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Guest Post: Conservatism And The Debt Ceiling

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by James E. Miller of The Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

I am not very good at self-identifying. When asked of my political affiliation, I waffle between libertarian, Rothbardian, or just straight out anarchist. Perhaps the best answer is “none.” Explaining the immoral nature of the state is too big of a feat for casual conversation. Regardless of my anti-state views, there is a soft spot for conservatism somewhere in my inner political makeup. And when I reference conservatism, I mean real conservatism; not its bastard third cousin known as neoconservatism that was birthed by Trotsky.

Hayek’s critique notwithstanding, libertarianism and conservatism overlap slightly when it comes to public policy. Both recognize the tendency of the state to become excessive with authority. The fundamentality of law is paramount in both viewpoints. The virtue of temperance is held in high regard for followers of both Rand and Burke. At times, there is conflict on the boundary of rights whether the greater good is worth violating the individual liberty of some. But fiscal issues are where the conservative and libertarian find the most common ground.

As the United States government remains partially shut down, Washington is hurtling toward its statutory debt limit of $16.7 trillion. Come sometime this week, Congress will either have to pass an extension of the cap or no more money can be borrowed. Some writers of the conservative bent have expressed worry there will be a default on the national debt if a couple of ideological Congressmen keep getting their way. Rod Dreher claims a small band of Tea Party Republicans are using the “prospect of a sovereign default as political leverage.” Commentary editor John Podhoretz calls the strategy (if there were really a tactic of shorting bondholders) “suicide of the right.” Ross Douthat, the estimable token conservative of the New York Times, labels the whole gambit “blackmail” and “much dumber and more dangerous” than the debt limit acquiescence during Reagan’s second presidential term.

These critics, for all their esteemed insights, are mistaken in their belief of the infallibility of Uncle Sam’s credit. That the thieves in Washington collect enough in tax ransom to make interest payments is not considered. Neither is the inconvenient truth that buyers of government securities are not engaging in a riskless activity – they too made an investment and thereby accept the possible consequences involved. The state’s inherent ability to fleece money for operation is limited by decree and the impending furor of a plucked populace. Placing undeniable confidence in the full faith and credit of a government is nothing but ignorant reverence to force.

That aside, Washington will still not default on owners of its bonds. Talk of such an event is downright scaremongering. President Obama and the media are leading the chorus of fearfulness in this regard, and some otherwise sharp fellows are falling under the siren song. It’s unfortunate yet understandable. The failure to pay creditors in full would be a painful blow to America’s prestige. It would also hold ramifications for the global economy if investors began a fire sale of U.S. Treasuries. Nevertheless, that hypothetical is far from realistic in the immediate future.

That doesn’t make defaulting an impossibility however. For the superior economic productivity within its borders, the U.S. government is gifted with a sizeable tax base. Still, the politicians in charge can’t help but borrow close to .40 cents of every dollar spent – and that’s just on-the-books accounting. In reality, Washington is in possession of $222 trillion in unfunded liabilities largely due to entitlement programs. Such a number is so astronomical that default is already in the cards. The question is when it will occur. Like most things in life, the medicine can be swallowed now or later down the road.

The conservative case against another raise in the debt ceiling is not grounded in politics. It is made by the prudential character of anyone who firmly understands that well-being cannot flourish by using a disease as a cure. As Russell Kirk wrote,

A conservative is not, by definition, a selfish or a stupid person; instead, he is a person who believes there is something in our life worth saving.

Debt on debt is no way to run a country, a household, or an individual bank account. By borrowing in seeming perpetuity, you preserve the good times. But it only lasts as long as your credit rating remains intact. There is always the appearance of stability in a drunk who maintains his level of intoxication. As long as the bottles of bottom-shelf whiskey keep coming, the inebriated will not have to go through the painful correction of sobering up. Not many would disagree that the comedown after a party is a necessary part of existence. But when it comes to debt, the circumstances apparently change.

The virus of progressivism, at its essence, is the belief that paradise can be created on Earth. In practice, it’s presented in a variety of efforts that attempt to hurdle the natural barriers of life that keep us from being gods. The minimum wage, hate crime prohibition, public housing, income redistribution, and tax funding for welfare are all byproducts of an ideology that thinks it can it simply wipe away the laws that govern the world. What is not realized, or is willfully ignored, is the unseen, pernicious results of all government policy. Public debt brings the pretense of prosperity while avoiding the true cost. There are several economists who assert that government liabilities don’t really matter because, in the end, we owe it to ourselves. As Rothbard wrote back in the heyday of supply-side economics,

…at least, conservatives were astute enough to realize that it made an enormous amount of difference whether — slicing through the obfuscatory collective nouns — one is a member of the “we” (the burdened taxpayer) or of the “ourselves” (those living off the proceeds of taxation).

