The Political Class Uses Fear of "Default" To Get Its Way

Americans are kept frightened, and politicians get to spend, tax, borrow, and coerce as usual.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken

Even the sagacious Mencken might be amazed by what’s happening these days. Wherever we look, there are hobgoblins. The latest is—insert horror music stab here—DEFAULT. Oooooo.

Apparently the threats of international terror and China rising aren’t enough to keep us alarmed and eager for the tether. These things do tend to wear thin with time. But good old default can be taken off the shelf every now and then. It works like a charm every time.

No, no, not default! Anything but default!

Now that a deal—postponing the “crisis” for a few months—has been worked out, the parts of the government that closed are open, the government credit card has a new higher limit, and the world has been saved—for now. Again. The pundits will thank the “grown-ups in the room” (of which there are none), and it will be back to business—which is to say, spending, taxing, borrowing, and coercing—as usual.

Would default have been so bad? For all the times that word was uttered, it was rarely defined. Strictly speaking, it refers to a failure to repay a debt. A late interest payment is not a default. At any rate, the national government each month takes in roughly ten times more tax revenue than it is due to pay in interest. It’s true that, since the budget is in deficit, the government wouldn’t have had all the money it would have had if it kept borrowing, but it would not have had to miss an interest payment on its bonds. Yet the night the world was saved, reporters were still talking about the danger of “debt default.”

Even when the sufficiency of funds was acknowledged, global cataclysm was predicted nonetheless. I couldn’t see it. In fact, lenders might have had their confidence in the U.S. government strengthened by the fact that it put interest payments over other claims. Not that lender confidence in the government is a good thing. It would be better if the politicians couldn’t borrow. Americans probably would not put up with the taxation required to balance a nearly $4 trillion budget.

There are other details that were mostly overlooked during the media’s circus—I mean, “crisis”—coverage. For example, one of the biggest holders of Treasury debt is the Social Security Administration (SSA), a government agency. For years the Treasury borrowed the huge Social Security surplus, leaving the SSA with a trust fund full of “special issue” nonnegotiable interest-bearing bonds. Here’s the thing: Whenever the Treasury pays off one of those bonds (now that the SSA surplus is gone), the debt level falls that much below the prevailing debt limit. So had the debt limit not been raised, the Treasury could have kept on borrowing simply by giving some current tax revenue to the SSA, which it would use to pay Social Security recipients. (David Friedman writes about it here.)

Speaking of Social Security, some commentators have used the term default for much more than nonpayment of the interest or principal on government securities. Failure to pay any government “obligation” on time would be a default, they say. They are free to use the word that way if they wish, but that doesn’t mean the world economy would have collapsed had the government paid some employees or contractors late; no one in the government was talking about repudiation (alas). So the media’s incitement to panic was irresponsible. (The media apparently regard themselves as a branch of government.) As I said, prioritizing interest payments probably would have encouraged lenders, not shaken them.

I also note that the Supreme Court said in Flemming v. Nestor (1960) that Social Security recipients have no legal standing to sue for breach of contract if the government doesn’t pay promised benefits. Why? Because there is no contract. As Justice Harlan wrote, “To engraft upon the social security system a concept of ‘accrued property rights’ would deprive it of the flexibility and boldness in adjustment to ever-changing conditions which it demands.” Nonpayment of Social Security benefits would not constitute a default. At most, it would be a nudum pactum broken.

At any rate, the government wouldn’t have missed so-called entitlement payments because it has much more room to maneuver than the media led us to believe. Professor Lawrence H. White of George Mason University, using Congressional Budget Office numbers, points out, “In percent-of-GDP terms, projected federal spending for 2013 is approx. 21.5% of GDP. Revenue, 17.5%. The difference, the deficit, is 4% of GDP. With no more debt-financed spending, total spending must fall by 4% of GDP to 17.5% of GDP. Discretionary spending is 7.6%, so all the cuts could mathematically come there, without touching entitlement spending.”

Who has trouble believing that discretionary spending could be cut by that amount without being noticed?

But I’m not satisfied with leaving the matter this way.  Too many dubious premises are packed into the conventional conversation. Ultimately, the government’s ability to fulfill its financial obligations depends on its ability to use force against productive members of society. All its obligations, that is, are founded on a pledge to engage in, as Lysander Spooner would put it, criminal activity—specifically, the theft we call taxation. But no binding obligation can rest on an immoral act. The government’s courts won’t enforce such a contract between two private individuals, so why should the government’s immoral contracts be enforceable?

