We’re really just screwed as a nation:
Pointless death is always tragic. The Post’s budget reporting is a great tragedy for trees everywhere. Today it tells readers about plans to consider a balanced budget amendment to the constitution in Congress. It would have been useful to tell readers something about this amendment, which does not just require a balanced budget. It also restricts spending to 18 percent of GDP, requiring a super-majority of both houses of Congress to exceed this level of spending. This implies a reduction in spending of more than 10 percent going forward (compared with its average over the last decade), even as health care costs and the aging of the population are pushing up spending on programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It would have been useful if the Post had pointed this fact out to readers.
No matter how crazy, stupid, or dangerous the right wing becomes, the media will still treat them seriously. Why is no one talking about the People’s Budget if we are so worked up about the deficit?
Han's Big Snark Solo
They love the balanced budget ammendment because they know it will never pass. Ever.
Look, if they were serious they would be fighting to bring back pay-go. That could pass, but as I recall the GOP killed it, on more than one occasion.
Yes, but… some say…
And if they all say ‘jump’, what choice do we have?
This all just has to be a little softshoe routine for the retards, right? Right? Then we get a sane vote?
Nobody is talking about the People’s Budget because it might help the people. Can’t have that.
Aside from the new level of stupid in the specifics of this BBA, I think BBAs are bad in general. Balancing the budget in any one year is a policy. I don’t think policies should be in constitutions.
Doing what the People want is communism. Doing what our shadowy, um, överkungs do is Democracy!
Brace yourself – there’s a new O’Keefe video out.
Earth to John, nobody cares about the deficit. They care about tax cuts for rich folk. + the People’s Budget sounds like the People’s Republic of China.
Balanced budgets are pretty much a necessity in state government, since there is no fiat currency at that level. But BBAs would do irreperable harm to a national economy. Which makes them perfect, of course.
Ah, mere moments the GOP complains about how fucked up California is, they propose the exact same budgetary requirements as California. Well played, boys.
Your questions are all rhetorical, right?
ty JC for re-linking to the progressive caucus budget plan. Why in the hell it doesn’t get more play, I have no idea. You get that bad boy out to the public and into the hands of Joe Lunchbox and Cathy Cubicle and they’ll wonder why in the hell aren’t we doing this instead of all of this R self gratification of being “fiscally responsible” without even addressing a sole military issue.
I gotta believe that Mom and Pop would be in favor of bringing the boys and girls home and would like to see the bridges fixed, the roads paved and cheaper, faster communications and Medicare for everybody and you know who exactly is paying higher taxes, it sure as hell isn’t “small business” owners.
I blame all this on Argentina and Brazil becoming more globally normalized. When the global rich could live down south in unmolested serenity, they didn’t feel such a need to turn the US into the next basket case ultra-stratified tin-pot state.
Can we BJers just agree to help fuck up, I dunno, Paraguay and sell it of as the Galtian real estate paradise it could be so they’ll jet down there and leave us the hell alone?
This is extremely shrill.
“The Daughters of the American Revolution is a somewhat confusing organization–as confusing as Theosophy, Relativity, or the Hindu Vanishing Boy Trick, all three of which it resembles. It is composed of females who spend one half their waking hours boasting of being descended from the seditious American colonists of 1776, and the other and more ardent half in attacking all contemporaries who believe in precisely the principles for which those ancestors struggled.”
– from “It Can’t Happen Here.”
Jim in Chicago
If Obama weren’t such a gutless wonder, he could simply declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment and instruct the Treasury to continue borrowing. Other than Congress via joint resolution (not happening with a Democratic Senate), who would have standing to challenge?
because the People’s budget is a Marxist. Sheesh, you act like you’ve never seen these guys play politics before.
There can be little wonder why the Bush family has a huge ranch in Paraguay, basically owning all the local water rights around them.
Two weeks to financial Armageddon, no one knows, if and when the financial market might panic before then, but we have to give the right wingers their pacifier so they can suck on it a bit and feel better before they have to vote to raise the debt ceiling. I remember back when the Republicans were considered the “adults.” I didn’t understand it at the time, but it sure doesn’t make sense now.
