By Lauren | January 15, 2013
It seems as though the ink is barely dry on the legislation that prevented our country from going over the melodramatically nicknamed “fiscal cliff.” Now, Congress and the President are about to butt heads once more, this time over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling next month. The media are already swinging into full hysteria with speculative stories about how this newest “crisis” will play out. Fitch is threatening to downgrade the United States’ credit rating if law makers present another three-ring circus like the one we suffered through last year. And the fretting doesn’t stop at our borders; according to Reuters, equity markets around the world are already sliding in anticipation of the battle to come.
Please, folks, can we just settle down?
Here’s the thing – Republican members of Congress who wouldn’t vote for anything President Obama proposed even if he personally saved them from drowning (an image I owe to late-night comedian Bill Mahr) will shout, point fingers, and all but stand on their heads while whistling “Dixie” to prove to their constituents that they’re being as unreasonble as possible. Speaker Boehner will stomp out of at least one meeting. The deadline to raise the debt ceiling may even expire for a few days, in which case we’ll have to endure hours of listening to talking heads explain that the world either is or isn’t coming to an end depending on their politics. Ultimately, though, the U.S. will pay the debts it has already incurred – which, incidentally, is what the debt ceiling is really all about – and life will go on. While the behavior of our lawmakers is rarely sublime and often ridiculous, the U.S. is still an excellent credit risk, and all the rest is empty theatrics.
So, if you like your drama loud and boorish, just keep watching for the latest news on the debt ceiling crisis. Personally, I’d rather watch “Downton Abbey.”