Since taxation is always and everywhere theft, the only justified approach to government debt is total repudiation. The money that passes through the state’s hand to the creditor is tainted with the mark of crime. The correction would be tough, but the world would not end in flames. Another, less radical path is simply for the U.S. Treasury to cancel its debt held at the Federal Reserve. Since the Fed cannot go bankrupt due to the recent adoption of a questionable accounting scheme, both entities would pretty much keep to their respective gimmicks to outrun an inherent insolvency.

The whole fulcrum of the bloated American state is beyond ready for a radical deconstruction. The same goes for most nation-states in the West. The continual borrowing, serviced indiscreetly by an accommodating central bank, has made an entirety of the populace fat and happy off of debt. Large pools of capital continue to be depleted with little refreshment. In 2008, there was a massive correction in this wholly destructive process, but it was averted through government intervention. The same easy credit policy that fueled the asset bubble-and-burst is being replicated at an unprecedented rated.

This is no realistic method for operating any institution. Something has to give eventually. The conservative will often pride himself on taking a realistic view on affairs. Refusing to see the train wreck that is Washington finances means putting one’s head in the sand and hoping for sunshine and lollipops. It’s the polar opposite of a sustainable yet measured outlook toward good living.

Any conservative who places high value on civil society over the intrusion of government should balk at the prospect of a higher debt load. It makes certain that the ruling political class will not cease in their effort to infiltrate private life. Unfortunately it appears as if some otherwise sharp minds have fallen prey to the liberal device of alarmism. Keeping the status quo is a nice goal if the present state of affairs is bucolic enough. But with an increasingly militarized domestic police presence combined with a massive surveillance apparatus that has made privacy into an anachronism, the times are far from serene. Taking a hardline on the national debt would go far in reducing both of these highly viable threats to peace.


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Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:35 | 4069442 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Unfortunately it appears as if some otherwise sharp minds have fallen prey to the liberal device of alarmism."

Give me a break Miller.  These "otherwise sharp" minds of which you speak are simply speaking on behalf of oligarchs everywhere who want the free money and who orchestrated the whole mess going back to 1913.  It's always the same with you guys that you express surprise when the guys to whom you want to hand the keys are picking our pockets while they talk about how picking their pockets is wrong.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:45 | 4069493 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I'm really sorry to rain on anyone's parade, but survival-thru-debt is going to be our future until the end of the western world. As one of the Tylers pointed out, Congress admits that we need to raise the debt ceiling to pay our bills. Signs of the Apocalypse clearly.

The debt cannot be paid. The borrowing cannot be stopped. There is no end in sight, there is no end around the corner, there is no end possible at all.

Doesn't matter what anyone thinks on the subject. The debt is now in control of events, not the other way around, and it will dominate our lives until the end of "money". So imagine how you will live without money, because that is where you are headed.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:57 | 4069553 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

The best one can do is to prepare as much as possible while enjoying the current moment. Tall order for sure. 

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:37 | 4069716 Bryan
Bryan's picture

"The best one can do is to prepare as much as possible while enjoying the current moment."


I like that.  What else can you do?  Staring at and cursing your computer screen full of charts and your CSPAN show just leads to anger and bitterness.  Admit that we are pawns in the grand Chess Game lead by the oligarchs, and be happy being a pawn.  Either that or run for office as a true believer and get smashed.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:52 | 4069777 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

With the advent of BitCoin and the discussions of electronic only currencies, I wonder if the plan is to party like a sailor on shore leave then switch to a much more abitrary (if that's even possible) 'monetary' system.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:30 | 4069904 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Despise your fellow man for a lack of ability or desire to leave the animal world.

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 00:04 | 4071232 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Perhaps I misunderstand.  I believe the animal world is naturally ordered and our attempts to leave the ordered world have lead us to a fantasy induced cliff and we don't seem to have any mass ability to grasp reality.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 17:22 | 4070272 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

Not at all. Aaron Clarey has pointed out, that life in a declining empire can be pleasant and enjoyable. Read "Enjoy the Decline".

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:21 | 4069665 greatbeard
greatbeard's picture

>> So imagine how you will live without money

Sounds like a divorced guy with four kids in Florida.  I might need to look one up so he can give me some pointers.

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 13:10 | 4071839 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

"....and it will dominate our lives until the end of "money"."

@cougar - There's a difference between currency and money. Currency is not a store of value for the long term while money is in fact a store of value. Gold and silver are money, Federal Reserve notes are not. Money will continue to exist and will thrive while currency, namely US dollars will go to zero just like every other fiat currency in history. Debt is only in control of events to the extent that it will eventually extenguish currency. Those of us with real money will be just fine.

