Home > World Events > Gollum and Smeagol on the debt deal

Gollum and Smeagol on the debt deal

August 2nd, 2011

Responding to the Mordor-inspired debt ceiling deal, I thought it was time for a Lord of the Rings post


G: We told you he would hurt us and lie to us! All nasty cuts and no nice revenue. Wicked, tricksy, false!
S: Master is our friend! He has tricked the hobbitses, the cuts are mostly in defense. No more bright sharp swords for the dark Pentagon.
G: No, he tricked us. He was always going to save the money when the armies came back from his wars
S: But the hobbitses want to keep fighting all the wars, and start new ones. Now they’ll have to make peace
G: No, they’ll find a way make his war. The last war that will cover all the world in shadow. They’ll call it foreign aid, or education. He doesn’t care if we starve
S: No. Not master!
G: They do not see what lies ahead, when Sun has faded and Moon is dead.

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  1. jrbarch
    August 2nd, 2011 at 07:44 | #1

    Scott Fulwiler pays down the mythical ‘debt ceiling’ with one platinum coin and the dark side are left blinking in the Light: Coin seignorage and Inflation

    “Wealth comes from out of the ground and goes back to the ground – that’s the essence of it” (SophistryInc.)

    Cheers ….
    jrbarch

  2. Sam
    August 2nd, 2011 at 09:35 | #2

    @jrbarch
    Well my question is, why isn’t the platinum coin solution optimum policy in all liquidity traps (regardless of the state of the legislature)? I mean, if the only problem is inflation, and liquidity traps don’t have inflation, isn’t cutting taxes and financing the budget through seignorage a responsible thing to do?

  3. Ikonoclast
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:09 | #3

    Where does one start in commenting about this mess? I guess with saying that the US people have forgotten the lessons of the Great Depression. Severe cuts in government spending at this juncture will most likely precipitate a Second Great Depression.

    The USA’s economic policy is so bad that it is difficult to figure out what else they could do to make matters worse. Are they that stupid or in some echelons is it now deliberate policy to crash the economy? I think we have to begin considering the latter theory. There are players who can make money out of bears and depressions especially with inside knowledge and the certitude that certain policies will cause a depression.

  4. Sam
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:15 | #4

    @Ikonoclast
    I think the republicans really are indifferent to the state of the economy when a democrat is in the white house. Obama thinks differently, but he never met a worthwhile cause he wasn’t willing to feed to the crocodile in the hope it eats him last.

  5. John Brookes
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:04 | #5

    Could it be, Ikonoclast, that doing the right thing would be bad for the very powerful, and that might be why there are so many voices of confusion ringing out?

  6. adamite
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:58 | #6

    And, in breaking scientific news, an archaeological dig near the Potomac river has reportedly found living evidence of a hobbit-like species of human displaying the political maturity of a modern three-year-old child. The strange proto-humans were discovered in an isolated chamber where they have apparently been separated from all contact with outside social and economic reality. Scientists have attributed the delayed development of the species to the effects of a rare condition known as ‘anti-revenue syndrome’ which typically results in severe fiscal malnutrition.

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain
    August 2nd, 2011 at 13:06 | #7

    Ikonoclast, there are numerous reasons why the pathocrats would be intent on crashing the US economy, or those parts that they do not sup from. It opens the way for ‘disaster capitalism’ to work its magic by allowing the destruction of social welfare systems that they have hated since FDR’s day. This also has the benefit of slaking their appetite for sadistically making the lives of the weakest even more dreadful. Moreover the atmosphere of social collapse is propitious to the Right, who can steer public discontent towards neo-fascist social policy, which always suits the rich and powerful.

  8. August 2nd, 2011 at 13:16 | #8

    Aren’t the cuts in the next fiscal year negligible anyway? And aren’t later cuts likely to be delayed if the economy is still in poor shape?

  9. Fran Barlow
    August 2nd, 2011 at 16:20 | #9

    Don’t you have Gollum and Smeagol around the wrong way?

  10. John Quiggin
    August 2nd, 2011 at 16:34 | #10

    @Fran Barlow

    I don’t think so. The trick is that “hobbits” is now the preferred term for the Tea Party, which complicates the analogy a bit.

  11. Freelander
    August 2nd, 2011 at 18:44 | #11

    Have both houses passed the bill yet? With their crazy version of democracy it is never over until the President finally has something and he signs.

    At least a ‘deal’ between both sides in Australia is only unstitched when the deputy leader of the opposition is Tony Abbott, and Toxic Tony has a pointy present with which to demonstrate his full support for his leader.