Now and then it’s good for the government’s voluntary creditors to be reminded of whom they are dealing with. When the exploited industrious classes catch on to the swindle perpetrated by the politicians, those creditors will find their bonds, bills, and contracts in jeopardy—and properly so. It could happen sooner than that, if Jeffrey Rogers Hummel is right and our (mis)leaders realize that repudiation of the debt is the least bad way out of the fiscal morass they’ve created.

This column previously appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  • JidaKida||

    Yeah ok that makes a lot of sene dude.

    www.AnonWonders.tk

  • fish||

    Anonobot......putting in the extra effort! You could learn something from bot Fist!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I have the good sene to take the weekends off dude.

  • SQRLSY One||

    “The government’s courts won’t enforce such a contract between two private individuals, so why should the government’s immoral contracts be enforceable?” … Ah’s gots a vera simpa answa fer ya: “Cuzz then thar Guv-mint Almighty has gots a BUNCH more gunz than y’all’s gots right now, an thems thar’s takin’ tha rest of ‘em tomorowya”

  • SQRLSY One||

    “Fer ya own GOOD”, Government Almighty will be sure to add! Might makes right, plain and simple. Moronic peasants can NOT be trusted to make their own charity choices, not in ten gabillion years! If y’all stupid peasants were allowed to make your own charity choices, ya might be tempted to DISCRIMINATE again’ lazy, ne’er-do-well folks, who merely want to “follow their artistic passions” of smearing artistic renderings of doggy poop on the walls, and to HECK with the un-educated slobs who don’t “appreciate” their deep artistic meanings! Y’all un-artistic, un-deep, un-dead slobs who cling to your tax dollars, y’all’s SUPPRESSING me an’ my deep-thinking, artistic kinds of folks! HELP! HELP!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Owe me a little money and I'm in charge, owe me a lot of money and you're in charge.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    All its obligations, that is, are founded on a pledge to engage in, as Lysander Spooner would put it, criminal activity—specifically, the theft we call taxation.

    But but... social contract!

  • ||

    We all signed it so we could know what was in it!

  • Ted S.||

    Besides, Lysander Spooner was a creepy old white guy living over 150 years ago.

  • SweatingGin||

    He probably owned slaves!!!

  • Ted S.||

    I bet he used roads, too.

  • John C. Randolph||

    And collected medicare and social security!

    -jcr

  • MJGreen||

    His postal company only worked because of government roads!!

    (except where there were privately built turn pikes, but shut up)

  • Live Free or Diet||

    But but... social contract!

    I love the social contract types. They will advocate it in one breath, then when the Constitution (our government's written social contract) is mentioned, they don't like it.

    And I have discovered that though they use the word "contract," they don't want to think of the characteristics of actual contracts. Meeting of the minds, contained within the four corners, breech -- none of it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I find conservatives are more hostile to the Constitution than progressives are.

    In particular the entire 16th, 19th and 17th, the portions of the 14th that deals with birthright citizenship and equal protection, the Establishment Clause, the Takings Clause, the 4th, and so on.

    Progressives just hate the 2nd.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Nope. They hate the fifth amendment above all, since it prohibits government demanding total submission to the looters.

    -jcr

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    I find conservatives are more hostile to the Constitution than progressives are.


    I have found that statists are more hostile to the constitution that those who are more hostile to the idea of the state. Especially the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th, the 5th, the 6th, the 9th, the 10th... and even the 21st.

  • Rrabbit||

    Progressives just hate the 2nd.

    Name one Amendment progressives don't hate. Just one.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    In particular the entire 16th, 19th and 17th, the portions of the 14th that deals with birthright citizenship and equal protection, the Establishment Clause, the Takings Clause, the 4th, and so on.

  • OldMexican||

    Well, the establishment clause is not an amendment, nor is the Takings clause. As for not hating the 4th Amendment, Buttwipe, that's a stretch since Progressives hate private property, a hatred incarnated in such horrible creations as the EPA. But you're right - Progressives do love those Amendments that increase the size of the government, especially the one that allows Congress to loot the population. That's quite an admission from you, but you're still right.

  • Dweebston||

    Amusing is: watching that Occupy twerp twist in the wind trying to distinguish personal from private property.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    14th: Considering that "equal protection" is a hyper-litigated term, it's a stretch to say that progressives "like" it. They like a version which allows for racial preferences, while conservatives range from a belief that the 14th can accommodate racial caste systems to a belief that equal protection means that the government may not discriminate between any individual based on race.