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 01:04 | 4071264 sadmamapatriot
sadmamapatriot's picture

Brit Hume is still a douche but this is about right.

And Denninger oints the finger exactly where it should be.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:35 | 4069445 heinrich6666
heinrich6666's picture

Alarmism is a liberal device?

/didn't read

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:35 | 4069446 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

It´s the spending!

It´s the spending!


Time for America to wake up, will they?

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:56 | 4069551 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

Time for America to wake up, will they?

Not until it's too late. It all works until it doesn't.

The hairs on my neck are up; it feels like its just around the corner.

Unfortunately it's felt like that since 2007 and this sentinel is weary.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:14 | 4069641 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Unfortunately it's felt like that since 2007


Unfortunately,  you've got to ask yourself if that's paranoia or reality.

My father was waiting for "inflation" to destroy Merican since Johnson.   He's dead now.   Did I inherit his paranoia, or is "it" real?   

The extroverted sociopaths can keep the scams going for a long time.  The US dumbasses are still quite wealthy (compared to the rest of the world), and there's LOTS of loot still available to take.   As long as the "batteries" produce heat why flush them down the toilet.  

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:51 | 4069990 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Your father was correct.

Inflation through the central bank has undermined or destroyed virtually everything good about America and the once self-reliant middle class has been reduced to serfs and supplicants. Hence, it exists in name only.

The US is in its Weekend at Bernie's condition - a corpse that can't realize it's dead.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:36 | 4069922 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

It's the government!

It's the government!

About a zero chance that H. sapiens will wake up.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:37 | 4069458 quasimodo
quasimodo's picture

"Debt on debt is no way to run a country, a household, or an individual bank account"


Seem to be working for us for now. And to think, "way" back in '06 I thought we were screwed, yet here we are.

I keep waiting for the wheels to fall off, for vindication. It seems we have run flats keeping us going.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:53 | 4069539 NewAmericaNow
NewAmericaNow's picture

The problem is the Fractional Reserve Monetary System and The Federal Reserve. We shall pay a great price for not following that portion of the Constitution.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:24 | 4069674 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re: We shall pay a great price for not following that portion of the Constitution.


Yeah, but IF you were a sociopath elected by dumbasses what part of the Constution would you ignore?

That's Correct...  the parts that didn't allow you to loot the dumbasses.   See how life works?

Too bad the "Conservatives" didn't try to shrink Big-MIC for the last 60+ years.   But, see how life works?   Why do what's "right" when so many other activities get you more famales with large teeth.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:39 | 4069468 kevinearick
kevinearick's picture

You Are Here Tin Soldier

The global economy is in a dead short.


“I have plenty; have some.”


“I got mine; you get yours.”


“Get them before they get you.”

You are here.


Congress can only affect the middle class. Capital embezzlers are protected by the artificial nation/state border system that normally ensures their escape, “the most liquid plumbing, blah, blah, blah.” Congress has no idea what labor looks like because it has never worked a day in its life.

Now, to avoid a real war, Congress is feeding the middle class to the wolves, layer by layer, every three months, under the umbrella of sequester and the debt ceiling dog and pony show, hiding the reality that the entitlements cannot be paid in plain sight, until the last moment. War begins when capital is pitted directly against capital, a tempest in a tea pot as far as labor is concerned.

Consume it all, pretend to be busy and buy guns. That is all Congress has to offer the middle class. Get in line, follow the program, watch the magician and ignore the buzzing in your ear.

Repeat after me:

“Yes we can” print to infinity and beyond. “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.”

Oh, that’s right; there is also the issue of the robots in charge of full employment and stable prices that have never worked. Next plan please, same as the old plan - do nothing, change your mind, get anxious and blow up – Rock of Ages.

Dress up, click your heels and get on ‘ze’ train. Nothing new about IBM, the Bellwether.

Funny, how the proton and neutron react automatically, seeking the perception of security. The only difference between any kind of bomb – clutch, propulsion or explosion – is perception of time. Keep chasing property and money to maintain the status quo.

Borrowing to pay interest on the debt is like getting another credit card to pay interest on your other credit cards. That works, until it doesn’t. Go ahead, Nest.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:41 | 4069474 cpnscarlet
cpnscarlet's picture

Tell us something we don't know.

BTW I prefer to be known as a paleoconservative.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:41 | 4069480 Newsboy
Newsboy's picture

The change of monetary regime will be harsh and global.

Who wouldn't rather "kick the can"?

