Letters to the Editor

Letter: Chaos in store

October 5, 2013


To the editor:

Now we shall see just how stupid these tea party Republicans are. Maybe pushing the nation to default will be enough to expose these internal political fanatics for what they truly are.

Being willing to sacrifice the full faith and credit of the USA. Then the repercussions that will occur all over the world. Just the next downgrading of American Bonds will cause interest rates to rise enough to send a message that they are really internal terrorists. If we negotiate this one with them holding us hostage, then we can expect a total government failure. There will be no future way to govern. Total political and financial chaos will be the end game. Not just here but in the world. This is insanity!!

Everett Hickam,



Cait McKnelly 4 years, 6 months ago

I am far more frightened of the October 19th deadline for the debt ceiling.
What we are in right now is a governmental shutdown. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, we will face an economic shutdown that will have disastrous results; not just in this country but worldwide.
Yesterday, in a press conference, John Boehner stated that since the shutdown hadn't given them what they wanted they were seriously looking at refusing to raise the debt ceiling.
This is a minority who doesn't govern by democracy but by taking their own country hostage and threatening total economic ruin. And Boehner has no problems lying about it.
Yesterday, in that same press conference, he said the following:
"But after 55 years of spending more than what you bring in, something ought to be addressed.”.
This is an outright lie. When Bill Clinton left office the US Treasury had a surplus and a balanced budget. Then Bush II drove this country into trillions of dollars in debt with two unfunded wars. It's a deficit we're still dealing with, although Obama has managed to carve it down a bit.
Thanks to the people drinking the Koch KoolAid, Kansas is a lost cause. But you can just bet the rest of the country will remember when the midterms roll around in 2014. Especially if this outlaw gang in Congress sends us down the river economically. I know people right now who are frantically keeping track of quotes and actions by these people just so they can throw it back in their faces come 11/14. Kansas may remain Teapublican Paradise but I'm fairly certain that on a national level the Tea Party is DONE.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago


I have to wonder who "we" refers to, if the clean CR would have passed the House. It obviously doesn't refer to a majority of elected representatives.

Also, I'm not sure that the debt ceiling not being raised would result in such extreme consequences - can't the government print money instead of borrowing it?

And, I find the practice of incurring debts first, and then creating the ability to pay off those debts with more debt a bit odd. Perhaps we should consider a more prudent path, like raising the money to pay off debt without incurring more debt to do so?

This way, it's a bit analogous to paying off your home mortgage with a credit card, one that you don't have when you got your mortgage, but apply for afterwards, depending on your ability to get it.

OlDan 4 years, 6 months ago

"This way, it's a bit analogous to paying off your home mortgage with a credit card"

Seems to me that this is the way the government has operated for a very long time and the problem is reaching critical mass. The fed cannot allow interest rates to rise on a very substantial national debt, but interest rates WILL rise despite the fed's best efforts, particularly when they begin to scale back on their purchase of bonds. Printing more money to pay the government's bills would be a very, very bad decision economically.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, there aren't any easy answers.

But, borrowing more seems like perhaps the worst one to me. Why not use the ability of the federal government to tax and print instead? People are always saying the government isn't analogous to individuals or businesses, but they're not using the tools they have that those don't.

OlDan 4 years, 6 months ago

jafs, in effect the government is printing money through the $85B spent monthly by the Fed to buy bonds and mortgages (funds created out of thin air). This money has not found its way into circulation as banks have used that money to invest in the stock market since there is not a large demand for loans and banks will not let idle money sit. Although many are predicting future inflation from the Fed's current monetary policy, printed money would go directly into the general economy accelearating inflation as it moves through the economy. Directly increasing the money supply in most cases causes inflation. Too much money chasing too few goods and services.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago


But, whether the government borrows, taxes or prints, inflation is possible, if that money then circulates in the economy. So the inflation related issue is spending.

This started as a debt ceiling discussion - I'd say that borrowing is probably the worst way for government to deal with debt, and that both taxing and printing are better. I suppose that borrowing means an even swap of money removed from one place and then given to the government, but instead of having to raise x dollars, the government then has to raise x + interest dollars, and we're on a treadmill we can't seem to get off.

Also, inflation only happens if people are willing and able to spend more money on things. So, it's possible in theory for the government to increase the money supply without much inflation, depending on where that money goes.

