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A DEBT LIMIT DEATH SPIRAL?

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION AUG. 25-27, 2017) — With both houses of Congress on “sleep mode” — out of town allegedly taking care of (ahem) “constituent business,” a euphemism meaning that the crooks are looking out for their own disgusting skins — the halls of the Capitol and the streets of D.C. have taken on a cicada-like lull, hummed into the doldrums while the nation slips toward the precipice.

No, THE PLANET doesn’t refer to possible nuclear war with North Korea (ain’t gonna happen) or the bid for political correctness to eradicate history with the brainless removal of Confederate monuments. No, it’s nothing that trivial. Rather, we have in mind the non-sexy issue of the country’s debt limit, set to expire Sept. 29. The bums in Washington won’t be back to business until after Labor Day, leaving a grand total of 12 working days in the gridlocked playpen to deal with the biggest item on the congressional to-do list.

The United States has never defaulted. Let that sink in. Never.

Will it this time? Likely not, though what used to be an automatic vote to raise the amount the U.S. can borrow has of late become a thriller. Based strictly on politics, Congress, which by law controls the amount of money the nation can borrow to pay its bills, has in recent years come perilously close to allowing a default. This time, with Democrats wanting to tar Republicans before next year’s mid-term elections and to throw high-and-tight to a President who loves to crowd the plate, there will be little motivation for the minority party to play ball with GOP colleagues on this most important issue. Anything could happen.

Q. Why is raising the debt ceiling important?

A. If the ceiling isn’t raised, the country runs out of money on Sept. 29. The gross domestic product largely comes to a halt and the trillions in outstanding loans Uncle Sam owes the world, with China as its largest creditor, go into default.

Q. What happens with default?

A. Ah, that’s the rub. No one knows, since its never happened before. At minimum, the country’s coveted AAA bond rating would be lowered. Stocks would enter a death spiral (ironically, setting up a great time to buy for those with discretionary cash). Interest rates would soar. A recession, even a depression, might follow.

Mitch McConnell, senate majority leader for the Republican-led Congress, holds the key. He needs to muster full support of his party plus be able to persuade ill-minded Democrats to take one for the team. The latter won’t happen without major concessions from the GOP. No doubt if that happens, the true cost of agreement will be decided in secret, likely buried in a bill that includes the non-peripheral “fine print.” Caveat emptor, baby. McConnell, whistling through the graveyard, says we shouldn’t sweat this: “There is zero chance — no chance — we will not raise the debt ceiling.” Don’t know about you, but the leader’s use of the double negative has us sensing trouble.

Before we break, let’s return to the second question above: What happens with default. A lot of pain, surely, but … but … perhaps that’s exactly what the country needs. A default would at least have the “benefit” of economically rightsizing the U.S.A.  “A goddamn good Depression” might be just the thing to get governments on all levels to finally cut needless spending and get rid of the colossal fat and institutionalized waster that hinders budgets at every level. THE PLANET would love to see this trickle down to the city level, as it will, only it will be a flood, not a trickle. That would allow taxpayers and honest citizens to finally regain the grip they once had on local government. We won’t, for obvious reasons, call it a “vibrant” grip.

Welcome to the Weekend. Let the fun begin. Keep it clean.

Have a great one, everybody.

————————————————————

“Come out of the garden, baby. You’ll catch your death in the fog”Davie Bowie, Diamond Dogs.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in the comment section or opinions published within the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not those of PLANET VALENTI or endorsed in any way by PLANET VALENTI. This website reserves the right to remove any comment that violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment, written word, or information from any source other than PLANET VALENTI as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service. All users of the services of PLANET VALENTI agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice.

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The school committee
The school committee
3 years ago

CallTrumps bluff and make him impotent. Trump is wacked.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

Gee,wonder why all these good for the Country depression idea’s weren’t bandied about when Banks were being bailed out.

H
H
3 years ago

Agree,and have said it all along, his elevator is stuck on Vince ‘s Reality Wrestling Shows. and you know what, he stole the concept of you’re fired’ from McMahon.

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

Welcome to the weekend already? Speaking of weekends just what the hell are they doing to football? These kneelers are going to kill the sport. The football field is not the proper place to protest. These morons are going to kill their own golden goose. These guys are being paid millions of dollars to play a game they love and they want to cause dissent on the team?