    Also, I can find progressives who dislike the 1st ("Hate Speech" laws) and the 2nd. Also, the minute you find a progressive who wants to prohibit something, you see the inevitable dislike of the 4th, 5th, and 6th that all prohibitionists share.

    Saying that conservatives hate Takings law is just dumb. The conservative argument is usually that the "public use" requirement under the 5th has been stretched from taking land in order to use it for public facilities into a wildly-overbroad version which allows governments to confiscate land from one owner and give it to a private political crony as part of a redevelopment scheme.

  • Irish||

    14th: Considering that "equal protection" is a hyper-litigated term, it's a stretch to say that progressives "like" it. They like a version which allows for racial preferences, while conservatives range from a belief that the 14th can accommodate racial caste systems to a belief that equal protection means that the government may not discriminate between any individual based on race.

    The other day, in that Michigan affirmative action case before the Supreme Court, one of the lawyers tried to argue that equal protection does not apply to white people.

    The entire case is founded upon the idea that banning affirmative action somehow violates the equal protection clause...even though an affirmative action ban actually UPHOLDS the equal protection clause.

    The idea that progs are in favor of the 14th amendment is a joke. They're in favor of its use when it helps certain 'protected' racial groups, but despise what it actually says when it hampers their goals.

    You know, just like progressives behave with every other amendment.

  • Jordan||

    Progressives are some of the most vigorous defenders of the NSA now that Chocolate Nixon is running the show.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    chocolate nixon my first good laugh in sooo long

  • Rrabbit||

    In particular ... the 4th

    You are hilarious. We recently got several months worth of reports of illegal, unconstitutional searches and wiretappings by the NSA, the FBI, and other government agencies. All of that under a Democratic President, with very little opposition by progressives.

  • Irish||

    Progressives hate the first, hate the second, are opposed to the ninth and tenth. New York, a very progressive city, has no problem doing away with the fourth for stop and frisk.

  • Robert||

    I was surprised to learn that 2 of the 3 Raging Grannies I was with at a party favored stop & frisk, and the other opposed it only if it led to profiling.

  • ||

    Oh look, the resident demfag showed up to shit on the thread. Yay.

  • Jquip||

    Eh. Social Contracts are no different than family dynamics. The child didn't ask to be there, but they still are.

    The Social Contract is an implicit idea that Mom won't crush the children too thoroughly. And that the children won't pick up pointy bit of cutlery and sneak into Mom's bedroom.

    It's fundamentally the same notion of the Law of Nations, or Cassus Belli. When there is no agreed upon agent to exercise force to cure breech, the contract parties must exercise force to cure breech. It's the ever present threat of credible violence that keeps a breech from occuring.

    The bigger issue is debt itself. Can the agent, hired to manage the owner's property, legitimately levy debt against that property? The current legal framework says yes, but the owner's can't be made responsible for it.

    But in a broader sense, no. Not unless it is an emergency action in which the owner's would otherwise lose all property without compensation. eg. To finance a defensive war. Such as when some dim bint crushes a coffee cup between her monstrous thighs.

  • Brian||

    Eh. Social Contracts are no different than family dynamics. The child didn't ask to be there, but they still are.

    But, ostensibly, the parents are responsible for having the children. The government didn't decide to create me.

  • Brian||

    Eh. Social Contracts are no different than family dynamics. The child didn't ask to be there, but they still are.

    But, ostensibly, the parents are responsible for having the children. The government didn't decide to create me. That pretty much refutes the point of everything else that follows.

  • Jquip||

    And yet the child still didn't ask to be there. Unless you have some strange time machine where Mom hops to the future to ask the child whether they want to be aborted in the past.

  • Brian||

    So, what's your point? The child didn't ask to be there. Therefore, social contract. Really?

    The Social Contract is an implicit idea that Mom won't crush the children too thoroughly. And that the children won't pick up pointy bit of cutlery and sneak into Mom's bedroom.

    That's fascinating. Mom won't crush the children because...social contract. Children don't murder their parents because...social contract.

    The idea that murder deprives people of their right to self-ownership, and that parents are responsible for the children they bring into the world...eh, forget all that. Social contract.

    OK. Got it.