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:50 | 4069520 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

People around don't seem to understand that this is a game that will likely end in massive wealth destruction across all stores of value.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:09 | 4069602 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

There are no safe places to hide,only less unsafe ones.

So what is your prescription for the least loss of wealth Cougar ?

I am always open to suggestions.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:30 | 4069688 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I don't think one can hold abstract stores of wealth. Cash or probably PM either. Keep some, no harm in that, but hold no great hopes.

Non-abstract stores of value probably have the best long-term "value"; arable land, education (not degrees, actual understanding), tools and trades, community, good physical and mental health, resilient spirituality. All these can be created or made stronger by the liberal application of abstract value (money) in advance. Once the money (in whatever form) is gone or devalued into worthlessness, the real value it once contained will have already been transferred away.

Those are my thoughts. Not very useful for the immediate gratification crowd out there. But nobody said this was going to be easy or straight-forward.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:06 | 4069801 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Thanks for sharing.

While I have valuable  practical ,and theoretical  skills, age, and some near fatal

encounters with our modern practising medicine men,will make me a liability in the Brave

New(old) World we are about to go back to.My experiences living in the 3rd world

means I will prolly survive,when most won't the horror thats coming our way..

Very few here realize how badly this  is going to end.I think you have a handle

on it though.I think its much closer than they realize.They are blase after to many cries of wolf.

The hairs on the back of the neck saved me in several impromptu revolution ituations,

they are raised now.

Hiding in plain sight seems to be the only answer I can come up with.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:37 | 4069929 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

This is the answer...  localization and diversification...  put your money in things with utility, that you will use, and be done with it...  if they're useful, then they'll always have SOME value.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:52 | 4069536 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

kick the can kickers out of office

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:00 | 4069571 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

There is a very long line of wanna-be can kickers eager to replace them.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:42 | 4069483 Trampy
Trampy's picture

I tell people I'm a libertarian anarchist. 

The redundancy is necessary because of all the faux "libertarians" who voted for Mitt instead of Gary Johnson. 

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:46 | 4069494 cpnscarlet
cpnscarlet's picture

I voted for Gary, my former governor

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:53 | 4069538 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Red or green?

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:13 | 4069632 Steve in Greensboro
Steve in Greensboro's picture

My Johnson got more votes than Gary Johnson.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:54 | 4069545 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

999 out of 1000 Americans will have never heard of a "libertarian" and nearly as many will tell you that an "anarchist" is a communist who throws rocks at police.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:59 | 4069799 Marco
Marco's picture

Why call yourself an anarchist? The anarchists don't buy it, the man on the street doesn't buy it (as contorted their concept of anarchism is, you still don't fit it). I just don't understand why Rothbardians keep trying to hijack the term.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:45 | 4069947 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The redundancy spreads idiocy (as the terms aren't redundant)...  use accurate terms and force others to...  this is how language dies.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:47 | 4069502 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

This will all end in the most Hellacious worldwide civil war ever known to mankind. Maybe 5 years, maybe 500, but that's where it's going........

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:14 | 4069638 denverdolomte
denverdolomte's picture

Completely agree. I have had a hard time wrapping my head around a number of aspects surrounding our worlds events. Then entire world run on debt, power elite in pseudo control of now shape or form can this end well. Also agree on the when? question of the paradox, we all know it can't work and can't keep spending, but the fact that it's a faux market reality will it collapse on its own or some outside factor that will cause it. Good post AL.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:20 | 4069664 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re: Maybe 5 years, maybe 500

Unfortunately, maybe 5 hours.

How many countries on the planet have nukes with semi-psychotics ready to push the button because their "loving" imaginary friend happens to get pissed at the neighbor.  

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:47 | 4069504 gjp
gjp's picture

Outside of Ron Paul, there isn't a real conservative in the entire landscape of Western politics.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:51 | 4069524 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

The Reagan administration thought Goldwater was an extremist. That was the first time they opened pandoras deficit box, and its been bipartisan money printing ever since.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:01 | 4070015 Balanced Integer
Balanced Integer's picture

People in Reagan's administration thought that Goldwater was an extremist. (Bush, Sr., for one.)