Speaking of Right Wing darlings. Good old Fred Thompson, who was the latest hope-of-the-party in 2008, was just on my teevee doing a reverse mortgage commercial.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
Jim in Chicago
If I understand the way the government works, the President cannot declare a law unconstitutional. That’s the Supreme Court’s job. Obama would have to direct the DOJ to challenge the law, and I’m pretty sure this Conservative court would declare that 1)they don’t have the ability to come between the Congress and the Executive, or 2)that the president is not allowed to challenge these rules. Number two then triggers Impeachment by the House.
The corporate media’s job is to take the most extreme of right-wing position and render them bland an palatable for middle-class consumption. That is what they are paid to do. And there is no limit to it; if the Republicans were to put forth plans to round-up American Muslims and place them in internment camps, or worse, all the neaty coiffed, well-dressed bobbleheads on TV would sell it as the sensible, prudent thing to do.
Something about the banality of evil comes to mind.
Now is not the time to do that. Save desperate measures until the situation is actually desperate. We’ve got a ways to go yet, and both sides are trying to press the other into an unforced error. So far, Obama has been winning that game – don’t volunteer him to lose it.
Why stop there? How about he declares martial law, arrests Congress, and sets himself up as supreme overlord? If only he had the guts…
Occam’s Razor suggests that the Dems aren’t that much more interested in budgeting for the people than the Republicans. No, I’m not saying that there’s no difference between them. What I am saying is that the Republicans have gone so batshit crazy that all that the Dems have to do to look monumentally better than them is to stay in place. Maybe that’s as good as it gets; what a dreary prospect.
Well, he sort of can – that’s what signing statements are all about, but the courts are the final arbiter on that. But there’s nothing here for him to issue a signing statement on, unless they send McConnells chickenshit legislation along.
That said, he can simply ignore the whole thing and have Treasury issue bonds, and fall back on some combination of 14th amendment and ‘I’ve been instructed by Congress to spend at this level, and borrowing is the only way to comply with that legislation’ as a defense. But I don’t think he’ll do that unless things get truly dire.
It’s a huge improvement over the current insanity, but there’s this:
Unless I missed it, it says nothing about paying down the current debt, and indeed the debt would continue to grow until 2021. Even at its current level, the national debt will consume 20% of the federal budget by 2020, i.e. completely unsustainable.
I hate to be a bummer, but it appears that we’re firmly in the grip of exponential mathematics. It’s ugly.
John, John, John – we all know that you aren’t that hopelessly naive.
The mainstream media does not report on things like the People’s Budget or the lunacy of the reich wing because the media is overwhelmingly controlled by the same small set of corporate conglomerates (Fox, Time-Warner, Disney, Viacom, GE/Comcast). There’s a reason the mass media always slants in a pro-corporate (generally, Republican) direction – because that’s what the oligarchs who control the media want – it serves their sociopathic, self-interested purposes in the funneling of wealth from the the working and middle class into the pockets of the rich.
Everything else is just bread & circus style theater designed to keep the groundlings from rising up and putting their heads into guillotines.
So, if we were to have an amendment like this one, and Congress passed an unconstitutional unbalanced budget (which they will do, because they can’t help but saddle other branches with their problems), would that mean the courts would then need to get involved in the budgeting process?
Culture of Truth
If Obama weren’t such a gutless wonder, he would declare Occam’s Razor not a law.
I blame it on Neanderthals in Congress.
Culture of Truth
Brave, brave sir blogger
I am PISSED OFF and I called both of my Senators to let off some steam.
And talk about burying the lead. CNN’s report on the CBS News poll is so slanted as to not even be funny. 71% disapprove of how the Republicans are handling the debt ceiling issue, yet you don’t even get that info until the BOTTOM of the 3rd graf. The lead? “A plurality of Americans disapprove of how President Barack Obama is handling debt ceiling negotiations …”
Fucking liberal media strikes again.
Obama is NOT going to do the “14th Amendment” solution for two blindingly obvious reasons:
1. Impeachment proceedings would start immediately the day after and with the wingnuts in control, they’d have articles of impeachment passed before the weekend hit.
2. Exactly who on Wall Street is going to buy Treasury bonds of dubious legality? They’ll sell sure – but at such a discount to face value as to make obvious that no one is considering them “real”.
No one is talking about that because the leaders of the party that produced it don’t even talk about it.
I could go on about Overton windows, negotiating tactics, corporatocracy etc. but the bottom line is that the leaders (plural) don’t talk about it.
As some point you need to face up to what kind of people you folks really are and what kinds of people you elect to represent you and what you require them say or not say in order for them to get re-elected. It ain’t pretty.
@Montysano: i believe that you may have missed the part about the raising of revenue by reintroducing the elevated tax rates on the filthy rich, here I believe:
Our Budget Creates a Fairer Tax System
• Ends the recently passed upper-income tax cuts and lets Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of 2012
• Extends tax credits for the middle class, families, and students
• Creates new tax brackets that range from 45% starting at $1 million to 49% for $1 billion or more
• Implements a progressive estate tax
• Eliminates corporate welfare for oil, gas, and coal companies; closes loopholes for multinational corporations
• Enacts a financial crisis responsibility fee and a financial speculation tax on derivatives and foreign exchange
I agree, which explains why nobody wants to even use this budget proposal as a starting point. It sure would be a welcome change of pace to debate the merits if THIS budget versus having a discussion whether or not the R’s are crazy enough to precipitate another world financial crisis, this time willingly and knowingly instead of relying upon the “invisible hand” to shove us off the cliff.
I am not sure the 14th Amendment route is very clean. The section was included to ensure that rebel debts were not assumed by the (ex-Confederate) states, while on the other hand they had to honor all payments for things like food lodging, etc., incurred by the Federal armies, agents, etc. If Obama goes the 14th Amendment route, he won’t be impeached but he will be headed straight to the Scalia/Thomas Supreme Court. God help him there.
Montysano @ 26 quoted: ” The Progressive budget would slash $5.6 trillion in deficits on the way to generating a small surplus in 2021″
and then stated this:
“Unless I missed…consume 20% of the federal budget by 2020, i.e. completely unsustainable.
I hate to be a bummer, but it appears that we’re firmly in the grip of exponential mathematics. It’s ugly.”
of course, once there is a budget surplus that starts paying down the debt, it is clearly sustainable and declining both in dollar terms and in relative to GDP terms.
Unless after 2021 there are deficits as far as the eye can see.
Jim in Chicago
Martin @25 Put it better. I don’t see why this would not be an option if the Republicans won’t agree to anything. Then the onus would be on Congress to challenge the President’s order to continue following the budget Congress itself passed. As for trying to Impeach the President over that, the Democrats should be so lucky! We’d retake the House by a wide margin in 2012 if the Republicans were stupid enough to do that (and a Democratic Senate would not convict).
We have a CIA for a reason. And if this isn’t an emergency that calls for a few car and home accidents, what is?
Steve in SC “God help him there.”
Well, I can imagine Kennedy deciding that the constitution is not a suicide pact and voting in favor of ignoring the debt ceiling. It is certainly easy enough to imagine an argument that if the congress has incurred a cost it by inference implies the means to pay for such cost.
If the fate of the world falls down to Kennedy’s rationality, I’d rather take my chances with the CIA whacking Scalia, Roberts and Thomas.
First of all: although I spend a fair amount of time trying to get my head around global economics, and although I was a math major, I am not an economist. Grain of salt, etc.
Karl Denninger posted a spreadsheet that forecasts forward. He uses GDP growth of 4.1%, which is optimistic. Under that model, by 2020 the national debt is over $30T, and debt service alone is 20% of government. By 2030, it’s 40%. In either case, there’s not much left over to pay the principle.
Is Denninger correct? Is he full of shit? I don’t know.
and if you weren’t such an idiot, you’d know already that the treasury says no dice on that one. makes sense, as congress has been passed debt ceiling legislation about a hundred times already. there’s almost 100 years of this type of legislation on that end, there’s no way in hell the president can just declare it unconstitutional now and get away with it even if he had the ability to declare anything at all unconstitutional, which he doesn’t.
so no. please, just stop.
Because it is a bunch of trick. It raises taxes on job producers, like hedge fund managers, which will destroy the economy.*
*Does anyone know how many people in this country are employed by hedge funds? The panic about raising their taxes and the subsequent possibility that unemployment may rise, leads me to believe that collectively hedge funds must employ more people than Wal-Mart.++
++I could be wrong and very few people actually work at hedge funds, since it may be one of those not very labor intensive sort of businesses to set up and run.
The spreadsheet calculations seemed correct to me, but it is based on assumed growth rates of economy, government budget and interest rates. Where do those assumed growth rates and interest rates come from? I don’t see explanations anywhere.
I could make an identical spreadsheet in a few minutes and assume that the interest on government debt is zero, extrapolating current the market bond conditions forever, with no explanation at all, and get a very different conclusion.
If they guy provides some justification for the assumed growth rates in government expenditure and interest rates, then serious analysis could start.
Well, these things get easier to work out if we talk about % of GDP. Real US GDP for Q1 2011 is about $13.5T. Debt service is therefore about 3.33% of GDP. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it’s not insurmountable either. Federal tax revenues last year were $2.16T, about 16% of GDP. That’s extremely low. Federal spending was $3.45T, about 25.6% of GDP. That’s quite high.
A reasonable level of stability would be revenues at 21% GDP – or about $2.85T, about $700B higher than now. And spending down to the same level, about $600B lower than now. Unfortunately, the GOP dug this massive spending hole requiring higher than normal debt service. The question is what to do with that. Do we tax people 3.33% higher (24.3% of GDP) to cover it, or do we cut an additional 3.33% from spending (17.7% GDP). I think even the GOP says the latter is impossible. The increase will need to be on the revenue side, but that still assumes we can get spending down by $600B per year – or to expand GDP relatively quickly to make up for that. That’s likely to happen once the economy gets on track, but it’s not happening yet – we only recently passed Q2 2008 GDP levels and Y/Y GDP growth is 2.3%. It needs to be 4%+.
The big broken variable that I see is corporate taxes. They’re down to 9% of total revenues, which is just insane. That’s due in part to stimulus tax breaks for business, but also due to so much of corporate profits being harbored overseas and untaxable. We’ve got to find a way to get the $1T-$2T in overseas cash held by US corporations repatriated. Not only would it then be taxed, it would also be usable for domestic spending by corporations. Unfortunately, that’s part of the recovery problem – it’s not that investing in the US is inherently expensive, it’s that when they sell products overseas and turn profits, they need to pay tax only on the money that gets invested in the US, so US investment, due to a byproduct of the tax code, is 15%-25% higher than investment elsewhere. That’s a tough problem to solve, but it’s a huge drag on the economy right now.
As for using spending to drive the economy – that’s looking so-so if we continue doing it the way we have been. GDP expansion since Q2 2009 has been $630B, or about 5%. From that, we get, lets be generous and say 21% in a combination of tax revenue and elimination of spending such as unemployment benefits, or about $132B. That cost us $800B. Now it stopped the downward fall, and it’s turned positive, and the $132B is certainly enough to cover the cost of interest on the $800B, but 5% GDP growth over 2 years is pretty shitty stimulus overall. If we could find evidence of 4%-5% annual, then it’d make sense to dump money into the economy, but we can’t do it while those record corporate profits go unspent here. That’s got to be addressed first.
The Republic of Stupidity
Well SOMEBODY’S gotta handle all those hedges…
But then, the managers prolly just hire cheap Salvadoran day laborers…
Well, right off the top, the 5% government growth is what kills the whole thing. If he’s assuming 4.1% GDP and 5% spending growth, then yeah, of course the graph blows up. Change govt growth to 3% and it won’t blow up.
I think setting up some public hedge funds for these would be a good idea.
With some research, I’m sure it could be done in a green and sustainable way. The hedge maze fund will provide hours of cheap and healthful recreation for the lesser people while they repair their balance sheets.
Xeriscaped native plant mazes financed with these hedge funds would be a novelty, and so steal some tourist money from the pommies, with their fuddy duddy Olde Englishe Mayzes, which will lose their cache, and our increased tourism will stimulate the US economy.
Hedge mazes in England
Rose would like them, so Cole would have an incentive to put up a contributions widget.
Hedge funds will save America. Hands off the hedge funds!
Edit: forgot to give credit to brilliant commenter above who first saw the true promise of hedge funds.
as I understand it, debt is sustainable in that it does not increase to infinity as long as the real growth rate is greater than the real interest rate
It is a terrible name, it does sort of imply communist terms. They should’ve called it “The Middle Class Budget” or “The Working Class Budget”
There is no consensus on criteria for a sustainable debt to gdp ratio. But there is no consensus on anything in macroeconomics, so there you are.
A formula often used, that is consistent with lots of theories is
change in ratio of debt to GDP
ratio of current deficit to GDP
(real interest rate minus growth in real GDP) times ratio of current debt to GDP.
