A growing and alarming phenomenon is emerging from the extremist, tea party-controlled House GOP caucus. As a result of this alarming phenomenon, the end of the government shutdown is not in sight.
The government shutdown, therefore, could drag on for weeks, perhaps even months. Add to the mix a full-blown debt default.
The narrative emerging from the tea party-faction is forwarding a message that says "there is no such thing as a debt limit default."
One of the leading spokesmen for this new faction dubbed the "Debt Limit Denial Caucus" is Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.). "I ran on not raising the debt ceiling. We will not default. And I think it’s a lot of hype that gets spun in the media."
It gets better.
"I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets," said Yoho, adding that then the world would be assured that the United States had moved decisively to curb its debt.
Yoho is not alone.
Even the conservatives in the US Senate such as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who is not prone to hyperbole, said "I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast, that if we don't raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt. We won't. We'll continue to pay our interest."
The White House director of the National Economic Council, Gene Sperling disputed Sen. Coburn's approach and said at a POLITICO function "I think one of the things that's been so disturbing about this period is that you've actually had the House leadership pass proposals to implement how you would do prioritization, as if that would be an acceptable solution. It is not acceptable. Prioritization is default by another name."
Tony Fratto, a consultant at Hamilton Place Strategies and a White House and Treasury official under President George W. Bush says that "Spending a day highlighting the debt and the deficit in Congress as part of raising the debt ceiling is probably a healthy thing."
However, Fratto warns "But the moment you start talking seriously about not raising the debt limit it becomes dangerous. And a lot of members of Congress are now saying things that give evidence that they have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to the debt limit and the way government financing works."
Fratto is a voice of reason in this debate and represents the views of Wall Street and mainstream Republicans.
The end is not in sight when this type of rhetoric is spewed routinely.
This is the very same tea party-faction that started this mess in the first place, forcing House Speaker John Boehner to renege on a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The two men had a deal that would leave Obamacare intact, in exchange for a reduced, sequester-level funding of $988B, as opposed to what the Democrats wanted at $1.058T.
The Republicans won the battle on the level of funding, but the extreme faction of the Republican Party wanted more and wasn’t willing to compromise.
Now, the tea party extremists that embrace the narrative that "there is no such thing as a debt default," are holding up any chance for a deal.
Meanwhile, the wild and irresponsible rhetoric continues.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) said on the House floor during a debate, "I will hear language like, 'Well, we are heading toward the debt ceiling and you are going to default.' Anyone that says that is looking you in the eyes and lying to you, either that or they don't own a calculator."
But perhaps the silliest statement came from Sen. Richard Burr [Unlink], a Republican senator from North Carolina. He said, "Not as concerned as the president is on the debt ceiling, because the only people buying our bonds right now is the Federal Reserve. So it’s like scaring ourselves."
Now that is scary.
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