You know the drill — Politico’s Arena asks, I answer. I’d like to know what you would have said, so please tell me in the comments section below.
Arena Asked: President Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warn of calamitous effects if the nation’s debt ceiling is not raised soon. But a few prominent Republicans, such as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a presidential candidate, say nothing much would happen and blast the administration for its “scare tactics.”
Are Bachmann and co. naive about the consequences of default? Or do they have a point? Might this be the economic equivalent of Y2K, the turn-of-the-21 century computer scare that ended up causing minimal damage?
My Answer: Bachmann and her Tea Party minions are not naive–they are ruthless.
They are ruthlessly seeking power over others. They are ruthlessly seeking to change America into a narrow, dog-eat-dog, hierarchical culture consistent with their extreme fundamentalist theology.
But in the end, they are actually the lapdogs of those corporate interests (e. g. Murdock) that operate from pure greed with no connection to the social threads that bind a society together and enable a healthy economy to function. They don’t get that co-operation and mutual support (I call that the power TO) are as essential to successful cultures as competition. On that point, perhaps they are indeed dangerously naïve.