You’re scheming on a thing that’s a mirage.
I’m trying to tell you now, it’s sabotage.
-The Beastie Boys
I just finished reading Daniel Altman’s (@altmandaniel) “Sabotage,” a book that details recent congressional efforts to obstruct economic recovery. Altman’s book takes a close look at last year’s debt ceiling negotiations and surrounding matters. He delivers strong evidence and logic in stating that it was a manufactured crisis intended to force concessions from President Obama. I thought it a great analog for the current fiscal cliff negotiations, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise since the current mess is the bastard child of the former. Here’s a sample of Altman’s perspective on said negotiations.
The Republicans’ first move was unprecedented in political and economic history. To demonstrate their newfound power, they drew a line in the sand, refusing to raise the nation’s debt limit unless the president and the Democrat-controlled Senate agreed to long-term cuts in the nation’s spending.
The old chestnut of “Never waste a good crisis,” is now never waste the opportunity to manufacture and exploit a wildly unnecessary non-crisis.
As I stated in a post last week (How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fiscal Cliff), it’s time to go over the bump and let the pressure amp up on congress to clean up their mess for those who truly need help. The rest can fall by the wayside.
Now, if you’re still worried about the cliff, Altman’s book may help put things in perspective. If you’ve already done that, the book is still a great read.
Still here? Then I’m guessing you need the song.
I wouldn’t want to disappoint.