GOP Willing to Take Mind-Boggling Risks in Order to Push for Extreme Austerity
alternet.org — A prolonged confrontation over the nation's debt ceiling -- unlike the "fiscal cliff," which provoked many scary headlines -- could truly be grave for both America and the world. While press coverage often mentions the possibility of lowered credit ratings for the U.S. Treasury (again), that might only be the mildest consequence if Republicans in Congress actually refuse to authorize borrowing and avoid default. In short, the economy would contract sharply and the U.S. -- along with the rest of the world -- might well be plunged back into negative growth. If that was true in July 2011, it is equally true today, and there is no reason to dismiss that warning. But the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill insists that they are willing to take these mind-boggling risks, solely for the purpose of enforcing an extreme austerity regime that has already done permanent damage in much of Europe.