Monday, August 1, 2011

Debt Ceiling Lesson

Said Boehner: "My lasting impression
Of this Washington debt ceiling session?
It's a wonderful thing
The minority wing
May employ to extract a concession."

The budget compromise worked out in dramatic fashion on Sunday night between U.S. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders is actually not very definitive, considering the amount of time and angst that went into making it. Republicans can point to one key accomplishment: the White House’s agreement to $917 billion of spending cuts over the next ten years. As for the next $1.5 of deficit reduction, that particular can has, as they say, been kicked another six months down the road. The most important legacy of this protracted episode of brinksmanship may be that a vocal and well-organized minority can use the debt ceiling to bend the government to their will. One wonders what Denmark – the only other developed country with a debt ceiling – will make of all this.

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