Reagan admired Goldwater and spoke for his campaign in 1964.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:48 | 4069507 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

obama's status quo is economic blackmail. the tea party is calling their bluff, which is no spending cuts of any kind, or you'll have to shut down the entire government. the only thing they're willing to discuss is cuts in the growth of spending. if the feds balance sheet were liquidated housing prices would fall, and the economy would recover on its own, and spending cuts would occur naturally as a result of being able to buy a $1000 military toilet seat for maybe $50. obama has the mindset of big numbers mean better economic growth, (asset inflation) while the system WANTS to contract on its own, in order to function properly. obama is an idiot stuck in medievel economic methods.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:03 | 4069815 Marco
Marco's picture

The US has 4 decades worth of accumulated debt ... the economy doesn't want to contract, it wants to implode.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:52 | 4069535 dracos_ghost
dracos_ghost's picture

Congress is irrelevant after TARP. With the abrogation of separations of powers and concentration of power in the Executive Branch, Congress has NO authority other than rabble rousing like Cruz tried to do. BFD. No one cares. Even the Tea party are a bunch of hippocrites. "Cut Spending NOW...except for my shit of course". "Halt Obamacare, except for my staff and my family". "Cut entitlements but let's bring in waves of illegals and completely collapse the system". And so on and so on.

DC is theater. Harvards' Hasting Pudding vs Yale's Whiffenpoofs. And the sheeple love the drama. Right as the bolt gun is pressed against the back of their skull. There is no solution at this point, it's just the timing of the collapse. IMO, August 2016, when all of Obamateur's cronies head for the exits. Until then, when rape is inevitable and all that jazz. SPX 2k and Dow 20k. 2 and 20 so to speak.


For those who really want to get pissed and have Netflix, watch "HANK: 5 Years after the brink". Friggin textbook study into sociopathic narcissism and he has the balls to say he saved the world -- except for the last 3 minutes of the interview where he said it's much worse now because of all the programs he set up. But he was gone by then.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:59 | 4069569 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

the process in America to Bolger the criminals, wait until they are ready for the retirement home and give them symbolic justice. what does it matter when all you can do is stare at four walls. after these guys (Bush Paulson Cheney Obama) are ready for pasture will they hand out convictions. i still wonder why Bush 1 wasn't nailed but he was a war hero and he has a lot of money. there could be an October surprise there, hair of the dog, Iran Contra to bite him before he slips away.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:53 | 4069540 monad
monad's picture

This isn't about borrowing. This is about destroying free will to impose despotic global collectivism. 

It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.

Self-sacrifice? But it is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed. Ayn Rand and coincidentally, Jesus Christ

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:58 | 4069561 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

No actually it really is all about borrowing. I know, that's scary to think about. About shit getting real. Being able to survive only by pulling forward future energy reserves means the human world is doomed outright by the unflinching entropic forces of the universe, rather than say destined for some dramatic power struggle between titanic forces for good and evil.

Why yes I did watch Star Wars. But I was not impressed.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 17:55 | 4070393 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

I'm less worried about energy, having recently read about next-generation nuclear energy. New designs are far more safe, and it turns out to be possible to dramatically reduce nuclear waste, compared to current reactors. It also seems that, the more that environmentalists observe the effects of tar-sands extraction, and the like, the less inclined they are to veto nuclear power.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 21:40 | 4070679 monad
monad's picture


Barbie got a fleet of cars, 5 mansions and 8B from Shylock. She told Shylock you'd pay. She also borrowed 70T to breed, educate and arm your enemies' children, in case you have second thoughts about the arrangement. OK with you? Oh and no, you may not change careers. You're making green rosettas til you die, or til Moochelle dies, whichever comes first. Buraq promised her green rosetta cupcakes and thats the final word. For your own good stay away from that Monad, it's bad for ya.

Barry Soetoro is Tom Chambers


Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:09 | 4069617 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re  This is about destroying free will to impose despotic global collectivism. 

There is no free will.  We've got the style of government the humans in the United States instintively "choose" to have:  an authoritarian one run by sociopaths.

No other system is possible in a country without a common enemy. 

The only thing the Godless Commies were good for was provide our dumbasses with a common enemy and keeping the sociopaths fearful enough not to eat the dumbasses alive.   Well,  the Godless Commies are gone, and we don't have any space aliens (other than the lizard people, of course). 

The sociopaths are eating the dumbasses, but the dumbasses think "those people" are doing it.

Stupid dumbasses.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:09 | 4069835 Marco
Marco's picture

Despotic collectivism is a contradiction in terms ... on the other hand despotic anarcho-capitalism is perfectly possible (feudalism WAS anarcho-capitalist ... peon's didn't pay taxes after all, they paid rent).

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 22:12 | 4071053 Steve in Greensboro
Steve in Greensboro's picture

Despotic collectivism is a redundancy.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 13:58 | 4069554 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Too bad so many people who say they are "Conservative" are actually Fascists.


Most "Conservatives" I know:

1) love manly Big-Gov crony-capitalist scams like:  Big-Ag, Big-MIC, Big-Road, Big-Water, Big-Airport, Big-Energy, Big-House, Big-OldFart, Big-OldFartHealthcare, Big-AntiDrug, & Big-PoliceState.   That's not socialism, that's an investment in our children's future.