  12. TerjeP
    August 2nd, 2011 at 19:09 | #12

    Is it the case that the deal lifts the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion immediately in return for a spending cut of $2 trillion over ten years. If this is a win for the tea party crowd then it is a pretty hollow one.

  13. TerjeP
    August 2nd, 2011 at 19:22 | #13

    Oops it seems worse. The cut is to projected spending not to current spending. Oh well politics as usual.

  14. Freelander
    August 2nd, 2011 at 20:48 | #14

    @TerjeP

    “A win for the tea party crowd” is oxymoronic. If they lose it is not a win, and if they win it is not a win for them or for anyone else because what they want is stupid and no one, including tea partiers would enjoy having it. A win would have been the closing of tax loopholes, but they have pledged to let no loophole be closed.

  15. gerard
    August 2nd, 2011 at 21:30 | #15

    Sheridan outdid himself with his ass-backwards editorial on the front page today. apparently this is a huge victory for Obama AND a huge victory for the Tea Party? and the whole insane saga demonstrates the superiority of the US political system! great analysis Sheridan! maybe your boss will give you a promotion to Fox (Teabagger HQ)

  16. sam
    August 2nd, 2011 at 22:41 | #16

    If this was facebook I would “like” the previous two comments.

  17. Gypsyland
    August 2nd, 2011 at 23:36 | #17

    @John Quiggin

    If the Tea Party are the hobbits, then the Democrats are the Elves, an ancient and noble race reluctant to fight in the wars of men, but capable of great feats when pushed. Of course, they’re actually pikers, waiting to escape to the west, which at one time meant California, but which now extended far across the great ocean and probably means China.

    As for Obama, many thought he signed on to play Gandalf, but in fact turned out to be the silver tongued chief of the order, Saruman, in his white robe of many colours, many of which are dyed by the blood of his constituency. Rupert Murdoch is probably a Ringwraith, one of the legendary living dead kings who bring unspeakable terror wherever they tread.

    Frodo still hasn’t appeared, but as the gathering storm bears down on Isengard (is that Washington?) it is in Mordor, the heart of evil, aka Wall Street, that the dread army of lobbyists (oops, Orcs) gather to bring down the twelve, and so seal their victory. Ring, ring… don’t worry, that’s just my iPhone. I can see all from here.

  18. Greg
    August 3rd, 2011 at 08:07 | #18

    Ikonoclast :
    The USA’s economic policy is so bad that it is difficult to figure out what else they could do to make matters worse.

    … Sounds like a good dinner-party game.

  19. Sam
    August 3rd, 2011 at 10:50 | #19

    @Gypsyland
    Nice, but I’d say Obama is Theoden, the weak king held under a spell of Saruman’s through the treachery of his council. Having long ago lost his wisdom and courage, he now pliantly does the bidding of Mordor, and even orders his court to work against the elves.

  20. Mulga Mumblebrain
    August 3rd, 2011 at 11:24 | #20

    I must say that I find the obvious ‘Mad Hatters’ (perhaps deliberately misspelt as ‘Mad Haters’)much more appealing as a description of the Tea Party suckers. The Kochtopus has many tentacles. If you must use Tolkienesque imagery, then they must be the Orcs, surely, the Hobbits not being deserving, I would say, of such comparisons. Which puts me in mind of Bob Katter, and his tiny crew of disciples, dubbed by some the ‘Mad Katters’. I’d prefer the description ‘Katter-mites’ for his phone-booth full of homunculi. Let’s pray it doesn’t turn out to be a TARDIS.

  21. Gipsyland
    August 3rd, 2011 at 12:49 | #21

    @Sam

    Sound words again Sam.

  22. sam
    August 3rd, 2011 at 14:19 | #22

    And Boromir is .. oh let’s say Elliot Spitzer. Wow, this thing writes itself! Does anyone else think an onion article is waiting in the wings?

  23. Tim Macknay
    August 3rd, 2011 at 15:12 | #23

    Presumably the “Kochtopus” is the Kraken. So who is the Balrog? Barry Goldwater? Or Ayn Rand, maybe.

  24. August 3rd, 2011 at 15:45 | #24

    surely, the Hobbits not being deserving, I would say, of such comparisons. Which puts me in mind of Bob Katter, and his tiny crew of disciples, dubbed by some the ‘Mad Katters’. I’d prefer the description ‘Katter-mites’ for his phone-booth full of homunculi

  25. Fran Barlow
    August 3rd, 2011 at 16:32 | #25

    yes, given that large sections of the Tea party are pure ‘astroturf’ I’d agree with mulga — they are orks. Glen Beck is a kind of Urukai.

    Murdoch is Sauron and ‘the one ring’ is the US constitution. It needs to be hurled into the fires of mordor, (or at least into the Potomac) so that the US can join the 20th century , and perhaps in a few years, the 21st century.

