'A totally self-inflicted crisis': Political analyst breaks down how Republicans are playing 'Russian roulette' with the US economy

'A totally self-inflicted crisis': Political analyst breaks down how Republicans are playing 'Russian roulette' with the US economy
Mitch McConnell/Shutterstock

It remains to be seen when Republicans and Democrats in Congress will reach a firm agreement on raising the United States' debt ceiling, but economists have been warning that if some type of agreement isn't reached and the U.S. defaults on its debt obligations, the economic consequences would be disastrous. CNN's John Avlon was vehemently critical of Republicans, including Senate Minority League Mitch McConnell, when he spoke to his colleagues Alisyn Camerota and Dana Bash during an October 6 broadcast — accusing Republicans in Congress of promoting "chaos."

McConnell has agreed to support a debt limit extension into December, which is a short-term fix to avoid a default deadline on October 18. Avlon, however, slammed Republicans for "playing a dangerous game" with the U.S. economy.

Avlon told Camerota and Bash, "This is a totally self-inflicted crisis. The debt ceiling has been raised 43 times since 1980 — 31 times under Republicans, 12 times under Democrats. The only reason we're having this crisis and tricycling up to the cliff is because Republicans are threatening to filibuster it — and also saying they're not going to help, which means Democrats aren't going to be able to get those ten votes. So now that we're getting closer and markets are getting spooked, Republicans are realizing they've been playing a dangerous game. So, they offer an olive branch. But this is totally self-inflicted, and the answer is to do away with the debt ceiling once and for all one way or the other."

Camerota noted that when he was president, Donald Trump "ran up the credit card by $8.3 trillion" — adding, "And Mitch McConnell's message up until now, until this minute, was: I guess we just don't pay our credit card bills."

Avlon told Camerota and Bash, "This is not about fiscal responsibility. This is the opposite of that. This isn't a parlor game. It's Russian roulette…. So, it is the opposite of being fiscally responsible no matter how much they think they can spin it heading into a midterm."

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