—By Kevin Drum Tue Dec. 11, 2012 1:30 PM PST
From Ed Kilgore, on ways of dealing with the fiscal cliff:
I'm skeptical of any strategy that depends on convincing conservatives they need to be more reasonable.True enough. And it's also true that any deal that doesn't include a debt ceiling increase is a waste of time. Why bother cutting a deal if Republicans are just going to pick another lever to wreck the economy with?
I continue to wait and wonder about the business community. Their self-interest is pretty clear: they should be in favor of a fiscal cliff agreement and they should be in favor of a debt ceiling agreement. Throwing the economy into the crapper is bad for business, after all. And yet, right now there's only a glimmering of evidence that business leaders are pressuring their tea-party friends to settle down, admit the need for compromise, and do a deal. So far, apparently, class loyalties are trumping fiduciary responsibilities.
Vitus: Drum is a nice guy. But the truth is not that "business leaders" are circling the class loyalty wagons; rather, they are, like Romney, Rentiers, pure and simple. The loyalty is to self-interest - not Madison's "enlightened self-interest", which infused the framing of the Constitution - but to venal, destructive, criminal self-interest.
What to do? Easy to say; hard to do. Make and enforce laws against criminal rent-seeking. See the Vitus Duck Law post.