Chuck Jaffe: ‘Putting the Treasury on the brink of default is about as dumb as politics gets’

by | May 19, 2023 | Stock Market

“ This is no way to run a country.”

The radio came blaring on when I started my car, the voice of a politician hitting me in the face as I settled in. His message amounted to “Default is a bargaining point. We’re not going to get all the way there, but we need it on the table to force the other side to compromise.” I didn’t hear the guy’s name. I don’t know his political party affiliation. What I do know is that any politician, regardless of their party, who is willing to use a U.S. Treasury default as a bargaining tool has lost my vote, because they stopped representing their constituency.

I don’t venture down the rabbit hole of politics often in my columns, so I should disclose here that I’m an unenrolled voter, registered, but not a member of any political party. I’m a centrist, crossing party lines based on platforms and positions more than personalities. In these times, that makes me a swing voter. I have always tried to make my voting decisions based on my vision of smart governing which, frankly, makes it hard to like either side. But failing to raise or suspend the debt ceiling and putting the Treasury on the brink of default is about as dumb as politics gets, directly opposed to the interests of every American investor, consumer and taxpayer. It’s not a political chip to be played with, and anyone using it to achieve political goals — regardless of the side they represent — has lost sight of your interests. You should remember that come re-election time. I’m not finger-pointing; I’m not even using the names of political parties here. There’s a history of bad actions on both sides, no one has clean hands, so the issue is about what’s next. One th …

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