  • Brian||

    Eh. Social Contracts are no different than family dynamics. The child didn't ask to be there, but they still are.

    But, ostensibly, the parents are responsible for having the children. The government didn't decide to create me. That pretty much refutes the point of everything else that follows.

  • Brian||

    Eh. Social Contracts are no different than family dynamics. The child didn't ask to be there, but they still are.

    But, ostensibly, the parents are responsible for having the children. The government didn't decide to create me. That pretty much refutes the point of everything else that follows.

  • Brian||

    Oh, great. Thanks internet connection. Sorry everyone.

  • mr simple||

    The parent child relationship is not one that can be used to describe any other, not between strangers and definitely not between government and citizen. Also, while your theory of what is defined by the social contract may not too offensive at first glance, it is just one of many theories and still only a theory and not actually binding. The usual progressive theory, the one that most here think of because they've had it thrown at them many times, includes such ridiculous items as people having the right to not be offended and people having a right to your property for whatever reason.

  • Jquip||

    Child is coerced into the family's laws. Child is coerced into the laws the family lives under. Distinction without a difference.

    And to be sure, there is nothing more binding than the successful application of force. You can wax poetic and state that you're no longer in any contracts when you're dead. But you're still dead.

    And to be sure, Proggies love to toss about the Social Contract for everything. "B-b-but I have a write nawt to see ugly people!" And if that's the law, it's not the Social Contract, it's one of the terms under it.

    And it'll stick until ugly people get ugly with pointy things. And then the easily offended can go pound sand under the new Social Contract.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    social contract is entirely opposite of the family dynamic. People create government, government does not create people. The people, unlike the child, do NOT owe their existence to the government as the child owes it's existence to the parent.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Regarding the $13 billion JPM settlement - it is not cool to peddle LIAR loans to Fannie Mae since even the GSE's have minimum loan standards.

    I know I lose 1/4 point on the LP purity scale for this but fucking over the government just because they are big and stupid should not be allowed.

  • Fluffy||

    Fannie was a publicly traded corporation at the time.

    That routinely bragged to the press about its incredible profit / employee ratio.

    They had access to whatever talent they wanted to buy.

    Anything Fannie wanted to promulgate as an underwriting standard, they could.

    It is beyond farcical to try to portray Fannie as a bunch of hapless marks taken advantage of by those evil JPM sharps.

    I'm also absolutely sure the underlying loan files that made up any securities Fannie bought were imaged and available for review at any time.

    Fannie has no grounds at all to bitch at anybody about "liar loans". Every last Alt-A loan originated in the US after, say, 2001 was run through either Desktop Underwriter or Loan Prospector, and I'd bet 90% of them ended up being sold to Fannie or Freddie as full doc loans with "documentation waivers". Fannie did everything they could to mainstream the "liar loan".

    Here's all you need to know: when a loan application was loaded into Desktop Underwriter, if the loan officer did not receive an income and asset documentation waiver the first time through, they were allowed to resubmit the loan again and again, raising the income and assets claimed each time, until they DID receive the waivers. "Oh, we didn't believe you when you said these people made $5,000 a month and had $10,000 in savings - but now that you said they make $10,000 a month and have $200,000 in savings, we DO believe you, so you don't have to document that!"

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, although Fannie was publicly traded and was what I consider quasi-public due to its implicit bond backing by the Feds (all too real in 2008/09) they fall under the category of "big and stupid government" that I first said.

    The profit motive at the GSE's made them co-culprits at least and not "hapless marks" as you say.

    Nevertheless, the fact is that Morgan has agreed to pay $13 billion for its role in the fiasco although Bear and WaMu were the worst part of their shenanigans after JPM was arm-twisted into acquiring them.

    2008 will be as notable a year as 1929 and 1968 when history is written.

  • SweatingGin||

    The arm twisting part is interesting to me.

    I wonder if the net effect is that, the next time smaller banks start failing, and FDIC or other parts of the fedgov start looking for buyers for them, they start running into more of a "nah, that's okay".

    Or the buyers looking for waivers on any wrong doing that may have happened.

    Wonder how much they can do of that -- when FDIC comes and says "buy this bank", how much of an option for "no" do they have?

  • Fluffy||

    You know what?

    The fact that you would even think to argue, "Hey, they took the deal, right? So they must be guilty and the government must be right!" loses you many, many more LP purity points than a triviality like your opinion on the 2008 crisis.

  • Brian||

    2008 will be as notable a year as 1929 and 1968 when history is written.

