by Patrick Appel
If the GOP doesn't cut a deal sometime pretty soon, we're either going to default on our debt (hello, financial crisis, unemployment spike, substantial and immediate drop in GDP, followed by an angry mob of voters descending on their polling places with pitchforks), or we're going to cut a bunch of programs that beneficiaries are very attached to. (Hello, angry mob of seniors descending on their representatives with machetes.) There is no deal that they can cut which does not include raising more revenue; the Democrats aren't going to be the only people offering compromise, and I don't blame them.
Frum asks the GOP establishment to deliver a message to GOP politicans:
Republicans in Congress need to understand that there will be a political price to them, not only to the president, if they force the United States into reneging on its contracted obligations. They need to hear that message from inside, from donors and supporters. That’s not a “pro-Obama” message as some hot-heads charge. It’s a pro “full faith and credit” message.
But Jonathan Bernstein believes Republican politicians "are convinced that their main vulnerability is primary challenges from the right" and that such establishment pleas will therefore fall on deaf ears. Alex Massie invokes Reagan:
Reagan, I'm pretty sure, would take the deal and lift the debt ceiling. Maybe that would be wrong – though I doubt it – but yet again we see that many of those who profess their unswavering devotion to all things Gipper worship a corrupted version of their god that cannot withstand much comparison with the reality of the man himself.
And Ryan Avent fears disaster even if a deal is reached:
In all probability, America won't default; it's still difficult to imagine that it cold come to that. The bigger danger, I think, is that the Republican strategy will either lead Democrats to accept short-term cuts large enough to endanger recovery or will result in a short period of "prioritisation", in which spending is suddenly and dramatically cut back to prevent a default once the money runs out (on or about August 2nd). America may make it through this episode with its credit rating intact and still sustain significant economic damage.