As the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling approaches, Republicans lawmakers are inching closer to the economic cliff over their stubborn refusal to close unfair tax loopholes and raise tax rates on the wealthy. The GOP’s lead lemming is Tea Party leader Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). Last night on Fox’s Freedom Watch with host Andrew Napolitano, DeMint blamed the Obama administration for purposefully “burning time” to bring about this fiscal crisis. Urging Republicans to maintain their intransigence on the debt ceiling, DeMint said he’d be “willing to” cause “serious disruptions” in the economy to secure significant cuts and a balanced budget:
DEMINT: The reason the president hasn’t addressed the issue even though we knew it was facing us, and this is the fourth time he’s asked for an increase in the debt limit, he has been burning time — that’s what [Vice President Joe] Biden was supposed to do is get the Republicans behind closed doors — is burn the clock up until we have a crisis. So now we’re at the point where there would have to be some serious disruptions in order not to raise it. I’m willing to do that, I just don’t think we can find enough of Republicans and Democrats to say it’s time to stop spending.
A brief survey of such “disruptions” include an immediate cut of nearly 40 percent from the federal budget, a 2.3 percent drop in GDP, a freeze on billions in Social Security payments, a disruption of payments for Medicare, Medicaid, and military active duty pay, a “double-dip contraction” in the already fragile U.S. housing market, a severe blow to America’s creditworthiness, an inevitable increase in unemployment, and ultimately, a direct shove back into a recession.
DeMint and his Republican colleagues, however, view all of this as no big deal. Nonetheless, DeMint’s complete dismissal of the looming economic disaster he’s willing to cause will earn him nothing but blame from the American people.