Rep. Ted Yoho (aka The Yahoo from Florida) has come up with what is perhaps the stupidest justification for forcing a government shutdown over the debt ceiling:
It will improve our credit rating.
Stop laughing! This is serious stuff! Well, it’s serious if you’re an imbecile or a frothing ideologue. Or the Yahoo from Florida.
… And so they say that would rock the market, capital would leave, the stock market would crash, interest rates would go up. I said, “Let me give you my feeling: Interest rates are gonna go up anyways. They went up the last time they raised the debt ceiling, interest rates went up … because we’re not dealing with the problem. We’re putting another Tylenol to the problem. And that’s not [an ad] for Tylenol.” So let’s just address the problem, and I think if we address it, I think the creditors that we owe money to around the world would say, “you know what, they’re getting their house in order.” And I think our credit rating would do better, if we did that than face the mass [sic] program we’ve been up to … There are several of us that we’re not raising the debt ceiling; don’t ask us. We don’t have a money problem, we have a spending problem.
Right now, there are creditors around the world desperately hoping that the Tea Party would shrivel up and die. The world’s economy was badly shaken the last time the GOP took us to the edge of default and our credit rating went down because of it. Sure, if you listen to Republicans, the United States was downgraded because of our “spending problem” and it’s all Obama’s fault but Standard & Poor’s was pretty clear about why they did it:
More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.
Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.
Bear in mind, even as the cries of “both sides are to blame” are shouted from the rooftops, that reality is that only one party is holding the debt ceiling hostage every year in order to force the country to ignore the results of elections and do everything their way. In other words, who do you think S&P is referring to: the minority party that is resorting to unprecedented and massively hypocritical extortion or the majority party that is not giving in? I think the answer is pretty clear.
It’s hard to say if the Yahoo from Florida actually believes what he is saying or if he is just pandering to his angry and far too often ignorant base but the message is clear: The Tea Party wants very much to shut down the government just for the sake of shutting it down and there is no justification too ridiculous or far-fetched for them to embrace in that pursuit. What Rep. Yahoo is now engaged in is spinning the inevitable fallout in a positive light for his base so they won’t come howling for his head when their Social Security checks stop coming. Because the only thing teabaggers hate more than the federal government is threatening the federal programs they like.