Look what happened to San Francisco after Kerperniac acted up with his kneeling protest? The team was so uncohesive that they lost 14 games and only won one at home. Protest if you need to but don’t ruin the game for everybody.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Well, Korniack doesn’t t have a team, but others kneeling are still playing. Why just him?

Milt Plum
Milt Plum
Reply to  Shelly Liver
3 years ago

Because he sucks

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Sports are a means to an end .Dodgers did it with Jackie Robinson.Military is the other and Trump is headed in the wrong direction.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  The school committee
3 years ago

Time for your meds

Cosbies Ladies
Cosbies Ladies
3 years ago

Because he’s Kaepernick?

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

The golden rule of employment: Do not bring your political bullshit to work with you! Do that crap on your own time.
If you don’t, then you suffer the consequences.

Don T
Don T
Reply to  Paul
3 years ago

Good one Paul, unfortunately 90 percent of the workforce is politics or sports.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Don T
3 years ago

People love sports and how they are governed.

None Of The Above
None Of The Above
3 years ago

Send Kerwood and Benhke to Washington. Can we arrange a trade? Those two plus Gobsig to be named later. I’m sure they can fix DC$.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  None Of The Above
3 years ago

Kerwood was a Civic Authority whore. Now he is counting the city’s beans? Yowser

The school committee
The school committee
3 years ago

City Hall cant count.

Wild in the Streets
Wild in the Streets
3 years ago

What was he doing with a bag of coins, at the change machine,Is he cashing the coins from the Kiosks?

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

Remember when the city was a cash cow from the parking meters many years ago, who oversaught the collection of that and where did that money go, had to be millions?

Tricksie
Tricksie
3 years ago

take notes Pittsfield people – LT will be asking for a 2 1/2 override soon –

Still wondering
Still wondering
Reply to  Tricksie
3 years ago

This is most likely true. It’s for the children you know…

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Tricksie
3 years ago

Will she be asking or demanding? Will she threaten to close schools and fire stations? Will she try to scare the hell out of the peeps?

Will she tell the unions that they better get behind this or NO MORE GOODIES come contract time?

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

What does it matter? The same amount of locals vote as pay municipal taxes in Pittsfield politics!

Who’s going to Tommy B’s Sheriff’s picnic at Camp Russell on Saturday afternoon?

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
3 years ago

Hold the City Council accountable before the election and tell us where they stand on the issue.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
3 years ago

The practice of giving private business a half million dollars (Covanta), and short on funds leaves something ito be desired?.

Spagirl
Spagirl
Reply to  Shelly Liver
3 years ago

As well as not consolidating elementary schools and closing PHS

Bill Q
Bill Q
3 years ago

Jung has made his move.

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

Will putting lipstick on Tyler street make this wanabee ghetto as pretty, yet still unsafe, as North street?

Will favorite sons and daughters get lucrative contracts to apply the lipstick? Is the consulting all done?

Are the chances of getting shot or stabbed less on a pretty street than a run down street?

What is the story on the Shot Spotter? Has it really helped with anything or was it pretty much a fancy toy and more money down the drain?

Would we even be talking about an override if we were not giving tax breaks to millionaires and spending foolishly?

No we would not. An override would be nothing more than a bailout that rewarded political irresponsibility.

Bill Q
Bill Q
3 years ago

Ward seven is Out of Co trol. More crap last night.

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

This whole Tyler street renovation thingy also states that they are going to “slow traffic down”. Tyler street is one of only a couple of ways to cross from the east to west side of town and is slow enough as it is with all the traffic lights and cross walks and jay walkers.

How soon before we “slow traffic down” on East street so that it is an even more frustrating, time consuming effort to get from one side of the city to the other?

Dave
Dave
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Drove by yesterday and they were making a mini version of what Tyler St could look like. They must have forgot to buy the red paint because I didn’t see any blood stains on the ground.

Speed Racer
Speed Racer
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

People aren’t satisfied with getting from one end of this city to another in 10 minutes. Gotta make 9, no, 8, no, 7 . . .

Go, go, go, man. You got-ta go, Jack!

Try living in the Boston area or such.

