Reviews | The debt ceiling crisis must not continue to happen


Reforming systematic obstruction: As my colleague David Leonhardt explained, filibuster is a Senate tradition, not a law, and a majority of senators can reform or end it at any time, as the House has already done with appointments. judicial.

Biden called the option a “real possibility” on Tuesday. But a few Senate Democrats – Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin – strongly opposed making any changes to the filibuster, and on Wednesday Manchin said he would not change his position now. .

Strike a $ 1 trillion coin: Times columnist Paul Krugman argued that the Biden administration could simply ignore Congress. “There is a strange provision in US law that allows the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue platinum coins in any quantity and denomination she chooses,” he explained. “So at first glance Janet Yellen could mint a platinum coin with a face value of $ 1,000 billion – no, it doesn’t need to include $ 1,000 billion in platinum – deposit it at the Federal Reserve and pull this account to continue paying government bills without borrowing.

Yellen, however, dismissed the idea as “a gimmick,” equivalent to “asking the Federal Reserve to print money to cover deficits Congress is unwilling to cover by issuing debt.” .

A lot of people across the political spectrum don’t think so. “The main problem with the debt ceiling is that it is separate from the actual decisions on spending and taxation, which occur during the budget process,” Samanth Subramanian argued in Quartz. “Congress first approves government spending through its budget; then, months later, the debt ceiling battles begin, when lawmakers seize the opportunity to question spending that has already been approved.

Most other countries don’t. Rather, they negotiate spending during the budget process itself. “Most countries’ legislatures are not involved in debt issuance at all,” Philip Wallach, senior researcher at the American Enterprise Institute, told Subramanian. “They make spending and tax decisions, then say to their treasury, ‘Now you’re going to figure out how to finance the government.’ I don’t think it’s crazy at all.

There are many ways to get rid of the debt ceiling for good, as Dylan Matthews wrote in Vox. David Super, a Georgetown law professor and Congressional procedural expert, argued that this could be done through reconciliation. Others have suggested raising the cap to a number that is actually unattainable, such as “billion dollar googolplex. “

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