So, people can use this formula to figure out the possibilities and make a spreadsheet. But the real work is in determining reasonable assumptions for the ratios and growth rates, as martin indicated above.
Formula from Macroeconomics, Carlin and Soskice, p 183
They could have given that budget any name they wanted to and it would still be characterized by the Republicans and the Braying Class as “A dangerous, irresponsible, job-killing leap into Soclalism!”
Close. That assumes that there is no deficit. If deficit growth is greater than real growth, then we’re just fucked no matter what, which is what the spreadsheet shows with 4.1% GDP and 5% govt spending growth. With zero deficit growth as a % of GDP, you’re also still fucked because you’re adding to the debt as fast as you get revenue growth, but you’ve got a growing debt service on top of that. With a sufficiently large deficit as we have now, a slowly declining deficit (shrinking slower than GDP added to the real interest rate) will still leave you fucked because before growth can catch up to your overspending, you’re going to go broke.
The deficit needs to shrink at a minimum of 5% annually at this point. Even that’s pretty sketchy, but that’s $70B per year at this level, which should be easy to do assuming Congress isn’t bugfuck insane. 10%-20% annually would be substantially better, but you’re likely to only get that for a couple of years. Iraq/Afghanistan is $120B, so that’s one year. Bush tax cut elimination is $350B, so that’s 3 more. A good start, but you’ve only cut the deficit by 1/3 at that point. Where does the other $900B annually come from?
Jim in Chicago
@ chopper 43: did you actually READ the linked article before hurling insults? Apparently there are a LOT of “idiots” discussing this option.
In isolation, no. Debt to GDP depends on reasonable rate of debt growth, reasonable GDP growth, and reasonable rate of interest. The GOP thinks we can just GDP our way out of this, which is impossible. The Dems think we can just tax our way out of this, which is impossible.
The easiest problem to solve is debt growth. Debt growth needs to fall below GDP growth. At current levels of debt and GDP, that’d mean a deficit no larger than $310B. We’re a LONG way from that ($1.1T actually), even if the Dems got their dream budget. Something significant is going to have to change in this country before we even get on that road.
The nub of the issue in terms of policy is whether or when the deficit will reduce GDP growth, or increase it, or do neither. The growth rate of real GDP is a critical parameter. That relationship cannot be justified in the framework of an accounting exercise using a few convenient assumptions about relative growth rates, which is what the posted spreadsheet it, and all it is.
martin: I agree something significant has to change. Both tax rates and spending cuts will be involved, but also have to look at cause of current weak recovery and how to solve it. But that gets you into current macro debate between Keynesians and whatever the GOP is. I think classical macroeconomics is also largely fantasies about doing some policy magic that will suddenly start ‘GDP growth rating’ our way out of it through budget cuts and deregulation.
Note, for a Keyensian, the budget cutting would be in medium to long run. They believe that increasing the deficit now, if done properly, can be used to substantially increase GDP growth rate, and actually help solve the long run debt to GDP ratio problem
But isn’t this exactly what we’ve done for the last 30 years, i.e. spending growth at greater levels than GDP growth?
Denninger’s position is that massive govt. spending since 2008 has masked what is essentially a depression, so the 4.1% GDP growth is a bullshit number.
As a proportion of GDP, federal spending has not grown at 5% per year for the last 30 years.
United States Budget
Denninger used an annual 4.1% growth rate for his spreadsheet. If he thinks that is wrong, why did he use it?
Actually, no. Federal outlays as a % of GDP was 20% in 1955. It rose to about 23.5% in 1984 (Reagan defense spending) and then dropped to about 18.5% by 2000 (Clinton budget surplus). It went up to about 20% again under Bush (while revenues plummeted) and has gone up to 26% due to TARP/stimulus with a corresponding drop in real GDP (which is extremely rare). If GDP went back onto the old trajectory, spending would drop back to about 20%, but that would require old GDP growth rates plus a bunch more to make up what was lost since mid 2008. Not going to happen.
So for a period of nearly 55 years, federal spending ping-ponged around in a fairly narrow range – right around 20%. A bit lower pre-Reagan than post-Reagan, with the exception of the end of Clinton’s tenure. If we can get it near where it was in 2000, and we can break the teatard tax religion, then we’re golden. That’s going to be damn hard though.
