"The drama captured what has happened to the Republican party: it uses populist scaremongering to protect its plutocratic donors. I would love to give a more nuanced take of Republican motives but that would be sophistry." My column. https://t.co/2PBHNdzKlt
— Edward Luce (@EdwardGLuce) May 31, 2023
Edward Luce, chief U.S. correspondent for not-exactly-leftist Financial Times, “Game, set and almost match to Biden on the debt ceiling”:
Shakespeare foretold the tale of America’s latest debt-ceiling crisis — full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The final deal, which will probably be passed this weekend, could also have been scripted by Joe Biden. Rarely in the history of fiscal brinkmanship has so much noise been made by so many Republicans with so little to show for it. The result is a win for Biden that prudence stops him from celebrating.
This charade’s key lesson is that people who call themselves “fiscal conservatives” are guilty of fraudulent branding — aided by a process-obsessed media. The definition of fiscal conservatism is matching public spending with revenues over the business cycle. Threatening a catastrophic default unless the tax-collecting Internal Revenue Service is defunded is its very opposite. That would be fiscal incontinence.
The fact that this was one of the key Republican demands gave the game away. In the event, Biden restricted the IRS funding cut to $1.8bn, which is a fraction of its modernisation budget. In the name of fiscal responsibility, Republicans held America’s faith and credit hostage to a demand that would have harmed the country’s ability to collect taxes. The chief beneficiaries would have been the super-rich. The IRS mostly lacks the money to investigate the heavily lawyered wealthy, so most of its audits now are of people on lower incomes…
Thursday Evening Open Thread: <em>‘Populist Scaremongering to Protect Plutocratic Donors’ </em>Post + Comments (13)