Thursday, October 17, 2013

US Politics: After the Shut Down and Default

[A MeanMesa note:  This post was finished literally minutes before the final collapse of the most recent tea bag extortion scheme and the subsequent unconditional surrender of Speaker Boehner.  Normally, this would introduce enough irrelevancy to justify hitting the "delete" key, but in this case we can actually count the hours before the tea bags try it again in February.  Because this is the case, MeanMesa stands with the original post.  Enjoy.]

The Apocalypse Waltz
Tea bags not provided.

There has been no shortage of apocalyptic prognostication regarding the incredible potential damage which could follow the GOP's recent failed extortion scheme.  Any post with only the modest ambition of somehow embellishing such horrifying tales would amount to nothing more than "adding fuel to the fire."  However, MeanMesa visitors have, no doubt, by this time thoroughly invested sufficient apprehension over the imaginings which accompany these dire predictions.

Yet, even the time period for even the most agonizing of the various scenarios seems limited to the weeks and months following such dismal events.  What about a year later?  What about four or five years later?

It is precisely these longer term consequences which have captured MeanMesa's perpetually optimistic, creative vent.  In this post, another segment of the now famous "MeanMesa Future History," we can explore -- together of course -- how the ramifications of the shut down and, more importantly, the debt ceiling default, might appear in the near, but not too distant, future.

Selecting a literary mechanism to clearly present these furtive prophecies was a bit of a challenge, so to accomplish this task we will examine a few speculative news paper clippings which reflect the changes inflicted upon the nation.  Rather than spout one issue of damage after another, perhaps these "oblique glimpses" will communicate a more complete idea.

The "News" from MeanMesa Future History

MeanMesa as Harry Seldon? (image source)

[Seldon was the mathematician who finally mastered psycho-history, an empirical means to predict and "intervene" in future crises.  If any MeanMesa visitors haven't enjoyed Asimov's trilogy, Foundation and Empire, don't miss it!]

The News From 2017

Washington, D.C.

President Clinton signed the final version of the "Money is Not Speech" bill into law this morning.  Designed by the Democratic majorities in Congress to legislatively prohibit the influx of corporate interest campaign money into political campaigns -- originally ushered into practice by the Roberts Court  Citizen's United decision -- Washington insiders predict that most candidates in the 2018 mid-terms will opt for public campaign financing.

In related other news, a number of the established Super PAC organizations have announced that they will be folding up shop, a development based primarily on their inability to attract political clients.

New York, N.Y.

Pundits on the broadcasters remaining as affiliates in Rupert Murdoch's FOX network continue to accuse the Democratic Congressional majorities in the House and Senate of "revenge seeking," a charge strongly denied by the House Speaker.  She was quoted in a news conference this morning:

"Who cares what they are saying now?  This Congress is not being run by political talk show hosts.  This Congress is being run by voters.  If any of you doubt that, spend a morning answering constituent phone calls in my office."

Washington, D.C.

The final revisions in the IRS tax code regulating the use of 501C3 and 501C4 tax exemption status for political organizations cleared the House Oversight Committee this morning.  Congressional staffers predict a short Senate Conference Committee reconciliation, probably further strengthening the provisions with Senate Finance recommendations, before the final bill is sent to the President.

Green Party House members had sought increases in the bill's prosecution with more serious prison sentences for convicted violators, but both this and the Green's original proposal for 20 year Statute of Limitations for Justice Department prosecutions were withdrawn dues to a lack of Committee support.

DOJ spokesman announced that the new legislation would be adequate for the on-going sedition trials of the large cash donors in the 2010 - 2012 election campaigns.

Washington, D.C.

The Federal Reserve Board bankers, meeting this weekend, have decided to curtail some of the anti-inflationary monetary policies adopted after the 2013 default crash.  The Head of the Federal Reserve outlined the changes at a news conference Saturday:

"With the current inflation rate dropping below the 10% 'trigger,' the Federal Reserve is in favor of decreasing the Treasury Bond interest levels to around 8% for the next fiscal year.  We are far from 'out of the woods' after the explosive inflation cycle of 2013-2014, but the American economy is showing signs of a slowing inflationary trend -- which is good news."

The spokesman for the Peoples Republic Of China, holding approximately $2 Tn worth of Treasury Bonds and other US dollar investments, complained about the interest rate drop at the meeting of the International American Debt Council in Geneva, but other creditors were "satisfied" with American recovery efforts.

The PRC representative at the meeting indicated that the Chinese State Council might reset the Yuan/dollar exchange value higher to compensate Chinese investors, suggesting that the current exchange rate now set at $0.38 for the Yuan might be increased to around $0.42.

