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Ending the Debt Ceiling Absurdity

[ 17 ] December 5, 2012 |

Let’s hope Obama sticks to his guns on being done with playing debt ceiling games with the Republicans.

The Republican Congress overplayed its hand. It’s time for Democrats to call them on it. The new Congress looks promising on these measures and it’s amusing to see the Republicans scrambling for the first time in forever. Time to slam some filibuster reform through, force Republicans to the wall on raising taxes on the rich, and taking power away from Congress on the debt ceiling if it won’t take reasonable stances.

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Comments (17)

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  1. howard says:

    there’s a fine point here: congress already controls the debt through its taxing and spending power.

    the idea that there should be a separate vote on the simple net arithmetic of the already approved taxing and spending decisions has always been deranged.

    • JKTHs says:

      The GOP would prefer as many hostages to be available as possible

    • NonyNony says:

      Yeah – I was just going to ask if anyone had some link to a history of just why and how the “debt ceiling” got separated from the actual budget. It seems somewhat ridiculous – the place to deal with a “debt ceiling” is in the actual budget legislation, not as some separate thing where Congressmen can pass legislation on one hand and then cry about the debt ceiling on the other.

      • JKTHs says:

        There was a rule that allowed the debt ceiling to be increased in a budget resolution, but that was done away with for the 112th Congress (and would have been irrelevant anyways since no budget resolution passed either year).

      • DrDick says:

        This gives the yahoos cover and allows them to distance themselves from the consequences of their personal irresponsibility. Also, debt ceilings only matter when the Democrats are in power.

      • John says:

        Before the institution of the debt ceiling, congress had to vote for every individual bond issue. The debt ceiling was supposed to streamline things.

      • S_noe says:

        There was a Planet Money episode on this. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/05/17/136363196/the-history-of-the-debt-ceiling
        To summarize, it’s about maintaining Congressional control, specifically in wartime, where spending could spiral out of control quickly through executive action.
        But totally an artifact. No good reason for it, unless you want to maintain another veto point against government action.
        Like other procedural veto points, it has served both parties in recent history, but that doesn’t make it any saner.

        I think there’s been an argument made that it isn’t constitutionally enforceable anyway, but I don’t have time to find that…

  2. TT says:

    The GOP will scream bloody murder and demand his impeachment if President Obama exercises the 14th Amendment option, but President Rubio will thank him come 2017, as will President Cruz in 2025.

    (Though, of course, it’s not as if the Democrats are irresponsible, sleazy, insane, and just plain unpatriotic enough to threaten a default in the first place to wring concessions thy would never get otherwise.)

    • JKTHs says:

      Nah, the Tea Partiers would want to reinstate it at a level $1 trillion below the current debt level.

    • NonyNony says:

      The GOP will scream bloody murder and demand his impeachment if President Obama exercises the 14th Amendment option, but President Rubio will thank him come 2017, as will President Cruz in 2025.

      I’m trying to decide if you seriously think that Rubio has a real shot at being our next President, or if you’re just using that as short-hand for “our next Republican President”.

  3. c u n d gulag says:

    The Republicans are determined that this so-called “Fiscal Cliff” isn’t the last one the President, the Democrats, and the country they hate love, have to look at.

    They want our government to face more potential falls off of cliffs, than those divers in Acapulco.

    • “They want our government to face more potential falls off of cliffs, than those divers in Acapulco.”

      Nobody pays them any attention otherwise. Though you do have to give them credit for basically acting like the election was just one more political news cycle and not something that, you know, mattered. It wouldn’t work as well without a big and ongoing assist from Villager media, of course, but their ability to just ignore bad news and move on is impressive.

  4. I think you mean you hope the Republicans are done playing debt ceiling games with the President.

    Whether they choose to try to use the debt ceiling as a hostage, or not, has nothing to do with Obama sticking to his green lantern. If they do, he has to come up with a response, like he so successfully did last time.

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