Monday, October 07, 2013

Drumbeat of Doom/Crossing the Streams

Kevin Drum notes the Administration's surprisingly lackadasical approach to warning of the hazards of default. Jack Lew was on MTP yesterday and could hardly be bothered to look worried about default.

It's true that Lew took a pretty low-key approach, despite host Savannah Guthrie's best efforts. "Are you talking catastrophe?" she asked. Lew wouldn't bite, so then she gave him another chance. "It would be calamitous for the economy?" Still no bite! "It would be very bad," was the worst Lew could summon up.

That's pretty soporific, all right. The problem, I assume, is that Lew is in an impossible situation. Breaching the debt ceiling would be pretty calamitous, but Treasury secretaries have an obligation not to panic markets with loose talk. Backbench congressmen, by contrast, can say anything they think might get them a few minutes on the evening news.

Maybe it is time to try to panic the markets a bit. Something is needed to get Boehner off the dime. Maybe something of the order of:

Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light...........Dr. Egon Spengler, Ghostbusters, the real one.

Because they are really going to panic nine days from now.