My Gov’t Shutdown Fantasies…

OK, so I’ve got fantasies.  I’m not hurting anyone and it’s a free country ain’t it?  (grin).  First a note of resigned reality.  The House Republicans are (of course) acting like lunatics.  What is depressing is that the Senate and Obama keep playing the role of reasonable straight man, leaving the wackos with all the memorable lines.  AAAAARGH.

And that’s where the fantasy comes in.  In Steve’s fantasy world, the Senate doesn’t just cluck-cluck around trying to minimize the damage done by the House’s fits of rage.  Instead, it acts with forethought and calculation to short-circuit them.

  1. Reid Attaches The Bipartisan Immigration Bill and Sends it back to the House:  In order to avert a shutdown, the House would either have to vote FOR the (bipartisan) immigration bill or they would have to explicitly vote to strip it out.  Either way the Adults win.  If the immigration bill passes, they will get credit for forcing the issue (and the country gets a good policy shift).  If it doesn’t pass, they get credit for forcing the issue AND the Wackos get the blame for blocking it.
  2. Reid Attaches a Comprehensive Tax Reform Bill and Sends it back to the House:  This is impractical (no such bill officially exists), but we are just dreaming right?  Beneath all the histrionics there has been pretty meaningful progress in both the House and Senate towards a comprehensive tax reform bill.  Having been handed a so-called “revenue bill” by the House, Reid now has a vehicle for sending a revenue/tax related bill back to the house.  He could totally wrong-foot the House by forcing that issue now and forcing them to explain why they aren’t talking about this vs de-funding Obamacare.

On a more realistic note re: Fantasy 2, I think the need for a “revenue bill” to tee up a comprehensive tax package is why the Senate’s bill only funds the Federal government until November.  Constitutionally. so-called revenue bills must originate in the House.  Setting up another deadline in November forces the House to deliver another revenue bill about when the joint tax reform effort seems scheduled to deliver.  Of course, that might also just turn out to be wistful thinking on my part.  But there are some hopeful signs out there.  More on this to follow.

Also my apologies for all the political commentary, but its really the only game in town market-wise until next week.   Although I’ve got a few analyses on tech, valuation, and the economy that are percolating now I’m back in front of a real screen.

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