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Lawmakers who struggle with the basics

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)Gage Skidmore/flickr

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) knows exactly how he plans to deal with the debt ceiling and the full faith and credit of the United States.

"I think we need to have that moment where we realize [we're] going broke," Yoho said. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, that will sure as heck be a moment. "I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets," since they would be assured that the United States had moved decisively to curb its debt.

Now, Ted Yoho isn't some random guy who called into a talk-radio show, or some troll in online comments thread. He's a member of Congress. This elected federal lawmaker believes world markets would be more stable if the United States chose default on purpose.

While every day brings new evidence of policymakers saying foolish things about important issues, I feel like there are more examples than usual crossing the radar right now.

* Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants to replace "Obamacare" with a federal benefits program that's eerily similar to the Affordable Care Act.

* Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) demanded to know why a reporter with health care insurance didn't enter an exchange marketplace designed for people with no health care insurance.

* Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) argued this morning that there's "no such thing as a debt ceiling in this country," and we won't "default" on our debt by failing to raise the debt limit.

* Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is convinced the government shutdown is about entitlement spending.

The list goes on (and on), but the larger point is, the country is in a difficult spot right now. The government is shut down, a debt-ceiling crisis is underway, and there's no clear way out of the ongoing, self-imposed fiascos. The nation would benefit from sensible, knowledgeable policymakers showing sound judgment.

Instead we have these guys.