Here's Why Wall Street Won't Make The GOP Fix The Debt Ceiling

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 3 2013 11:39 AM

Here's Why Wall Street Won't Make The GOP Fix The Debt Ceiling

181171099
The US Chamber of Commerce will always be there for tax cutters.

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

One of the White House's fondest hopes is that elements of the business community—especially including but by no means limited to the major Wall Street firms—will force Republicans to come to their senses on the question of the debt ceiling. It won't work.

Think about it this way: The main thing business groups want all the time is lower personal income taxes on business executives. Business groups, after all, are controlled by businessmen. And businessmen, like all people, really dislike paying taxes. So the debt ceiling will either be raised by October 20 or it won't, and the consequences of that will either be disastrous or they won't, and either way by the time kids go trick-or-treating whatever's happened will have happened.

Advertisement

And at that point it will still be the case that people don't like paying taxes. It will still be the case that because making rich people pay higher taxes is popular Democrats will be calling for that. It will still be the case that rich businessmen are people, and that like all people they don't want to pay more taxes. Republicans will have their back on that. And businessmen will be happy about that. They'll be grateful. And most of them will back Republicans, just as they always do. The businessmen know that. And the Republicans know that. So it doesn't matter whether businessmen think Republicans are being crazy and irresponsible now. They may beg and plead or do whatever. They may even be sincere. But come November 2014 there will be one party arguing for higher taxes on rich businessmen and rich businessmen and the firms and trade associations they control will be backing that party. There's no leverage here.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 21 2014 12:40 PM Asamkirche: The Rococo Church Where Death Hides in Plain Sight
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.