    Sadly, there are few elves, or even valiant human warriors stepping up, less still a Gandalf to cast out the demonic invisible hand that even now strives to become one with the ring.

  26. Fran Barlow
    August 3rd, 2011 at 16:32 | #26

    oops … orcs

  27. Freelander
    August 3rd, 2011 at 17:11 | #27

    @Sam

    Obama isn’t weak, simply unprincipled. He has his eye on his own ring (no, not that one), re-election. When the goal is simply and little more than election and re-election, what is the point? But, for the professional politician there isn’t any other point. Election, re-election, in the world of professional politics is there anything else? And is there any price to high to pay for that goal? No. Not for a professional. If it were sport they would all be on steroids.

  28. Mulga Mumblebrain
    August 3rd, 2011 at 21:14 | #28

    Freelander, I always thought Obama was a Trojan Horse after the republicans threw the ’08 Presidential election. You know, McCain feigning dementia, nominating Palin etc. Then when Obama gave the nod to ultra-Zionist Rahm Emanuel as his enforcer, it all became crystal clear. Not long thereafter I read a rather triumphalist piece from the Chicago Jewish News of October 24, 2008, entitled ‘Obama and the Jews’ where Obama’s history as a product spotted at college, employed, promoted and financed by mega-rich Chicago Zionists was outlined, and which included the observation by some worthy that Obama was, in fact, the ‘first Jewish President’ of the USA. The rest is, as they say, history.
    Obama was intended, I believe, not just to sell out the ‘Hopey Dopey’ suckers and deliver the goods, every time, to his rich patrons (the story that Obama was financed by myriad small contributions is a Big Lie), but also to so disillusion the suckers that they would not vote again, possibly ever. That worked beautifully in November 2010, and, given the degree of long overdue rage on the Democratic side over his serial betrayals, looked set to be crowned by Obama going down to defeat in 2012 and delivering the White House and Congress back to the Mad Hatters.
    However I now wonder whether the plutocrat rulers of the USA might not have come to see Obama as just too good to replace. After all, as long as he is there, burnishing his CV for employment at Goldman Sachs upon retirement by delivering the country to the richest 1%, why bother with a Republican? After all the poverty of the Republican field so far when Obama is DOA is somewhat suspicious. If the delightful Governor Perry of Texas, about to address a conference of Christian ‘Dominionists’ throws his hat into the ring, I’d say Obama is for the high jump. Perry looks like George Bush the Lesser on steroids, an enthusiast for legalised killing and other variants of the US national sport of lynching. Any way you look at it, the decaying ‘Real Evil Empire’ is just about as dangerous a threat to humanity as any it has ever faced.

  29. John Brookes
    August 4th, 2011 at 00:12 | #29

    Are you sure you’re not getting carried away just a little bit, Mulga?

  30. Freelander
    August 4th, 2011 at 00:26 | #30

    @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Yes. No one seems to have recognised the even more disturbing that Obama is the US’s first ‘Hawaiian’ President! I suppose that news will be released at the right time next year to derail his re-election.

  31. Sam
    August 4th, 2011 at 09:26 | #31

    @Mulga Mumblebrain
    I think the above paranoid, anti-semitic conspiracy theory is an objectionable rant in violation of John Quiggin’s anti-racist comment policies. This site is not the place to host successors to “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Try Stormfront.

  32. Tim Macknay
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:52 | #32

    Yes. No one seems to have recognised the even more disturbing that Obama is the US’s first ‘Hawaiian’ President! I suppose that news will be released at the right time next year to derail his re-election.

    Yes, it’s surprising how few of even our foremost conspiracy theorists recognise the magnitude of the Polynesian threat. I mean, they have a virtual stranglehold on the global coir and pineapple trade!!!1!!1! An alliance between the Judaio-Kenyan Muslimo-atheist communo-fascist Obama and the sinister cabal of Polynesian pineapple banking cartels is the true threat to our freedom. Guns, my brothers. GUNS!!!1!!!1!

  33. Freelander
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:53 | #33

    You’ve got it! Now if we can only get Donald Trump to throw his hat back into the ring.

  34. Mulga Mumblebrain
    August 4th, 2011 at 19:24 | #34

    I’m calling a halt to this line of discussion (anti-semitism etc) – it inevitably leads to derailment and never to enlightenment: JQ

  35. Mulga Mumblebrain
    August 5th, 2011 at 07:07 | #35

    I think it quite inappropriate to allow Sam, with his ‘Stormfront’ smear. to be granted the last word, but it’s your blog.

  36. Sam
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