Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – October 12, 2013

There are lies, damn lies and statistics…and then there are Newt lies. The Teapublicans continue to struggle for control of the wheel so that the entire country can do an encore of the last scene in “Thelma and Louise”. And finally, there seems to be some momentum to change the odious and racist name of the NFL team in Washington.

Newt, Lies and Videotape

This past week, with typical pomposity, the multiply disgraced and truth challenged Newt Gingrich blithely opined that it would be no big deal if the United States went past October 17th before it raised the debt ceiling. He referenced the fact that in the 1950’s during the Eisenhower Administration Congress waited several weeks before approving an increase in the debt ceiling. That part is true.

What Mr. Gingrich conveniently omitted is the absolute fact that in the 1950’s there was no such thing as a global economy. He omitted the fact that the interrelationship of the American economy with the rest of the world today virtually guarantees incalculable disruption of markets all over the world, including the markets in this country.

While Newt Gingrich engages in telling outright lies on occasion, it is when he employs half-truths that he is most dangerous.

“Thelma and Louise”- the sequel

Even casual film aficionados remember the final scene in “Thelma and Louise” when the title characters drive off a cliff in a spectacular suicide. Clearly Teapublicans in Congress are big fans of this movie because that would be the only explanation for their continued contention that if this country were to default on its debt on October 17th it would be not be a catastrophic event. Indeed, on the Planet Teapublican it might be a cleansing and cathartic moment.

They continue to cling to this recipe for national suicide when virtually every economist in this country has stated that an American default would be disastrous. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, every major corporation, every major bank and every major investment firm has said the same thing.

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