Coming up next – GOP’s demands are crash the environment, or we’ll crash the economy

  • Published on October 2nd, 2013

We may be in the middle of a government shutdown, but don’t forget – this is just phase one! Phase two comes in a few weeks when the Republicans are threatening to crash the economy of the the Debt Limit Ceiling.

We don’t have the official list of GOP demands yet, but they’ve leaked a bit of their laundry list, and it’s about what you’d expect.

No, I take that back. What you’d expect would be the usual:

  • No new taxes
  • Cut spending on anyone who isn’t rich already
  • Give more money to the military (defense contractors, not those lazy veterans)

And instead, they’re going whole effing hog. Total, utter hog. Oink effing oink:

  • Ramming through approval of the Keystone XL pipeline (which James Hansen described as “Game over for the climate”)
  • Big perks for coal companies (also Wall Street banks).
  • Expanding offshore oil drilling (OVER the objections of the local states – so much for “states; rights”)
  • Repealing just about every regulation the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t like (think every EPA regulation, health regulations, financial regulations…)

As Jonathan Chait says at NY Mag:

It’s Mitt Romney’s 2012 economic plan. Almost word for word, in fact. True, Romney proposed to repeal Obamacare, while the House Republicans propose to delay it for a year. But the gambit there — extend the debt ceiling for a year while delaying Obamacare a year, so that the next debt ceiling hike lines up with another Obamacare delay — makes the two tactics essentially the same. The rest of the list is Romney’s agenda on taxes, regulation of the environment, finance and other business, Medicare, tort reform. That’s their opening demand: implement Romney’s economic plan or melt down the economy.

Throw in a few more bits o’ crazy, like more restrictions on abortion and birth control and destroying the Consumer Protection Bureau, and you have a recipe for madness.

Because unlike a government shut-down – which only inconveniences a whole lot of people, could put a smaller number of people out of business, and looks just plain awful to everyone but hardcore wingnuts who believe the entire government should be utterly shut down, permanently – a debt-ceiling default could literally and actually crash the entire US economy, throw finanancial markets into turmoil, and cost the super-rich 1% billions of dollars.


As Jonathan Chait notes, “…There’s another group of people who understand the debt limit very well, and that’s America’s CEOs and financial titans. In the final 72 hours before the October 17 borrowing deadline, you can be sure that they’ll be calling Boehner and Mitch McConnell frantically, saying, ‘Are you guys out of your minds?’ ”

But as Paul Krugman blogged today,

Coming back to the class warfare issue: my working theory is that wealthy individuals bought themselves a radical right party, believing — correctly — that it would cut their taxes and remove regulations, but failed to realize that eventually the craziness would take on a life of its own, and that the monster they created would turn on its creators as well as the little people.

And nobody knows how it ends.

A couple of other choice comments….

From the New York Times Editorial:

 A Republican Ransom Note

…House leaders responded on Thursday with one of the least serious negotiating proposals in modern Congressional history: a jaw-dropping list of ransom demands containing more than a dozen discredited Republican policy fantasies.

Michael Tomasky’s article in The Daily Beast:

You can only set so many houses on fire before people finally figure out that this isn’t happening by accident and you must be an arsonist. The GOP is now flirting with that moment. It can’t come soon enough.

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.