Don T
Don T
3 years ago

Good luck.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

Does anyone remember why companies went out of the country.? Cheaper help. So, Companies move back under the Trump Plan, they get tax incentives for sure, and make money for the rich. Then, when things are going well, the company has to deal with worker compensation packages, and wage increases. It’s a business cycle that will never end. Unless the Companies and the C E O make money,Trumps vision will never work, because the worker will always be the one at the bottom.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

i like the Planet a lot, we have gone to War over the years and quite frankly, he’s usually right. But I have to disagree on this one with Trump, why,?I don’t think Trump has been prepared to be President and it doesn’t have anything to do with being unorthodox or listening to the beat of a different drummer. I think he thinks he’s Vince McMahon? His whole scenerioTrumped of his current regime or the Apprentice Show, has been a consistent you’re fired, which he has done on both the show and his Presidency. The scary part is, he doesn’t even realize it. The worst is yet to come.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

Now would you care to tell us what life would be like at this very moment if Hillary was president.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Spider
3 years ago

Life under Hillary would be very similar. We had to pick between two heaping smelly piles of crap.

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

Trump, first President to contact a governor before the disaster hit to offer Federal help.

H
H
3 years ago

Why is he waiting on Jung to fire a real missile?

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
3 years ago

Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together try to love one another right now!

…Youngbloods…

The school committee
The school committee
3 years ago

McCandless has hired almost everyone back,would the planet get the final take on what actuall y was the final count on layoffs,I think it was zero.

The school committee
The school committee
3 years ago

Mccandleess should make a department head report to the council as to how the budget worked in the end like every other department head,we should know where we stand as of Labor day.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  The school committee
3 years ago

Good posts….stay on your meds.

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
3 years ago

At the end of the day the budget was imcreased.

Wild I the Streets
Wild I the Streets
3 years ago

There was an exciting conversation at the Tyler Street renovation table on PCTV.

Bill Q
Bill Q
3 years ago

Mayor called the building where Lewey Lent once live in an apartment as Hip? It’s now a tattoo parlor.Hip is a 30’s phrase coined for Jazz Music scene. Not hip, Mayor.

Southern Poverty Hate Center
Southern Poverty Hate Center
3 years ago

So looks like SPLC is being sued by one of those Christian groups. As I said last week, SPLC likes to label anyone they disagree with as a “hate” group.

It is your basic New Fascist tactic of the Left.

And, now, lookee here, Dinesh D’Souza has a new book out about that very New Fascism–totally independent of my warnings about it. Haven’t read it yet, but looks good.

Called “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left,” I bet he says something about the Sorosabteilung I’ve been telling you about.

This will be a good answer to that fatuous anti-Trump screed by Timothy Snyder called “On Tyranny.”

Southern Poverty Hate Center
Southern Poverty Hate Center
Reply to  Southern Poverty Hate Center
3 years ago

I bet “it” says something . . .

Don’t want that dangler to stay out there.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Southern Poverty Hate Center
3 years ago

it must suck being anti-Semitic.

Southern Poverty Hate Center
Southern Poverty Hate Center
Reply to  Shakes His Head
3 years ago

I agree. You should seek help for that problem if it is bothering you that much.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
Reply to  Southern Poverty Hate Center
3 years ago

It’s a great book…everyone should read it.

H
H
3 years ago

The current is increasing and adding positions when there is a covenant of expense and the tax revenue is dwindling, it is not there, and the state is not giving the City any more than we expect. Reign in the expenses Mayor, that should have been the City Council charge also.

H
H
3 years ago

Who the hell ever heard of a City Councilor saying it is a bare bones budget after adding millions to it. P,they gave Covanta a half million dollars, where is the outrage?

None Of The Above
None Of The Above
Reply to  H
3 years ago

Sounds like Amuso.

Make Pittsfield Great Again
Make Pittsfield Great Again
Reply to  None Of The Above
3 years ago

Pete White was for it before he was against it.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

Yeah,and one Councilor said it was a no brainier. Agree, they didn’t use brains on that decision.

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

Is McCandless getting advice from Betsy Devos?

The school committee
The school committee
3 years ago

McCandless will leave his position when he cant spend another dime.Educators are not good at business budgets.Behnke has a team of 9 people and she now has nothing to do but manipulate money so Yon and Taylor thank them for doing so much with so little

Helpa Mericabreeth
Helpa Mericabreeth
3 years ago

Have they started painting lines yet?

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Helpa Mericabreeth
3 years ago

they have started painting one through your wallet