Do you recall the number one argument Republicans trotted out toward the end of 2010 while arguing in favor of extending the Bush Tax Cuts while simultaneously holding extended unemployment benefits hostage?
They said that uncertainty is bad for business. That uncertainty prevents Big Business from investing in America because they are anxiously waiting to see if the Socialism Monster is going to leap from the closet and slap them with taxes that are a measly three percentage points higher.
Ironic, it is, that the Republicans would now be the new heralds of uncertainty.
“Our economy as a whole just isn’t producing nearly enough jobs for everybody who’s looking,” Obama said in brief comments at the White House.
“We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do to give people the security and the opportunity they deserve,” he added.
“We have added more than two million private sector jobs in the past 16 months, but the recession cost us more than eight million, and that means that we still have a big hole to fill.” [...]
Over the past few months the economy has experienced some tough headwinds, from the natural disasters to spikes in gas prices to state and local budget cuts that have cost tens of thousands of cops and firefighters and teachers their jobs,” Obama said.
“The problems in Greece and in Europe along with uncertainty over whether the debt limit here in the United States will be raised have also made businesses hesitant to invest more aggressively.”
Pay special attention to that last sentence — Uncertainty over whether the debt limit will be raised has also made businesses hesitant to invest.
After the Republicans cried foul during the debate over tax-policy with accusations of causing uncertainty in the business community, uncertainty spawned by the hostage crisis taking place in Washington over the debt ceiling is already hurting the economy. And the business community is now waiting to see, along with the rest of us, whether or not our Very Serious Congress will actually allow the nation to default on its debt obligations.
This is what real uncertainty looks like. This isn’t about three percentage points on a balance sheet. This is about the long-term economic viability of the nation.
Big Business may not like the sound of paying a marginal tax rate which is only slightly higher than they already enjoy paying, but it’s not something they would abandon the country over if it were to happen. A default, on the other hand, would convert a rock-solid investment, the United States, into a junk-bond.