2) love having the state determine what the male pecker can be used for.

3) love having the state determine what females can do after they get pregnant from a male pecker.

Everybody loves Big-Gov intruding on the lives of others.   The only thing the Red and Blue Team disagree about is who should be running the Big-Gov.   The socialists ("Liberals") are climbing up the left face of Mt Authority, and the fascists ("Conservatives") are climbing up the right face of Mt Authority.

How many "Conservatives" think Snowdon is a traitor?   But, after all, "Country First".   What team had that as their slogan?

Conservative my ass.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:15 | 4069645 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Yawn.  Nothing new here.  Time to go to graduate to Middle School material.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:27 | 4069673 Steve in Greensboro
Steve in Greensboro's picture

"...Since taxation is always and everywhere theft, the only justified approach to government debt is total repudiation...."

My concern with repudiation is that it clears the Federal government's balance sheet enabling them to start borrowing money again.  Iceland repudiated its debt and was back in the credit markets shortly after.  The only way repudiation makes sense to me is if it is combined with 1) permanent reduction in the Feds ability to tax and 2) settlement of the existing debt by sale of Federal assets, e.g. Federal lands.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:13 | 4069847 Marco
Marco's picture

Iceland said that they had no obligation to pay deposit guarantuees for foreign depositors, not quite the same thing.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:37 | 4069712 JR
JR's picture

It’s bad enough that the Big Government, banker-supported Republicans sell out their constituents and other Americans but it’s downright sickening to have them lie about it. No congressional Republican fits this example better than Mr. Humana, Mitch McConnell.

With the quotes below by McConnell the Loser, who needs Harry Reid…

From: McConnell: No More Shutdowns Over Obamacare | NEWSMAX | 17 Oct 2013 (excerpts)

·         Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear on Thursday that repealing Obamacare would never be used by Republicans again to bring the federal government to a halt.

"One of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there's no education in the second kick of a mule," McConnell told The Hill. "The first kick of a mule was when we shut the government down in the mid-1990s — and the second kick was over the last 16 days."

"There will not be a government shutdown," the Kentucky Republican added….

"I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is," McConnell told The Hill.
McConnell told The Hill that the fight to stop the healthcare law would not take place in January, either,
even though he and many other Republicans "hate, detest, and despise Obamacare."

Noting that some Democrats would like to repeal the 2.3 percent medical-device tax that is used to finance the healthcare law, McConnell said Republicans are out of luck on ending or altering Obamacare before 2017 "unless Democrats get so shaky about parts of it.

"They may, depending upon the amount of heat they get from their constituents because of rising premiums, because of job loss, because of the chaos of the exchanges, they may be open to changes," he said.

"But full-scale repeal is obviously something that's not going to be achievable until I'm the majority leader of the Senate and we have a new president," McConnell said…

Meanwhile, McConnell told The Hill that he took over the negotiations leading to the final agreement after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and the White House rejected the latest offer from House Republicans.

"By the time I came in [Wednesday], it was clear to me that it was up to me to get us out of the government shutdown and make sure we didn't default," he told The Hill…

“I met with my members. I said, 'Look, I think we all know I have a weak hand here,'" McConnell told The Hill. "I'm on my own two-yard line. The offensive line is a little shaky, and what best I think we can do is get off a punt here to try to get into a better field position."

but we'll be back at it in January and February, which is why I call it a punt, with better field position to fight again another day," McConnell told The Hill.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:08 | 4069827 Bryan
Bryan's picture

"But full-scale repeal is obviously something that's not going to be achievable until I'm the majority leader of the Senate and we have a new president," McConnell said…"


I'll reluctantly have to agree with that sentiment.  It's going to take Republican control of all three branches before they can repeal it.  The Dems had to have the same control to get it passed in the first place, and even then had to shove it through using parliamentary trickery.  The problem will be that by the time they have that kind of control (2017 at the earliest), the law will be so ingrained into the cultural and fiscal network that it will not be able to be repealed.

This latest chance was their last shot at it, and they bungled it severely.  Shame on them.  Shame on the United States of America.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:23 | 4069878 JR
JR's picture

Obamacare did not need to be repealed. It needed to be stopped. And people like McConnell facilitated its funding.

And not only did the Establishment Republicans refuse to go along with the methods of stopping ObamaCare, but they actually criticized, severely, the people who tried to stop it.

It’s certainly not a sure bet that a Republican president and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress would eventually repeal Obamacare. When those majorities were present, Washington continued on in its Big Government, Big Wars, Big Welfare, Big Tax route.

As a matter of fact, I would bet money that Obamacare would not be repealed by the Republicans. It could have been stopped and they are just too bought off to do the job.

