You may have seen, if you watch the television news, that Barack Obama has been screwed over by the mental ‘tea party’ politicians in the US. This has been over the tax ceiling that the US has, in theory to stop it going into massive debt a la most of Europe.
Something I note from all of what’s gone on is how much the Tory party here in the UK like what they see when they look at the tea party movement. George and co are big fans and I worry that the Tory party will see what they’ve done over there and follow suit.
Another thought is that this whole thing is perhaps an advert for avoiding the fixed term parliaments in the UK. If such a debt ceiling existed in this country, and the Commons came to an impasse, then Cameron would have ended up going to the country. Under a fixed term, the sitting leader is forced into silly bargaining and trading to get a deal over something relatively simple like increasing the debt ceiling.
And it is a simple piece of legislation. During Reagan’s eight years, he had the debt ceiling raised seventeen times. Of course, he had better numbers in the Senate and house of Representatives. Obama was stuck making deals. If he’d been Prime Minister here instead of US President, you can bet your last penny he’d have held out and called an election.
If you don’t understand just how Obama got screwed by the tea party movement, then the clip below from the office of everyone’s favourite US President, Josiah Bartlet, will explain it in very short order. Enjoy.