OlDan 4 years, 6 months ago

To a certain extent, I agree with you. Remember though that all money that is borrowed, created, printed or invested in the market eventually ends up circulating through the economy at some point. Money invested by the bank in the market will sooner or later find it's way into the economy when conditions are right. There will be a lag time for the invested money. The banks still own this money. Trillions have been invested which at some point will be unleashed on the economy resulting in uncontrollable inflation. And don't forget that interst rates on our debt will be rising at the same time. We are in a catch 22 currently and frankly we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. I expect hard times ahead regardless of strategy. We are just too far down the road debtwise. Printing more money is not an answer IMHO.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I never said it was an answer. I just said I think printing and taxing are better than borrowing.

There are funny scenarios in which government putting money into the economy doesn't result in inflation, or at least not in very much inflation. Imagine the government gives Bill Gates a few million - he spends them on a yacht. The guy who sold the yacht then invests in the stock market, buying some mutual funds from Vanguard.

Most of that money never makes it into circulation in a way that causes inflation. It's even funnier if the yacht seller turns around and buys government bonds, right?

The thing is that in order to stimulate the economy, which is the goal of government spending sometimes, it has to circulate, and if it circulates well, and really does stimulate the economy, then inflation is likely.

But it's always kept in check by whether or not people are willing/able to spend more money for the same things they were buying before. If I get a check from the government, that doesn't mean I'm necessarily willing to pay twice as much for the same thing, it's more likely I'd buy something I don't normally get.

OlDan 4 years, 6 months ago

The problem that you don't seem to understand is that there has been way too much stimulus already and it has not helped the economy at all. We do not need more bond buying from the fed, borrowing or money printing. The more money that we sink into monetary policy, the worse off we will be at some point in the future. At the same time austerity measures will also cause problems since we have come so far down the debt road. There is nothing that we can do now to stop eventual financial chaos. It's a matter of choosing your poison. IMHO continuing monetary policy through stimulus, borrowing and printing money will only make matters worse down the road. It's better to stop the madness now and take our lumps rather than let this elephant grow.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

The point is that bond buying from the Fed doesn't actually stimulate the economy if the banks don't lend out the money. So, it's misleading to claim that Fed bond buying is stimulating the economy, and that we've "had enough" of that stimulus.

And, of course, because it's not circulating, we don't have much inflation.

I think we can do something to prevent chaos, although I agree that we've been going down a risky road for a long time. All we have to do is raise revenue by about 4% and cut spending by about 6% (both numbers as percentages of GDP), and we'll have a balanced budget.

So, my preferred choice would be to raise tax revenue, and cut spending. Once we have a balanced budget, we can try to figure out how to start paying down our debt as well.

I think we agree that having a large national debt, and ongoing annual deficits, is a bad thing.

If we'd "had enough" stimulus, then the economy would be a lot better, and we might start to see some inflation, also.

kansanbygrace 4 years, 6 months ago

"can't the government print money instead of borrowing it?" According to the Constitution, this is the only established source. Pursuant to another later act, that is only done by a privately controlled central bank, the Fed.

Shortly after JFK proposed this, someone put a bullet through his head.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, the Treasury prints money, but the Fed determines how much of it gets into circulation, according to quick research on the subject.

It can do that by buying bonds from commercial banks, which means holding debt from the government, but it's not new debt.

So, the government can certainly print more money, and the Fed can get it into circulation, all without increasing government debt.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

The media and taxpaying voters need to keep an evermore watchful eye on the leadership of this movement to shut down the government. That which hides behind a variety masks in order to keep one step ahead of the media and voting taxpayers. When in fact the greater majority of the GOP is this new anti government movement.

This is a right wing movement pure and simple which has effectively moved into state governments.

The old school GOP has been subverted and taken over by the Right Wing Party. This right wing party goes after republicans and removes them from office. Sam Brownback is an insider no question.

Who is the secret leadership of this quite radical right wing operation?

United States of ALEC – Bill Moyers http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27/the_united_states_of_alec_bill

ALEC – The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in State Legislatures http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures

ALEX EXPOSED – The Koch Connection http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection

ALEC – Ghostwriting The Law for Corporate America http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xchg/justice/hs.xsl/15044.htm

ALEC EXPOSED http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

ALEC Private Schools - Corporate Education Reformers Plot Next Steps at Secretive Meeting http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/02-9

Knowing more about the enemies to public education, the working class and our communities is important.

Armstrong 4 years, 6 months ago

Obama " I'm done negotiating." Yeah it's the R's fault.

deec 4 years, 6 months ago

"Yeah it's the R's fault." I'm glad you understand the reality of the situation. The Rs chose to attach a controversial measure which could not pass on its own to the spending bill, so they own the blame for the subsequent shutdown.

