Yesterday, Nebraska GOP primary voters nominated dark horse candidate and state Sen. Deb Fischer as their candidate for an open U.S. Senate race this November. In choosing Fischer, the Nebraska GOP aligns itself with a candidate who recently called for a very high stakes game of chicken — flirting with economic catastrophe in order to force Congress to permanently enshrine Tea Party fiscal policy into the Constitution.
During last year’s debt ceiling crisis, which Speaker John Boehner has threatened to repeat next year, House and Senate Republicans threatened to force the United States to default on its debt — an outcome that would have caused “a bigger GDP drop than that experienced during the Great Recession of 2008″ — unless President Obama agreed to an increasingly escalating series of demands for austerity. Even after this campaign of extortion forced the White House to make significant concessions, Fischer indicated that she would have simply let the economy blow up because Congress didn’t also agree to a constitutional amendment:
Nebraska’s 2012 Republican Senate candidates turned thumbs down Monday on the compromise debt reduction plan agreed to by the White House and congressional leaders.
“I would vote no on this specific bill because Congress needs to pass a balanced budget (constitutional) amendment first,” said state Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine.
It’s not clear which version of the balanced budget amendment Fischer is referring to here, but even the mildest forms of such an amendment are terrible ideas because they prevent the United States from responding to economic downturns or unexpected disasters, while simultaneously turning control of the nation’s budget over to unelected judges who are ill-equipped to handle it.
Moreover, at the time that Fischer endorsed blowing up the economy unless Congress votes to change the Constitution, the leading Republican proposal for such an amendment imposed such draconian spending cuts that it would “throw about 15 million more people out of work, double the unemployment rate from 9 percent to approximately 18 percent, and cause the economy to shrink by about 17 percent instead of growing by an expected 2 percent.” The lead sponsor of this plan to trigger a new Great Depression, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), also called for forcing a debt default unless Congress gives him everything he wants.
In other words, while little is known about the obscure state lawmaker who wants to join the United States Senate, her willingness to play chicken with America’s prosperity strongly suggests that she would line up with the most hardline members of the Republican caucus.