Default Means 44% of Bills Unpaid, 10% Decline in GDP

The Bipartisan Policy Center has found that if there is no agreement to raise the debt limit by August 2, the Treasury Department would fail to pay 44 percent of its obligations. That 44 percent of government spending, over a year, is equivalent to a real decline in GDP of 10 percent.

The number is that high because the Treasury Department has been making fiscal adjustments since March, in order to stave off default. Those adjustment have been pushed as far as possible and cannot continue to push back the deadline, beyond August 2.

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The Tea Party is an Alarm Bell

The Tea Party movement is famous for its persistent expression of rage. It has been elevated by partisans who want to channel that rage to harm their opponents, and it has been misinterpreted by progressive politicians as a result of ignorance and poor anger management. Those superficial qualities are symptoms; the movement is an alarm bell that neither party seems equipped to respond to.

The alarm is clearly about the erosion of the influence of the individual, the small organization, local culture. The alarm is not about taxes or liberalism or spending or immigrants; those are all targets of convenience. The alarm is an attempt to alert us to our own reduced importance in a world not run by us or by our representatives, but by powerful, impenetrable interests.

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