Cheryl Nelsen 4 years, 6 months ago

There really was nothing to negotiate. It's the law! If Obama had "negotiated" he would have been like a victim trying to negotiate with kidnappers. He's doing his job. I don't agree with everything he does, but I certainly would never entertain the thought that I could try to bend his will by acting like an uninformed, childish Republican.

Trumbull 4 years, 6 months ago

You should not negotiate with hostage takers. If so, then we encourage or enable these saboteurs to do this in the future. Every darn year we are going to have to go thru a shutdown crisis.

seebarginn 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, it is the Tea Party's fault. The Republican Party no longer exists. And yes, the President should not negotiate with people who have no respect for him, who want to end his Presidency, and who have no respect for the millions of people who voted for him.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

There's absolutely no defensible reason that anybody should have to "negotiate" with people using strong arm tactics about a law that was lawfully passed and upheld by the SC by holding up routine temporary budgets.

It's the wrong idea.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 6 months ago

Just read a very interesting article in the Atlantic that states that if the Teapublicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling, Obama will be forced into invoking the 14th Amendment or he will be breaking the law. This could include everything up to and including arrests for treason and the unilateral decision to raise the debt ceiling on his own.
Precedent was actually set for this during the Civil War for all of you Lincoln admirers, so there IS a historical basis for this.
I, for one, hope that Obama goes for the gusto.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, that would be strange.

Unfortunately, even though he'd be well within his rights, and actually forced to do it, I'm sure that the right wing folks would find someway to twist it and spin it, claiming that this is what Obama really wants to do, or some such.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 6 months ago

He may not have a choice, jafs. Would you rather he stood aside and did nothing and watched the entire world go into an economic collapse not seen since 1929? It would make the Great Recession of 2008 look like a walk in the park.
OTOH, I WOULD like to see the Waltons eating their useless, over inflated cash.

Armstrong 4 years, 6 months ago

I think the R's are going about this all wrong. First give the D's everything they ask for without one bit of obstruction. Secondly make sure the public is aware this is all on the D's. As many posters have said in many ways this is what America elected ( twice ).

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

That's a great idea actually.

If the R gave the D everything they asked for, we could see the results of D policies. It would have to include all of their ideas on taxation, spending, SS/Medicare, etc.

That won't ever happen, of course, but if it did, and the results of those policies were negative, I'd be the first to criticize them.

In fact, though, historically, the economy has done best under both a D president and congress, and worst under both R.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 6 months ago

Hah! For once you and I agree on something. I've been saying all along that if the Teapublicans are soooo afraid that the ACA would harm the nation then let it be and when it fails blame it on the other side as their baby.
Problem is, they are more afraid that it will SUCCEED then they are that it will fail.

lcarol 4 years, 6 months ago

Armstrong, you have just blinked. I recognize it...do you? Giving the "D's everything they ask for without one bit of obstruction" saves this country's collective behind and you know it. Republicans are boxed in a corner, you can't get out of that corner and you have found a way to spin yourself out of the collective trap republicans are in. Just give in to the democrats and you can return to taking pot shots at the president. You are so good at that, it's the governing part that you need remedial help with. Well sir, it is my hope with this colossal strategy failure, that voters finally see your party for the failure that it is Your party has lost its ability to govern over the hatred of one man. Your party wants to destroy the very fabric of this nation simply out of hatred for a man that the majority of this nation elected and you simply cannot deal with it. If it wasn't so sad, so dangerous to the health of the United States, it would be funny.

FarleyM 4 years, 6 months ago

According to the CBO, Obamacare 10 year debt will be 2.6 trillion instead of the 600 plus billion Obama proclaimed.

Since Congress is responsible for spending, why wouldn't they want to be responsible by defunding It?

This sounds like the right thing to do. Especially since no one, including Chad Henderson, is voluntarily signing up for it.

OlDan 4 years, 6 months ago

Every year the CBO Obamacare costs rise. What will the estimates be next year or the year after, or the year.........(fill in the blank).

Armstrong 4 years, 6 months ago

And if the D's got to claim full responsibility for that debt and numerous other disasters forecasted for Obamacare how hard would it be to defund then ?

OlDan 4 years, 6 months ago

I would agree with you Armstrong, except that if the Obamacare fiasco is allowed to play out, we may be making a decison that will ultimately lead us to single payer, government insurance in the least case scenario with a very strong possibility of government bankruptcy in the worst case scenario.

Armstrong 4 years, 6 months ago

I think the time frame between elections is to short for Obamacare to do much more then dig the debt hole a bit deeper then it is now. Defund, repeal, whatever in a year at least we wont have to go through this pointless exercise again in the next go round. Hell the site to sign up for Obamacare doesn't even work yet.

seebarginn 4 years, 6 months ago

Your statement about the ACA site is false. There have been difficulties with it, as there are with all internet sites. I've used the site, as have others, and it works.

FarleyM 4 years, 6 months ago

Google has about a billion transactions a day. Obamacare had 3 years to handle a couple million transactions.

FarleyM 4 years, 6 months ago

What, pray tell, are people supposed to do while they iron out all the bugs? I'm talking about post-January 1. Many people are going to ignore the mandate altogether because they are not financially able to comply. Technical problems aside, my experience was one of sticker shock. That's not entirely fair since I had plenty of advance warning higher premiums and higher co-pays were to be expected. The "prophets of doom" who counseled the inevitability of higher medical outlays for me and my family also harbinge many other negative changes in my actual health care experience: longer waits, fewer options, more refused services... I guess these guys were right after all - there were many, many blind alleys down which the ACA will take us. Only, they're not blind alleys at all - we have living examples of the difficulties facing the world of socialized medicine from which to draw inferences. I suppose we should shut up now, since the President told us (sic) he doesn't "want any argument about this" law. It's his baby and, by God, we're rolling it out regardless of who it harms. If you play around with the calculator on the website you can also easily create "people" of lesser means who will be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Plug in a gross household income anywhere around the poverty line. See how great it's going to be for the poor? Who wouldn't want 35% of their annual outlay to go for health insurance premiums? Now, start paying those co-pays with the money you were going to spend on ramin noodles to feed your children.


voevoda 4 years, 6 months ago

Wow, OlDan; you just made a very compelling argument in favor of Obamacare! Yes, it might lead us to a single payer system, which would reduce the overall costs of health insurance and health care very substantially. (That has been the experience in Canada and New Zealand.)

Unfortunately, government bankruptcy could result if the "Obamacare fiasco" that the House Republicans have created is allowed to play out. That's because the "fiasco" isn't Obamacare; it's the wrong-headed attempts to undermine it that are so damaging to the economy.

seebarginn 4 years, 6 months ago

Good letter, except for the parts about chaos and insanity. Things have been chaotic ever since the Tea Party took over the Republican Party and killed it in 2010. The Tea Partiers are not insane. They know exactly what they are doing. Not mentally ill, simply mean and disgusting people who like throwing tantrums. They would not exist if McCain or Hillary had been elected in 2008. They are a response to the positive energy of the 2008 Obama campaign.

FarleyM 4 years, 6 months ago

I think Everett has been reading too many gloom and doom articles.


American investment broker, businessman, author and financial commentator Peter Schiff warns us that we are in worse shape now economically than we were just before the 2008 financial crisis, which we still have yet to recover from.

“I think the U.S. has been in a depression or a recession for the entirety of the Obama presidency,” Schiff said. “I think there’s going to be a depression, but I don’t think it’s going to be global.” “When the dollar collapses and when the rest of the world stops wasting their resources, propping up our economy, buying our debt, selling us products that we can’t pay for, I think you’re going to have a global economic boom outside of the United States.”

OlDan 4 years, 6 months ago

Good post FarleyM. Unprecedented spending by the Fed has propped up the stock market but does little for a bad economy.

OlDan 4 years, 6 months ago

Chaos in store? Yes, but not for the reasons you list Mr. Hickam.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

I don't think the author of this piece understands the gravity of the situation. I'm sure at some point the Ds and the Rs will come to an agreement and all will be fine.

I think he should be more alarmed by American Citizens cheering the failure of their government. A lot of these people might just be the people that he thinks are "stupid", but there is a growing population that applauds government gridlock because they don't want the government to do anything more than the constitution mandates.

If they can't do anything, they can't do more than the constitution mandates. It's that simple.

windjammer 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks Liberty275 for clearing it all up for us. We have come to depending on your vast knowledge of how things work.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 6 months ago

Then they should have no problem when Obama invokes the 14th Amendment and starts charging certain House reps with contempt of Congress.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

The right wing (as you people call them, the tea-whatever) wouldn't like it and would consider it an act of treason and walk around yelling 'murica!. The other ones would encourage him to do what he believes he should do as president.

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