Well the US shutdown is over, and their national debt ceiling has been raised. Who was the winner? well nobody in America that’s for sure. Counter intuitively, US government shutdowns cost the US treasury tens of billions in bills that have to be paid. China who owns a huge chunk of the US government’s debt can breathe a big sigh of relief and go back to oppressing their own people.
Obama has won a Pyrrhic victory and John Boehner can kiss any chance of running for President goodbye. It was a plague on both houses, but once again the mainstream GOP surrendered without gaining any concessions and made net result of all this brinkmanship a big fat zero. This could see the Republican party lurch further to the right and could very well have cost them the next presidential election regardless.
I’m sure someone will write a fascinating book about this, but before anyone gets too carried away, they didn’t cut a budget deal, they only postponed the argument until the new year. It seems there are no happy endings only new battles. Who will have the stomach to go through all this all over again?
But for all its spectacular dysfunction America is still the only country in the world even bothering to have this debate. Everyone else seems content to run up their budget deficits and national debts with merry abandon, confident that nobody will point out that the emperor has no clothes because everyone else is likewise standing in the gaze of history naked. In fact the UK is one of, if not the worst offender in this regard. Remember that when any of our political parties make promises that entail spending money we simply do not have… And since we are not in the Eurozone nobody will come running to our rescue when the bond market turns on us.
So there you have it folks, mmm politics and tasty tasty economics, its time to emigrate folks. Run while you still can. Canada and Australia are looking pretty good right about now.