I guess it is a good morning. Our dysfunctional national legislatures gave us a reprieve from financial/political/social armageddon and passed a reasonably clean continuing budget resolution and a reasonably clean hike in the debt ceiling. I say "reasonably" because the only extraneous attachment tightened up the means testing for Obamacare subsidies which was already part of the original legislation. If our legislators think I am grateful, they have another think coming. They should have done their job a long time ago. We haven't had a real budget since Obama came into office. And I am pissed as hell with the notion that the last month or so may be repeated in about three months. I know some pundits are blowing some hot air that the Repthuglicans have learned from this experience and won't be so stupid next time. I wouldn't place any bets on that.
Nancy Pelosi mentioned the cost, $24 billion, to the economy thanks to the shutdown of the Federal government. I have heard several other references to that figure. However, there are other costs as this article mentions. We have heard references often about the "full faith and credit of the United States." That statement has two parts. First, it says that the U.S. will honor its commitments; that it will pay its debts and keep its promises. Second, that others can rely on, have faith in, our promises. Right now I would say that both parts are in serious doubt. Can we, and others (friend and adversary alike) depend on the U.S. government to fulfill any promises, financial or otherwise? And this piece from Politico indicates that the erosion of faith, of trust, is biting very deeply. And Yanis Varoufakis describes the unbelievable, from the European point of view, antics of our politicians in rather clear terms. I will translate for you: the driving force here is selfishness and hypocrisy.
And I wouldn't call the legislation passed last night a "clean" bill given the add-ons nobody mentioned. See that here. By what definition of "clean" does this qualify?
John Michael Greer has an interesting post on the Archdruid Reports. In a way his thoughts parallel some of mine on some recent events like the controversies that have roiled education in Chicago. The budget problems have led to very contentious curtailing of childcare and education either because the providers weren't paid or because the school board consolidated schools removing facilities that generations of residents had depended on. I thought that the local churches should have been involved in re-establishing those services and establishing their own communities. Some may be doing just that but they don't get the attention of the news media. I am not a great fan of modern Christianity (or a lot of what goes by that name) but I can readily see that the churches may, indeed, be the institutions that will pick up when the secular political and social structures fail.