Who cares what Nancy Grace thinks of the budget ceiling debate?

Arguing from the facts, Opinionator, NYT (paywall).

Using recent debate over raising the Federal Government’s debt limit as an example, Gary Gutting has attempted to illustrate the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning but, to my way of thinking, has made a needlessly complex argument whose example positions are really only talking past one another. Each has a series of factually correct issues they wish to address, but rather than acknowledge their opponents’ arguments, they merely introduce new arguments, moving the goal posts and leaving neither any basis for compromise much less an opportunity to create consensus.

It also reveals some of the complexity of the issue and reveals its nature not as a principled debate about a contentious issue, but rather shabby political theater.

I would put low odds on anything less than a zero hour “deal” the specifics of which are meaningless by the most charitable estimate, as thus far, no one has provided a coherent or workable compromise. What strikes me as more salient is the likelihood that this tactic foreshadows the shape of things to come — like the filibuster, future votes over the debt ceiling are liable to play out with the same, reckless disregard for the country’s continued solvency. Ergo, in the interest of a long-term solution, even though the short and mid term consequences would be brutal, we’d actually come out ahead in the instance that the shut-down occur, regardless.

Then, perhaps, when the dust clears, we’d be able to have a serious debate regarding this policy that did not selectively omit facts in the interest of at last, arriving at a consensus about how to pay down the deficit without pissing off AARP. Not that I intend to hold my breath while I wait for this to happen.

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  • Comments (2)
    • Chester Emerson
    • July 11th, 2011

    My take on all this is, the Government has a bankruptcy plan. When you consider the trillions of dollars that it has raided out of the SS fund that it’s on the hook to pay back, this seems like an option that the Government is seriously looking at and is on track to implement. Then the disruption to the economy of the US’s biggest creditor and rival might be an attractive method to set them back on their ass. Let’s face it, the Government doesn’t give a lick about what happens to ordinary people so long as they maintain power in DC. And impoverishing it’s citizenry is a good way as any to keep them under their thumb.

      • Max Bell
      • July 11th, 2011

      Now my brain is spinning, trying to figure out what that plan might be…

      Somebody did an op-ed the other day about short-termism, as opposed to long termism, one assumes. We’ve actually known about this for forty years — people making decisions that will profit them in the short term, even when it ultimately costs more in the long term. It boggles my mind that anyone would need to relearn this but then I tend to not remember how many kids become part of the process every ten years or so.

      I don’t think, however, that the multinationals have quite come to the point where they’re willing to ignore the risks of another global banking meltdown — there probably WILL be an agreement on the debt ceiling — this was merely an example of brinksmanship as a negotiations tool. So the republicans only get 2 trillion in cuts instead of 4 — do we even know what that 2 trillion is coming out of? It can hardly be called a loss on their part — whereas Dems can claim to have saved entitlements yet again.

      But it remains that voters are only individually powerless; collectively, they’re responsible for establishing the appearance of legitimacy for elected officials — hence part of the language of Boener’s “Grand Bargain” substituted the phrase “tax reform” for “tax increases” where actual compromise was required. In short, the question came down to whether the GOP was willing to risk further disenfranchising the teabaggers or if they could afford to risk disenfranchising the multinationals, and, of course, the multinationals won.

      So, while we’re still being sold down the river, we’re being sold at a slower pace than we might be.

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