We may not manufacture much in this country anymore, but we are still capable of cobbling together a catastrophic crisis out of nothing but thin, hot air and our irrefutable faith in free market fundamentalism.
Taking a break from rubber stamping regulatory legislation crafted by corporate lobbyists, Congress recently considered one of the most routine tasks it is responsible for performing, raising the debt ceiling.
When deficit reduction was unnecessarily included in the negotiation, the partisan confrontation over this simple accounting procedure quickly escalated to the unprecedented histrionics of a hostage situation.
The Republicans rested on their commitment to never raise taxes under any circumstances and their strategy that the resulting negative consequences could easily be blamed on the President.
The newly elected Tea Party, in just one stunning example of economic illiteracy, actually introduced a bill to lower the debt ceiling, reasoning that it would compel the government to reduce its spending.
The credit agencies threatened that our Treasury Bills would no longer retain the same treasured Triple-A rating they once bestowed on the junk mortgage backed securities that collapsed the economy in the first place.
While Democrats desperately did their dysfunctional best not to make things worse, a parade of pundits appeared on our perpetual propaganda programming to sell the scheme that we must all share in the sacrifice.
The President had said all along that he wanted a compromise and in the end what he got was yet another compromise, requiring yet another committee, its members yet to be selected, to consider yet more compromises.