Friday, August 5, 2011

My Punditry Merit Badge

by Richard Crews
So, President Obama didn't invoke the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis. Does that mean I don't get my Boy Scout Merit Badge in Punditry?

I'm not sure. I hate to be a sore loser (in fact, I hate to be any kind of a loser), but we'll have to wait and see if the Debt Commission turns out to be a good idea. It might be--or it might be a political and legislative disaster.

I still think (as I explained) Obama would have had a clear checkmate with the 14th-Amendment thing--let the Congress founder in vitriolic paralysis, and then ride in on his white horse to save the day. But maybe using the impending disaster to force some sort of bipartisan compromise my have been a good strategy, too. We'll see (toward the end of 2011).

We'll also see if the Federal Reserve still has enough ammunition in its quiver to stimulate the economy back into recovery mode despite Congress' budget cuts. The stock market doesn't seem to think so.

And then there is the how-vast-is the-ocean factor. Maybe the U.S. economy is just so damn big and has so much momentum on its own that it really doesn't matter what the federal government does. In addition, the economies of the rest of the world are so skittish these days (especially the Eurozone, Japan, and the Arab-Spring-lands), that the Big-Bully U.S economy, awful as it is, may just shine by comparison.

At any rate, we currently have the most politically sick Congress in U.S. history plus multiple impending catastrophic challenges (environment, war, civil liberties, infrastructure, education, worldwide drought-floods-famine, population explosion, water-table depletion, mineral resources exhaustion, and on and on and on). These make this an exciting time to have a front-row seat (which the Internet and TV provide).