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So crazy it might work

Parties’ strategies ahead of shutdown defy all logic

The Democrats claim that, having lost 43 attempts to pass a bill that would replace Obamacare, the Republicans decided to take the most cunning representative they could find and lock him in his room until he devised a plan to eradicate the legislation.

So they sent Sen. Ted Cruz off and, sure enough, he came up with a stroke of genius. They would find something they could legally stop that would be so horrific in its consequences, no one could bring themselves to face it.

But it had to be something the Republicans could back out of if they took too much flak. Something they could claim they were never serious about in the first place, on the theory that “we may be stupid but we’re not crazy – even if only we know it.”

But time was short and the plan had to strike instant fear into the country and the rest of the world.

And that plan, as it turned out, was first to shut down the government and then destroy the full faith and credit of the country.

If the plan still created too much ire, the Republicans would claim that $17 trillion worth of creditors spread across the world would never believe the Republicans were that “stupid and crazy” and would discount the whole thing out of hand.

And if even that didn’t take, it would at least quell the whining of the people who lost their paychecks following the shuttering of the government because they would no longer be special. They would just be another element of the 300 or so million Americans whose entire economic support system had been destroyed from under their feet. Or, as Cruz explains it: “It happens, so stop sniveling and grow up!”

The Democrats, by contrast, have their own clear vision of reality which makes for much better sleeping.

As President Barack Obama has said, “I wasn’t brought here to make you feel bad. I was brought here to make everything better! And unlike the Republicans with only limited imaginations, I can promise you all of that – and do regularly as you know!”

Furthermore, the Republicans’ theory that the country’s debt is a serious issue because it grows geometrically and may outstrip our ability to support the country and the debt is vastly overblown.

We’ve always been able to borrow and if interest rates go up, we’ll just borrow more and charge more for our products.

Besides, we don’t have to pay off the debt; we simply have to change our thinking about it. Instead of seeing it as a weight that crushes and destroys our future, think about it as just numbers on a piece of paper. How difficult is that? What can that piece of paper weigh? You see, you’re already feeling better.

Believe me, we have a handle on this stuff!

And here’s our real genius, and now that you understand that debt and full faith and credit are just numbers and words on a piece of paper, you’ll get this! We’re going to mint seven $1 trillion coins of pure gold and stamp them with a giant “T.” Just about what the last three foreign wars have cost us, by the way.

We’re not going into any more foreign wars so we’ll save you all that money ... unless we do, in which case you’ll have to put back the money we never gave you.

Bottom line: We’re going to give two coins to China to stop their pestering, and that’s a lot better than cheap paper full of senseless numbers.

We’ll spend a chunk (because we deserve it), and we’ll set the balance off against our national debt and we’ll all be rich again! We just made $7 trillion! If that doesn’t do it, we’ll just mint more. I told you, we’re all over this!

So, be happy and remember this when you go to the polls, although the Democrats and the Republicans may not be there.

(Maybe the grown-ups will, in fact, replace them as everybody’s rightly demanding?)

Thomas M. Shoaff is a Fort Wayne attorney. He wrote this for The Journal Gazette.