    As notable as 1929? Define "notable."

  • Brian||

    The profit motive at the GSE's made them co-culprits at least and not "hapless marks" as you say.

    I love it how profit motive is blamed for this. What do you think causes economic upturns, increased employment, increased efficiency, increased GDP? Charity work? Love?

    You don't have an economy worth a damn without profit motive. See history.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|10.20.13 @ 9:10AM|#
    "Regarding the $13 billion JPM settlement - it is not cool to peddle LIAR loans to Fannie Mae since even the GSE's have minimum loan standards."

    Yeah, dipshit, JPM went in there with a gun and 'peddled' those loans, right?
    What a sleazy turd.

  • Brian||

    I know I lose 1/4 point on the LP purity scale for this but fucking over the government just because they are big and stupid should not be allowed.

    Do you really think there's some great, big, deep, wide chasm of space between the government and the banking industry? That's cute.

  • np||

    Neil Gaiman's book Neverwhere gets banned in Alamogordo, NM high school system.

    The local news coverage reminded me of why I stopped watching TV news a long time a go.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Alamogordo school dispute explodes into the news"

    "Alamogordo dispute mushrooms"

    "Neverwhere becomes radioactive in Alamogordo"

    Just had to get these out of the way.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The page in dispute:

    A late-night couple, who had been slowly walking along the Embankment toward them, holding hands, sat down in the middle of the bench, between Richard and Anaesthesia, and commenced to kiss each other, passionately. “Excuse me,” said Richard to them. The man had his hand inside the woman’s sweater and was moving it around enthusiastically, a lone traveler discovering an unexplored continent. “I want my life back,” Richard told the couple.

    “I love you,” said the man to the woman.

    “But your wife–” she said, licking the side of his face.

    “Fuck her,” said the man.

    “Don’ wanna fuck her,” said the woman, and she giggled, drunkenly. “Wanna fuck you….” She put a hand on his crotch and giggled some more.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Bog forefend that teenagers ever get exposed to the word fuck or the concept of sex in high school. Best to wait until they are adults for those things to happen.

  • Metazoan||

    Seriously? That just looks boring.

  • np||

    That's the only page, but I read it long ago so have forgotten most of it, however it struck me as a mostly as pretty good teen/older children urban fantasy. If I recall Gaiman originally wrote it as the basis for a BBC show. There's certainly nothing explicit. Nothing like 1984's oral sex scene. Though it wouldn't surprise me if said parent tried to get 1984 removed too, had she known about it.

    "A parent can't read a 400-page-book to find out if it's appropriate," Wilmott said. "You rely on your school to do that for you."


    Nevermind you can actually choose other books (the news report got this part wrong), other people are supposed to raise your kids

  • SweatingGin||

    "A parent can't read a 400-page-book to find out if it's appropriate," Wilmott said. "You rely on your school to do that for you."

    "A parent can't read a 400-page-book to find out if it's appropriate,"

    Fixed it for them.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Unless it's 50 Shades of Grey.

  • ||

    "A parent can't read a 400-page-book to find out if it's appropriate," Wilmott said. "You rely on your school to do that for you."

    What the hell is that parents problem? Do they lack access to the Internet? I could probably find any book I want as a digital file that Siri or Morgan Freeman reads to me as I drive or work. What a lazy no-good excuse for a human being. Jesus.

  • Robert||

    So it won't be on their next test? Blast! I bet there'll be some fallout from that new clear reaction. Let's hope those on the ground zero in on it quickly before it becomes an area of total destruction. Before they go into shock, waive that rule.

  • Ted S.||

    The children have to learn about TekWar sometime!

  • np||

    LeetCoin enables skilled gamers to win bitcoins

    It’s a platform that allows multiplayer gamers in genres such as first person shooters to really know the score. That’s because the winner gets bitcoins, while the loser gives some BTC away.

    The concept of LeetCoin is simple. You sign in with a Steam account – a digital gaming distribution platform – then you are routed to LeetCoin’s servers, where you play Steam-based games through a wagering system.
  • John C. Randolph||

    Mel Brooks did a fine job of illustrating this phenomenon:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPBp6DOwgU

    -jcr

  • MJGreen||

    He's not bluffing!

