Final Word from Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The strategy of the White House in the debt fight is clear - scare the living daylightsout of people so that they support a rise in the debt ceiling. Larry Summers, with hisHarvard and Princeton pedigree, pulled out all the stops when he warned of runson banks, runs on money-market funds and a cascade that makes the collapse of LehmanBros. look like a very small event. His scam is that he doesn't really want us tobelieve this doomsday scenario - only enough for us to support more self-destructivepolicies that will ultimately make the situation worse. If he really wanted to avoid acataclysm (his word), he would demand fundamental changes immediately, so thatthe debt ceiling didn't need to be raised at all. The same unfortunately applies toMiroslav Kalousek. His budget-reduction language is less urgent, but he too wants toscare us into accepting that the only way out of our financial hole is to dig it deeper.

Glossary of difficult words

to scare the living daylights out of - to make someone feel very frightened;

pedigree - the background of a person or thing, esp. as conferring distinction or quality;

to pull out all the stops - to make a great effort to achieve something;

cascade - a succession of stages in a process, each of which triggers or initiates the next;

scam - a dishonest scheme; a fraud;

doomsday - the last day of the world’s existence.


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