The Establishment Republicans want Obamacare. They are a part of it. It’s how they get their campaign money. You do know don’t you that Humana is Mitch McConnell’s biggest campaign contributor?

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:35 | 4069919 Bryan
Bryan's picture

What do you mean by stopped vs. repealed?  You mean de-funded, so that it's on the books but not in use?  Yeah, that might have been an easier route... not sure.  I don't know enough about inside politics to have an opinion.  What I do know is that I don't want the whole US Government involved in administering healthcare to its citizens.  That's way too much power and control for the current lot of clowns in charge.  That's all we need is another government bureaucracy to administer yet another entitlement program.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:35 | 4070108 JR
JR's picture

We are in agreement that whatever method is used, Obamacare has to be stopped. To repeal Obamacare takes the chance that it would be in force as long as Obama is president, i.e., the veto.

I believe Obamacare will defeat itself because it’s unworkable and even before it’s fully implemented the majority of Americans hate it.

The best way to have stopped it was to defund it, to take away the money and it could have been done by congressional Republicans since they have the power to approve the budget. Their duplicity is why Boehner and McConnell and the Establishment Republicans actually voted to fund Obamacare.

McConnell is perhaps the most sickening example of two-faced politicians who give one answer to their constituents and another to the people they’re negotiating with, the Harry Reids, et cetera. The Senate deal on Obamacare included a huge $2.918 billion budget item for a Kentucky dam project McConnell had been pushing, a huge boost from the $775 million originally allotted.  “It’s not my dam (damn?) earmark,” McConnell said when people suspected he was given this bribe to settle with Reid on Obamacare.

The fact is that energy committee members and Democrat senators such as Diane Feinstein were instrumental in putting the earmark (bribe) in the budget as an obvious payoff to McConnell for selling out the House Republicans.

You have to remember that the House Republicans are the ones who funded Obamacare because they had the House majority and it could only pass with their okay. Never mind that they had gained that majority with the help of freshmen Congressmen promising to stop Obamacare.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:39 | 4069944 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

McConnell had no intention of shutting the gov't down. He isn't telling the truth on anything.

Seeing that Cruz is a GS hand puppet (his wife) and not for the Tea Party,  just confirms that there is no political opposition to any of this horseshit going down in DC.


Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:38 | 4070123 JR
JR's picture

There’s no evidence that he’s voting for the bankers that I can see, Bay of Pigs. He’s holding up the vote on an FCC commissioner today in order to get better answers to his questions. But I don’t know why.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:49 | 4070150 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Youre kidding right...his wife works for GS and used to work at JPM. She is a member of the CFR. And he worked with Bush and Cheney starting out.

Cruz is the Poster Child of controlled opposition within the GOP.

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 02:04 | 4071306 JR
JR's picture

I appreciate and support Cruz's great stand against Obamacare but not his stand on Israel and the Middle East: “We need to stand with Israel… but we need to stop sending foreign aid to nations that hate us.”

According to Human Events earlier this year, Cruz, as keynote speaker at CPAC, “drew a contrast between the White House canceling public tours due to sequestration, but sending a vastly larger sum of money to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt without strings attached.”

In reference to the points you make, I see Daily Paul carried this in 2012 from:

“Probably few are aware that Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi is a vice president for Goldman Sachs. Would they be more disturbed to know about her work on the independent task force that wrote “Building a North American Community” which was sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. Her bio in that report says, ‘HEIDI S. CRUZ is an energy investment banker with Merrill Lynch in Houston, Texas. She served in the Bush White House under Dr. Condoleezza Rice as the Economic Director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, as the Director of the Latin America Office at the U.S. Treasury Department, and as Special Assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative. Prior to government service, Ms. Cruz was an investment banker with J.P. Morgan in New York City.'"

I only hope that the Republican base can find men, and especially those who would seek the presidency, who will zealously safeguard the country and the liberties for which those who signed the Declaration of Independence risked so much. I do not see the CFR as a part of that heritage.

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 08:03 | 4071468 Singelguy
Singelguy's picture

When the middle class can no longer afford the premiums and the poor have no money to cover the deductibles, and doctors close their doors because medicaid and medicare reimbursements no longer cover their costs, Obamacare will be revealed for the POS that it is. The American people will be screaming at Washington for a repeal and replacement.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:37 | 4069714 thewhigs
thewhigs's picture

Something of interest:

"Given the incredible irresponsibility of our government in handling its finances, the dollar deserves to be doomed."



Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:48 | 4069757 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

You want a real scare? I can give you a daytime nightmare right now.

