In an interview with Fox News Sunday this morning, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the #2 Republican in the House, threatened to take the nation’s economy hostage if President Obama does not comply with House GOPers’ as yet undefined demands. When asked if he would take a government shutdown on forcing the United States to default on its debt off the table, Cantor responded that it would somehow be President Obama’s fault if House Republicans press this agenda:
QUESTION: Are you willing to say right now we’re not going to let the country go into default, and we won’t allow a government shutdown?CANTOR: Chris, look at this now. The chief executive, the president, is as responsible as any in terms of running this government. The president has a responsibility, as much or more so than Congress, to make sure that we are continuing to function in a way that the people want.
"Don't make us shut the government down," Cantor is saying. "We get what we want or we will rip this economy apart overnight. It would be a shame if the President forced us to pull the trigger."
Quite an impressive show of
Here's the problem with this particular game of chicken: The people that stand to lose the most here, especially from the threat of a sovereign debt default, are the investor class. They are the ones who spent billions to get the GOP into power, and the threat of default will annihilate the bond market. The big players, especially the hedge fund giants, stand to lose hundreds of billions from a treasury meltdown as interest rates on long bonds skyrocket and yields drop like lead elephants on gravity steroids.
They will not allow the Republicans to toss satchel charges into their cathedral of cash.
Obama can win this battle if he holds his ground. Eric Cantor is bluffing and he knows it. I figured it would take far longer for the Tea Party to march out onto the rope bridge and begin cutting, but they're talking about doing it within a week of winning the House.
The Republicans will get reined in on this one damn quick. Count on it. This is not a card Cantor and the Tea Party crazies will ever, ever be allowed to use. All Obama has to do is ask Wall Street's big boys to remind Cantor who is in charge here, and while it's not Obama, and it sure as hell isn't Eric Cantor either.
As far as the shutdown, well, remember when seniors stopped getting their Social Security and Medicare when the Republicans tried this last time? This card won't get played either. Not the same seniors who voted the Republicans into power in the House. They will revolt.
Cantor has an empty clip and not enough sense to head for cover. Of course, if Obama and the Dems blink first...
But even they have to see this is a huge bluff, right?