Okay. It appears the hostages are about to be released. The kidnappers didn’t quite have the nerve to shoot the hostages in the head, although they did rough them up pretty good.
No one knows exactly how much the Republican-engineered crisis will ultimately cost the country, although Bloomberg has estimated that the 16-day government shutdown has been “draining an average of $160 million each workday,” and that’s not counting the costs associated with investors dumping short-term Treasury bills, the safest investment in the world—at least they used to be.
And how do you figure in the cost of disintegrating morale among federal employees, many of whom were labeled as “non-essential,” many of whom have worked without a raise for three years and have had to take sequestration-related furloughs even before the latest shutdown?
And how do you figure in the cost of the damage inflicted on our national prestige? How do you calculate the damage done to our sense of stability? How do you account for the damage done to our confidence in self-governance, in democracy?
And what was it all for? What was accomplished by Tea Party Republicans and the non-Tea Party Republicans who aided and abetted them? Nothing. Not a damn thing. And to make things worse, we will quite likely be back here again at the beginning of next year. Yippee.
Warren Buffett said this morning about flirting with not raising the debt ceiling:
There are certain weapons that are just improper to use against humanity, and to use this against the American public, it is a political weapon of mass destruction and both sides should say we’re not going to touch it, just like poison gas…
Perhaps, after they are finished in Syria, we could get the recent Nobel Peace Prize winners, those amazing inspectors who make up the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, to come to America and dismantle the crazy law that prevents the Treasury Department from paying the country’s bills unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.
Yes, that’s it. Once the inspectors are done in Syria, where a desperate leader used poison gas on his own citizens, maybe they can come here and do their humanitarian work.