This morning, I received an email from Starbucks, encouraging me to sign its “Come Together Petition.” I doubt many people would have trouble signing the petition, given how anodyne it seems. Nevertheless, to my mind, it contains two questionable assumptions.
- “Reopen our government to serve the people.” This assumes that the government has closed, which which is misleading. Parts of the government have shut down, but according to one estimate, 83 percent of the government is still operating.
- “Pay our debts on time to avoid another financial crisis.” This is sage advice, but it fails to note that the partial government shutdown and the debt ceiling “deadline” are separate issues. As Moody’s Investor Services notes, come October 17, the government can continue to make payments on the debt (both principal and interest) even if the government is still shut down. Indeed, it may be required to do so by the Constitution.
- “Pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget by the end of the year.” I don’t have a problem with this one. Passing annual budgets is Congress’s job.