Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's only theatre these days, our default is certain........

Just in case there was any confusion that congress (and its Wall Street superiors) almost work for the majority, but not quite, here is some additional evidence: "The U.S. public overwhelmingly opposes raising the country's debt limit even though failure to do so could hurt America's international standing and push up borrowing costs, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday. Some 71 percent of those surveyed oppose increasing the borrowing authority, the focus of a brewing political battle over federal spending. Only 18 percent support an increase." Yet somehow the market has already factored in that no matter what happens, Congress has no choice but to continue heaping on the debt, and following this week's auctions, the total should approach $14.1 trillion in debt, cutting the buffer by another $100 billion. Which is why expect to hear many more threats of untold destruction should Congress actually side with the supermajority for once.


More from Reuters:

The poll underscores the tough task ahead for U.S. lawmakers as the debt nears its current ceiling of $14.3 trillion. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week warned that a failure to raise the borrowing limit in the coming months could lead to "catastrophic economic consequences".

Republicans, who won control of the House of Representatives in November on a promise to scale back government, hope to pair any debt-ceiling hike with a commitment from President Barack Obama to reduce long-term spending.

Republicans have vowed to slash $60 billion from the budget as soon as March, but many of those cuts are not likely to be popular with the public.  Just as amusing is the popular response on which programs are "cuttable":   Only 24 percent say the country can afford to cut back on education spending, a likely Republican target, and 21 percent support cuts to law enforcement.

With the Pentagon fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 51 percent supported cutbacks to military spending.

Less than half, 45 percent, support an expected Republican effort to pare environmental enforcement.

Some 53 percent support cutting the budgets of financial regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, in spite of the widespread consensus that a lax regulatory atmosphere contributed to the devastating financial crisis of 2007-2009.

And 47 percent support cutbacks to national parks, which were shuttered for several weeks during the budget battles of 1995 and 1996.

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