Look, it's been done. Go read "Tip and the Gipper" by MSNBC's Chris Matthews. The ultra-liberal Tip O'Neill and the ultra-conservative Ronald Reagan didn't like each other, but they respected each other. Each man felt the other was dead wrong about how to make the country better, but they learned how to compromise and make politics work.
I know what some people are saying in the end: The fact that we didn't default meant perhaps there was victory after all. I don't know about that.
If I were the Chinese or the Japanese, both of whom have more than a trillion dollars in our bonds, I would be working day and night to try to figure out an alternative to keeping money with us. I would never own our bonds after this fiasco if I were the leader of one of those nations. We don't deserve their money and the fact that we came so close to sticking it to them in the name of solvency is ludicrous.
Those who think that we're fine on this score remind me of the people who ruled Britannia and could never imagine that any country would ever desert pound sterling. But the United Kingdom got over-extended, it stopped growing, and its currency and power never recovered. That was an amazing empire. Believe me, it could happen here too.Many of us at CNBC proudly urged politicians to rise above politics last year when we were about to go over the fiscal cliff. They obviously didn't hear us. I am happy to dust off the button, roll up the sleeves and try it again. But, you know what, it's a losing cause and I don't like to back losing causes. The interests of the country, the interests of the people and the interests of its leaders have radically diverged. I just want them to get away from our markets and let people save and work in peace. After this bruising, that's about all there is to hope for.
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