As the debt ceiling - deficit deal comes to a head, consider one element: Timing
Back in the early 90's my mother was in her 'guru' phase of life. She read books and attended seminars by Leo Bradshaw, and the like, trying to change her life. One day she said one of her financial "advisers" was convinced the economy would crash in 2008. That was in 1992 or 93. 2008, such an odd year, I thought.
Damn if I can't remember the name of that prescient person.
Recently, the Mayan calendar has come under some derision because the calendar ends with the winter solstice of December 2012. [And last year we learned the Mayans hate John Cusack.] Of course the pagans from central America can't predict the end; that's the prerogative of the "faithful".
Which brings us to the Tea Party in the House.
As currently devised, the debt ceiling will be raised so that another vote won't take place until after the November '12 elections.
A vote to increase the debt ceiling will come in a lame duck session of Congress in December. Here's what will happen:
Tea Party members of Congress are intractable and unreasonable today. Imagine their disposition if they lose in the 2012 elections. One last grand gesture of suicide before they depart the House will be to refuse to vote 'aye' again. Oh, what a fun Christmas it will be.
Or, the Tea Party hold their seats (or wins more). Having their craziness validated this week, they will have no incentive to play along again.
Also up for expiration (thus extension) in December 2012 are the Bush Tax Cuts. Again. Tea Party'ers will hold those tax rates hostage -again- to get what they want: Make these rates permanent, or no debt ceiling vote. But they might vote against the ceiling anyway.
The debt ceiling must be raised through the 2012 elections into the spring of 2013 to eliminate one possibility. If the Tea Party loses, at least that chip is gone.
If the Party wins, and Obama is reelected, the debt ceiling vote must come first. Yes to the ceiling, veto the extension.
But fear not --
If Obama loses, the Tea Party will still do it.