The problem is not about irresponsible government. The problem is that we are in a lethal 4-way bind between higher costs of energy inputs, decreasing GDP outputs, aging demographics, and deindustrialization. They now have two choices remaining and only two; 1) borrow the money (now and forever) to pay unemployed/retired people and the FSA to stay home and watch TV, or 2) don't borrow the money and watch the republic catch fire and burn itself back to the stone age when people can't purchase food, housing and cable TV.

Simple as that.

Complicate it all you like. Doesn't matter and nobody cares. Them's the facts, that's how it's going to play out, and there are just no more than two ways to run all the moves that remain in the playbook.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:40 | 4069948 kurt
kurt's picture

I see you're a Glass Half Broken kind 'o guy.

One half holds some water

The other half cuts your lips to bloody ribbons

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:27 | 4070059 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

And in my world we're all going to drink from it, some more than others.

In my case that would start in about 6 hours. I'll down a few IPA while riding in a group ride of about 5,000 cyclists, until well after midnight. If I'm lucky I won't end up under a bus, but if I do at least I'll have had a friendly ride and a good beer and ultimately avoided participating in the collapse of western civilization.

You gotta go with what ya got. Know what I mean?

edit: here is my "ride" so actually maybe not a bus, more likely it would need to be a freight train.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:57 | 4069794 Mike Hunt III
Mike Hunt III's picture

"Washington will still not default on owners of its bonds. Talk of such an event is downright scaremongering"

It has already defaulted 2 or 3 times. Gold was confiscated in 1933 then revalued, gold redemption (Nixon closing the gold window) halted in 1971.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:17 | 4069860 Marco
Marco's picture

A trade surplus or balance country can afford to do that, it's all just fucking around with paper ... makes some short term waves, but is not that important.

A trade deficit country lives on debt ... giving it up hurts, ask the Greeks (and they're getting huge bailouts to spread out the transition).

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:00 | 4069803 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

   So there you have it. U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion — tops $17 trillion for first time - Washington Times

  The total cost of extraordinary measures...What a wasteland this country is!

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:24 | 4069889 squid427
squid427's picture

perhaps i am naive but have a lot more faith in normal people working together and figuring things out. sure there will be violence pain and death in places of great population density, but only for a relatively short period of time. i look forward to the reset button being pushed, when it does happen America will show her true colors, either a blood bath or the dawning of a new era, we'll see

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:54 | 4069991 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The U.S. has crossed the Rubicon, the debt is completely unpayable, an untenable path is seen as the path forward, and the New Rome has it's Nero.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:03 | 4070031 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

Since the Republican party in the U.S. has revealed itself as a complete fraud, may I be permitted a moment to define what conservatism truly means: because the definition used by the Republicans is no where near what conservatism is.  Conservatism derives from a movement in the 19th century in Europe against liberalism (which we would today call libertarianism) and socialism (which we would today call liberal).  The prinicple elements of conservatism were an emphasis upon the family as the bedrock institution of social order (as opposed to liberalism-libertarianism, which sees the individual as the atomic particle of civilization), a desire for local political concerns, those of the community, to be paramount to global or grand concerns, the importance of functioning social structures that serve to improve the moral character of the populace (i.e. the Church in the 19th century): institutions that teach ethics and respect for one´s fellows in order to maintain social cohesion in the face of rapid technological change and the fractures in society produced by an ever-more specialized division of labor.  The need for societies, indeed nations, to share a common language was also a cornerstone of conservatism, since language structures how we think about and view the world, and it is necessary for people to have a common frame of reference in order to function cohesively.

Finally, the overiding principle of conservatism was that society is not an experiment or a theory to be put into practice- the institutions that exist (family, community, church, etc.) exist because they serve a function in the social structure.  One should not tamper with human society to test new theories or social philosophies.  Change should be slow, deliberate, and organic... don´t fix anything unless it is broken.

To call the Republican party conservative does a disservice to true conservatism.  To understand what conservatism truly is I recommend reading some of the debate between John Stuart Mill and August Comte (Mill´s On Liberty is the textbook for modern libertarianism), Emile Durkheim´s Suicide and the Division of Labor in Society, some of the work of Max Weber.  The leading light of conservatism politically was Otto von Bismarck, who united the German states into modern Germany under the rule of the Hohenzollerns of Prussia.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 20:44 | 4070871 JR
JR's picture

An excellent post, A.B. - as usual. Thanx.

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 16:33 | 4070101 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

In an upside down world, you are not looking to safeguard your wealth, you are looking to invent wealth.

If the Gummint is going to buy everyone's bonds, then you better become a corporation fast.

and start issuing paper as fast as you can.


and if the squid can become a holding bank, why not any of us.

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