We have become a defacto temporary nation-state with a temporary government, wherein all measures are only stopgap, meaning that they are simply temporary extensions of the prior budget resolution.
In Congress it's known as a "continuing resolution" which is yet another "cliff" that the nation is going to have to face in another ninety days' time.
All fiscal appropriations now made by Congress are being done by so-called continuing resolution which means stop-gap funding, a term used to describe this process wherein neither party is prepared to vote for an actual new budget.
The same can be said with all congressionally voting-required appointments by the executive and judicial branches. We now see that judicial appointments as well as upcoming Defense Secretary Hagel are all done on a so-called "presidential acting authority," which the President does have. This is done to get around a congressional vote.
Hagel would not be passed but would be appointed as acting Secretary of Defense. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry won't pass as the new Secretary of State, but he will become acting Secretary of State.
All cabinet secretaries and principal deputy secretaries and principal departmental heads -- these are the positions that require a congressional vote.
However the President can get around that because the President has the authority to appoint on a temporary or "acting" basis indefinitely. Therefore the leadership of the bureaucracy and the cabinet all become temporary heads. Because nothing can be done. And no permanent appointments can be made.
We came into 2013 with five "cliffs," two of which the Fiscal Cliff and the Dairy Cliff, whose respective cans have been kicked down the road as it were.
We still have three cliffs to go which we will have to face in the next 90 days -- the Debt Ceiling Limit Cliff, the Sequester Cliff, and the Continuing Resolution Cliff.
All of them are capable of causing the collapse of the United States economy -- and by extension a global economic collapse.
Out of the five cliffs, the Debt Ceiling Cliff was always the most onerous. The Fiscal Cliff never was. The Fiscal Cliff issue could be done on a watered-down stop-gap basis, which is what was done. On the other hand, the Debt Ceiling Cliff is a hard number that has to be voted on.
The Obama Regime is digging in their heels saying in other words that they are ready to default and in essence ready to take down the rest of the planet with it. This is the Democratic response to the Republicans' effort to use this issue as a political tool. It's like a game of chicken...
For the rest of this exclusive column by independent political/ economic analyst Al Martin, click on to Al Martin Raw.
* AL MARTIN, author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider," is an Independent Political-Economic Analyst with 25 years of experience as a trader on NYMEX, CME, CBOT and CFTC. He is also currently trading the commodity futures market day and night and has a teleconferencing service to facilitate transactions in the markets. This is a service for independent market-experienced traders.
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