The Hill Pundits Blog 7/26/2012



The Tea Party charade

By Peter Fenn – 07/26/12 09:06 AM ET

Forget the fear that the Republicans and the Tea Party spread across the financial markets on the debt-ceiling fiasco last year. Forget the gridlock they created over the budget and inability to solve real problems such as getting out of the economic rut. Forget that they turned upside down every rule of sound fiscal management with their antics.

Now the Government Accountability Office (GAO) tells us that the extremist Republicans cost the taxpayer over $1.3 billion in 2011 with their months-long obstructionist behavior. That figure will only increase in years to come, according to the GAO.

Borrowing costs for the United States went up; 400 hours of overtime to deal with the manufactured “crisis”; nearly 6,000 hours of work; 1,200 hours in the weeks prior to the drop-dead date to prepare contingency plans and spreadsheets.

Real money lost, real time lost, real work that could have been put to productive use.

And that $1.3 billion doesn’t even count the wasted time that Congress put into this effort or the lack of any meaningful compromise that could have been struck.

Maybe the next time someone comes up with such a counterproductive strategy to play politics with the debt ceiling they will think twice.