Tag: treasury

Background Briefing: September 27, 2021


The Democrats Should Invoke the 14th Amendment to Raise the Debt Ceiling

We begin with the brinkmanship underway as the Senate votes on raising the debt ceiling which has to be done by midnight on Thursday otherwise the government will run out of money by mid October and the economy will be in a financial crisis worse than 2008. Joining us is Mike Lofgren, who has spent twenty-eight years working in Congress, the last sixteen as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget committees. The author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted, we discuss the possible work-around McConnell’s refusal to raise the limit the Democrats could employ by having President Biden and the Treasury invoke the clearly-stated text of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which says “the validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned”. Predictably McConnell would take it to the Supreme Court which is now reliably partisan even though they claim to be originalists who follow the text of the Constitution, but at least we would be borrowing some time before the full faith and credit of the United States crashes and burns. 


Peter Thiel, the Ultimate Plutocratic Populist Financing Far Right Candidates

Then we speak with Max Chafkin, a features editor and tech reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek about his new book just out, The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power. With the billionaire backer of the alt-right and Trump now financing far-right candidates running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona and Ohio, we assess how the ultimate plutocratic populist Thiel could replace the Koch brothers who financed the old Republican Party as the money behind the new radical neo-fascist GOP in support of far-right populists like Tucker Carlson and Governor DeSantis.


An Update From Berlin on the Social Democrat’s Victory and a Likely Coalition with the Greens and Liberals

Then finally we get an update from Berlin on Sunday’s elections in Germany with Michael Werz, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who has been a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund where his work focused on transatlantic foreign policy and the European Union. He joins us to discuss how the Social Democrats made a surprise comeback and will likely form a government with the Greens and the Liberals which means as the coalitions are formed, Chancellor Merkel will remain in office until November or December.