Debt Ceiling Chicken and Trench Warfare

And from Naked Capitalism:

Debt Ceiling Chicken and Trench Warfare – Yves Smith  – In the US, despite all the media frenzy over the Federal shutdown, the attention of the insiders has already moved to the real cliffhanger: the debt ceiling impasse, which starts to bind on October 17. Treasury is already fulminating how putting the sanctity of payments on Treasury bonds in doubt is a seriously bad idea. We also have the curious spectacle of Grover Norquist making the rounds of Vichy Left outlets (see Ezra Klein and Huffington Post) to condition liberals as to where the political professionals see a budget deal shaking out.. Congress passes a continuing resolution to buy a couple of months to negotiate the prize sought by both parties, the middle class shellacking Grand Bargain that “reforms”, as in erodes, Medicare and Social Security.

The wee problem here is that the two sides wanted that last year.  But a deal never came together. Boehner could not deliver the House. Obama wanted some token tax increases on the rich and the Republicans would have none of it.

So what has happened since then? The Tea Partiers, in classic Mafia style, have lowered their bid as time goes on. They’ve added a delay to ObamaCare to their demands and appear unwilling to make other concessions.

In addition, Obama has been hoist on the petard of the sequester. He had hoped it would apply enough pressure to both his left flank and to the less doctrinaire Tea Party types to help him get his have old people die faster safety net cuts through. But the sequester didn’t inflict enough pain. Now the shutdown has upped the ante. But even though polls show that most Americans oppose using the shutdown as a way to force changed to Obamacare, the flip side is that those polls may not be germane to the block of intransigent Republicans in the House.