Lèse majesté

People look at Washington and say “I could do better” as hyperbole, but it’s no longer hyperbole. I really could do better. When it comes to increasing the debt ceiling, almost anyone could do better than the Republicans:

Real President: You must pass my bill, or there will be a huge disaster!

Imaginary Congressman: No. You sign my bill. Take it or leave it.

RP: You can’t talk to me like that! I’m the President of the United States!

IC: Pass your own bill then.

RP: The voters will punish you on election day.

IC: We’ll see who gets punished, Oh Magnificent One.

RP: You must pass this bill, or there will be a huge disaster!

IC: You said that already. Here’s the bill for a debt increase and spending cuts. Sign it, or don’t.

RP: I’ll give a speech!

IC: Yeah, whatever.

Most of the time being a congressman requires mature statesmanship, consensus-building, good manners, and wisdom, not that we get those in many cases. Most of the time, I could not do the work a representative or senator does every day. But on this day, we need less special men. We need a bunch of stubborn jerks.

UPDATE: About the national debt, here are charts of Total debt per person at the end of each administration, and debt per person after inflation. It’s food for thought.

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3 Replies to “Lèse majesté”

  1. I recently heard that there’s a big argument about the various ways of calculating inflation– any idea which method/source they used?

    1. I don’t know. As I recall there are a couple of ways. Choosing a fixed basket of commodities systematically overestimates inflation, because it doesn’t reflect changes in what people buy less of when the price goes up. This is how they figured cpi in the 90s; don’t know if they’ve changed since. The other way, which I can’t recall, systematically underestimates inflation. If you haven’t read it, you might find helpful Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life, by David D. Friedman. It’s good, if a bit doctrinaire, but I expect you’ll read critically.

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