When the people of Massachusetts went to the polls last November they did the country a huge favor. Not only did they vote to remove Republican waste of Senate floor space, Scott Brown, they sent in his place Elizabeth Warren. Warren was pushed out of town on a rail by reactionary Tea Party-aligned folks in the wake of the financial collapse of 2009. President Obama had originally tapped her to be the head of the Consumer Protections Finance Bureau, but her reputation as being a staunch advocate and protector of the middle class from the unfairness of our entire economic system scared too many conservatives and her nomination was thoroughly and completely blocked.
So Warren did what so many other might not have done — she took her rejection and ran with it all the way to the Senate, supplanting the man who had taken liberal patriarch Ted Kennedy’s old seat in the Senate, once again claiming it for forward-thinking people everywhere. Last week Senator Warren showed the country just how good a decision Massachusetts voters made when she delivered a ten minute Senate floor speech on the debt ceiling, our debt, and what a catastrophic failure of leadership it would be to allow a default to happen.
“The idea that we can somehow renege on our debts without paying a huge price is a fantasy,” Warren said during her speech. She was sure to point out the Constitutional truth — that Congress is the group most responsible for any “over-spending” that may have led to the current crisis in Washington. “We’re in this position for one reason, and one reason only: Congress told the government to spend more money than we have. Congress told the Treasury to run up our debt to pay for it. But now Congress is threatening to run out on the bill.”
According to Warren, the real danger lies with those who think we can just casually default on our debts and there won’t be any negative consequences. Said Warren, “If we default on our debt, we could bring a worldwide recession on — a recession that would pummel hard-working middle-class people, people who lost their homes and jobs and retirement savings, who are barely getting back on their feet.”
Then to put an even finer point on it Warren summed up the GOP’s strategy like this, “This is no time to act out dangerous fantasies.”