James E. Powell
It is beyond naive to expect the corporate press/media, the management of which has been pushing the Republican line for three decades, to produce anything better than ‘both sides’ stories. But to expect the Post to report what’s really going on, that’s just crazy.
It was his optimistic projection. If GDP growth is less, obviously the situation is worse.
@Martin: I was inaccurate. Denninger’s metric is “dollars of GDP created” vs. dollars of debt created. The post is here; see the first chart.
That doesn’t matter – I’m looking at the spreadsheet you first linked to, and it’s simplistic beyond reason. First, the US has NEVER expanded revenues faster than GDP in a destructive fashion for any period of time, and he’s assuming it will happen in perpetuity, even while we’re staring into the abyss. The reason is simple – there are always feedback mechanisms to force that to change – things that even the Fed can’t smooth out.
But even now, deficit spending is decline while GDP is expanding. Sure, annual debt created is still larger than GDP dollars created by a factor of 4, but assuming GDP stays even on this anemic rate, and the deficit declines at the current also anemic rate, that’ll still be flipped in about 5 years. And that requires no policy changes whatsoever and assumes the bush tax cuts will remain in effect, we stay in Iraq/Afg at current levels, etc. So by 2016 his spreadsheet is already completely wrong assuming nothing changes from the present.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the debt magically becomes manageable, but it does mean that his analysis immediately becomes utterly wrong, even with just 2.3% GDP growth. One way or another, revenues will have to rise relative to GDP toward 20%. And one way or another, spending will have to decline relative to GDP toward 20%. Whether that happens as a matter of policy or a matter of electoral results, it’s going to happen. US revenue/spending policy have both been generally asymptotic to 20% ever since the end of WWII. That’s a result of moving up in the world economically and militarily. If the tea party wants us to go back to 10% spending/revenue, they’ll have to go third-world to get there.
This ultimately is the magic of democracy – it’s a generally self-correcting and stable system.
@Montysano: Denninger is a right-wing doomer crank. Ignore him.
You’re confused about several things here. First, the debt doesn’t need to be “paid down.” It only has to decline as a percentage of GDP. That can be done without even balancing the budget. From 1945 to the early 1970s, the nominal amount of debt never declined (in fact, it increased) and the budget was almost never balanced. Nonetheless, the debt as a percentage of GDP fell from ~140% to ~25% because the economy grew faster than the debt. Second, debt isn’t threatening to consume the federal budget; debt service is. For the federal government, that means interest payments only. In contrast, most other borrowers have to service the principal as well. As Martin pointed out above, debt service isn’t really threatening to crowd out other spending at this point. Third, because the federal government doesn’t keep a separate capital budget, we probably don’t want it to ever balance its budget. If the government isn’t borrowing, then it is either trying to pay for large capital projects like high-speed rail or water treatment plants out of current revenues (which means substantially higher taxes) or it’s not building many of them.
The bottom line is that under normal conditions we want the federal government’s debt to go down during economic expansions and up during recessions. Right now we don’t have normal conditions in a number of areas: growth, unemployment, income distribution, and tax collections. But we also have exceptionally low interest rates, which means that more debt can be taken out a low cost. Given the other problems in the economy, the government should be increasing its borrowing right now.
@63: Denninger seems to have his heart in the right place. Much of his advice is sensible, at least over medium to long term. But I cannot recognize anything standard about they way he looks that growth rate of GDP and interest.
For example, he assumes that the real rate of interest is 3.3% because of his assertion that the real rate is hidden some how. But it isn’t. We know what the nominal rate is, and what expected inflation is, we have information about what people in the bond market expect inflation to be.
I don’t understand his analysis of the relationship between deficit spending and GDP growth, or how he gets his numbers for GDP and fed budget growth from the blog post explanation.
So, maybe I am missing something, but maybe the guy is in a panic and doing careless analysis.
The minute the words “balanced budget amendment” are uttered, you know this is wingnut idiocy. But the 18% definitely should have been put in. The Times did it, and I read the story to my husband in an increasing state of dudgeon. Then the Times committed journalism (?) today by interviewing a number of people who are so disgusted with politics in general they don’t understand that the debt ceiling is a disaster.
And now the Pirates are in first place. All by themselves, even. I swear I just went to mlb.com to see what the Red Sox did because my husband kept me out of the house.