the financial nourishment that enabled the tea party to burgeon from a “grassroots” fringe group a few years ago into the major governmental headache that it is today.


They also didn’t get to be billionaires by destroying the economic system that made them, so they are fully aware of what a monumentally stupid policy their toadies are pursuing. Suddenly, the emphasis fell off health care, and shifted to something vague about entitlement programs. As long as you’ve got a good shutdown going, why waste it?


The only thing more important in Washington than big money is public opinion polls. They’re devastating for the GOP, maybe enough so that John Boehner will do what was unthinkable only last week — accept whatever the Senate sends him, hold his nose and use a coalition of Democrats and less-rabid Republicans to ram it through the House.


Worse things have been done by Congress, and without the worthy justification that we will be preserving the financial reputation of the Republic in the process.






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