  • Ted S.||

    Tragedy is when I get a paper cut on my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Twelve days ago, family and friends of Carl Peyton Williams III worried that he would never be able to marry his love, Ruth Ann Terry. Williams had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and was told he did not have long to live. But thanks to his family and the Marietta, Georgia, community at large, the two were wed — albeit in an unusual venue: the back of an ambulance.

    "Hospice workers arranged for the Puckett ambulance to take Williams to just outside the Cobb County Courthouse so that those near and dear to the couple could witness the nuptials. Chaplin Ron Daniel had met the couple the day before and told WSB Radio, “Everything just went beautifully. We just made it as quick and easy as we could for them.”"

    http://rare.us/story/couple-ge.....l-illness/

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "4 Ads That Were Accidentally Put In the Worst Place Possible"

    http://www.cracked.com/quick-f.....z2iGt1pVRH

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex?

    "...[sex counselor Ai] Aoyama says the sexes, especially in Japan's giant cities, are "spiralling away from each other". Lacking long-term shared goals, many are turning to what she terms "Pot Noodle love" – easy or instant gratification, in the form of casual sex, short-term trysts and the usual technological suspects: online porn, virtual-reality "girlfriends", anime cartoons. Or else they're opting out altogether and replacing love and sex with other urban pastimes."

    http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....CMP=twt_gu

  • Metazoan||

    virtual reality girlfriends? oh Japan...

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Eduard van Haalen,

    Lacking long-term shared goals, many are turning to what she terms "Pot Noodle love"


    You don't have an incentive to make long-term plans when you're being looted from your savings through taxation and inflation.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I get it. Ai is love in Japanese, although they don't actually use it that much.

  • OldMexican||

    The government's courts won't enforce such a contract between two private individuals, so why should the government's immoral contracts be enforceable?


    They're enforceable because you have a majority of people being bribed with someone else's money to accept the morality of such "agreement." Mob rule and all that.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Listening to Nancy Pelosi talk about "facts" is making my head hurt.

  • Ted S.||

    Then stop listening to Nancy Pelosi!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Holy shit; Nancy Pelosi is a poorly constructed robotic simulacrum of a human powered by a random word generator.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    You know, I read a lot of articles both here and elsewhere, and I have noticed that libertarian leaning articles are coming closer and closer to saying that sedition and civil war are the only way to solve our problems.

    I really have to wonder, who will be the first journalist or commentator to step over that threshold and actually say it? Who will take that first, suicidal plunge into the deep waters we are all swimming towards?

  • Atanarjuat||

    ^Obvious Fed.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    See, now, that's not nice.

    I will have you know I'm an anarchist, and described as extreme even by my incredibly Libertarian peers.

    I waited YEARS for Glenn Beck to say it, before losing hope. Now I think it'll be a blogger. One that disappears mysteriously in the middle of the night, that gets the ball rolling. All it takes is one high profile disappearance after such a statement to produce cries of sedition and outrage.

  • Robert||

    I think it has more to do with how disgusted the writer is, which increases over time for that individual, but I don't see any secular trend in that direction in the popul'n overall. When the revolution comes, you never see it coming.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Sharon Angle already called for 2nd amendment remedies.

  • SForza||

    That's bizarre, I haven't noticed that at all. I've noticed libertarian leaning articles coming close to saying there is no way to solve our problems, so let's start drinking. Either that, or: "Welp, looks like it's about time to move to New Zealand."

    But hey man, feel free to take a suicidal plunge into whatever aqueous metaphor suits your fancy.

  • John C. Randolph||

    You first, special agent Fink.

    -jcr

  • juliajuli330||

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  • verlighsoncno1975||

    On every weekend, we all colleagues jointly used to watch movie, because enjoyment is also essential in life.

    http://farrdesign.com/jerseys/?id=2097

  • juliajuli2778||

    my classmate's half-sister makes $73 every hour on the computer. She has been without a job for six months but last month her pay check was $20027 just working on the computer for a few hours. Check This Out

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  • concerned cynic||

    I broadly agree with the analysis above.
    When a local government or government department has an auterity budget forced upon it, the classic response is passive agressive: administrators use their discretion, a discretion that in most respects is perfectly legitimate, to cut back the stuff that most angers the voters. This maximises the probability that the budget cuts will be repealed at the first opportunity.
    It is completely true that the Federal government, in response to a rigid debt ceiling, could prioritise Social Security and the interest on debt, and make major cutbacks elsewhere. To make defaulting on debt the first port of call is a financial weapon of mass destruction (thank you Warren Buffet!).

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