Debt Ceiling: The Movie. The political popcorn blockbuster you’ve been yearning for. “What’s the debt ceiling” (you might, but probably won’t ask unless you spent the last few months stranded on a desert island reality TV show). Is it what the IRS lowers on tax dodgers to squash them into submission in their secret torture chamber and squeeze out payments (Star Wars trash compactor style)? No, rest assured it, it’s not that horrible. It’s much, much worse (or so we’ve been warned).
Debt Ceiling Crash Course
What it is:
Until 1917, Congress had to pass a new law every time the government wanted to borrow money. But when the U.S. needed financing for World War I, a law was passed that gave the Treasury Department the authority to borrow on its own - as long as it didn't exceed a predetermined amount. Hence the debt ceiling - the total the Treasury can borrow without going back to Congress for permission – was born. Since our country has made a habit of spending more than it makes, that limit has been raised ten times in the past decade. To date, we’re in the hole to the tune of $14.3 trillion.
Why it’s in the news now:
Recently it’s been the catalyst for yet another showdown between our democratic president and the republican-dominated House of Representatives. Said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, when it comes to debt ceiling issues, the president should not "expect any more cover from Republicans on it than you got on health care." Or loosely translated “suck it, Obama”. Republicans refuse to raise the ceiling without spending cuts. Obama wants a revenue increase (i.e. a decrease in tax breaks for the wealthy). And so on … as the squabbling continues.
If the debt ceiling is not increased by August 2 (a date arbitrarily established by the administration), the United States will no longer to be able to pay its obligations potentially resulting in default to creditors, the suspension of Social Security checks and other benefits, an increase in interest rates, zombies roaming the earth, and a host of other catastrophic economic consequences.
What’s Debt Ceiling: The Movie?
Wall Street, W … why not a movie about the debt ceiling debate (please don’t answer that question)? We as usual had a few suggestions for the screen incarnation of our nation’s financial and political hot mess.
In a desperate bid to win the debt ceiling standoff, both parties send in their subconscious agents to plant the seeds of a favorable decision (for them) in the key opponents brains. Agents will include political opposites Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. (Maybe a gravity-defying screen tussle will rekindle their romance, or at least afford Maria an excuse for a few crotch punches to Arnold's terminator).
The Washington Lawyer
It’s a legal dog fight led by, who better, but John Grisham alum Matthew McConaughey as Obama must dodge impeachment in his bid to invoke the 14th Amendment (which states the "validity" of government debt "shall not be questioned”) and simply ignore the congressionally imposed debt ceiling. It will also be chock full of McConaughey’s signature Southern-style profanity.
Harry Potter and the Debt Ceiling Chamber of Despair
Or Papa Potter’s first fatherly adventure (wherein he turns his children’s bank-account-draining ivy league American wizarding college tuition into an actual ceiling he can just ignore).
Crouching Panda, Hidden Loan Payment
China wants its money back, and it will do whatever it takes to get it—including sending its deadliest army to force stubborn republicans to hike up the debt ceiling—Kung Fu Pandas. (Not to be confused with Jack Black’s roly poly animated hero, these pandas are the real deal—with real teeth and real claws (and did we mention, they’re also really pissed off).
Politically Incorrect & In Love
A loosely based on reality romcom starring Ann Coulter (as Republican House Majority Leader Erica Cantor) and Bill Maher (democratic President Mobama). If you’ve ever seen the two on television together, you know the screen chemistry will sizzle.
M. Night Shyamalan’s The Ceiling
In the midst of a heated debt ceiling debate at our Capitol Cantor rips off his human mask, reveals his hideous lobster head, and announces the party’s refusal to raise the limit has all been a bait and switch designed to distract our government from his superior race’s imminent alien invasion.
Or, scientists discover it’s an environmental virus that inhibits the government's ability to agree on anything. Spread by the outraged trees we massacre daily to print our money.
Debt Ceiling: The Musical
Featuring actual members of congress wearing nothing but dollar bill costumes designed by meat-suit pop artiste Lady Gaga.
The unusually fit baby boomer elderly don’t take social security cuts lying down, they take it standing up, with shotguns, and crossbows, and molotov cocktails. Think a healthier, hipper Hobo With a Shotgun meets Red.