Washington is trying its hardest to sell Americans on the idea that failure to raise the debt-ceiling will be the end of the world.
The rest of the country doesn’t seem to be buying the idea.
Wall Street’s not buying the debt-ceiling Armageddon talk it because they can’t believe Washington would be so stupid. (Or that their lobbyists can’t pry some deal out of their friends.)
Main Street’s not buying it because for a lot of Americans Armageddon’s already arrived.
For millions of unemployed who’ve been out of work for more than 99 weeks, Armageddon is here.
For millions of the unemployed over 50 whose hopes of another job, let alone a comparable one, are gone, Armageddon is here.
For millions who’ve lost their homes, Armageddon is here.
It can always get worse, of course. But for those suffering in such difficult circumstances already, there’s no more bandwidth for fear and worry.
Even for those still employed, the notion of another $1 trillion in taxes/borrowing to solve another crises, is just so much noise.
They were told that $700 billion in TARP funds would fix things.
They were told $800 billion in stimulus would fix things.
They were told $4 billion in cash for clunkers would fix things.
They were told Obamacare would fix things.
They were told Quantitative Easing would fix things.
They were told Quantitative Easing 2 would fix things.
Now they’re being told that failure to pass a hike in the debt ceiling will make things really bad.
Maybe that’s why a Rasmussen poll out Thursday found that 55% of voters oppose including tax hikes in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, while only 34% approve of the idea.
“No one can tell me with certainty that a U.S. default wouldn’t cause catastrophe and wouldn’t severely damage the U.S. or global economy,” JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon said on his conference call this morning.
That may very well be true. It probably is true.
The problem is that nobody can tell Americans with certainty that a U.S. default would cause catastrophe and would severely damage the U.S. or global economy, at least not anybody Americans have any faith in any more.
A U.S. default would be the greatest avoidable financial calamity in history.
But if it happens, it wouldn’t be the first avoidable calamity, and it won’t be the last.
The thing to get really worried about is if the U.S. defaults and the world doesn’t end.