10 April 2011
Dear Dr. Bones,
One word of default, and ¡the entire teacup is tossed into tempest!
So much so, that ¡Himself has to make a personal appearance in the peanut gallery!
Once the cocktail-napking schemes of His Holeyness Ronpaulryan I, Arch Hire-arch of Janesville _in partibus transvolandis_, go into the blow, however, I feel a contrarian desire to relax and repeat that old wheeze about the little lady from Kenosha, or maybe Racine, who was told the world would end next week and replied with a smile, "WEll, I am sure we will all get along nicely without it."
Comrade Baker may have been misunderstood by the fool’s son and other peanuts, me not excluded, so take a look for yourself, sir, and let me know whether you think Himself really wants (A) to stiff ALL of Uncle Sam’s creditors, and (B) to do this primarily as a way of dodging SmirkCare, sometimes known as ... lemme see ... as the Roadmap for Foxcuckooland’s Future Act of 20??.
In reverse order, then:
(B) I seem to have laboured in vain the other day to get the teacup to notice that SmirkCare will not even begin for eleven, I believe it is, years. Until then, the Great Medicare Ponzi will still be safe enough to drive a truck through, accordin’ to His Eminence the Roadmaster (and/or "Budget Committee Staff" -- ¡let’s not forget the small people, please!).
Maybe I put the wrong spin on that point when I suggested that some of those who pay for the existence of Roadmaps an’ Roadmasters might be displeased at this unaccountable delay, wonderin’ whether Smirk himself could really be devoted to the core principles of the Party of Grant & Hoover an’ nevertheless miss this golden neoöpportunity to afford them winderful new paths to self-enrichment through the creative financin’ of medicine-related matters, "kidney default swaps," perhaps. Or how about . . . .
But I digress. The thing is, the R4AF neoracket won’t start from anybody till it starts, which means (¿doesn’t it?) that Comrade Baker wants to act today against a Martian invasion fleet that isn’t scheduled to arrive for a decade.
Given that "a week is a long time in poitics," the chances are very high that whatever is done defensively that long in advance may not be much help when THEY finally do land. "Sufficient unto the day is" . . . et cetera.
(A) Both Himself and the peanuts take for granted that _Le défaut est indivisible_, which is about as ridiculous an idea as this noneconomist keyboard can imagine. _Au contraire_, once we -- that is to say, once Poor Sam -- decides that he cannot simply pay all his bills, he may be in sad economics straits, but there is a faint silver lining on the moral side, in that now he is in a position to exercise some creative-destructive selectivity, repaying only those creditors who really DESERVE to be repaid.
Congressperson Smirk of the Wisconsin First may be admitted to this discussion as well. Whatever the legalities, an’ whatever the staff smirklings actually included in the current appropriations bill, the general tendence of the Roadmap Crew is plain enough: it is chiefly the Bad Poor who should not get repaid, and that, in turn, translates as "¡Smash Social Security!" and/or "The End of the Social-Democratic Model: ¿Will the Left Respond by Acceptin’ Reality?"
That last is a scribble by a pervert from Trotskyism or thereabouts. M. du Radoszcz has changed sides, but he has not abandoned the _Klassenkampf_ or started pretending to believe the absurd superstition that all contracts are equally sacrosanct. _¿Kto kogo?_ remains firmly in place for Neocomrade R. X. Roadosh, an’ presumably would apply to default too -- "¿Who gets repaid by whom?" is not a question with any general or one-size-fits-all answer.
Most of the G. O. P. Geniuses -- to say nothin’ of their Party base an’ vile -- would not know Social Democracy from a Holeyness from Janesville WI 53545, but that will not interfere with their insistin’ that Sam pay in full -- with interest an’ penalties an’ a generous tip to insure future promptness in the matter of campaign contributions -- when it comes to their own repayment. ScroogeBank once properly taken care of, however, what happens to Cratchit is, of course, Cratchit’s problem an’ nobody else’s: "Thou shalt not create a Moral Hazard."
Though you and I, Dr. Bones, like Comrade Dr. Baker and probably most of the teacuppers, are more with Cratchit and O’Bama than with Uncle Scrooge an’ M. du Radoszcz, nevertheless even the latter do not, if I conjecture rightly, very seriously believe in contractual omnisacrosanctity. I doubt the Geniuses often ask themselves in so many words how much they can get away with when it comes to scroogin’ Citizen Cratchitt an’ the Bad Poor generically. Still, they might as well. Certainly one can predict which way they’ll jump better by assuming they think "What is ours is ours. Only what is yours is defaultable."
This being the case over on the bad side of the aisle, it would be self-defeating for us lieberals and demoncrats to abandon our traditional devotion to "[a] rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project" that comes down the pike. 
 Mr. Madison was not, at least not in 1787-88, one of us, and accordingly lays a little too much emphasis in that famous passage on the supposed equality component of our wickedness and impropriety. In fact, most of us do not altogether mind associating with that former comradess of M. du Radoscz who, serving as a charwoman under the _ancien régime_ once informed her boss, "After the revolution, Mme. la Princesse, everybody will be equal. I’ll go to balls in Paris gowns, and you will scrub floors."
As I have hinted, ‘selectivity’ is a better word to deploy than ‘equality’. Indeed, stick it into the mouth of Publius, and ask yourself whether "a selective division of property" be not an elegant way of referring to graduated income taxes -- and to the dread Death Tax.
Strictly on the Hist. Dept. side: I have no wish to appropriate the Bones of Jemmy and brandish them for the Donkey Cause, that was too far back in the primordial bunk to matter much now. Nevertheless, Madison was probably basking a little too much in emanations from the Hamiltonian pænumbra when he wrote that. It does not hurt to recall that all so-called "Antifederalists" plus presumably quite a lot of the victorious faction as well did not see anything dreadfully improper in the idea that Sam should exercise a little selectivity about paying back the war debt of 1775-1783, much of which had fallen into hands that only Col. Hamilton, Esq., could be altogether proud and happy to shake.
But Clio knows best.