Seeing as the Senate and the House finally came to their senses last night, I felt it only fair to prepare something scathing about that tom-fool Ted Cruz, with his annoying haircut and strange obsession with Dr Seuss.

Here’s a picture:

Here is a video clip of him reading “Green Eggs and Ham” to Congress.

And here’s Jimmy Fallon talking about it.

Yes. Reading Dr Seuss to the US Senate.

And this is the man that held the US government and the world’s financial system hostage.

Well – him and his fellow cruzy (sic) republicans. But he started it with the whole “we’ll only raise the debt ceiling and approve the budget if Obamacare gets stripped of funding”.

And more curiously, this guy has only been a Senator for less than a year. In all fairness: kudos. He brought us to the brink faster than Hitler ever did. Even though Adolf didn’t have social media, so it’s not such a fair comparison.

I also went searching for cartoons, and I found these:

Moving on.

What Happened Yesterday

  • Senate Majority Leader Harold Reid proposed a bill that funds government spending until January 15, 2014 (three months away), and “suspends” the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014 (slightly less than four months away).
  • Cruz then gave a speech to the Senate, in which he baldly lied about statistics that do not exist (apparently, Obamacare causes high youth unemployment – who knew?!), called Obamacare the #1 Job Killer, and then asked everyone to imagine a different world. Unfortunately, Ted Cruz would still be in it.
  • The Senate passed the bill by 81 votes to 18 (Cruz felt very betrayed by the Senate Republicans)
  • The House then passed it by 285 votes to 144 (Cruz felt even more betrayed by the moderate House Republicans that voted with the Democrats).
  • President Obama then signed the bill into law.

That said…

This is really just another short-term delay. So we can expect more of the same in January and February (fun).

And the debt ceiling suspension (the way I understand it) just says that the US Treasury can borrow whatever it needs until February 7, and then the debt ceiling will be reset to whatever the outstanding debt figure is on that day.

Which brings me to…

How To Get Round The Debt Ceiling Without Using A Platinum Coin

In all of this, I did find an article by Matt Levine that I think is a ridiculously good idea. Here’s the link: Mint The Premium Bonds.

The basic summary:

  • Whether or not US Treasury has hit the debt ceiling is measured by the face value of the bonds in issue.
  • So the next time the Treasury has to roll over an issue of 10 year $100 bonds, it should just sell them for, say, $275 each.
  • Sound crazy?
  • The math is solid.
  • Think about when you would pay $275 for an investment that will only give you $100 at the end… You’d only do that if that $100 bond was paying a really high interest rate, right?
  • So set the coupon rate at about 23% (ie. for every year that you hold the bond, it’d repay you $23, then $100 at the end). As opposed to a coupon rate of 0.5%, which would only pay you $0.50 for every year that you hold it.
  • Because the face value is still only $100 – nothing has changed in terms of the debt ceiling.
  • But the US government just got $275 in cash rather than $97 (or whatever gets paid for a coupon of 0.5%).
  • It’s short term, because the interest cost will accumulate rapidly – but then again, so is the deal they just signed.


And not nearly as comedic as the platinum coin.