"We have no choice but to default....except of course all the choices we just don't want to consider"

For shame.
Obviously the debt ceiling is stupid and should be abandoned. But as so many centrists and moderates love to point out in other contexts, sometimes political realities prevent the best-possible outcome so you have to consider what you *can* do with the power you have.
And in this instance, what is very clear is that threatening a government default or shutdown if the debt ceiling is not suspended or increased in time is *not* the only choice available to the Biden administration, it's just the only one they want to acknowledge and entertain.
Of course, if that then causes a shutdown or default, it will be very easy to blame the Republicans for their intransigence, and that will be true at some level. But sensible people have long given up expecting Republicans to act sensibly, the real Q is how to deal w that reality
In this context, if the Biden administration wants to play roulette with the American economy and threaten default/shutdown if their preferred political outcome isn't achieved by ignoring other options on the table, that's ultimately on them too. No hiding behind impossibility.
Here's an honest way to play the political game they want to play without lying about the legal options available to avoid the cataclysmic outcome: "we think the Republicans should do the right thing and raise/suspend the ceiling. If they dont we wont let the economy crash."
It's that simple. And it has the benefit of being both true and sincere. Instead we get this 11-dimensional chess, grounded in the idea that the coin is just too gimmicky and unserious (compared to, you know, a self-imposed shutdown/default). It's fundamentally undemocratic.
The President & Tsy Sec do not have the constitutional authority or political mandate to ignore legally viable financing mechanisms and instead choose to default on Congressionally-approved spending obligations. Its its own form of power grab, even as they condemn R's for theirs.
Anyway, I've made this argument before and there's not much more to say, other than this constant pretense that we should all just go along with Dems playing dangerous brinksmanship games just b/c the Republicans are bad is incredibly corrosive and they should stop doing it.

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More from @rohangrey

10 Sep
"If the facts and the law aren't on your side, bang on the table"

But for real, this framing is so tiresome. The real battle isnt Crypto vs Big Finance, its whether we want the future of digital payments to be defined by Big Finance 2.0 or the public via democratic alternatives.
I've been plenty skeptical of the crypto community, but I was skeptical of traditional finance first. Hence advocating for public banking, fedaccounts for all, publicly-issued, privacy-respecting eCash, etc. Accusing everyone who is crypto-skeptical of promoting the status quo
is just a lazy way of trying to make this a battle between the future and the past, when in reality we're living through a frontier moment where the question is whether we want Deadwood-style grifting to be the norm, or to build real public infrastructure that works for all.
Read 6 tweets
26 May
Sound finance socialists dont like it, but it seems obvious to me that in this era, at least, at any given time/for any given center/left coalition, there is more support for progressive spending than can be 1:1 offset by the progressives taxes supported by the same coalition.
The reason why we dont always see this manifest in the kind of progressive deficit politics it implies would be optimal is, of course, that some of that same coalition prioritizes concerns about limiting deficits & reducing the national debt over progressive spending commitments.
For people wanting to improve political prospects for more progressive spending, that leaves two options: 1) build consensus support for higher taxes, or 2) weaken opposition to deficits/national debt.

Obviously, support for higher taxes & rejection of deficit/debt phobia is
Read 27 tweets
21 May
It's tempting in these moments to interpreting something like "reducing price tag from $2.3T to $1.7T" in the way you might a scene from a movie where two people are haggling over the price of a rare item, or one of them providing a service the other needs to complete a quest etc
But that's not what's going on here. We're talking about $600bn of investments, of projects, of money going to particular communities for particular needs, hard-won through years of organizing and advocacy, just vanishing up in smoke as a token of compromise to a hostile enemy.
In a movie, someone who wanted $20, and who is offered $5, and who settles on $10, still gets $10. And maybe they even overvalued their initial bid precisely to get to this number.

That's not how the budget works. A thousand programs or communities in need of that $600bn dont
Read 7 tweets
20 May
The current Tether drama unequivocally proves that the current stablecoin regulatory regime is not good enough.

There are two possible explanations for Tether's behavior. One is, as many skeptics (including me) have argued, that Tether is basically a massive fraud and has been
engaging in shadow accounting games and offering half-truth-based public statements to extend the scam for as long as they can, while continuing to invest in all sorts of risky crypto assets and pumping the market to push their price up.

The other is that Tether's leadership
are trying the best they can, but through either extremely poor decision-making or basic lack of capacity have repeatedly failed to provide the kinds of assurances and transparency that would otherwise be required for an entity of their size and activity.

I think there's little
Read 9 tweets
15 May
One of the biggest problems with cryptoland is that the vast majority of people in it conflate technological know-how with monetary & financial system know-how.

If you don't understand how banking works, that's fine! But for god's sake stop deluding yourself and others about it.
There are a lot of sovereign citizen crazies out there that have convinced themselves that they've discovered the cheat codes to The Law and the Constitution. But of course, they haven't, they're making a dumb person's idea of what a good legal argument sounds like.
The same is true for a significant portion of the crypto community that believes banks lend out reserves, or multiple deposits by 10x via "fractional reserve banking," and can't understand the difference between "100% reserves" and a money market fund-style balance sheet.
Read 4 tweets
15 Apr
Some ppl like to criticize MMT for suggesting we can do big spending programs without 1:1 commensurate tax increases. For some, it takes the wind out of args for taxing the rich (it doesnt). Others think it's fantasy to think you can spend big w/o higher middle class taxes.

once you get past all of rhetoric and incoherent conflation of nominal and real variables, what this critical view really boils down to is the argument that it's better for progressives to adopt a Manchin-style strategy in budget negotiations.

The MMT position has always been that it's both unnecessary and self-defeating to pick two fights at the same time - one over the spending program, another over the taxes that people want to tie to it.

Our view has been that this two-front strategy usually means loss on both.
Read 4 tweets

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