Oh, Florida, land of Allen West, Alan Grayson, Katherine Harris, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Marco Rubio and so many more. Thank you for our latest news-making member of Congress, Ted Yoho.
The Gainesville Republican and political newcomer has jokingly called Obamacare's tanning tax "racist," said he put his face on bumper stickers so no one thought he was Japanese, flirted with birtherism, and suggested his opposition to the Affordable Care Act was akin to the struggles of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
And that's in less than a year's time.
The left has worked itself up in a lather, with Esquire dubbing him a "wing nut congresscritter."
Then came Yoho's latest in the Washington Post, where Yoho put himself in the vanguard of conservatives who suggest that not increasing the debt ceiling might be a good thing. The left has a name for them "debt denialists," which incidentally is what the right calls the left when it comes to government spending.
Nearly every mainstream economist and businessman predicts that Yoho is not just wrong, he's horrible wrong. They says such an action would be anywhere from catastrophic to horrible because the nation wouldn't be able to pay all of its bills.
"I think that is just crazy talk," fellow GOP Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin said Monday night to MSNBC's Chris Hayes.
But Yoho is standing by that stance along with all his others.
“Somebody needs to convince me why we need to raise the debt ceiling," he told reporters today. That prompted the Democratic National Committee, chaired by Rep. Schultz, to issue a press release bearing the headline: "Yoho'd."
The press release (below)** ticked off nine stories that warn about the dangers of a possible debt default.
But articles in the mainstream media quoting mainstream economists and business figures might not hold much weight for Yoho and the folks of his district. Dan Drezner in Foreign Policy ticks off compelling reasons for this in his Foreign Policy blog post "Twilight of the Economics Elites," noting that some tea party congressmen were elected for this very reason: Stopping Obama's agenda, not voting for the debt ceiling, cutting government.
Yoho is one of them.A veterinarian, Yoho represents his Deep South-leaning district to a T. And he appears deeply popular (it's tough not to like his pigs-at-the-trough ad below).
Yoho unexpectedly beat incumbent Rep. Cliff Stearns by 1.4 percentage points in a four-man GOP primary, Yoho went on to win office with 64.7 percent of the vote in newly redrawn and Deep South-flavored District 3. It's so conservative that President Obama lost to Mitt Romney by 21.4 points, while he won Florida by .9.
With numbers like those, it's clear his constituents overall don't like Obama, don't like Obamacare and love their congressman.
**Here's the DNC press release:
Following today’s Republican Study Committee Meeting, default denier Rep. Ted Yoho told reporters that “Somebody needs to convince me why we need to raise the debt ceiling."
Well someone should show Congressman Yoho what top business leaders and economists have said about the economic impact of failing to pay our nation’s bills:
“Top Bankers Warn on U.S. Debt Proposal” [Wall Street Journal, 10/7/13]
“Debt Ceiling Deadline Gets Closer; Economists Warn of Dire Impacts” [WHNT, 10/7/13]
“CEOs Warn Of 'Extremely Adverse' Effects Of Debt Ceiling Standoff.” [Reuters, 10/2/13]
“Economists Fear Debt Ceiling Fight May Bring Recession” [CNN Money, 10/4/13]
“As Debt-Limit Deadline Nears, Investors Show Growing Concern About A U.S. Default” [Washington Post, 10/8/13]
“Debt Ceiling Concerns Drag On Wall Street” [Contra Costa Times, 10/7/13]
“IMF Chief Economist: U.S. Default Would Likely Cause Recession” [Reuters, 10/8/13]
“As U.S. Approaches Debt Ceiling, Fears Of Global Recession Increase” [Washington Post, 10/9/13]
“World Bank President: Debt Debate Could Be Dire” [USA Today, 10/8/13]