Washington, D.C.

The Secretary of Labor, commenting on the latest employment figures for the last quarter, noted that improvements in the unemployment rate -- dropping below 12% for the first time since the 2013 default -- showed that the US domestic labor market was beginning to show additional strength.  He was quoted at the quarterly meeting of the National Labor Council:

"The adjusted tax policies intended to repatriate jobs exported during the late 1990's and 2000's are finally beginning to positively impact the post-default unemployment rises.  It took a while longer than the Congress anticipated, but the national unemployment rates have fallen from their 31% high in 2014 to the current 12% largely thanks to the re-importation of manufacturing jobs to the US."

"The higher valuation of currencies in the Asian countries along with the new tax policies have created a steady flow of jobs back into the domestic labor market."

Washington, D.C.

President Hillary Clinton nominated a respected environmentalist from the Green Party as the new Environmental Protection Agency head this afternoon in a short ceremony at the White House.  The Green Party's strong minorities in both the House and the Senate applauded the choice, and the nomination is expected to pass through Senate hearings smoothly.  In her official statement at the nomination she told reporters:

"Yes, the Green Party is a minority in our Congress, but unlike their predecessors, they win elections -- they contribute very sincerely to the work of running the country.  I look forward to having this new voice in my cabinet."

Washington, D.C.

The rate of prosecutions under the 2015 "Truth in Media" laws has dropped for the third straight quarter.  A Justice Department spokesman attributes the decline to "getting the message out."  He told reporters at the National Media Convention in Seattle:

"If you have a microphone, you don't need to tell the American people blatant falsehoods to make a profit.  The days of irresponsible media broadcasting every sort of inflammatory propaganda have passed.  This law had a 90 day delay written into its implementation, and the folks who kept going after that 90 day grace period are in Federal prison today.  No American citizen has to believe anything, but our democracy has become stronger from having truthful information."

Philadelphia, Pa.

Speaking at the Liberty Bell Monument this morning, the newly confirmed Federal Judge of Election Courts announced "good progress" on the implementation of the Congressional bi-partisan election reform law.  

"Working with the close coordination of the Department of Justice, every one of the law suits filed against the law's redistricting regulations are being litigated quickly.  By the 2018 mid-term elections every election district in the country will conform to the standardized design regulations for district maps."

"We have established the uniform voter registration laws in every state in the Union.  Legal, qualified voters will never again face obstacles from local or state governments attempting to disenfranchise them to create political advantages in elections.  The newly formed election courts will monitor voter registration policies and practices.  No American citizen will be sent away from the polls after being unable to vote.  This is a democracy."

UN, New York, N.Y.

The Security Council today accepted as "advisory" a resolution submitted by a majority of Council member states requiring US de-nuclearization moves.  The Brazillian UN Ambassador, now occupying the Council seat previously held by the US, continued to insist that the US nuclear arsenal be reduced to "stable levels" established by the almost unanimous General Assembly vote earlier this year.

Speaking to Ambassadors from the Council membership states today, the Brazilian Ambassador said:

"This world can longer trust having such destructive weapons under the control of a government as clearly unstable as that of the United States.  The damage inflicted on the Brazilian economy and economies around the world by the 2013 default was too great, and the cavalier flippancy of the US government during that same 2013 default must not be repeated in a future incident involving nuclear weapons."

Although the Clinton Administration has expressed a strong reluctance with the idea of complying with the Security Council resolution, US creditors speaking through the International American Debt Council have indicated they they, too, will insist on the de-nuclearization of the US as a condition of the continuing credits for the American economy.

In other UN news A unanimous vote in the General Assembly has led to another Security Council discussion with respect to American oligarchs.  A Security Council spokesman addressed the international press today:

"The American billionaires have enjoyed an unregulated sponsorship under the American government.  With the remainder of the world now approaching, once again after the 2013 collapse, a more or less normal rate of economic development, the activities of this class of Americans can no longer be tolerated by other member nations in this Assembly, many of whom have suffered as their traditional victims in the past."

"This resolution of the General Assembly is a clear message to the US government: 'Control them, or we will.'"

Disaster's Durability

Americans have had disasters before, and in each case the country emerged to re-establish its previous global economic hegemony. The effect of such catastrophic political failure and national mismanagement has -- too often -- been even greater in other nations, and the costs of recovery have -- too often -- also been dire for these non-US economies.

This pain on others has been inflicted with a strident disregard for the welfare of humans who could not vote in US elections.

We may have assumed that this perod of international "involuntary grace" would be extended indefinitely. MeanMesa is saying,

maybe not.

No comments:

Post a Comment