Friday, December 10, 2010

Armageggon Redux

The idea popped into my head that this whole tax compromise has a really familiar feel to it, and it hit me today what it is; it’s the whole “we don’t have time to do anything else” component. The last time we got this was from Henry Paulson at the end of 2008 when Congress needed to pass $700 billion in emergency funding to purchase toxic assets or there would be tanks in the streets. There was no time to waste, no time, no time.

You may recall that it turned out $700 billion was a number made up out of thin air, “the largest number that seemed credible.” You may also recall that the “toxic assets” never got purchased. You may recall that the money got passed out to ”recapitalize” banks, many of whom did not want the money and were forced to take it at virtual gunpoint.

Now we have this tax deal that must pass before doom descends in a matter of days. Larry Summers is warning us that if it does not pass there is a serious risk of a “double dip” recession. We have the dire threats of disastrous wreckage being wrought on paychecks any minute. We have the same mixture of fear mongering and drop dead deadlines, the need for haste before Armageddon is upon us.

Everything but the tanks in the streets.     Act in haste, repent at leisure.

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