It’s the Stupid, Economy!

By Miles Leicher

To quote Rebecca Black, “It’s Friday.” And not one of those crappy Fridays with no new episode of ‘Real Time,’ but a legit “get your ass home by 10 or set the DVR to HBO” Friday. You know what I’m talking about.

There are many, many issues in the news right now that warrant discussion by guests Shaun Donovan, Larry King, Rick Lazio, Melissa Harris-Perry and Adam McKay, but none seem to be as pressing as the Tweeted photo of Congressman (and friend of the show) Anthony Weiner’s alleged penis. Although, I suppose that depends on your definition of “pressing.” If you mean the unmistakable outline of a man’s junk protruding from a pair of boxer briefs, then that wins. But in terms of importance for our future, I guess there’s some other stuff going on too.

For one, some new economic numbers just came out and they appear to be what experts would call Fabulously Underwhelming Current Key Economic Data, or F.U.C.K.E.D. That’s not a swear word, it’s an acronym. And I really hope it catches on.

Job growth, housing prices, manufacturing and consumer confidence are all straggling, despite the stimulus program Obama launched back in February 2009. Some will continue to argue that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act wasn’t big enough in the first place; that we beat on a flatlining patient with our fists, rather than using a defibrillator – although that always seems to work in the movies.

Yet others (especially if Rupert Murdoch signs their paychecks) might say that this is proof that our scary black President snatched our tax dollars, socialized America and ruined capitalism for everyone. And also, he’s a big doodie-face. In the end, neither argument is very helpful.

While it’s anybody’s guess as to how to get us out of this rut (Mitt Romney knows, but he won’t tell us unless we elect him), there’s one thing that definitely isn’t helping: all of the dicking around over raising the debt ceiling. You can tell I’m serious, because I didn’t do a Weiner joke there.

It’s gotten to the point that credit-rating agencies, such as Moody’s, have threatened to downgrade the U.S. credit rating if Democrats and Republicans don’t make nice and agree not to let the government default on its debt. If that happens, we’ll look like deadbeats and investors will find other places to stash their cash. And our national motto will go from, “E Pluribus Unum” to “Hey, At Least We’re Not Greece.”

The one thing everybody agrees on is that we can’t keep running up the tab at Mao’s Tavern, aka China. The problem is, Democrats want to keep buying beers for grandpa because goddamn it, he worked hard all his life and he deserves it. And Republicans can’t stop ordering up shot-skis for every rich dude that winks at them and says, “I’ll get the next round.” Then they wake up four hours later, wondering how they got into the back of a van.

When it comes down to it, there’s got to be some sort of compromise and the sooner everybody quits frontin’, the better. Obama just dug in his heels on letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the richest two percent of Americans. That’s good. The Republicans are going to demand more spending cuts. Fine. Wherever the compromise happens, most of us will probably go on more or less unaffected. But if it doesn’t happen, and we default on our debt, can’t borrow money and still don’t have jobs, well then we’re going to experience a whole new world of F.U.C.K.E.D.