Gambling On Armageddon (No, Seriously)

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The debt ceiling fight is sucking up all the wonk blogging oxygen these days, but I’m struggling to think of anything new to say about it. Republicans are great negotiators, Obama left himself wide open to lose this battle, Republicans are crazy, Democrats have no consistent position on offer, Republicans may benefit if the economy tanks, Democrats may benefit if independents conclude that Republicans are reckless and crazy, etc. etc. I guess it’s worth repeating this stuff to make sure the point gets across, but there are only so many synonyms for “insane.”

So instead, let’s have a pool. Answer the following three questions:

  1. When will we finally reach a debt ceiling agreement? (The drop-dead date is supposedly July 22, with a second really-for-sure drop-dead date of August 2.)
  2. How much will the debt ceiling be increased? A lot (the full $2 trillion or so) or will it just be a stopgap ($400 billion or so)?
  3. Will it include any net revenue increases? How much?

I know, I know, I’m asking you to bet on the end of the world. And I’m not even offering any prizes. But the winner gains much commenting-fu in the coming year. Here’s my entry: (1) August 7, (2) $1.7 trillion, (3) Yes, $200 billion.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest